When doing Gab Brand Consultations, I cringe as we near the Content Strategy phase. It isn’t uncommon that many small businesses, start-up projects, and first time entrepreneurs won’t know what you’re talking about. To them, hiring a Content Developer was the strategy.
You are now at a Stand-still. With no direction, how can you completely guarantee relevant content? At this stage, those larger firms would hand you a questionnaire of general questions that would help them develop one for you. However, this results in generic content that may sound awesome but doesn’t truly represent the clients’ views of their own business; Resulting in a lack of confidence in their business plan moving forward.
What is a Content Strategy?
Starting any Website, Blog, or Publication- the saying great content equals great business reigns supreme. While writing great material may come naturally, creating relevant content with a driven purpose is another thing. Having a Content Strategy that you can be confident in will help you move forward with Development and Marketing.
Kristina Halvorson, founder of Brain Traffic, and author of Content Strategy for the Web, defines Content Strategy as Planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. Seemingly, a very straight forward definition, but it is also comes with advantages. Content Strategy is a valuable tool in Content Marketing using SEO, Keyword Placement, Service Pitches, and so on.
Halvorson may dive deeper into it with in her work, but her short-winded definition itself is a cave-man’s notion of the wheel. It also leaves room for error. Content Strategy is not to be confused with Content Development or Content Marketing. All are small jobs in-line with a bigger goal. If you want to go all philosophical, Rahel Bailie, coauthor of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits and principal of Intentional Design, breaks it down as such [and I quote]:
“Content strategy deals with the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle, and includes aligning content to business goals, analysis, and modeling, and influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and sun-setting of content, including governance. What content strategy is not is the implementation side. The actual content development, management, and delivery is the tactical outcomes of the strategy that need to be carried out for the strategy to be effective.”
Where would you be without a Content Strategy?
Diving into Content creation, web development, or a blog start up all begins long before you are sitting in front of your computer, with the biggest cup of coffee you could make and a fresh pack of squares to smoke, ready to type. It happens long before you finally hire someone to handle your endless, tiresome content gap for you.
The Goal of any good strategy is to deliver your readers relevant material in line with your business goals, visions, and values. Going hard with no helmet, as I would say, can leave you hurt out here! Lack of Content Strategy will cause the overall lack of Brand/Site Identity. Without it you could easily go wondering astray.
Planning a Content Strategy?
Before we begin constructing a Content Strategy, here are some areas of interest you should consider while developing one:
- How you plan to create, manage, and maintain your content so that it remains effective and consistent.
- The arrangement and appearance of the content
- The topics and message delivered by your website, blog, or publication.
As a Content Developer you are also considered a Content Strategist, which means it is your job to help clients turn those ideas on random napkin towels into a reality. A lot of times a client will want one thing- Search Engine Spotlight! It is the job of a content developer to offer that but with the assurance that quality is your main focus- Nobody bookmarks webpages of no value!
Implementing a Content Strategy you can be confident in…
Going forward with your content strategy you’re confident in will show in the content you produce. Your focus point will be clear, your Brand will sell easily, and your readers will become invested in you [over time].
Take the time to write down your content goals, a deliverable message that defines what it is you want to accomplish within the next six weeks, moths, or years- your preference.
Try to make one goal flow to the next- as if milestones- and watch for a re-occurring theme. Chances are this is an area you will thrive in- a secret passion you never knew you had. This will define your Brand and it’s persona to its audience.
**If you need help turning those scribbled napkin notes into a creative blog, engaging web content, or a well written article- reach out to someone with the gift of gab here at Gab Brand. Free Consultations are always available for those in need of Gab-worthy content.