Preparing for Success with Content Strategy


There are many important factors in developing a successful content strategy specifically for digital. With the knowledge and tools that are available which show the effectiveness of producing a content marketing strategy, more companies are developing content planning teams. Although companies have increased content planning objectives, they are still not achieving the results they were hoping for. This is due to lacking critical factors when putting together the strategy which are important for success.

“With the advancement of technology, communication has now changed from being a written medium to a virtual medium through the growth of the internet.”

The first step is finding the problems within the existing content so you can offer solutions to convince others that a strategy is needed. The problems become solutions which lead to opportunities for a successful end product.

What’s wrong

You will need to document what is wrong with the content to get started. The most common issues with content are:

  • Weak calls to action
  • The content is not speaking to the audience you are trying to reach
  • Voice or tone is off brand
  • Content is not directed to what you want them to do or their need
  • Content is not updated
  • Content is too long

You may use a combination of methods to review the site’s content to come up with a hypothesis of what is wrong with the current content.

  • Conducting an audit of the site will allow you to examine the content. This will help you review the audience, broken links, accessibility and how easy it is to scan for the key message.
  • To focus on the issues, you can conduct an analytics review which takes a look at the user experience. This includes pageview, user paths through content, search terms, how it was accessed and traffic sources. Understanding how the user experiences the site will help determine how the content should be written and placed.
  • Another way to see how the content is working is to conduct user testing. Actual user feedback will help you empathize with the user and how they felt during their experience. This will include readability and being able to key word search.

Selling the need

Once you have identified the problems, the data and the solutions pulled together, you will need to get the budget approved to move forward. Compile your results and include it in your proposal and speak from the heart including any previous experience with results of using a content strategy.

  • Claim – The statement you are asking them to accept
  • Grounds – The data and facts that support your claim
  • Warrant – How the data is relevant to your claim
  • Backing – Information that supports your warrant
  • Qualifier – The data that supports the warrant
  • Rebuttal – The response to anticipated challenges to your claim

If you are not able to obtain approval for the budget in order to proceed, don’t feel discouraged. Business objectives change and there are several small changes that can be made in the meantime. Continue to collect data and revisit at a later date.

Preparing for success

Getting started you will need to identify the key stakeholders and project manage every step of the strategy to keep everyone on task. Set project objectives, expectations and timeframes for what you will need to complete. It’s important that you have this content prepared and ready to go well ahead of the timeline. In addition, you’ll need to know which type of content performs well in different contexts, that is, with different audiences and also across platforms. Using the data, you have prepared will help you plan out the content needed.

Possessing the ability to continually problem-solve and learn new things will help you be successful. It does take some patience, creativity and an analytical review; as well as, to some extent at least, experimentation. Have a clear vision of your goals, and a business plan in place as well as up-to-date tools to continue to review results.


The importance of content marketing is going to increase tremendously in coming years. Keeping up to date on trends, utilizing tools for data collection and analysis, conducting testing and updating content will lead to successful content strategy.



Talk Business. (n.d.). 5 essential factors for a successful content marketing strategy. Retrieved from

Verblio. (n.d.). How Agencies Should Sell Content Marketing Strategy to Clients. Retrieved from http://www.verblio.com

Digital Marketing Institute. (n.d.). How Agencies Should Sell Content Marketing Strategy to Clients. Retrieved from

Casey, M. (2015). The Content Strategy Toolkit
     Peachpit, a division of Pearson Education.

I am my content


I work in Healthcare communications creating customized solutions for clients to meet their member’s needs.  The content is the heart of the message whether it is digital or print. Whatever the main message is, the content will provide the member with the information they need to be successful in their wellness journey utilizing the resources and tools available to them. For my industry, the main issue is that members don’t understand their benefits or the additional tools that have ben provided. In order to clarify communications, it has to be in easy to understand content that delivers keep points with clear directions on how to access tools.

In order to keep the members attention in multiple communications, the subject has to change giving new information to keep their interest. Deciding how much content is needed can be tricky. While you want to give the member important information, you have to consider the method of delivery being used.

