“DTDT”* or, what we mean when we say “content” and “content strategy”

What is “content?” Content is really everything an organization does and offers. Product data, event details, program information, etc., is all manifested as content.

Content can use different formats – images, text, video, audio – and can be published in a variety of media channels, including website, print, on-hold messages, social media, billboards, and TV.

Content strategy is defining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of publishing information. It starts with a strategic statement articulating how the organization will use content to meet its strategic goals, as well as the needs of its audiences. And the organization needs to have the people, processes, and power to execute the strategy on an ongoing basis.

Content strategy activities include:

  • auditing and assessing content
  • establishing editorial guidelines, including voice and tone
  • creating the framework for an editorial calendar
  • developing guidelines for content lifecycles
  • creating content models
  • defining roles and processes

While content and user experience professionals may be keenly aware of the need for content strategy and the benefits from it, many executives don’t.

* “Define the damn thing” is a phrase coined by Christina Wodtke regarding the IA community back in 2001. See http://www.eleganthack.com/defining-the-damn-thing/

3 Comments to “DTDT”* or, what we mean when we say “content” and “content strategy”

  1. […] elements of content strategy involve substantial change management and require new processes, collaboration, and accountability. […]

  2. Russ says:

    Hilary,
    In my (not-so-humble) opinion, defining the “persona” or “avatar” that will be consuming your content assumes equal standing with the format and quality of the content itself. I’ve seen some beautiful content strategies fall flat due to a disconnect from their intended audience. My content niche is in healthcare, where I feel that the value of patient personas is under-appreciated; but I believe that defining one’s persona is a key to any successful content strategy, regardless of niche.
    Thanks so much for the great content that you provide 🙂
    Russ
    Russell Faust, MD, ,PhD

  3. A wonderfully concise summary of a big concept Hilary.
    Thank you!

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