Content Strategists: What Do They Really Do?
Needed: Content Strategist
An animal that is fairly uncommon is the content strategist: during the period of writing, just 963 individuals on LinkedIn make use of the phrase within their present job title. The reason behind this low amount may well not be the language it constitutes, although the comparative youth of the specialist title. Like administration advisor, ambiguous, amorphous notions are represented by both phrases:
"Substantial advice or creative content seen in contrast to its real or possible mode of presentation"
"an expert in scheme"
"a strategy, process, or number of manoeuvres or stratagems for obtaining a certain aim or outcome"
With this kind of description, it is clear that businesses may well not understand an identifiable difference within their competence in exactly the same manner they do for a PHP Programmer or Company Copywriter, to get a content strategist.
The title might also be a misnomer. The content strategist may be called on for over scheme, assessing acquiring their fingers dirty using the complete content lifecycle, preparation, composing, editing, distributing, controlling and tracking content. For for example, they have to concern themselves with more than content (in the most rigorous definition) also: details architecture, shipping systems, and other things which impacts the impact of content falls under the purview of the diligent content strategist.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let us simply take a step again.
Defining the Role
Like the majority of functions in a organization, the of the content strategist would be to realize company aims that are core: in a context, all these are generally increase and sales.
Project managers realize it by managing communications and procedures to to create projects in on-budget. Software engineers and designers realize it by generating output that will create savings or earnings. This is achieved by marketers by creating desire for the products or services.
By maximizing the industrial effect of content, Strategists reach company goals. I use the word 'commercial' broadly: if you are a not for profit organization or an academic establishment, tweak the significance of 'commercial' or simply take out it.
What's 'content'? For the content strategist, it's often internet/computer data: social networking dialogues, weblog posts, multimedia, webpages, e-mail newsletters and RSS feeds. Regularly the range may include physical/offline content also. Content is a tricky concept to pin-down because it continues to evolve, but usually whatever conveys on behalf of the firm - no matter how small - may be categorized as content.
The ability, naturally, comes in 'optimizing impact'. To get the most business value from content, the strategist should contemplate measuring, direction, creation, delivery, its goal and reuse, taking into account the long term capacities and priorities of the organisation. There is no point developing a grand multimedia, multichannel content method in the event the firm relies on a part time administrator to create content.
And among the remarkable challenges lies. In the event the company just has a part time administrator in charge of content, the strategist should take advantage of the conditions, building resources and strategies that enable the company to get the most out of its content.
But Truly, What Does The Content Strategist Truly Do?
I I will actually quit beating round the bush. All this discussion of optimizing company and impact targets; you would like to learn exactly what the real day to day jobs of the job entails, do not you?
Well, it depends. In larger businesses, a "content strategist" could be granted the unique duty for tactical aspects of on-line content (as you'd anticipate, from your name). They are going to draw on user needs and the company goals to audit existing message and develop an all-inclusive strategy for future message: what must be produced/edited/ eliminated when, by who, and where.
Where the strategist was contracted to get a specific project, or in smaller businesses, the range may cover all or any features of the content life-cycle:
User Evaluation / Consumer Wants: Surveys, Characters, Situations
Content Stock / Audit
Content Difference Evaluation
Content Aggregation / Information Sourcing
Voice / Fashion / Brand Guidelines
Idea / Concept Development
Development of Motifs / Messages / Issues
Create Work Flow: Individuals, Possession, Parts, Procedures
Content Strategy: What, When, How (Short/Long Phrase)
Create Metadata Frameworks
Execute Taxonomies and Classification Schemes
Develop Website Arrangements
Content Administration Practices and Resources
Create Content Back-Up / Versioning / Archival Practices
Labeling / Classifying
Internet search Engine Optimization
Proofreading / Editing / Fact Checking Account
Encryption / Changing for Web
Distribution Tools and Procedures
Tracking / Responding (e.g. Social Media, Opinions, Temperance)
Social Networking Entry / PR / Advertising / Syndication
Success Assessment and Learning
And there you've got it. The definition is not as accurate as I Had thought when I began this post, but that might not be inappropriate for the complex, dirty universe of message strategy.
How Content Marketing and Content Strategy Are Connected although Separate
Two sides connected-content strategy-content marketing strategyFull mea culpa here: Content Marketing Institute has been remiss in the way in which that we have covered the evolving custom of executing and building on a content strategy.
Sure, we have offered up some great thinkers in the space. But, here at CMI we haven't yet (at least, not to the extent that we should) completely embraced the advancement of content strategy, or helped preach the differentiation between the skill sets needed for content marketing and those required for content strategy. The truth is, we've been guilty of using the terms "content promotion strategy" and "content strategy" interchangeably at times (we have concluded to be more clear on this, moving forward).
