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Content Strategy 101: What it is and why you need it

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Catherine Hathaway
Marketing and Research

Businesses have, historically, overlooked content strategy as a non-essential aspect of the web development process. It’s an understandable gaffe, considering the implausible growth of the web over the past decade. Content, and how to curate it, is not at the forefront of budget considerations, and for many companies, is simply out of reach: there’s no one to maintain the momentum once it has been established.

Even the term itself is the source of some confusion: does this mean blog posts? Social media? Data analysis? The short answer is, all of the above, and then some. Content strategy often falls under the umbrella of user experience design, because it is the catalyst for development, delivery, and oversight of content the user interacts with on a given website. Good content strategy is repetitive in application (meaning, an established routine that is optimized for the company it represents) and engages its audience across multiple channels—like, for example, blog posts, social media, and even user-generated shareables. Content strategy is curation in addition to audience acquisition— it also serves to maintain that relationship through the careful consideration of a brand’s voice, relying equally on written (or otherwise owned) content, analysis of available data, and timely exposure campaigns.

The content strategist acts as the entryway to a company’s ideas and identity, inviting users into the message by casting open the door and allowing them in to explore. Now that we know the purpose of content strategy, we must address the question, Why should my company use content strategy? The answer is simple: because your company wants to compete in its given marketplace. There is a nebulous choreography to user experience, and without an eye on how you want the customer to interact with your brand, it’s easy (and often unavoidable) to miss opportunities for growth—never mind missed potential for profit.

Even if your brand doesn’t have a blog for written updates, even if your social media footprint is non-existent, it is nothing short of pure folly to engage in the website redesign process without considering how and why customers engage with your content. Gone are the days of static pages and minimal-effort, organic customer acquisition: in todays e-conomy, the best and brightest are those businesses that lean into the trending waves, cutting through the current of clickbait and noise and pushing through to what’s next. Content strategy propels your brand into the future, it never allows for stagnation or the status quo.

If you’d like to learn more about what content strategy is and why you should absolutely consider it an essential part of your web development planning, email [email protected].

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