Phases of a successful content strategy
In 2015, we talked about a vision to tackle, lead and map out an enterprise content strategy. Today I wanted to provide an update on making that vision a reality, and how to expand it beyond a singular team and into other parts of an organization.
The rollout of an enterprise content strategy can be done in phases to define content goals, clean up existing content and then expand to additional departments.
Phase I: Defining healthy content
In Phase I, the goal is to define healthy content. The content strategy vision needs a framework in which to make it a reality. Consider describing healthy content as:
- Varied content. All media types available; the right format for the right person
- Modular and shareable. Can remix and repurpose
- Cross-linked. Crosslinked for opportunity—readers can discover more
- Goal oriented. Content gets to the point
- Localized. The right language
- Measured. Use metrics to drive content decisions
- UX aligned. All content looks related
Phase II: Cleaning house
Once you know what content should look like, it is time for introspection. In this phase, focus on the areas where you can exert the most influence. Take a hard look inside your technical publications and globalization teams to assess your content against the goals established in Phase 1. How are you authoring, are you cross linking information, and is your content localization-ready?
Look in your own backyard. Phase II is all about training your own teams on how to apply the goals from Phase I. Are you talking to marketing? Do you know what to localize? Are you making informed decisions based on metrics?
You can see how our thinking evolved and what we accomplished in this presentation from May 2017 at Information Development World:
Phase III: Expansion
In Phase III you want to expand your focus. Look for opportunities to collaborate across the enterprise and working on understanding how all content aligns with the customer journey. What content do customers encounter at each stage in the customer journey, and how can you improve those experiences? Look at your “personas” and we consider partnering with the major writing teams and digital experience teams. Pick one team, such as Marketing, to start. Think big, start small, scale fast!
Your content strategy vision is for customers to get the information that they need without needing to understand how you are organized internally. A customer who starts in the Support Portal should be able to find a video produced by Training, if that’s the content most helpful to address their question.
Also consider leading a Content Center of Excellence for the company via a cross-departmental forum. As you can see the content fabric will need phases IV, and V, and… We are in it for the long run!