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Your Content Strategy Kickoff

content strategy worksheetSetting expectations throughout a project is obviously important, but I still often forget to address this question: what’s on the agenda for a content strategy kickoff? And who should attend?

Each project is different of course. Your meeting with the content strategist might be in person or virtual. Invite anyone who will either be hands-on involved in touching or influencing the content or who needs to sign off on it.

Including stakeholders in the content strategy process is extremely important. If they understand the context and approach to your project, the more likely they’ll be satisfied you made the right content decisions along the way.

Some kickoff meetings are quick, some spin off to a series of content workshops or interviews where we can go over each section one at a time. Either way, here’s a boilerplate agenda of what to expect when you first meet with your newly hired  content strategy consultant.

Note that some of these questions may be addressed during your project scoping or project discovery process. This content strategy worksheet will also help you get started.

Content Strategy Questions: Be Prepared to Streamline Your Process

  1. Content Strategy Objectives:  What are you hoping to gain from your content strategy efforts or the project as a whole? What does success look like? What’s working now?
  2. Work Completed: What research or content work, if any, has been done so far?
  3. Content Strategy Writers, Editors, Reviewers, Approvers: Who will be involved?
  4. Workflow: How will we work together?
  5. Analytics: What do traffic patterns tell you?
  6. Audience: Who is your audience?
    • Current primary audience audience
    • Secondary audience
    • Expanded or new audience you wish you had

Setting expectations and getting to know all the players is all part of the Magic Layer of content strategy. The Magic Layer is how we work together, our clear communication, and our interactions that bring all the right content strategy deliverables to the table.

Is that all you’ll cover in your content strategy kickoff? Probably not. Your project may have other components that will influence the outcomes of your content strategy effort. Be sure to include those on your agenda.

Content Strategy and Your Core Messaging Priorities

While not officially a part of your content strategy kickoff meeting, you may start to talk about your core messaging priorities. We have a worksheet for that! These content strategy questions will likely stir up a lively discussion among your key stakeholders; if so, you may need a series of conversations or a Core Messaging Priorities Workshop to talk through them and establish your top content needs.

Here are some of the questions involved in a Core Messaging Priorities workshop.

  1. Audience Challenges
    • What misunderstandings or obstacles do they have with your brand?
    • With your industry?
    • Within their organization?
  2. Services/Products
    • What services or priority products do you provide?
    • What do you provide that you wish you didn’t?
    • What are the most important aspects of these services/products?
    • How are they different from your competitors?
  3. Benefits
    • How does your product or service benefit your audience? What do they get out of it logically and emotionally? Any personal gains?
    • How will choosing you provide a bigger benefit than choosing your competitor?
  4. Reasons People Will Believe In You: Just the facts; no marketing speak here!
    • What are our best testimonials?
    • What statistics can we share to prove our value?
    • What awards and recognition do we want to highlight?
    • Who are our partners and customers, and how can we talk about them?

Can You Skip a Content Strategy Kickoff?

Why should you bother with all of this anyway, when you’ve already been through a similar experience with marketing or rebranding efforts? That’s a great question, and if you have done a lot of this research prior to your content strategy kickoff, you should bring it to the table.

The point isn’t to do redundant work, but to fill in the gaps when it comes to supporting your audience. All of these questions lead to insights and ideas that will help you create, organize, edit, and continue to build a foundational body of website content.

Need help? Ask a content stategist. :)

Author Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, Pybop's chief content strategist, has led teams of writers and creatives to develop websites and interactive content for more than 15 years. Read more about Shelly.

Contact Shelly

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