As a content strategist, I help organisations harness their digital content and put it to work to attract new customers and make existing customers happier.
Content drives every interaction on the web. It’s a big deal. If you’re not in control of your content, you’re not in control of your message. And if you’re not in control of your message, just what is all that digital spend achieving?
Content: a strategic tool
Whether your online presence is brand new or well-established, we take a step-by-step approach to understanding exactly what your content needs to be and do. What are your overall business goals, and how can you best use and manage your content to help you meet those goals?
I ask questions (lots), run team workshops (who knows your customers best?), and explore what your competitors are doing online.
Where necessary, I bring in specialists in niche areas such as information architecture and search engine optimisation.
Each stage of the project has an agreed outcome. Once you’re happy with the results of each stage, you can then choose whether to ask me to go on to the next step. Alternatively, you might only need my help for a specific task. That’s fine too.
By the end of the process, you know what content is most useful and appropriate for your customers and for your business, and you have the tools and structures in place to enable you to publish it in the right place, at the right time.
How it works: The content strategy process
Where do we start? At the beginning:
Define the purpose of your website
What’s your website for? How can it help you meet business goals? Who will use it? Why? What are the key messages you want to get across? What do you want people to think, feel, and do?
Written report setting out a core strategy for your website. This will guide decisions about what content you should be including, now and into the future. No arguments about what should and shouldn’t go on the site; no time or money wasted on creating content that won’t contribute to business goals.
Identify what content you need and why
What will your visitors be looking for, and what type of content will best meet their needs? Text, pictures, video? What are your competitors doing? If you have any analytics reports from an existing website, what can we learn from them? How good is your existing content – is it easily understood, current, useful? What new content you will need?
We think about what’s practical, too. It’s better to have a smaller amount of strong content than a lot of material you don’t have the resources to prepare well or won’t be able to maintain in the longer term.
Outline of what you need and why. Includes analysis of any current content against agreed criteria, and can also include keyword research reports, to find out what terms people might be using when they search for what you offer.
Make content findable
The most persuasive content in the world is no good if no-one can find it. I look at how the site is structured, and think about menus, links, and meta data, the snippets of information that help search engines and people find your site.
Recommendations for a site structure that puts the customer first: clear signposting for search engines and searchers; the most searched-for information in the most prominent places; clear links that take visitors quickly to where they want to be.
Plan where content will come from
It’s time to get practical. Who will produce the content – now , and into the future? Do you have people in-house with the time and skill to do what’s needed? What will you outsource?
If you want me to, I can write content for you or train your own teams. If you need a photographer, designer, video producer or other specialist, I probably know the right person for the job. If I don’t, I’ll find them.
Clear and realistic plan showing who is doing what and by when. Prevent project delays, go live on time (yes, it is possible).
Ensure style and consistency
Content created by lots of different people can result in a messy and unconvincing website. We talk about the phrases and terminology you tend to use, and identify possible inconsistencies. We also think about what words your customers might be using.
Straightforward editorial guidelines to help your team write in language that connects with your target audience and presents your business in a clear and consistent way.
Agree content processes
Lots more questions. Such as: Who makes decisions about content – at launch, and ongoing? How many people need to sign off each piece? What triggers new content? What triggers the removal of old content? And yes, these are questions about your internal processes. Maybe it’s none of my business. But if I leave you with a plan you don’t have the structures to implement, I might as well leave you with nothing. And if we get the right people together, we can crack it in an afternoon.
Agreed workflow processes and clearly assigned responsibilities. No more free-range content. At last, you’re in control.
Tell me what’s happening (or not happening) with your content, and I’ll let you know
what I can do to help.
Call me on 01625 610951 or email me here.