What are the content strategy deliverables?

May 19, 2011
Topics covered in this article:

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.

Content Strategy Deliverables and the Magic Layer

Content Strategy 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.

The Magic Layer

“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.

Content Strategy Deliverables

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

What Are You Trying to Achieve?

  • Summary of company goals

Who Will Help Create the Content?

What Do You Own?

What’s Missing?

  • Content gap analysis
  • Comparative content analysis
  • Competitive analysis

How Do You Present the Words?

  • User personas
  • User scenarios (think believable stories)
  • Editorial strategy
  • Core messaging priorities (hierarchy)
  • Content templates
  • Sample content
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy
  • Metadata strategy
  • Brand strategy
  • Style guide
  • Glossary

Where Does It Go?

  • Copy deck
  • Content conversion/migration strategy
  • Content flow schematic
  • Channel strategy
  • Community and social strategy
  • Visual presentation recommendations
  • Wireframes

How Do We Make It Happen?

  • Content approval workflow or governance model
  • Communication plans
  • Community moderation policies
  • Content production workshops and training
  • Content sourcing review and plans (people, tools, budget, time)

How Do We Stay Organized?

  • CMS requirements
  • Business rules
  • Taxonomies
  • Responsibilities
  • Schedules

What’s Coming Up?

  • Editorial calendar

How Do We Know It’s Right?

  • Benchmarks
  • Checks and balances
  • Summary of company goals
  • Success metrics
  • Usability tests

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, 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.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

You Might Also Like ...