As of today Plank is now officially offering a new service to its clients, Content Strategy! Alas, this doesn’t mean we’re going to write your content for you (although we might make some suggestions if you ask nicely…) but it does mean we are going to help you get a plan in place that will align your users’ needs with your business goals.
What exactly is Content Strategy you might ask? Kristina Halvorson at Brain Traffic defines it as “…guiding the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content”. Essentially, this means taking a good hard look at what you are, or should be creating in your digital space to bring in those ticket sales or donations or conversions of any kind.
How will your users (and your bottom line) benefit from this change if your content has not been considered before a significant redesign?
The importance of competitive analysis
Any good content strategy starts with some soul-searching. What are your company objectives – are those being met by your current content? This is a great time to do some competitive analysis. Do you have indirect or direct competitors whom you admire, what are they doing to attract the users you covet? What can you learn from them? You may discover that you are doing better at a lot of things (in which case you can pat yourself on the back..) but there is always something to learn from doing an exercise such as this as it helps clearly define your best next steps.
Content audits are a necessary evil
How often have you looked at your website content management system and truly been aware of what you have to offer your users within those hundreds of pages? How many of those site pages are getting visited (by you or your users)? You have probably heard the term “carbon offset” being used as you navigate the web, perhaps you plan to carbon offset your next flight or long car journey, but did you consider that your website also creates carbon? Overly large images, multiple pages with repetitive content, confusing navigation or user journey that means more clicks than necessary – if your company mission has sustainability goals built in then you should consider your impact in storing and sharing all those extraneous pieces of content.
Build for the minority, achieve for the majority
Is your website content considered accessible? According to WC3 (The World Wide Web Consortium), for a website to be considered accessible, it needs to be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust and this isn’t just a matter of adding in alt tags or using sufficient colour contrast. Did you know that more than 16 million people in the United States have some form of cognitive impairment? And in the census taken in 2017, one in five (22%) of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over – or about 6.2 million individuals – had one or more physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental health-related disabilities. Could it be that your content is inadvertently blocking such users from getting to that ultimate transactional click? Planning out your content’s functionality with such constraints in mind while thinking about your user’s journey can help ensure you end up with a website that works for the majority. It’s a win-win situation!
These are just a few ways that we can help you move your content from good to great. So what are you waiting for? If you hadn’t already considered content strategy as important to your website redesign let us help you make a case for it!
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