I have confession to make. I’m struggling with content strategy. Specifically, the strategy part.
Let me walk you through what’s been niggling at my brain.
Uncomfortable with the definition
The Content Strategy Knol says that “content strategy is an emerging field of practice encompassing every aspect of content, including its design, development, analysis, presentation, measurement, evaluation, production, management, and governance.”
Kristina Halvorson, of Content Strategy for the Web fame, defines content strategy as “the practice of planning for content creation, delivery, and governance.”
We’ve all seen Erin Scime’s diagram of the content lifecycle.
All good stuff. And yes, it all sounds very strategic – well almost. These definitions basically equate content strategy with a process. If your content strategy is good it’s because your process is good. The quality of the content is determined by the quality of execution. But something is missing. It’s not giving me the whole story.
Well-executed, lame content is still lame content
I don’t want to downplay the importance of good execution. We need it. But I would like to see content strategy put more emphasis on creativity. We need to pay more attention to the idea behind the strategy in the first place, what I sometimes call the strategy of content.
I’d like CS professionals (me included) to dedicate more brain-time to the creative uses of content, to creating new kinds of content, to building new kinds of customer experience involving content, to finding new strategic uses for content. If content is king and the customer experience is content, then we have duty to create better, more interesting kinds of content.
So here’s a plea for putting creativity in the driver’s seat of content strategy. As far as I’m concerned, creativity has been absent from content strategy – and I think that this is why I’ve been feeling uncomfortable. (or maybe all those damn vuvuzelas).