Content: You've Come a Long Way, Baby
Content Strategy is not a new concept. In fact, back in 2000 when I was transitioning my print journalism background to the unchartered world of the world wide web, I participated in a workshop at the National Press Club (lots of journalists needed to beef up, hence the location) conducted by Merry Bruns, a notable pioneer in the field of online content strategy.
And over the past several years an industry-wide acceptance that content is central to successful online experiences has gained momentum. Gone are the last-minute sprints to develop content for a project. And the notion of a website "copywriter" is a faint memory. Instead, key messages are crafted at the start of a project and supported by a strong design. Site content is strategically developed to give users the right information at the right time, and content management systems are built to support the plan.
More frequently we’ve noticed that industry understanding spill over into the world at large. Increasingly our clients see that long, scrolling, repetitive pages of information; or organizing a site per an org chart are counterproductive to achieving their goals. I believe users are primarily behind this shift in mindset by demanding that sites provide them what they need quickly – or else they will leave and find it elsewhere.
But there are still those that need a bit more convincing, so when I read A Book Apart’s, The Elements of Content Strategy, I was very excited, giddy even. Not only do the recommended processes for developing and executing a content strategy validate what we offer at i.s. But more importantly, it makes the case that content is on par with technology and design as an indispensible component of a winning website, and clearly explains why content strategy matters (satisfied users, increased goal conversions, increased ROI, the list goes on).
Still foggy on Content Strategy? Check out this neat little book. It’s a quick read, promise.