Imagine embarking on a family vacation without a map (or GPS). You’ll eventually arrive at your destination, but along the way you’ll make time-consuming detours, waste a lot of gas, and cause much stress for yourself and everyone else in the car. The same goes for launching a new project without a content strategy. The term “content strategy” is still relatively new and loosely defined. At Beehive PR, we like to think of content strategy as the process of: Planning, procuring, implementing, evaluating and leveraging content that meets a client’s business goals. Will every project contain all five phases in this neat, orderly progression? Probably not. But understanding each component enables you to make well-informed, forward-thinking decisions — instead of simply reacting to problems as they come up.
Want to prevent content from becoming an afterthought? Assessing the competitive landscape, user needs and client resources and then coming up with a content action plan is a big step in the right direction. It can also help you identify who will be involved in content development and how that process will be organized.
Does the content already exist? If so, will it need to be edited or updated? If not, who’s creating it, by when and what are the guidelines?
The content will need to go through a workflow before it’s launched. Who needs to edit and approve the content before it’s implemented? Who will push it live on the site?
Regularly evaluating live content through analytics, audience research and audits can help show if the strategy is successfully meeting business goals and user needs.
Now that the time and resources have been put into the content, it only makes sense to repurpose it smartly across different platforms, whether it’s print, mobile, e-mail marketing or social media. A content strategy ties together all the details of a project into a cohesive, easy-to-communicate action plan; it’s the all-important family vacation roadmap.