What goes into a content strategy is well defined. But what comes out? Recently, as I was getting to know a new client and going over what she could expect from the content strategy process, she asked about content strategy deliverables. Specifically, she wanted samples.
I thought about the dozens of content strategy initiatives I’ve launched over the last couple years and came up blank. Not one was specifically relevant to her project. Content strategies are customized based on company goals, resources, budget, and time. I certainly didn’t want to set unrealistic expectations, let alone give up a company’s confidential strategic plans. But I hate to say no to someone who’s just trying to understand. Instead, I provided an audit template and a list of all the potential content strategy deliverables (pdf) I could think of, and checked off the ones we were planning to cover. I also doodled.
“What’s this magic layer?” she asked. Ah, well. I knew that would come up. Every content strategist brings unique skills and experience with them. Some content strategists are also (deep down) writers, editors, designers, or information architects. This background influences not only the strategy, but also the deliverables. For example, I have a strong editing and interactive content background, so I’ll push for story in context and really work that core messaging across platforms. Another content strategist might provide wireframes or traffic analysis.
How to Use This List : Your content strategist will guide you to what's needed.
+Hint: You don't need (or want!) all of them
+Some might be created by others, i.e., your marketing or creative department or agency and should be shared with your content strategist
Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.
Shelly writes for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data for the greater good. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, and works on her T-Bird.
A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.