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Where Does Content Factor In?

Posted on January 11th, 2011 by Jeff

What Content Strategy?

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For those plugged into the digital world, we’ve been noticing a shift in how websites are planned and built. Sure, it’s been slow, but it’s been necessary and deliberate. It’s something called Content Strategy, and it’s been around for far too short a time. It really got going the last few years @ SXSW, as per the norm. Anywho, for those that are not as plugged in, what is this concept, how does it effect them, and how do we as service providers bridge the gap?

We’ll get there after the design

This is the traditional view of those wanting new/updated websites as well as many of those who are making the changes. I have to admit when I was a wee webbee, this was my approach as well. I was too busy worried about getting things done, and making sure I gave the client the best I could to realize this was a foolish way to work. But, all too often this happens and then the project just hits a metaphorical wall; what do I put in here to fill these lovely pages?

Whose responsibility is it?

I’ve always been of the opinion that this is the client’s responsibility. But, I have been wrong before, so I may be wrong now. As I see it, they do have the most intricate working knowledge of their business, their logistics, and most importantly their customers. That said, I don’t know too many people that are good writers (myself definitely included), so the likelyhood that a client is going to be a good writer is not great. So, what are we to do then?

Walk the line

Obviously if your contract dictates that you (as the design firm) are on the hook for content, then you gotta do it. But as with most of our clients, we prefer to work with them. We take our knowledge of how effective web copy is written and apply that to the content that a client supplies to us. Most clients don’t have a great understanding of SEO and user-friendly copy techniques (nor should they; as they have enough day-to-day issues relating to their business to deal with), so this is how we can really show benefit to our clients.

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