We launched a new IT training category! Check out the 140+ courses now.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Planning a content strategy

From: CMS Fundamentals

Video: Planning a content strategy

Most of the time when you research content management systems you'll hear a tremendous amount about the management side of things and almost nothing about the content itself. Now unfortunately, this is a result of CMSs being designed to view content as a simple commodity, just another asset to be ingested and moved along a predefined path. I mean with some CMSs you could be managing cupcakes, or paperclips, or red staplers. At any rate, for your CMS implementation to be successful, you need to go beyond just planning on how content should be managed to having a strategy for your content itself.

Planning a content strategy

Most of the time when you research content management systems you'll hear a tremendous amount about the management side of things and almost nothing about the content itself. Now unfortunately, this is a result of CMSs being designed to view content as a simple commodity, just another asset to be ingested and moved along a predefined path. I mean with some CMSs you could be managing cupcakes, or paperclips, or red staplers. At any rate, for your CMS implementation to be successful, you need to go beyond just planning on how content should be managed to having a strategy for your content itself.

This growing field is known, for obvious reasons, as content strategy. And if you're going to commit to the effort of assessing your content workflows and processes, you should also take the time to review how your organization creates the actual content itself. Taking time to define a content strategy means that you're going to put plans in place to not only govern the creation, usage, and publishing of content, but to determine what type of content you'll create and what makes that content useful to your organization.

Every individual, organizational, or corporate web site has a goal. This might be to inform, educate, sell a product, or generate interest in a cause. In some cases there will be multiple goals, related or not, that help to form the site's focus. In order to properly plan content, you should clearly list these goals and then prioritize them. Once this is complete, it's a lot easier to review your content by asking how well the content matches or serves these goals. From there, you can concentrate on refining your focus by defining your content's key message, the themes you need it to convey, and then create guidelines for the purpose content should serve.

This can be used to create what's called a content strategy framework. Authors and content creators can use this framework to help them create meaningful content that serves the goals of your site and stays on message. This framework can include style guides, publishing policies, metadata structure, article relationships, SEO terms and policies, and even guidelines on the types of authors necessary to create the right type of content. Although we're going to talk about this in more detail later, your content strategy will be a guiding factor in your content lifecycle.

These are policies that guide how content is collected, where content fits on your web site, and how long it's going to stay there. A good content strategy will also direct what type of content needs archiving and how long it lives on the site before it's replaced or archived. Content strategy shouldn't be simply subject based either. It should also include policies on distribution channels, marketing campaigns, and when and how content should be repurposed. Now we'll talk more about that a little later on when we discuss controlling content lifecycle. Finally, your content strategy should contain rules for analyzing content to determine whether it's effective, whether it's placement on the site is optimal, and whether related content should be created to broaden its effect.

Now I know that's a lot to digest. I also realize that not every organization or site needs a content strategy quite to the level of the one I've just described. I'm also betting that more of that than a few of you said, "Yeah right, like we have time to quantify all of that." Now granted, taking a step back and reviewing and defining your content strategy takes time, but make no mistake, you already have one. Your content creators, editors, and publishers already make decisions based on the quality of the content, its relevance, and other factors.

The question you really need to ask yourself is this: is it a good one? And does it produce the kind of content that will create compelling user experiences? Or perhaps, you can think about it this way: what's the point of go into the trouble of reviewing workflows, researching content management systems, and implementing a CMS, if all you're going to put through that is useless red staplers?

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CMS Fundamentals
CMS Fundamentals

44 video lessons · 24890 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What CMS means for this course
      1m 44s
  2. 22m 52s
    1. What is a CMS?
      2m 47s
    2. The evolution of CMSs
      4m 4s
    3. CMS types
      6m 7s
    4. Basic CMS capabilities
      5m 4s
    5. When is a CMS right for you?
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Comparing CMSs
      4m 28s
    2. Core features to research
      4m 41s
    3. Commonly overlooked issues
      4m 12s
    4. Properly assessing needs
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing when to seek assistance
      4m 15s
    6. Choosing a CMS for designers
      4m 45s
    7. Choosing a CMS for organizations
      4m 12s
    8. The pros and cons of hosted solutions
      2m 58s
    9. Hosted solution examples
      5m 51s
    10. The pros and cons of open source solutions
      4m 36s
    11. Open source CMS examples
      7m 6s
    12. Proprietary CMSs
      7m 48s
    13. A closer look at Drupal
      5m 7s
    14. A closer look at Joomla!
      4m 0s
    15. A closer look at WordPress
      5m 33s
    16. Resources for comparing CMSs
      9m 2s
  4. 43m 58s
    1. What is an open source CMS?
      3m 4s
    2. What is a LAMP stack?
      2m 53s
    3. What are WebDAV and FTP?
      2m 39s
    4. What is MySQL?
      2m 24s
    5. WYSIWYG editors
      3m 56s
    6. Understanding users, groups, and permissions
      4m 12s
    7. What is metadata?
      5m 19s
    8. Understanding taxonomy
      3m 35s
    9. What is version control?
      4m 23s
    10. What are themes and templates?
      3m 30s
    11. What is SEO?
      4m 42s
    12. What are web analytics?
      3m 21s
  5. 36m 31s
    1. Content management as a process
      4m 38s
    2. Properly defining roles
      5m 3s
    3. Planning a content strategy
      4m 1s
    4. The importance of taxonomy
      5m 7s
    5. Controlling content lifecycle
      6m 22s
    6. Challenges for CMS migrations
      3m 45s
    7. Steps for migrating content
      4m 16s
    8. Avoiding distractions
      3m 19s
  6. 2m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 24s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed CMS Fundamentals.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.