Definition of content strategy (A practical approach)

Most of the content providers believe that having a clear content strategy is a key to success in the content market. It’s not so hard to prove that creating content without having a robust content strategy would be a waste of resources. However, beside this wide consensus on content strategy importance, it’s not easy to state a clear definition of content strategy. Seems that different people mean different things when they talk about content strategy.

To reach to a definition of content strategy it would be more practical if we think about non-strategic content creation and delivery.

In other words, first I’d try to describe what content strategy is not! 

So, let me start with a list of the most popular symptoms of non-strategic content management. Then it would be much easier to conclude a definition of content strategy.

Symptoms showing lack of a clear content strategy

definition of content strategy

I would try to describe each of the above points in more details:

Lack of a clear content style
Lack of a content plan
Lack of a clear content structure

Lack of a formal organizational structure behind

Lack of clear measures of success

Lack of clear intent
Lack of clear image of content audience
Lack of a well-managed content life cycle
Lack of a feasible content plan

 So now it’s easier to make a practical definition of content strategy:

The process of creation, storage and distribution of content based on a well-organized content plan centered around a clear intent and tailored for the specific content audience, monitored and managed based on clear measures of success through the whole content life cycle.

The content strategy is responsible for designing the content identity in terms of structure and style and recommending it to all content generating departments.

Any successful content strategy should be feasible. Not only covering its costs but also generating a sustainable stream of revenue for the whole organization.

But don’t forget that to implement the content strategy, all of the organizational activities should be aligned. This is only possible when there is a formal organizational structure behind. In a small or medium company, it can be managed easily through documentation and regular meetings. But in large organizations, there’s no other choice than assigning someone outside departmental boundaries for coordination of the all content-related activities. The role I already discussed as CCO or Chief Content Officer.

Sure my definition of content strategy is not the only one. Just take a look to the list of content strategy definitions provided by Bussolati. But I had a reason for making my own definition of content strategy. As it seems in most definitions, the concepts of content and strategy  are lost in the digital or web-related terms (Rahel Bailie is a clear exception).

In most of the definitions in the Bussolati list, definition of content strategy is centered around making a better user experience or a better search appearance. Or even in some cases the content concept is explicitly limited to the digital contents.

In future articles, we will take a detailed look at every term I’ve used in my definition of content strategy.