Have you heard of the term “content strategist”? I’m one. It’s someone who tears apart your website’s content piece by piece, taking out what’s not needed, highlighting what’s missing, and creating appropriate user flows based on your key audiences. But that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part of the job is helping the poor person who is charge of the daily content of that site.
Maybe you don’t have a content strategist, and that’s OK because it’s still a relatively new role. But what’s not OK is too often there are hundreds of pages of web content assigned to one person in a huge organization. Why? Because that person showed an interest in the web, or (let’s face it) the intern needed something to do.
We all know a website is more than a brochure, and it should help support your company’s business goals. So why are some businesses so afraid of expanding this role of content responsibility beyond one, overworked person? Here are some of the reasons:
They are the only ones who understand the web
They are on Facebook/Twitter all the time
They are a mom, so they know how to talk to other moms online
They are the only ones who know how to write
“I’m working on building our business and don’t have time for that additional responsibility”
“If something is wrong, we’ll fix it afterwards”
The content strategist you work with will recommend important workflows and assign work to various team members in your business to help contribute content to the website. It’s not about adding work to people’s already full plates, but creating a workflow so the content is efficiently added to your website.
The one person (or two/three people) responsible for the website is likely really good at their job, but there are many roles to play in content – writing, reviewing, approving, providing the data, finding images, coming up with an awesome idea for a video post, figuring out a new blog post that week… you get the picture.
The good news
If everyone in your organization is working towards your business goal, you’re already halfway there!
With the workflow management often comes the big ideas. “Now we can create that YouTube channel for kids with new daily content!” OK, that’s an exaggeration. With great power comes great responsibility, and that’s where your friendly content strategist can come in to help assign the workflow. And help you and your team realize when online projects might be out of scope simply because you don’t have the manpower to support them. Many a project has launched and failed because there was no strategy, only a rush to get things done.
Don’t underestimate how long it takes to write, approve, edit and post a page of web content. If you’re the person making the content, be transparent about the work involved and also clarify how the process would be easier with more hands on deck. Take a real look at everyone’s work schedule and see where things might be able to shift to accommodate content.
(A version of this blog entry appears on ForYourReadingPleasure.com)
Want to connect? Head on over to foryourreadingpleasure.com, follow me on Twitter @liannestewart or look me up on LinkedIn.