An effective content strategy fits the goals of an organization, identifies its key audiences and accounts for the multitude of platforms and channels available to broadcast content. In teaching Content Strategy through practical partnership with a nonprofit that needs a more effective communication plan, I’ve also found that the ability to audit content contextually brings out recommendations a client can quickly understand and adopt.
In this talk, I will cover a series of research audits conducted in my course as a case study on multi-channel content strategy. I will address how to customize and prioritize categories and areas for audit-ing and best practices for making audits less time-consuming and more results driven. I will explore how to reframe the audit process for clients and colleagues and how auditing can help make the need for sustainable, holistic content planning is a must for any organization.
Main Challenge: The client’s Content Management System was configured by a volunteer before a content strategy or plan was created. The lack of consistency and technical issues were keeping the client from sharing their website address, instead sending people to social media channels that had no connection back to important tasks on the website while the site’s usefulness continued to decline and broken or outdated aspects were not corrected.
Overcoming Challenge: Through user research and multiple levels of content and competitive audits, the class quickly prioritized the organization’s business goals, audience preferences and tasks to determine how best to connect current communication channels with actions. In this case, meeting and written recommendations for new content, content revision and consistent channel planning were used to educate the client about content strategy and user experience so they could carry out continued improvements.
She teaches Content Strategy in Information Architecture at the University of Washington Information School, manages social media channels as Community Manager for Content Insight and leads monthly professional networking events for Information Architects and Content professionals in Seattle, WA. Her areas of expertise include content inventories and audits and content development planning.