I recently had the pleasure of attending a webinar on the topic of content strategy. I learned a ton and I wanted to share some of the takeaways I thought were especially applicable for non-profits.

  1. Create a content strategy – Content tends to be an afterthought in the web strategy for many organizations, when in reality, it’s an integral part. It’s not just a feature on your web site – it’s a living, breathing thing that you should be using to respond to your users’ needs. Content doesn’t just refer to copy – it includes graphics, audio, video and anything that makes up each page of your web site.
  2. Identify your content stakeholders – Who are the people in your organization that play a part in getting content published on your site? There are content requesters, reviewers, creators and providers. Be sure you consider all of these stakeholders in your content strategy.
  3. Plan for an iterative content strategy – Like your web site, your content strategy will never be done. It’s a cyclical process of planning, creating, publishing and governing. Be sure you have resources in place that are committed to governing your content once it’s published.
  4. Start with your existing content – Take an inventory of all the content you have on your site today. This will give you an idea of how big the content strategy needs to be. Once you have your list, prioritize it. What is essential? What can you retire? What is missing?
  5. Define your strategy – Start at the highest level by defining your site’s overall messaging and content hierarchy. Provide information that you think your content stakeholders will need to make smart decisions about your content now and moving forward. Consider defining some guidelines for future maintenance and governance of your content here too.
  6. Detail your strategy – This is a big job. Start with your highest priority content and page-by-page, detail out recommendations for the creation and maintenance of all of your content. Come up with a template you can use to define parameters for each page including the title, purpose of the page and specific recommendations for writing and maintaining the content. If you have large groupings of content like press releases or news articles, just detail the recommendations once for each grouping of content. Then, armed with your strategic recommendations, update and create!

Do you have a content strategy? Do you have ideas about how to govern your content? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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