In music, a conductor is used to direct a performance by an orchestra, choir, or large band. They, in a seemingly random sequence of upper-body gestures, hold everything and everyone together by setting the tempo, volume, direction, and mood of the piece. Without them there’s potential for sections of the group unintentionally missing their cue, altering their pace, or misreading the mood.
Faced with its own highly irregular rhythms and frequent shifts in tempo, a web content strategy, in many ways, could be considered the conductor to its very own symphony orchestra. Bringing order to the often chaotic tasks of content planning, creation and delivery, it too helps to keep everyone in time with one another, deliver a consistent sound across all content channels, whilst providing the direction to deliver content in tune with the key user and business goals.
If the editorial calendar is telling us we’re due to increase our web content output to coincide with the launch of a new service, product, or feature, are the team prepared? Are they comfortable with their expected outputs during this scheduled period of increased content creation and delivery?
As Colleen Jones put it only last week, a web content strategy allows for the different departments, roles and responsibilities that exist during a project to naturally alter their focus on content at different stages but, crucially, still maintaining consistency and accuracy in their delivery.
The creation of an editorial style guide will provide content creators with helpful instructions on the expected tone, voice and delivery style. Put simply, have we decided whether it’s ‘e-mail’ or ‘email’, ‘website’ or ‘web site’? Do we prefer to place links within the main copy of an article or provide references under a ‘further reading’ heading at the bottom? Hell, are they our customers, clients, visitors or readers?
These helpful set of instructions – which are best grown organically over time – will not only get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet (sorry), but will provide content creators with the confidence to publish close and positive representations of the business.
What, ultimately, are we trying to help our readers and the business accomplish, and what content are we going to need to do that? Will we be venturing into uncharted online media platforms as a result? If so, will we need additional support and guidance?
Ultimately, the key tasks and deliverables attributed to the creation of a web content strategy will help you to take a really close look at what the business is trying to accomplish on the web. Taking into account the team’s collective time, budget and size, it will provide the ideal roadmap for future content delivery.
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