Are you a secret content strategist?

I’ve got a hunch that you might be a secret content strategist.

Type ‘content strategist’ into Google and you’ll soon discover an array of articles exploring this growing discipline, including some of our own.

Amid all the talk of quads, governance, information architecture and SEO, it might begin to feel somewhat distant from your day job. But at its core, content strategy is probably something you spend a fair bit of time doing.

In the style of many a floundering undergraduate essay, let’s look at some definitions:

Content (noun)

    • The things that are held or included in something
    • The material dealt with, as distinct from its form or style
    • The information made available by a website or other electronic medium
    • Synonyms: subject matter, argument, message, point, substance, material, text, ideas

Strategy (noun)

    • A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim
    • The art of planning and directing overall military operations
    • Synonyms: master plan, proposed action, programme, procedure, approach, schedule

So in fact, the only questions in the ‘Are you a content strategist?’ quiz are:

    1. Do you spend any part of your day planning, making or sharing information?
    2. Do you do so in order to meet a specific goal?
    3. Does it sometimes feel like a military operation?

If you answered yes to the above, you’re a content strategist.

The crucial question here is the second one. When you start making your material, do you have a goal in mind?

It might be a lofty goal tied to a high-level organisational strategy. Your purpose might be dictated by what your audience want or need from you. In an ideal world, it might be a combination of the two.

It is this determination to think clearly about why you’re producing your content that leads to many of the tasks of a content strategist: conducting content audits, creating user stories, determining measurement approaches, and so on.

Whether or not you’ve done these tasks themselves, if you give some thought to the aim of the stuff that you’re making, you’re well on your way. Your job title might Marketing Manager, Web Editor, Social Media Officer, or something else altogether. But I’m giving you permission to start calling yourself a Content Strategist too.

Welcome to the club! Here’s where the fun begins:

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