What is content strategy?

Much has been said about content strategy over the last decade or so, but what is it exactly and why has it become so important?

by Georgia - December 2012

Much has been said about content strategy over the last decade or so, but what is it exactly and why has it become so important? Let me answer these questions and illustrate the central role content plays throughout the development of your online presence.

Content strategy has become increasingly important within the web development industry over the past 10 years. It is a core discipline of user experience design (UXD), and is a system that defines the editorial content development process for a website development project. In layman’s terms, it plans for the creation, publication and governance of useful, usable content and aims to maximise its impact.

Unfortunately, no amount of research or testing can create a great user experience; it all comes down to content, the bridge between site objectives and user needs. By harnessing the approaches and techniques of content strategy, you can substantially improve the chances of meeting your project’s goals through an improved user experience. These days, content management systems (CMS) are targeted towards an organisation’s internal editorial infrastructure, the outcome being the implementation of a content strategy and creation of a user experience.

Content Strategy encompasses every facet of content, from design and development to management and control. When developing a new project with new content, it makes sense that it forms the beginning of the process. This process helps decide what is possible with regards to your business objectives. Your CMS design is an essential part of that decision and you can specify CMS features such as content models, metadata and work flow based on content strategy.

In order for a web project to be successful it needs a solid content strategy, which goes hand-in-hand with your CMS. The type of content you produce directly influences the reputation and ultimate success of your website and your business brand, yet for many businesses it is still considered a mere afterthought. Naturally you want your product and service to be relevant to your customers wants and needs and the same applies to your content.

It’s simple, if the information you offer is not what they’re looking for, visitors will click away to another website.

Your content forms the core of your website and developing an online content strategy is vital to engage your readers and ensure that you attract the right audience and rank well in search engines for the phrases you target.

The content you produce is your livelihood in the online space and without it there wouldn’t be content management. Think about it, the fact that we need a system to keep track of all the words, photos, charts and information that we produce is a clear indication of its relevance and importance.

Developing content and a strategy that’s right for your organisation may initially be challenging and time consuming, but it is certainly worth the effort and can help to save money, time and return on investment in the long run. Also, establishing an effective method for implementing content throughout your web properties will help with the SEO and keep qualified traffic coming back to your site.