Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson
Kristina Halvorson has really got something here.
Content Strategy for the Web is a short, snappy read that combines information about Content Strategy as a discipline with tips and tricks for throwing a lasso around your own company/site’s content.
Kristina Halvorson is essentially the doyenne of Content Strategy. Her main ideas:
- You probably need less content and not more.
Figure out which content you’ve got and archive whatever isn’t working for you, e. g. fulfilling some sort of purpose. Good purposes include building trust and expertise, answering customer questions and facilitating sales. Not such good purposes are things like get some content out there because we’re naked without it!
Archive that Stuff!
- For whatever currently published content that does not fulfill a good purpose, either archive it or get rid of it entirely. It does not help you, and it may very well harm your company.
- Get someone in charge of content. Not surprisingly, a Content Strategist comes to mind but definitely get someone to steer the ship.
- Listen to the customers and the company regarding content. The company may be setting out content that’s confusing to the users. The users may be asking for something that can’t quite work. It may or may not be in the company’s best interests to fix either problem, but at least you’ll know what the issue is and,
- Start asking why content exists out there in the first place.
This process begins with a content audit, e. g. know what you’ve got out there. Then talk to the users. And, once these processes are completed, one can start to think of a strategy.
Yes, it’s really that much time before actually creating any content. Why? Because doing the ramp-up now will save a lot of headaches later. Think it’s a bear to audit and check every single piece of content on your site now? How are you going to feel about it next year?
I bet you’d be thrilled to only have as much content to deal with as you have right now, at this very moment. So start swinging that lasso now. It’s time to audit.
I have to say, while I can see where Ms. Halvorson is coming from. Furthermore, there was also a large chunk of the book devoted to, essentially, justifying the Content Strategist’s existence. And perhaps this is necessary with a new discipline — I don’t know. But it does make for an edge of defiance, e. g. this discipline is good enough!
It is. Don’t worry.