Getting a content strategy underway (part 3): Content strategists assemble!

By Posted in - Content Strategy on December 6th, 2019 0 Comments A group handshake. Text reads "Getting a content strategy underway (part 3): Content strategists assemble!"

If you’re following along with this series, by now you’ve thought about the intended ROI of your content strategy and worked out how to talk about content strategy to your colleagues and stakeholders. The preparations for getting started with your school, college or university’s content strategy are taking shape, and now it’s time to think about who you’re going to involve.

In this post we consider the skills and capabilities that you may need to assemble in order to power a really effective content strategy.

1) People who can help you to understand the gaps

A good content strategy works in service of bridging and closing gaps. Those gaps might be:

– Achieving new targets or goals for your organisation (like recruitment or fundraising goals)
– Improving your audience or customer experience
– Helping you to achieve efficiencies in how you work internally on content processes (content operations or systems design).

These three areas often overlap, and your strategy will aim to close gaps in all three. In order for you to really understand those gaps and where you’re headed, you need the following skills and capabilities within your working group or team:

– User experience and audience research
– Stakeholder engagement
– Strategic planning and objective setting
– Content auditing
– Content workflow and governance (content operations specialism)
– Project and budget management.

2) People who can design the vision

Once you know the gaps that your strategy is trying to close (your and your audiences’ goals), then you can move to setting a vision and plan for making that work. Here you’ll need:

– Content strategy and content marketing skills
– User journey mapping skills
– The ability to see how content connects across multiple channels (so you may need to involve a range of “channel owners” too)
– Creativity to imagine new ideas and solutions.

3) People who can take the vision to a workable plan

Now you want to take that overarching vision and start mapping out in detail how it’s actually going to work. To do that you need skills in:

– Content design (including inclusivity and accessibility skills)
– User interface and visual design
– Accessible multimedia design
– Content engineering (including CMS configuration, content modelling and content structuring)
– Information architecture
– Taxonomy design
– Workflow and governance design (content operations)
– Content training.

4) People who can get the content in front of the right people and check that it’s working

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that people will actually see or be able to access the content that you’re creating. To achieve that you’ll need the following skills:

– Information architecture (again)
– Search engine optimisation
– Marketing/advertising
– Social media marketing and/or influencer engagement
– Measurement, evaluation and reporting.

You’ll notice that I haven’t listed these skills as job titles, but instead as skill sets. In some cases a single role or person may have multiple overlapping skills, so you’ll need to think about where these skills exist within your team and assign them accordingly.

If you have any gaps in your team, you might need to call in additional support, such as the team here at Pickle Jar Communications. Speak to us about how we can complement your skillset and work in collaboration with your team.

In part 4, the final part of this series, we’ll take a look at the first three work packages that you should undertake in order to get your strategy in development.

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