Using content strategy to meet your business goals: content strategy at work
A NetIKX seminar, London, 25 July 2019
On the hottest day of the year, a group of intrepid knowledge and information professionals gathered at the British Dental Association – a venue that, fortunately, has excellent air conditioning – to discuss the topic of content strategy. Our two presenters, Rahel Bailie and Kate Kenyon, worked skilfully together to present an overview of what content strategy is and how it can be applied in an organisation.
Rahel began by defining what content is, how content differs from data and what content strategy encompasses: it is a repeatable system that governs the management of content throughout the entire lifecycle (analysis, collection, management and delivery). Following on from this, Kate then discussed how to assess the business needs for content strategy and – crucially – how to show the connection between content and revenue. The first stage is to determine the current state through an audit of the content, the processes and tools involved and the people who produce it. Kate emphasised that the point of an audit is not counting, but benchmarking: what stage do you need to reach for your content to be ‘good enough’? When this is established, you can calculate the gap between the current state and future needs, then produce a roadmap for change.
The theory was followed by a number of case studies from Rahel and Kate’s own experience, including a pharmaceutical company and a supermarket chain, which generated plenty of questions and discussion. After the break, we were invited to undertake a practical exercise based on the needs of a financial institution. Although the concept of content strategy was new to many of the participants, it was noted that many of the principles and processes discussed could also be applied to information and knowledge management projects. Several participants commented that they found the case studies and practical exercise particularly useful in considering how to get buy-in from their organisations. All of us, regardless of our previous level of knowledge, came away with a clearer picture of both the theory and the practical applications of content strategy.
For further reading on this topic, I can recommend The Language of Content Strategy and Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits .
For an overview of the role of the content strategist, there is a useful blog post by Kristina Halverson, who has also written extensively on content strategy.