The Evolution of Content Strategy

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Like most things, the practice of content strategy has changed and evolved in the past decade. We currently live in a fast-paced world where people want short, quick information. Due to this, the practice of content strategy has had to evolve with the times, particularly with website content.

According to an article from the Nielsen Norman Group written in 2007, “If you want many readers, focus on short and scannable content.” However, that depends on your goal and audience. “If you want people who really need a solution, focus on comprehensive coverage,” in this case, longer is better. “On the Web, you can offer both short and long treatments within a single hyperspace. Start with overviews and short, simplified pages. Then link to long, in-depth coverage on other pages.” This approach is the best of both worlds because you can serve both types of audiences at the same time.

Even in 2007, they were aware of the idea that some users wanted quick content, but with the evolution of social media, this need is stronger than ever. Content strategy has quickly evolved into content marketing. Since social media is so accessible and fast-paced, it creates even more competition. In my opinion, this is a recipe for A LOT of underperforming content. Although you are able to reach a larger audience, faster, you also need to create content that’s more important and attention-catching. “There has never been more demand for original, high-quality content than there is right now. The rapid growth of platforms like Instagram and YouTube has completely changed the way we consume media, and this has dramatic implications for everything from adherence to copyright law to marketing strategies,” (Iliff, 2019).

Additionally, consumers can expect engagement across all of these platforms which creates a new type of pressure for companies. Their audience wants to feel heard and like they matter.

However, what hasn’t changed about content strategy over the years are the general goals. Whether it’s 2009 or 2019, content should be user-centered and understand it’s audiences’ goals and behaviors. “There’s really only one central principle of good content: it should be appropriate for your business, for your users, and for its context,” (Kissane, 2011).

 

Sources:

Iliff, R. (n.d.). How Content Strategy is Changing Resources To Guide Your Success. Retrieved from https://www.business2community.com/communications/how-content-strategy-is-changing-resources-to-guide-your-success-02203695.
Kissane, E. (2011, March 8). A Checklist for Content Work. Retrieved from https://alistapart.com/article/a-checklist-for-content-work/.
Nielsen, J. (n.d.). Long vs. Short Articles as Content Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/content-strategy-long-vs-short/?lm=content-strategy&pt=course.

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