Content Strategy Tactics
These definitions were developed for the ASAE Foundation research study, Association Content Strategies for a Changing World.
Audience surveys or usability testing
Quantitative and qualitative methods of measuring content usability and satisfaction. Usability testing may include observations, interviews, or surveys.
An inventory and analysis of the content an organization produces. Content inventories typically catalog information such as content author, topic, channel, audience, age, and usage. Content audits build on the inventory by analyzing patterns, identifying content gaps, and recommending criteria for what content to revise or remove.
A set of policies that list “how content works.” Content governance documents often include processes and workflows, standards for content creation and management, content lifecycle criteria, and lists of roles and responsibilities.
A content model is a representation of all the types of content produced by the organization, their attributes, and how the pieces relate to each other.
Digital content training
Ongoing training to all of the organization’s content authors in digital content best practices and how to write digital content.
Editorial style guide
A document outlining the organization’s editorial style, voice and tone such as preferred terms and grammatical choices. The exercise in creating this guide, and enforcing it, ensures that all content from the organization is consistent.
Ensuring that responsibilities for creating or managing content are included in job descriptions for roles that include those responsibilities, so they can be accountable for that work and it is included in their performance assessments.
Outlines the audience’s journey from awareness through loyalty and engagement, often based on personas. Journey maps illustrate the ways in which audience members learn about the association, what drives them to join, where they have points of interaction with the association and other information providers, and what inspires them to share or give back. It gives context to the work that staff do day-in and day-out to serve members.
A plan to leverage metadata to accomplish specific content goals. It enables content to be organized, reused, and cross-referenced across platforms and systems and measured against goals.
Collecting data on content usage and applying data to measure content usage and success. Analytics tools are only one part of the larger effort to determine the target audience and measurable goals, do the measurement, and make decisions about content based on the data.
Personas are fictional representations of top-priority audiences that describe the audience’s goals, needs, and context for content. By segmenting members into distinct categories and defining what drives them and what support they need allows staff to address member needs in a more holistic way. Researching them helps discover what unites and separates the thousands of individuals who make up the association.
A calendar—could be on a whiteboard or using electronic tools—where all content creators record their content plans. This enables everyone in the organization to identify opportunities to reuse content rather than creating redundant information and enables more cohesive promotion of content.
Strategies and tactics to ensure that the organization’s content is found on search engines, so that top-priority audiences find the association’s content through all media. Search engine optimization can include guidance to use specific keywords in content, and for paid online advertising.
Regular interviews with staff or volunteers to define and update the organization’s business and content needs, objectives, and challenges.
An organization-wide mission statement for content. It should succinctly define audiences and content goals to focus and guide the association’s work.
Structured content breaks down content into the smallest reasonable elements, separate from visual design, enabling the pieces to be used and reused in any interface or publication.
A list of terms that identify topics, authors, and other activities that enable the organization to categorize content in a common way across all content repositories, also known as a controlled vocabulary.