Help your clients with their content strategy

John Newton's picture
John Newton
 
Sereno blog
 

We've made serious efforts over many years of building content managed websites to ensure that the sites we build are sustainable for our clients. It's easy for all teams involved in digital development to generate exciting ideas and features.

However, websites can quickly degrade if they are not properly looked after and nine times out of ten this is not caused by client neglect but an inappropriate design that failed to appreciate client goals and resourcing. The approach we take is to talk with our clients a lot at the beginning of a project to get a real understanding of ongoing availability, available skills and potential for engagement in skills development.

Very often, content publishing is yet another task alongside an existing job for a client team member so we ask, How much time does this team member have to work on their content? What content types most closely meet their needs? How can we facilitate publishing through the CMS and also across other digital and social media channels more generally? It's often helpful to work with our clients to develop a simple spreadsheet to help outline a simple content strategy.

Larger clients might leverage advanced publishing tools or engage third party agencies and services and that's great. But for many small clients and charities that approach simply isn't an option. Developing an easy-to-use calendar schedule with roles and team members clearly mapped against Drupal site content types, dates, goals, syndication with other channels, measuring efficacy and so on and goes a long way to offset the restrictions imposed on small teams with tight budgets.

It helps demystify the process of engagement in content strategy and provides clarity around exactly how much effort will be required of client team members as they maintain and develop their website. In turn, this helps us to plan and develop a sustainable website that will be more effective and provide better value for money in the long term.

Photo Credit: eduardo.meza via Compfight cc