What is Content Strategy?

Lots of people ask me “So what exactly is content strategy?” 

I find the best way to answer that question is to understand a little about the person who is asking, and I try to tailor my answer accordingly.

Their experience and interest in digital communication helps me figure out what examples to use and where to focus my answer. 

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So lets have a little fun with that - some exaggerated examples include:

My mum

“I organise content on the internet”

UX designers

“Through a lense of business objectives and user goals, I make recommendations for an optimal digital content ecosystem and then execute those recommendations”

Business analysts

“I collaborate with teams to plan and implement the content side of digital projects, starting with identifying the business problem and user needs.”

Engineers

“I plan and make decisions about what digital content should go where and why”

PROJECT MANAGERS

“I provide project plans, schedules, resourcing plans, budgets, position descriptions and timelines to ensure digital content projects rock”

Content marketers

“I deliver process and content that meets the needs of users - content that has a strong narrative, is compelling and true.”

Tech writers

“I build and implement content maps, content models, content audits, workflow, governance, information architecture, microcopy, and work to improve author experience”

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

“I meet the needs of users through digital content with excellent information and visual flow”

Job seekers

“I assist my company make great digital content experiences for our customers and staff”

                                                                                                 Illustration credit: A List Apart 

                                                                                                 Illustration credit: A List Apart 

If you would like to learn more, the following resources are a great start.

Blogs and websites

Conferences

Photo credit: Elle Geraghty - a small part of my book case

Photo credit: Elle Geraghty - a small part of my book case

Books

  • Kristina Halvorson - Content strategy for the web 
  • Erin Kissane - The elements of content strategy
  • Donna Spencer - Card sorting: Designing usable categories
  • Sara Wachter-Boettcher - Content everywhere
  • Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow - Carrie Hane 
  • Content design - Sarah Richards
  • By Carrie Hane, Mike Atherton
  • Karen McCrane - Content Strategy for mobile
  • Meghan Casey - The content strategy toolkit
  • Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld - Information architecture for the world wide web
  • David Weinberger - Everything is miscellaneous
  • George Lakoff - Women, fire and dangerous things
  • Janice (Ginny) Redish - Letting go of the words
  • Colleen Jones - Clout: The art and science of influential web content
  • Anne Handley and CC Chapman - Content rules
  • Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton - Web style guide
  • Ann Rockley - Managing enterprise content

Podcasts

  • While not strictly content strategy, Mark Fenell's podcast on Radio National - Download this show, has so much fantastic digital content that is essential listening for all of us.