Understanding Content Strategy

This is my first official post on the big, fat, beautiful world of content strategy. I feel deeply for the subject because it resonates with my deepest belief: content matters.

Being a writer in the Indian subcontinent is not easy. You come with certain tags attached: ‘non-native speaker of English’ (even though English IS my first language), ‘cheap SEO writing’, ‘unprofessional’ etc.  Universally you’re only known as a copywriter, a web content writer or an editor. And jostling for space among all these labels is the one that perhaps defines me (and some other unsuspecting writers) the best: content strategist.

What is content strategy?

According to Kristina Halvorson, content strategist and one of the main advocates of content strategy,” Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” In other words, it answers the rather difficult question ‘So what’s your point’ and ‘Who cares’?

How many times have you been through a website, plodding through loads of data (Mission and Vision, anyone?) trying to scoop out the little nuggets that you really need?

Well a content strategist identifies, before the website is made, what those nuggets are and where she can place them so you find them easily. She also decides what information is really ‘useless fluff’ and cuts it out. She intuits what information you will be looking for at a particular time. For instance, the mobile website will have the company’s contact details first up, while the regular one will have its service categories clearly explained. She also knows what words work for you and speak to you in a language that you love.

And it doesn’t just stop here. A content strategist meticulously plans a schedule for when the website will be edited, updated and fresh, meaningful content is added. This is called content governance.

How does content strategy serve you, the client?

By giving you a website that is very user-friendly. Visitors are going to love your website – they will want to keep coming back because they now find what they need, when they need it. They’re more likely to end up as leads because they the content is worded in a way that is attractive to them. Plus you look a lot better and professional than all those other outdated websites.

Content strategy is a huge science in itself and so exciting to learn. We’ve only skimmed the surface with this post.  Watch out for more in this space.

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