You are previewing The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right.
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The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right

Book Description

In this essential guide, Meghan Casey outlines a step-by-step approach for doing content strategy, from planning and creating your content to delivering and managing it. Armed with this book, you can confidently tackle difficult activities like telling your boss or client what’s wrong with their content, getting the budget to do content work, and aligning stakeholders on a common vision. Reading The Content Strategy Toolkit is like having your own personal consulting firm on retainer with a complete array of tools and tips for every challenge you’ll face. In this practical and relevant guide, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Identify problems with your content and persuade your bosses it’s worth the time and resources to do it right

  • Make sense of your business environment and understand your audience

  • Get stakeholders aligned on business goals and user needs

  • Set your content strategy and decide how to measure success

  • Create, maintain, and govern on-strategy content

  • You’ll learn to control your content—and not have it control you. 

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Contents at a Glance
    5. Table of Contents
    6. Acknowledgments
    7. About the Author
    8. In Praise of The Content Strategy Toolkit
    9. Foreword
    10. Introduction
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. How to Use This Book and Get The Tools
      3. One Last Thing
    11. Part I: Get Budget and Buy-in
      1. Chapter 1. Identify Problems and Opportunities
        1. Figure Out What’s Wrong with Your Content
          1. Hypothesize What’s Wrong
          2. Choose Your Methods
          3. Set Up Your Experiments
        2. Don’t Forget People and Process
        3. Turn Problems into Opportunities
        4. Ready? Let’s Go
      2. Chapter 2. Convince Leaders and Get the Resources
        1. Think Like a Business Person
        2. Quantify the (Missed) Opportunities
          1. Calculate the Risks
          2. Consider Non-monetary Costs
        3. Make Your Argument
          1. Claim
          2. Grounds
          3. Warrant
          4. Backing
          5. Qualifier
          6. Rebuttal
          7. The Ask
        4. Ready for Action?
    12. Part II: Set Up for Success
      1. Chapter 3. Get Stakeholders on board
        1. Stakeholder Roles and Types
          1. Roles
          2. Types
        2. Your Stakeholders
          1. List and Label
          2. Craft Your Approach
        3. Keeping Stakeholders in the Loop
        4. All Aboard
      2. Chapter 4. Set and Align On Project Objectives
        1. Set the Table
          1. The People
          2. The Plan
          3. The Partners
        2. Kick Off for Clarity
          1. Group Decision Making
          2. Ground Rules
          3. Facilitative Listening
          4. Understanding Consensus
        3. Aligned and Ready
      3. Chapter 5. Run the Project
        1. Preparing
          1. Set Up the Project
          2. Get Everyone on the Same Page
        2. Planning
          1. Timelines
          2. Budget
        3. Doing
          1. Status Reports
          2. Check-ins and Working Sessions
        4. Run Project, Run
    13. Part III: Dig In and Get the Dirt
      1. Chapter 6. Understand Your Business Environment
        1. Define the Inquest
          1. Internal Factors
          2. External Factors
        2. Get the Goods
          1. Interviewing Stakeholders
          2. Planning the Interviews
          3. Structuring the Interview
          4. Conducting the Interviews
          5. Reviewing Documentation
        3. Open for Business
      2. Chapter 7. Learn About Your Audience and Users
        1. What You Want to Know and Understand
          1. Market Research vs. User Research
          2. Questions and Gaps
        2. Your Approach to User Research
          1. Assessing Appetite
          2. Proposing an Approach
          3. Doing the Research
        3. Nice to Know You, Users
      3. Chapter 8. Get Familiar with Your Content
        1. The Content Landscape
          1. Make a List
          2. Document the Details
          3. Visualize the Ecosystem
        2. Content Snapshots
          1. Inventories
          2. Content Audits
          3. Content Maps
          4. User Tests
