Create Grow Blog

Content Strategy: Why Your New Website is Doomed Without it

By Alex McLean • August 17, 2016

Connect Labs is a proud sponsor of the upcoming CSForum 2016. We want to educate Australian marketers about the value of content strategy. In the runup to the October conference, we will be talking content strategy for marketers every week here on the Create.Grow blog.


Content strategy is essential for a good website build or redesign. And a good website is essential for successful marketing. This isn't a case of content strategy vs content marketing. So listen up, marketing maestros, and let me tell you why you need a content strategy

There’s not much that gets us more excited than a website redesign. The thought of tearing down an ugly, outdated and frankly embarrassing website is definitely one of the more therapeutic thoughts out there for anyone in this business. You can start fresh and the new website will be the envy of all of your competitors.

So, you've got the approval; the budget is in. Exciting stuff. Where do you start? You want to get straight into those wireframes, don’t you?

orange-quotation-marks-hi.png When we treat content as an afterthought we limit our ability to make good design decisions."
- Liam King

Here’s the thing, my precious ducklings: your website’s primary reason for existence is to showcase your content, because your content is your business. Functionality is obviously important, as is an attractive design, but those things serve as the vehicle for your fabulous content. Make sure your content arrives in an Aston Martin, instead of rickshaw. Because your content might not even make it out alive if comes in a rickshaw.

Content strategy is about collaboration

Think about it like this: if you’re an architect, you want to design a kick-ass house. Maybe something that Kevin McCloud would approve of. It’d be a bit ridiculous, don’t you think, if you designed the house without asking the homeowner what they wanted to do with the place. Yes, the glass spiral staircase was awesome, but Gladys is 93 and actually needs a single-story home so…

kevinmccloud.jpg

Your house and website are rubbish and Gladys is stuck upstairs

(Image from Channel 4 via The Telegraph)

It doesn’t make sense to design templates without actual content to design them around. Lorem Ipsum isn’t going to cut it. When you design templates first, without understanding your content, you will find yourself trying force something that won't fit. Design needs to function around your content and its purpose.

Luckily we have content strategy to help us out on the that front.

Content strategy doesn’t need you to write all the content first – in fact, don’t do that! Content needs to be produced alongside design. It’s all about collaboration. Content without design can be a little unwieldy. Template design can offer some much needed restriction and direction.

5 reasons you need content strategy for a successful website redesign or build

1. Save time and money

You build the templates you actually need. This avoids the inevitable existential dread that occurs not only when you realise the relative futility of human existence, but also when your content and templates are not in harmony. At all.

2. Timely content production

Your team won't hate and resent you for keeping them late to write content at the last minute, because you've been writing it all along! In fact, you'll be more popular and maybe someone will leave a donut on your desk.

3. Go live on time

You’ve started content production early on with the above-mentioned happy team. Now you can actually go live on time!

4. No wastage of resources

Because you have a content strategy, you won’t waste resources on unecessary content.

5. Make website maintenance easy

You establish workflows, structures and best practices so that the website can be maintained and updated with relative ease.

Imagine: all your great ideas to optimise your website for marketing excellence are there from the beginning. The very essence of your intent is included in that strategy. The website is the majestic vessel you need for all things marketing. It’s easy to use and your marketing performs amazingly well. And… what’s this?? You’ve won the Nobel Peace Prize for great marketing!

Nobel_prize_marketing.jpg

You too can be great like Connect Labs, when we won the esteemed Nobel Prize.

Wow, thanks content strategy, you’re the best!

Embrace content strategy

If you embrace content strategy, your website will become a well-oiled machined that works for your business around the clock. Embed content in the foundations of your business, and add web design and UX principles to make it better. When the core of your business is great content strategy, telling your story via your website becomes a lot easier!

 

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