Psst! Wanna Hear a Secret?

Over the past few years, seemingly out of nowhere, there has arisen a new discipline devoted to the concept of having a strategy around the content on your site or in your publication. There are conferences devoted to content strategy, books being published, blog posts being written, and careers being built around it.

But here's a little secret for you. Ready? Content strategy is nothing new.

Shocking, isn't it?

The fact is that the very same goals—putting the right content in front of the right audience at the right time—were just as valid in an analog as a digital world. In fact, when you think about it, storytellers in the oral tradition spinning yarns around the campfire had to be just as conscious of who their audience was, what the audience wanted to hear, and how it could be presented in the most engaging and memorable way.

Think of your favorite book or magazine. For that publication to exist, someone had to

  • Identify an audience
  • Select a topic/theme/point of view/personality
  • Source or develop content
  • Work with designers to make it the presentation attractive and readable
  • Determine length, format, presentation of the stories
  • Make content easy to find (add a TOC or an index)
  • Oversee production
  • Publish it

Sound familiar? Change magazine to web site and you have the breeding ground for a whole new crop of people who now have a spiffy new title. But some of us have been doing it all along.