SPRINGBOX / Insights

Content Strategy for Dummies (Or Client Service Professionals)

by Springbox, April 27, 2015

Written by Jenny Thomas, Business Development Manager and blossoming Content Strategist

In an effort to be more valuable as a partner to our existing and potential clients, as well as be able to carry a conversation (with limited eye rolling) with our Content Strategists, the Springbox Account Management Team picked up “Content Strategy for the Web” by Kristina Halvorson. And get this: she says we are all Content Strategists! But here’s the thing, we’re definitely leaving it to the professionals here at Springbox.

We got together at Hula Hut to pound some margs and queso and compile the most valuable learnings from the book. Here’s what we came up with:

What is Content Strategy, anyway?

Back to the basics. Halvorson defines content strategy as “planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content”. There’s a lot of good stuff in those 11 words. Let’s expand a little bit.

Your content strategy should be aspirational. Who do you really want to be? Not, who do you want to be with today’s slim budget and time, but if you had all the resources at hand, who would you want to be then? What message would you send out into the world wide web? Start there and then focus on tactics.

What should your content do?

One of our “ah-ha!” moments came from the simple fact that content, when being created or published has to meet one of 2 points:

  • It needs to map back to a business objective, goal or KPI
  • It needs to fulfill your user’s needs

 

Seems straightforward, but most of our clients (ourselves included) tend to get a little lost in internal politics (all 83 employees need photos on the homepage!), the cool trends (let’s create a crazy infographic detailing our culture), or the “just in case” content (someone might be interested in photos of my guinea pig?) – and lose sight of the content’s job. If we can consistently map back to our business goals and needs of our users, we create bandwidth for our teams to be more effective for the organization, and probably save some money too.

When does content strategy happen?

"We're all content strategists!" - we exclaimed after some tequila "We're all content strategists!" - we exclaimed after some tequila

Literally all the time. Content strategy doesn’t stop after an initial audit, recommendation and site map. Content needs to be consistently audited, revised and managed. How else does the need for a major audit arise? It’s because organizations stop the strategy, let content go stale and leave it hanging in purgatory, waiting to be refreshed. Be nice to your content – give it a job and make it work for your business.

Every hour spent on content analysis could save you potentially 20 hours later on. Scale, don’t skip. Make content analysis part of your regular workflow. With our clients, we build content analysis and strategy optimization as part of our monthly or quarterly maintenance plans. If you don’t have Springbox as your partner (which, you really should), make sure that someone is responsible for being nice to your content.

What now?

Contact us to learn more – and read “Content Strategy for the Web”.