Even though relevant since the 90’s, the expression Content Strategy only became common during the last couple of years. It’s everywhere, whether as a part of User Experience design or as an independent area in and of itself. But the question still remains:
What is Content Strategy and what is it for?
The goal of Content Strategy is to create a meaningful, unambiguous, consistent interactive experience. This is accomplished by a series of actions such as auditing, planning, structuring and testing just to name a few that will ultimately determine how useful, usable and relevant your content is. One thing to keep in mind is that Content Strategy is not Content Marketing, even though they are intimately related. Content Strategy is related to the structure of content and Content Marketing takes care of the content itself, pretty much like the relation between Information Architecture and Design.
One of the first things you must be sure of is that your content is adequate. Not adequate as in safe for work or offensive (well, that too) but how adequate it is to your audience. Thus your first question must always be “to whom am I creating / writing / designing / photographing / illustrating?”. Defining your niche, your target audience, your tribe, your consumers or whatever other name you want to give them, will help you define your tone, what are you going to write about and, if done correctly, how you will help your audience achieve their goals (in other words, defining the “why”). This first step will put you on the right track to planning your content properly, the key of Content Strategy.
There are several areas where Content Strategy can be applied. For example, on Content Strategy for the Web, Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach give us a hands-on guide on how to apply these concepts to websites. The book goes all the way from auditing your already existing content to actually implementing Content Strategy techniques to make the most out of it.
In her book Content Strategy for Mobile, Karen McGrane explains how to make the jump from Web to Mobile. According to Karen, if you have a website you need to get it on mobile as well. “Period”. Being a very practical book as well, Content Strategy for Mobile covers almost every relevant corner of the mobile ecosystem, from how to evaluate a website to auditing or from convincing your CEO to writing and editing and information Architecture.
Here at Contentful, we took in consideration several sources of information about Content Strategy, user workflows and best practices to make sure we deliver our customers an excellent tool that will help everyone make the most out of their content.
If you want to learn more on Content Strategy and how to prepare your content to be displayed on multiple screens, we highly recommend the following resources:
Content Strategy for the Web - Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
Managing Enterprise Content - Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper