Why Should I Care About Content Strategy?

A Rapid Review of Content Strategy at Work

Lisa Clark Posted by
Lisa Clark

May 01 2012

If you work in interactive, you might think content strategy isn’t your job. Have you ever thought about any questions like these?

  • How often should you Tweet?
  • What is our message?
  • Would a video tell our story more effectively?
  • For our redesign, what content should we keep and what content should we delete?
  • What voice is best and what tone is appropriate when?
  • Which CMS is best for our needs?
  • Who is going to update our content and when?

CONTENTSTRATBOOKIf so, then I have to break this to you. Content strategy is part of your job. What to do? Read Content Strategy at Work: Real-world Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project. Margot Bloomstein guides us through the lifecycle and mindset for content strategy. The process begins with defining what you really need to say. It ends with a solid plan, and long-term commitment, for maintaining that content. To illustrate this lifecycle, Bloomstein provides not only approaches from her personal experience but also a range of case studies from non-profits, healthcare, auto, apparel, higher education and many more. That’s a wide variety of budgets, team sizes, and goals. Chances are you’ll find many instances in this book that make you say, “Their situation is exactly like ours!”

WHAT I LIKED MOST ABOUT THE BOOK

WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT, YOU’RE IN PUBLISHING…YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM CONTENT STRATEGY PERSPECTIVES ON YOUR TEAM.

Being a designer and visual content strategist, I appreciated the book’s explanation of the impact of content strategy on a whole team for an entire project. This isn’t a book solely for content strategists. This book enlightens and empowers all members of an interactive team to understand, champion, and, in a pinch practice, content work. Along the way, you’ll find answers to big questions like “What’s in it for me?” Having worked for an agency in the past, I can tell you those questions come up a lot. And, sadly, not enough people know the answers, and everyone’s work suffers because of it.

Plus, I can’t help but mention that the book features the wisdom of our own Colleen Jones. See chapter 3 for her useful insights into content audits.

WHAT I WANTED

I would love to have a tangible take-away from this book; an actionable checklist to share with team members, especially project managers. It’s all there in the pages of the book, but I just love a punch list. Content strategy is most often an afterthought, and that’s at best. But, a high-level list of must-haves for content work, similar to the way comps are a must-have for design, planning and budgeting would be easier for agencies.

So, what’s the bottom line? Most interactive projects need content strategy, but not everyone on an interactive team knows it. Before your next project, make Content Strategy at Work required reading.