Working on content piece by piece is important, but it’s difficult to piece together a jigsaw if you don’t have an overall idea of the final picture. Unfortunately, your website won’t have come with a content strategy stuck to the side of the box.
There’s a range of things you need to think about when it comes to a content strategy. Of course, it doesn’t sit in isolation, but lets not try to tackle everything at once! Here are a few questions, just to get you started.
The best place to start is with your vision. Just like with single pieces of content, you have to think about what you want to achieve. Provide services? Increase sales? Save money on other channels? Raise awareness? Sell adverts? Whatever it is you want to do, your strategy will reflect that, so you need to at least have a rough idea before you get start.
How long do you have to achieve the results you want to see? Do you need a short term plan to address a burning issue, or a long term road map to make sure you stay at the head of the pack? Be realistic about the pace of change in your organisation, and don’t set yourself an impossible task on a deadline you know you’ll never meet.
The length of your strategy will also affect how much detail goes into it and what headings you need to cover. If you’re only planning the next 6 months, you may not need to give a great deal of thought to archiving and retention in this document. If you’re planning for the next five years, you need to keep things flexible enough that you can adapt to new technologies and current research, both of which can and should change the way you create content.
What resources do you have? And influence? If you’re a one man band there may be a limit to how broadly you can reach. And buy in from senior managers has a big impact too, unless you’re the CEO! As you prepare to put your plans down on paper, you need to consider how they can be put in place. Change usually comes about through people, so make sure you know who those people are, and how and why the strategy will work for them.
If you’ve ever written a content strategy, what did you consider first? Which aspects were the most important in your organisation, and how did they influence the strategy you put together?