What goes into a content strategy is well defined. But what comes out?
Recently, as I was getting to know a new client and going over what she could expect from the content strategy process, she asked about content strategy deliverables. Specifically, she wanted samples.
Content Strategy Samples
I thought about the dozens of content strategy initiatives I’ve launched over the last couple years and came up blank. Not one was specifically relevant to her project. Content strategies are customized based on company goals, resources, budget, and time.
I certainly didn’t want to set unrealistic expectations, let alone give up a company’s confidential strategic plans. But I hate to say no to someone who’s just trying to understand. Instead, I provided an audit template and a list of all the potential content strategy deliverables (pdf) I could think of, and checked off the ones we were planning to cover.
I also doodled.
The Magic Layer
“What’s this magic layer?” she asked. Ah, well. I knew that would come up. Every content strategist brings unique skills and experience with them. Some content strategists are also (deep down) writers, editors, designers, or information architects. This background influences not only the strategy, but also the deliverables.
For example, I have a strong editing and interactive content background, so I’ll push for story in context and really work that core messaging across platforms. Another content strategist might provide wireframes or traffic analysis.
Content Strategy Deliverables
How to Use This List
+Your content strategist will guide you to what’s needed
+Hint: You don’t need (or want!) all of them
+Some might be created by others, i.e., your marketing or creative department or agency and should be shared with your content strategist
What Are You Trying to Achieve?
- Summary of company goals
What Do You Own?
- Content gap analysis
- Comparative content analysis
- Competitive analysis
How Do You Present the Words?
- User personas
- User scenarios (think believable stories)
- Editorial strategy
- Core messaging priorities (hierarchy)
- Content templates
- Sample content
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy
- Metadata strategy
- Brand strategy
- Style guide
Where Does It Go?
- Copy deck
- Content conversion/migration strategy
- Content flow schematic
- Channel strategy
- Community and social strategy
- Visual presentation recommendations
How Do We Make It Happen?
- Content approval workflow or governance model
- Communication plans
- Community moderation policies
- Content production workshops and training
- Content sourcing review and plans (people, tools, budget, time)
How Do We Stay Organized?
- CMS requirements
- Business rules
What’s Coming Up?
- Editorial calendar
How Do We Know It’s Right?
- Checks and balances
- Summary of company goals
- Success metrics
- Usability tests
Your Unique Needs Are SUPER Important!
What content strategy deliverables do you wish for that would help your company reach its goals? Or, if you’re the one doing the content strategy, which deliverables are most valuable to you? Comment away!