Join Janine Warner for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding content strategy, part of Creating an Effective Content Strategy for Your Website.
Search the web and you'll find a growing list of jobs for content strategists. If you're taking this course because you're trying to figure out what a content strategist is, let me start by giving you a quick orientation before we get into all the details. Content strategy is really just the latest term for something many of us have been doing for a long time: planning, managing, and developing all of the text, images, video, and other content that goes into creating a modern multimedia website. The best content strategists are part editor, part producer, part project manager, part information architect, part quality control, part content wrangler, and above all else, most of us love a good story.
That doesn't mean technology isn't important to us. It's just that some of us think it's about time that web designers put as much time into the front-end--the words, images, and multimedia on a website--as we put into the backend: the databases, HTML, and other code. I like to call myself a journalist turned geek. I spent the first part of my career as a reporter and editor, but I've been developing websites and even writing the code for them for more than a decade now. And I truly believe that the best content strategists understand at least the basics of technology, as well as content.
Like me, many content strategists began their professions in print or broadcast. Former managing editors and producers make great content strategists, but you do have to understand what makes the digital world different. No matter what your background, one of the first challenges will simply be mastering all of the vocabulary. Terms like content matrix and multivariate testing can sound intimidating at first, but if you are a word person like I am, you'll catch up with all the buzzwords soon enough.
- What is content strategy?
- Setting clear goals and managing expectations
- Creating a content inventory
- Identifying content needs with a gap analysis
- Managing development with a content matrix
- Creating a style guide and editorial calendar
- Developing wireframes and sitemaps
- Choosing the best medium for your message
- Testing and gathering feedback from users