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  • What is Strategy? 

    Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal.

    Strategy is what allowed Genghis Kahn and the Mongols to create one of the greatest land empires in history; conquering more land in 25 years than the Roman Empire could in 400.

    Strategy took Hannibal and a bunch of elephants across the alps to defeat a Roman army outnumbering them 4 to 1.

    But enough about war…

    Strategy is what sets apart marketers who achieve great success with their actions from others who put in hours upon hours of work and see no results.

    Web Content Strategy

    Content Strategy

    Content + Strategy = Content Strategy

    This is the magic ingredient that makes it all come together. It keeps you on track. It holds your focus. It establishes a path for your online marketing efforts.

    It makes your work more effective and efficient – decreasing the likelihood of wasting time performing activities that don’t add value.

    Tired of working for your content and want your content to start working for you?

    Me too.

    Having a strategy can help accomplish this.

    That doesn’t mean that you won’t be putting in work. A good content strategy requires a lot of effort. But if done correctly, once complete it will have a lot of residual benefits.

    And don’t you just love residual benefits? I know I do.

    A good content strategy can result in a few things you probably wouldn’t mind having in your business:

    The funny thing about customers is that they are ALREADY looking for you. They are looking for services, they are looking for answers, they are looking for solutions to their problems. Having a good content strategy allows you to answer the call.

    Technicalities of Content Strategy

    Most [good] strategists will explain to you that there are technical aspects to content strategy. This is very true. You have to take into account the usability, readability, deliverability, etc. of the content you are creating.

    If the content is not technically viable, it is a waste of time and not doing anyone any good.

    You need to take into account XML and markup issues, make sure that search engines are reading your content, alleviate any browser issues and so on.

    The great news is that for most people trying to create informational content, WordPress is an quick, easy and automatic solution to all of the technical issues.

    In other words, for most people, the technical issues associated with content strategy, readability and usability can be solved by simply using WordPress as a content management system (CMS).

    There are many Fortune 500 companies that use WordPress (Honda, GE, American Express and NFL to name a few), and there is no reason that the individual entrepreneur or small business can’t get on par with them in that department. You don’t need a huge bankroll to create a database driven CMS for your site. You can create one for free with a few clicks of the mouse.

    For that reason, the Content Strategy 101 series assumes that you already have WordPress installed, or at least use a CMS that eliminates any technical issues that may arise.

    Web Content Strategy

    Content Strategy Process

    The process of creating and implementing a strategy is a fairly simple one. That doesn’t mean that it is going to be easy, however.

    The size of your company, your goals, your audience, the amount of content you have or need to create, and many more factor go into the complexity of the process.

    In its simplest form, a content strategy answers the 5 Ws that you learned in English class (and that one pesky H):

    1. Who

    2. What

    3. Where

    4. When

    5. Why

    6. and How …there’s that “H”

    Who

    Who are you writing for? Who is writing? Who is analyzing? Who is promoting? Who is in charge of the process? Who can order new content to be made? Who will initiate management duties and editing?, new projects and new processes?

    What

    What content are you creating? What format will it be in? What is the process hierarchy in terms of individuals involved? What are the standards for new content creation? What are the formats? What are the specifications?

    Where

    Where will you publish it? Your site? Someone else’s site?

    When

    When are you publishing? Do you have a content schedule? Are you timing your content based on business events (such as launches)?

    Why

    Why are you publishing? Is there a reason/purpose?

    How

    How are you creating the content? How are you delivering the content? How will users find the content? How will the content impact the bottom line? How will it help us achieve the goals we have set in place? How will you keep your content in order?

    Content Process

    In general, the content strategy process should answer defines all of these elements for us. The process has the following steps:

    1. Define Customers
    2. Define Goals
    3. Define Ownership
    4. Content Audit
    5. Content Plan
    6. Plan Execution
    7. Review and Tweak
    We’re not done quite yet. To get the full content strategy overview, check out the Content Strategy 101 series.


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