Content Strategy: It’s About the Mindset

My talk Friday to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s interactive SIG really underlined to me that content strategy is at least as much a mindset as it is a set of tools. We had a number of experienced web professionals in the room — from design, strategy, content, programming backgrounds — and the questions and comments really focused on two areas:

  • What do you put into a content inventory?
  • Whoa. This is a new way of thinking about things.

I find that as a group, content strategists are obsessed with how other CSers do inventories and audits. We are looking for the Holy Grail. We want there to be a single solution that answers all questions. I did my first, honest-to-God, inventory-for-the-sake-of-inventory about 6 years ago, and I’ve done countless ones since. And no two have ever been the same. Sure, I always start with URL and headline, but each one has been different, based on what we’re evaluating.

It goes back to the principle we work on at Creekmore Consulting: Content comes second, because your business goal has to come first. Give me your business goal, and then we can start talking about what your inventory should look like.

And that gets us right back to the mindset, doesn’t it? Content strategy helps you put the business goal first, and it lets the rest of your work flow down from that. We choose the tools, the technology and yes, even the content, based on your business needs.

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