Oftentimes, what stands in the way of creating and deploying an organization-wide content strategy is not knowing how to create a content strategy or really understand how it differs from what you currently have in place.
So let’s break through these barriers and uncover the 6 essential truths you need to know about content strategy and content performance:
- Don’t confuse “creating great content” with “achieving greatness with content”. It’s not enough to create well-written, well-sourced content. If your content is not being seen by the right people, then it doesn’t matter how terrific the content is that you’ve created. Of course, it’s a two-way street. Without great content, even the smartest positioning and the most comprehensive communication plan will fall flat. You need both.
- Content strategy is not just the content team’s responsibility. Your content strategy is a comprehensive tool combining strengths from multiple departments—editorial/publishing, marketing/communications, membership, education, IT, etc. Key individuals from each department should be involved in shaping your content strategy and providing input on planning, creating, delivering, measuring and monetizing content.
- Content strategy is not about generating volume. It’s about respecting individuals’ time with quality, well-targeted information. Less is more here.
- Begin with a robust content assessment to determine gaps. You need a strong sense of where you have been so you can determine where you need to go. This means evaluating common user patterns and surveying key customers to learn about their perceptions of current content (scope, relevance and accessibility) as well as future expectations. Then conduct a content audit—comparing your current content to what you need to better meet your customers’ content expectations.
- Determine content development priorities and workflow. Armed with qualitative and quantitative data, you can establish priorities for content development. Measure priorities based upon organizational capacity and capability vs. importance to customers. Then create a well-designed workflow process to guide the creation, production and distribution of content.
- Make a commitment to never stop learning from your customers—and from data. Want to ensure you are delivering the right products, services, messages and experiences that delight your customers? Set up key performance indicators and tracking processes to measure performance. Commit to a regular evaluation of your content goals against key performance measures, and a willingness to change as results are assessed. You also need to monitor the content management process itself, and make adjustments as both customer needs and supporting technologies evolve.