Four Ways Content Strategy Saves You Money

How Content Strategy Saves Money, Illustration by Shelly BowenBefore hiring a writer, establishing a web content strategy can save you time and money. Take the example of the health industry.

The health information and media industry has a invaluable, but complicated mission: to bring useful, objective, accurate health information to the public while supporting commercial interests. I interviewed content experts from two health organizations, Dan Haley of Scripps Health and Erin Malone of RealAge, to learn if and how content strategy saves their organizations money.

The Four Money Savers

1. Efficiency of resources. With limited resources, knowing your content inventory, content types, and what types of content different departments may need in the upcoming weeks can help you do twice the work with a fraction of the resources.

Malone provides a great example of how content strategy can save valuable time: “One interview with a doctor about a recently published article in the New England Journal of Medicine can yield several pieces of content, if you know what to ask ahead of time.

2. Better communication across teams and less rework. “Given how critical content strategy is to fulfilling our company objectives, it really has to be baked in at every step. When the editor is planning the content pieces, when the writer is writing, when the IA is creating specs, when the designer is choosing images . . . everyone needs to have visibility into — and reverence for — the content strategy goals of the project,” says Malone.

Haley adds that “articulating clear content publishing standards for, and our web presence at large provides our team, as well as contractors, with a more streamlined path to successful project completion.”

3. A better user experience. Knowing that similar content from the same primary resource may show up in the same place helps the writer craft the content differently and reduce confusion or frustration.

“For example,” Malone says, “if we’re going to write about the United States Preventative Services Task Force mammogram screening schedule, we have to have a lot of scientific review and research for that. If we plan ahead, we can do that for two different products — write something for different audiences in a different voice.

“It’s a delicate issue, and the statistics can be confusing,” she continues. “Strategy allowed us to figure out our message that would educate and not enflame or incite confusion around the matter in different formats.”

4. More mileage out of your content. “There have been many instances where [a content audit has uncovered] published — but extremely buried — pieces of content on our website that we can updated scientifically, re-crafted for a better user experience, improved from an SEO perspective, and used to fulfill a content gap as well as fulfill a business objective. We are able to do more with what we have, to give people more of what they want, and to do it in a leaner fashion,” says Malone.

Content strategy can also focus resources and help balance the needs of the business and the consumer. For Haley’s content team at Scripps, content strategy “helps us focus our efforts and resources on communicating the services the public is really looking for. We also work to emphasize the programs that Scripps prioritizes.”

Both companies strive to encourage healthier behavior, which not only helps the greater good, but also increases engagement and interest, which benefits the company’s bottom line.

How has content strategy saved your organization money? Please share.

This article is part of a series called On Content Strategy: Real-World Perspectives from Niche Industries. View all articles in the series here.

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    Shelly Bowen is the founder of Pybop, a boutique content strategy consultancy dedicated to creating exceptional content for websites, mobile, and video. Contact Shelly by email.


    • Thanks, Ivan. And it’s so true … not all traffic comes from Google. And customers/clients are in a different frame of mind when they come from YouTube and iTunes — or Facebook and Twitter or wherever. It’s good to know, so we can continue to try to help our visitors find what they need.

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