Explained: What is Content Strategy?

September 8, 2015

This article is part of a series, “Explained”, digging into content strategy and digital communications for NGOs. Next week we’ll continue with different content types.

Content gets shared on websites, newsletters, social media and beyond

 

“Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” – Kristina Halvorson

Content has recently become a buzzword amongst digital communications officers – but what does it actually mean? And why make a strategy around it?

Content typically refers to a wide range of items organisations share to their audiences, for example through websites, blogs, newsletters and social media. In addition to text, content increasingly means videos, images, graphics and infographics.

A content strategy makes the different types of content and their purpose explicit to the organisation and guides how to use content efficiently across different channels.

In its essence, content strategy is a response to the following questions.

WHO?
Who is the target audience?

WHAT?
What information is relevant?

WHERE?
Where are users coming from and most likely going to next?

WHEN?
When is the best time to present contextually relevant content?

WHY?
Why are users coming to this channel and what are they looking for?

Why should you care about content strategy?

You might wonder why a health and development professional should think about content strategies. Aren’t for example social media updates more important for say, a consumer business, that wants to lure people to buy their products? And doesnt much of the digital content you see in your daily digital life seem to mainly aim to entertain?

Content is so much more than that though. Good content is the core of effective communication. While content can be designed to entertain, content can just as easily be designed to inform, educate or assist.

In the next post, we will look at different content types and share our favourite books and resources on the topic!

This blogpost is Part 1 of a series of articles to navigating the process of developing a digital media strategy. Read all articles here.