A clear content strategy can help your organisation cut through the noise and stop going around in circles.
Hey, is anyone listening?
Have you ever stopped to think about just how much online content you have personally generated in your life? Now multiply that by the thousands of businesses and organisations in Australia, and the millions of individuals who type, post, blog, tweet, comment, like and publish for most of their waking hours. If you’re a business or organisation trying to get your message out intelligently, you have an awful lot of competition and white noise to cut through.
Get rid of the hit and miss approach
‘I think we need a new website’. ‘Maybe we should try Instagram’. ‘Do you think we should get those brochures printed again?’ What the hell do we do about Google+? Sound familiar? The web is constantly presenting new opportunities (and making old ones redundant) but concurrently creating new stresses. Knowing where to focus your content efforts, how to focus them, and why you are focusing them is the first step in grappling the content beast to the ground.
Create a content strategy in 2014
No taking-control mission works without a plan. By creating a content strategy, you can map out how best to make your content work for your audience and how to bring some structure (and quality) to what you are producing. It’s a plan, a schedule, a framework that helps you and your team find a way through the maze and hopefully take a bit of control back.
There are a few types of content strategies, but a basic content strategy does the following:
- Ties all of your tactics together (your website, blog/s, social media, articles etc)
- Defines how you are going to use content to meet your business and project goals
- Guides decisions about content throughout its lifecycle
- Helps you make smarter decisions about choosing which content to use, for what.
How to put a content strategy together:
- Do a synopsis of what you have up and running, what’s working and what’s not (also known as a content audit).
- Map out your business goals and upcoming projects for the next 12 months
- Train key staff so they have the right content production and analysis skills and a chance to think about the bigger picture
- Write guidelines about what your content should always do – include a checklist and style guide
- Put together a publishing calendar for the next 12 months that uses your business goals as a marker, focuses on utilising quality existing content and identifies any information gaps
- State who is responsible for doing what and when
- Document the sign off process
- Set up monthly web clinics – regular sessions where key content people (and decision makers) from across your organisation meet to review stats, discuss what worked well (and what might have missed the mark and why), action new tasks and finesse the publishing schedule to accommodate any changes
New web content strategy and web writing course
If you’d like to dedicate some time to working on your own strategy, and get the chance to improve your web writing skills, we will be running a series of courses for Sydney Community College during 2014.