One of the things that I regularly discuss in workshops, and with CMI's customers, is the different requirement for content strategy within the tactic of content marketing. Moreover, as business marketing organizations reorganize themselves with strategic management of content as a centralizing force, we see managers begin to feel because they will have a skill set that is specifically suited to a practice over the other lost.
In short: Content marketing and content strategy are two very different practices.
Are they related? Absolutely, and there is normally significant overlap. But as we all move into other preparation as well as our budget for 2014, it's really worth outlining where the differences lie, so that people can resource our strategies effectively.
Magic markers and pencils that are fine
When requested to describe the difference between content strategy and content marketing, I usually turn to my stand by metaphor: Content marketers draw on the wall while fine pens are used by content strategists.
But this simplification is merely a starting point to describe the distinctions. Content marketing is, all things considered, a method of marketing. Content marketers focus on strategies to engage an audience, using content in order that a conduct -- something changes or accentuates and develop the bigger narrative our organization wants to tell, and draw CMI has constantly stressed in our definition of content marketing:
"Content marketing is a marketing technique of producing and distributing useful and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience -- with the aim of driving profitable customer action."
Content strategy, on the other hand, delves deeper into (in Kristina Halvorson's words) the "creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content." It seeks (in my words) to handle content as a tactical advantage throughout the entirety of the organization. In fact, on his website, content strategist Scott Abel wonderfully states it as among his company's main assignments: "Your content is the most valuable business asset. Let us show you the way to handle it efficiently and effectively."
In the beginning of Erin Kissane's novel, The Elements of Content Strategy (which is really great, by the way), she quotes Rachel Lovinger, who said, "Content strategy will be to copywriting as information architecture is to design."
As a content marketer who is had his feet for the past decade in both approaches, this actually resonates with me. It is not unlike Ahava Liebtag's take on the differences. In a wonderful post on the subject, Rebecca Lieb refers to the definition of content strategies as being about frameworks that are repeatable, as being about building relationships and content marketing of Ahava.
Or, consider the perspective of content strategy of Rahel Bailie. She believes it comprises:
"...the preparation aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle, and contains aligning content to business aims, analysis, and modeling, and influences the development, creation, demo, assessment, measurement, and sunsetting of content, including government."
Content marketing, onward
To make use of an incredibly simplified and surface-level explanation, the content marketer addresses the "whys," the content strategist addresses the "hows," and collectively they work out the "whats" and "wheres." The content marketer draws the story and plans the stations that'll be used to develop the customer relationship with the brand. The content strategist helps to ensure that management processes, and story, language function consistently and efficiently across multiple teams, languages, and every publication the brand leverages. Yes, both approaches are very different, but whether or not they may be implemented and carried out from exactly the same person (or team of folks) in your organization is just another matter.
To be clear, we're not looking to offer up CMI as the definitive source for content strategy. The truth is, that is worth repeating: We WILL NOT BE looking to offer CMI as the authoritative source for content strategy up. We leave it up to the idea leaders and the many others whom I don't have space to name -- to set the stage for discussing and debating exceptional frameworks, useful job descriptions, and definitive processes and procedures for content strategy practitioners.
CMI is, needless to say, here to this point -- and to further the custom of content marketing, I offer my guidance up:
Whether you're an SEO agency transitioning into content marketing, or the full service agency including a content marketing practice to your suite of services, please recognize that there is a differentiation. They're not the same thing -- and respecting their differences and/or offering both classes of service will better serves your company.
If you are putting together procedures and teams to create facile direction of content employ both! Do not presume that a marketing team that knows how to tell powerful, engaging narratives understands all the intricacies of content strategy (they might, but it is incredibly uncommon). And, do not assume that the content strategist that you have got managing the uniformity and hierarchy of your technical documentation understands everything about content marketing.
If you're a practitioner: Understand what you're passionate about, and pursue that practice with all of your heart. Most of the most effective content strategists I know really do not desire to be content marketers -- and vice versa. As a content marketer, I could not admire content strategists more. What they do, quite honestly, mystifies me most of the time. On each advertising team I possess the joy of working with, I adore having a content strategist there who'll help to make sure we do not blow up the place.
This narrative is just starting...
Look for more content strategy to come in the days, weeks, and months to come, as I mentioned earlier. For it to come from your skilled perspective of thought leaders in that field, but look. We wish that will help you recognize how content strategy principles apply to -- and supply advantages for -- content marketers. And, by learning more relating to this discipline, we all can benefit from obtaining the right people on endeavors. Look for new content strategy-certain tracks at our events to come from those specialists, as well.
As the marketers who are now empowered to tell stories, our job would be to engage customers and make it appear effortless.
I can tell you that all excellent, impulsive, and effortless -looking content advertising strategies are formed and scaled using a smart content strategy at their core.