Five Things Content Strategy Can Do for You

Julie Vollenweider

There’s a good chance you’ve seen “content strategy” popping up in your RSS more frequently – what it is and why it’s important.

If you aren’t yet familiar with content strategy, here’s the 10-second breakdown we use at Brain Traffic:

Content strategy is the plan for creating useful, usable content for your website. It defines:

  • What content should be on the site and why
  • How content will be added to the site
  • How the content will be managed after the site launches

Sounds great, right? Well, maybe it makes sense to you, but you aren’t sure if you can justify spending the time and money to do it. Or, maybe it makes perfect sense to you, but your boss isn’t convinced.

Although there are many ways an organization can benefit from content strategy, here are five things content strategy can do for you:

  1. Help you plan for the future

Once you create and launch a website, it isn’t really ever “done.” Websites need ongoing care and feeding. Content strategy creates a plan for giving your site life post-launch. Who will maintain it? How often should content be refreshed? When will it be updated?

  1. Ward off Frankensite

Your site launches and it's organized, clean, clear and concise. But soon the sales team decides to add a new service that needs to get on the site ASAP. And your CMO goes to a conference and comes back wanting to blog. Then your PR firm pitches an interactive timeline of company history – and since it looks cool, it needs a driver on the home page.

Before you know it, your site can turn into a cobbled-together creation that doesn’t quite make sense.

Content strategy creates documentation that can help you (and those that come after you) make informed decisions for website growth – that align with the original, measurable vision of the site.

  1. Keep your customers engaged

A vast majority of visitors to your website are looking for something – information, an experience, or an e-introduction to your organization.

Can they find what they are looking for on your site? Is it easy to find? Does it help achieve the task at hand?

Once someone arrives at your site, what they find must be useful and usable content – or they simply won’t stick around. The research involved in developing a content strategy can help you get relevant information to your audience in the right way, at the right time.

  1. Give you a plan for herding cats

A million social media options exist. Although you can’t control social media, having thought out your approach and position on how to handle your online reputation can do wonders.

For example, what are you going to do if a flurry of tweets mention your company? Will you respond? What will you say? Who will be “the voice” of your organization?

Articulating a content strategy means planning what you're going to say, why you're going to say it, and how it's going to happen. This absolutely includes social media – having a plan is critical.

  1. Make you a hero

Let’s face it. Content can be complicated – which means that it typically gets put in the “someone else will take care of this” camp. If you develop a solid content strategy, YOU’RE “taking care of it.”

Armed with a content strategy, you get to swoop in and save the day by looking smart and proactive.