What Types of Content Strategy Do You Do?

Forbes recently wrote an article titled There Are Three Kinds Of Content Strategy: Which Are You Doing? but really, are there only three types? I don’t think so. However, I was intrigued. What types of content strategy do I do? What types do you do?

Forbes: Three Kinds of Content Strategy

According to Forbes, these are the three types of content strategy:

  • Product/User Experience
  • Marketing
  • Data Focus

But when I asked Twitter how people felt about these three categories, there were opinions.

For example…

I’m so confused: councils, leaders, leadership, partners, paid programs, licenses pic.twitter.com/QjMJWJYcmd— Michael Andrews (@storyneedle) February 13, 2020

It makes sense but yes I’d say it’s missing broader operational strategy pieces too like process, systems, tools, workflows, people etc. I’d also add into the mix service design and how an overarching strategy helps content connect across the whole experience. So many angles!— Rachel McConnell (@Minette_78) February 13, 2020

I’ve never seen that breakdown. She must come from a very esoteric place..— Rahel (wash your hands) Bailie (@rahelab) February 13, 2020

Yikes! It’s completely missing the actual strategy part— Hilary Marsh (@hilarymarsh) February 13, 2020

So here is my attempt to identify the types of content strategy.

The Types of Content Strategy

I’ve written before about content strategy deliverables and activities. So here’s my attempt at capturing the many types of content strategy.

  • Product/User Experience: I don’t think Forbes is wrong to consider product strategy a type of content strategy. Although this work may be pure UX writing, it can also be audits, or higher level decisions.
  • Marketing: similarly, Forbes identified marketing as an area for content strategy. No arguments there, whether this takes the form of SEO, paid programming, editorial calendars, or crafting long-term strategic marketing plans.

However, “data focus” reads to me as a cop-out. I disagree, Forbes. This is not a “type” of content strategy. What is there?

  • High-level strategy/service design: some organizations need an overarching content strategy. For example, a strategy might align product and marketing across channels. This is what Rachel and Hilary referenced on Twitter.
  • Governance: building workflows is a huge area of content strategy! Some content strategists focus on the internal team. That team needs to have a system that works, with the right roles in place. Process, people, and tools are all part of it.
  • Editorial/Branding: voice and tone have a place of their own. This goes beyond marketing or product. Editorial content strategists develop brand attributes and guidelines. Sometimes they work with UX to create whole design systems.
  • Content Modeling: there are also nuts-and-bolts content strategists. These team members work closely with developers. They organize taxonomies, metadata, and IA. They also build filters for personalization. And they make sure the content will get to the right people in the right places.

But Wait, There’s More

The beauty of content strategy is that we’re a young field. We’re growing. So tell me: what other areas do you work on? What types of content strategy do you see?

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