Because content strategy
is at the core of Real Big Words, I spend a good bit of time describing everything the term encompasses. The field has existed since the late 90s, but is still emerging as a mainstream category of work or job title. Thus, few professionals have a clear idea of what it really means.
Let's start with some essential definitions.
If you ask ye olde Oxford English Dictionary, content is "the things that are included in something." Helpful, right?
It's hardly a wonder that people are deeply confused about the concept of content strategy given the broad definitions of its most basic elements. Ask around and you'll find very different ideas of what it means, even at Fortune 500 companies full of very smart people.
But content matters...and so does strategy. No one argues against this. It's simply the combination of the two words that leads to wild conflation.
Here is a helpful way to think about content in this context:
If your product is digital or relies on any digital presence, it needs content in order to be received by the world. The words, images, videos, and graphics used to bring your business into being all qualify as content. You cannot communicate anything without it.
Now onto strategy
Strategy involves planning, research, and goal definition. It's the reasoning behind the choices made at your organization. You ensure that precious resources are invested wisely by employing strategy.
Put the two together and you have content strategy
: the strategies developed to provide your audience with useful
content exactly when and where they need it, and in a way that supports both business and audience goals.
This is how we define content strategy at Real Big Words
, and it's also the functional role I've seen play out at successful organizations. What does a content strategist actually do?
Many related responsibilities can be bucketed under content strategy, depending on the organization and team structure. Some content strategists specialize in one or two areas of expertise, while others operate as lone wolves with all-encompassing responsibilities (and I feel for those individuals).
This diagram illustrates responsibilities commonly associated with content strategy, and how they are often distributed across Marketing and UX / Product teams.