Recently, during a lengthy project kick-off, the question of content strategy came up—not so much the nuances of what it is or how it is executed, but rather what it means for the client post-launch. In "Design & Content, A Mutual Partnership" I briefly...
Recently, during a lengthy project kick-off, the question of content strategy came up—not so much the nuances of what it is or how it is executed, but rather what it means for the client post-launch. In "Design & Content, A Mutual Partnership" I briefly discussed the role we play in educating the client about how to nurture the project after our job as the design agency is done. In the context of this new discussion, I'd like to briefly explore three items that will help make the client's role in nurturing this content easier: strategy, schedule, and consistency.
Upon project launch, a thorough quantitative and qualitative content audit has already been conducted, which has allowed us to clean house and rid the site of all unnecessary content that had been collecting dust for years.
Decide what the content is (types, topics, etc.). Are you curating user-generated content from Instagram or YouTube, for example, or are you producing original content—by staff within each department, by designated members of the student body, etc.? Determine who is going to be responsible for writing which content and what the tone and voice of that content will be. Once these content wranglers have been identified, make sure they understand that they will be held accountable for creating and maintaining it. Perhaps most important is to educate and empower these people to make decisions about the content that are supportive of the main goals and objectives of the project. The last thing you want is a plethora of quality content coming down the pipe that misses the mark on supporting the core purpose. Whoops!
Develop an editorial calendar and stick to it. You'll be better able to maintain your content creation/curation responsibilities if you develop your own calendar, rather than relying on one of the many found through searching online. For a more in-depth look at editorial calendars, please read Melissa Rach's article over at Brain Traffic.
All your efforts in developing a strategy and putting together an editorial calendar that serves your needs are for naught if these efforts are inconsistent. Just as the tone and voice of your branding and marketing efforts online must not deviate from the style guide, the content strategy should maintain a steady course.
There's no need for a timid approach in discussing content strategy with clients. You can help mitigate their anxiety by discussing the points above and outlining their role in each phase. Empower your client to take full advantage of their content strategy and they will thank you.