I really enjoy the holidays, for the most part. I like getting stuffed on sugary desserts, sleeping in, traveling and catching up on my reading list. But with the holidays come chit-chat, which means I always have to explain what I do for a living.
To me, content strategy is a no-brainer: I strategize ways to create and disperse multi-media content in the most effective way possible within a set of parameters dictated by an editorial calendar. But that begs the questions “what kind of content?” “Do you make videos?” “Are you a writer?” “That sounds like something a media planner or brand strategist would do, right?”
The best way I can explain what I do for the majority of my week is as follows: I sit back and carefully consider the publishable assets that are currently available to me and my client, and brainstorm those assets that need to be created. I consider the brand’s current customers, its prospective customers and its latent customers who can benefit from digesting textual or visual content that we’ve carefully placed in their line of sight. I consider the company’s needs and identify ways that we can create media that can help drive sales, increase engagement, foster goodwill and facilitate a rich user experience.
I’m a big fan of referencing my academic experience in rhetoric and composition when explaining my work, because it serves to prove that content strategy isn’t a flash-in-the-pan reinvention of traditional marketing – it’s a method of fully utilizing the historic principles of classical rhetoric.
When you’re creating content, you often begin with personas. You’re considering the audience, first and foremost and using methods of persuasion that appeal to a targeted audience.
Carefully planned editorial calendars keep a strategy on track, and help you get a big picture view of your content map months down the line. By developing editorial calendars (often shared with the department, sometimes private for my own reference and revision) I can ensure that I don’t have duplicate topics or tangential articles that deliver little or no value to the consumer. It helps to offer transparency between team members and brings everyone into the fold to create the most effective messaging strategy possible.
In my current role, I write…a lot. I write blog articles, respond to social media complaints and inquiries, edit brochures and white papers, draft award submissions and work on almost anything else that has words on it. As we work toward developing a style guide for a consistent tone and voice across communications, we’ll expand these duties throughout the department, but for now, my duties as a “writer” are primarily to maintain a consistent brand presence.
There is a lot more that I do on a day-to-day basis. With digital media comes the technological side of SEO, taxonomy, 404 errors, redirect issues, page load, duplicate content considerations and a host of other governance issues related to content strategy. It’s a role that is continually evolving and has quickly evolved for me. Three years ago, I was an SEO copywriter and now – while I am still an SEO copywriter some of the time – my job has morphed into vendor management, analysis, social media and community management, brand strategy, establishing a POV and tone of voice and whatever else comes my way.
It’s an exciting and expanding job, and I love doing it. If you have any questions about content strategy for your business in Atlanta, or just want to talk about your communications roadmap, give me a call. I love working with new people to help transform their messaging.