        3. Content Conscientiousness
      4. Chapter 9. Review How Work Gets Planned and Done
        1. Problems with Roles and Responsibilities
          1. What Problems to Look For
          2. How to Uncover and Document Problems
        2. Problems with Planning and Process
          1. What Problems to Look For
          2. How to Uncover and Document Problems
        3. Planning, People, Process: Check
      5. Chapter 10. Put It All Together
        1. Preparing a Strategic Alignment Summary
          1. Organize for Clarity and Action
          2. Analyze and Synthesize
        2. Getting to the Strategy Part
        3. Discovery: That’s a Wrap
    14. Part IV: Articulate Your Strategy
      1. Chapter 11. Create a Content Compass
        1. Project Types
          1. Function
          2. Property
          3. Subset
        2. Core Strategy Statement
          1. What Does a Core Strategy Statement Look Like?
          2. How Do You Craft a Core Strategy Statement?
        3. Messaging Framework
          1. What Does a Messaging Framework Look Like?
          2. How Do You Develop a Messaging Framework?
        4. Show the Way
      2. Chapter 12. Decide How You’ll Measure Success
        1. Deciding What to Measure
          1. Defining Some Terms
          2. Choosing Your Metrics
          3. Putting It All Together
        2. Measuring Content Effectiveness
          1. Document How Content Is Performing
          2. Report to Stakeholders
        3. Putting Your Measurements to Use
      3. Chapter 13. Design Your Content
        1. What I Mean by Content Design
        2. Prioritization
        3. Organization
          1. Sitemaps
          2. Taxonomy
        4. Presentation
          1. The Core Model
          2. Content Models
        5. Specifications
        6. The Best-Laid Plans
    15. Part V: Put Your Strategy into Action
      1. Chapter 14. Create On-Strategy Content
        1. Roles, Responsibilities, and Process
          1. Roles and Responsibilities
          2. Process
        2. Content Creation Tools
          1. Content Production Inventory
          2. Style Guide
          3. Feedback Forms and Checklists
        3. Ready. Set. Write.
      2. Chapter 15. Govern, Plan, and Maintain Your Content
        1. The Content Lifecycle
        2. Authority
          1. Strategic Authority Roles and Responsibilities
          2. Implementation Authority Roles and Responsibilities
        3. Maintenance
          1. Planned Maintenance
          2. Unplanned Maintenance
        4. Planning
          1. Content Product Planning
          2. Editorial Planning
        5. Farewell, Content Comrade
    16. Appendix. List of Tools
      1. Chapter 1
        1. 1.1 Audit Spreadsheet
        2. 1.2 A Super Simple User Test
      2. Chapter 2
        1. 2.1 Making the Case Presentation Starter Deck
      3. Chapter 3
        1. 3.1 Stakeholder Matrix
        2. 3.2 Communications Management Plan
      4. Chapter 4
        1. 4.1 Objective Alignment Session Plan
        2. 4.2 Project Kick-Off Email
      5. Chapter 5
        1. 5.1 Project Preparation Checklist
        2. 5.2 Project Management Plan
        3. 5.3 Detailed Timeline
      6. Chapter 6
        1. 6.1 The Business Model Canvas
        2. 6.2 Stakeholder Interview Guide
        3. 6.3 Discovery Insights Workbook
      7. Chapter 7
        1. 7.1 User Understanding Matrix
        2. 7.2 User Research Workshop Activities
      8. Chapter 8
        1. 8.1 Content Landscape List
        2. 8.2 Sample User Tests
      9. Chapter 9
        1. 9.1 Job Time Worksheet
        2. 9.2 Planning and Process Workshop Activities
      10. Chapter 10
        1. 10.1 Strategic Alignment Summary Starter Document
      11. Chapter 11
        1. 11.1 Core Strategy Statement Mad Lib
        2. 11.2 Messaging Framework Template
      12. Chapter 12
        1. 12.1 Data Sets You Free Presentation
        2. 12.2 Heuristics Framework Cheat Sheet
        3. 12.3 Content Scorecard Report Sample
      13. Chapter 13
        1. 13.1 Content Prioritization Templates
        2. 13.2 Core Model Instructions and Worksheets
        3. 13.3 Content Model Spreadsheet
        4. 13.4 Content Overlay and Page Table Templates
      14. Chapter 14
        1. 14.1 Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
        2. 14.2 Card-Sorting Exercise Instructions and Cards
      15. Chapter 15
        1. 15.1 Content Strategy Skillsets
        2. 15.2 Editorial Calendar Templates
    17. Index