Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals Written Are Dreams Achieved

When I'm not thinking about websites or content strategy, I'm usually knitting. In fact, I've just started a knitting blog where I share knitting-related thoughts and patterns.

Today my worlds intersected a bit. I came across a wonderful post entitled "Goals Written Are Dreams Achieved." While I'm not planning to sell my knitted objects on Etsy anytime soon, I thought the post really captured best practices for every association, corporation, nonprofit, or entrepreneur.

The post gave four tips for writing and measuring goals. I've paraphrased them and added a fifth.
  1. Write them as positive, declarative sentences.
  2. Be detailed.
  3. Share your goals with others, maybe in a blog post or on Twitter.
  4. Track the progress of your goals.
  5. Review and refine them on a regular basis.
 For a website, content strategy is key to enabling your business to meet its goals.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Content strategy -- the who, what, when, where, why, and how of content

People come to your site to learn something or do something, and your content strategy needs to reflect that you know what they come for and know how to help them do it.

Sounds easy...but it's actually not. In fact, often the cleanest, easiest-looking solutions actually were the most challenging to develop. Keep in mind that those challenges are absolutely worth tackling!

The question "what is content strategy" seems to be out there in the ether more than I've ever seen it. My take on it is that content strategy is the who, what, when, where, why, and how of content.

  • Who will be creating the content? Do they know how to write effectively for online consumption?
  • What content do your site visitors need in order to do what they came for?
  • When: How often should you publish new content? How often will you promote a particular piece of content?
  • Where should it live? What section of your site houses the information? Where will you promote it -- on your site, on Facebook/Twitter, in your e-newsletters?
  • Why: Do the folks responsible for writing and promoting the content understand both the business goals of the content, as well as users' goals?
  • How: Do you have a content management system -- both CMS technology and the related business processes -- to to get the information posted online efficiently and effectively? 
So, content strategy involves several different areas of your organization: content creators, communicators, marketing, and technology. All must be aligned in order for the content -- and the effort behind it -- to succeed.