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What is a content strategy and why do you need one?

Sector Ecosystem

A content strategy helps you to provide the right content to the right people at the right time by planning content creation, delivery and governance.

Why you need a content strategy

Your content is your website.

In our experience, the number one missed opportunity in website projects is to validate existing content or to create useful, usable new content.

Putting content centre stage when you are planning a site means that throughout your project - from design to technology - the outcome will benefit your business and meet your users' expectations. You will be able to identify and consider the opportunities, constraints and implications of actual content throughout the building of your site.

A content strategy is not only useful during the building of your site, but is also a valuable reference for continued content creation and curation once your site is live and, together with your content style guide, it ensures content is consistent in its voice and structure.

When it comes to creating and governing content, it’s easy to forget what we want, or even worse, to settle for less.” 
Kristina Halvorson - The Discipline of Content Strategy 

What should go in your strategy

Your aim should be to enable your team to make better, informed publishing decisions and to focus resources on what is actually needed. One way, and there are many, is to centre your strategy around answering the following questions:

  • What is your content about, who reads it, and why?

  • How is the content organised and displayed?

  • What people and processes are needed to support content creation and management?

  • Who is authorised to make decisions now and in the future?

To sum up…

A content strategy is an extremely valuable resource, whether you’re building (or rebuilding) a site, or adding content to it. A strategy should have clear guidelines for substance, structure, workflow, and governance - the combination of these defines a process that will help your writers and editors to create high quality, consistent content.

Want to know more? 

Check out our content strategy and creation series on our blog or, for expert help, contact the Sparks Interactive team

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Heike Theis

Heike is part of the Sector team at Sparks Interactive and, together with Dave Sparks, the project owner for the Sector Drupal Distribution. 

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