  • Email – Keep the content short and precise making sure important call to actions remain above the folder.
  • Mailers – Designed according to the amount of space needed. Postcards will be short, while self-mailers can be a few pages/panels.
  • Website – House many different content pieces and articles past as well as present. The site can also be linked to from other communications such as mailers or emails.

“Very best content strategy is one that mirrors the users’ mixed diet. There’s no reason to limit yourself to only one content type.”

In order to make a communication successful, the content has to be written after a thoughtful outline has been developed. The outline will pull all of your thoughts together providing direction to a writer as well as the client if needed. You need to understand your audience, what the issue or main topic is and most importantly how you intend to offer a solution. This doesn’t just apply to healthcare; this concept can be used in other industries such as fashion, vacation and technology. For example, if you are targeting a male audience for watches in an email campaign, you will want to design towards a male demographic. The content has to have a masculine tone and a solution as to why he must have this watch.

Additionally, I have worked within content management systems. I managed the content for well-being campaigns within a mobile app. To get started, it was important to understand the audience and break the content down into sections or content mapping. Once this mapping had been established, further planning was done to ensure that all of the content was making sense as it led into the next topic. The mobile app was designed to give the user access to health and wellbeing content while earning incentives to continue through the program. The content was written to make sure the user was engaged and continually given the opportunity to learn more. The user would choose a weekly topic to work on, and as they completed an activity, they earned incentives. The campaign has proven successful and continues to grow while helping the members live a healthier life.

I have learned a lot about content working in print, web, email and mobile. Every scenario has a different solution, but the backbone of a successful campaign lies within the content. The most successful designs I have been a part of were due to working closely with a copy writer from the start. As the design progressed, having the copy writer by my side to edit and adjust content ensured the objective was being met. It is important in the beginning of any project, large or small, to have a clear plan on how to tackle the content needed. Outlines and content mapping are essential in staying organized and visualizing where you intend the project to go before even starting. Content is part of everything we do and see. To understand how to develop a successful campaign or project, you must first understand the importance of content.




Nielsen, J. (2007 November 11). Long vs. Short Articles as Content Strategy. Retrieved from

Rampton, J. (2016 October 2). 5 Key Components To A Successful Content Marketing Campaign. Retrieved from

(n.d.). What Is a Content Map? The Definitive Guide. Retrieved from

How has content changed?


When I hear the term decade, it sounds like a lot of time; but when I say 2010, it feels like yesterday. Ten years ago, I was getting married, our daughter was 5 years old and we had a lot of plans ahead of us. Social media was a big part of our wedding, showing pictures of the events leading up to the big day and then sharing pictures of our wedding with our loved ones. If you step back in time and look at how content strategy has changed in the last decade, you will realize how significantly it has evolved.

To drive traffic ten years ago, companies would just keep pushing content out to reach as many people as they could hoping volume increased traffic to their sites. Within the last decade, the strategy has become much more fine-tuned. Marketers are looking to identity and satisfy the needs of those they want to reach. This requires research and data in order to define the needs of the customers they wish to influence.

According to Brian Dean, in order to keep up with successful content marketing, you need to understand SEO, know how to promote content and be able to use analytics to measure the success. The outcome will influence the future strategy.

“I’m mapping out what I want to say relative to the goals I’ve set, so that every article contributes to my overarching business objectives in some way. It’s more work for sure, but it’s necessary these days.”

Understanding the audience

In order to create successful content, you must understand to whom you are writing. This research can include creating personas. Content is no longer about key words but rather about finding the pain points of your customers and creating solutions to their needs. Once you’ve identified the problem or need, you can start brainstorming keywords that are relevant to building your content. Content is no longer just about traffic – it is about conversions. Content that is built around keywords that demonstrate zero empathy – don’t work.

“So it’s important to create content that caters to your goals.”


While I may no longer share photos of getting ready for our wedding, I do share the kids’ milestones and our yearly family vacation. As my life continues to change, so too has my use of social media changed in regard to the subject matter I choose to share.

For content strategy in marketing, a lot has evolved and influenced the direction of how marketers generate what they write. The research involves learning who the audience is, how to address their needs and finding solutions to drive traffic back to a site.

It is not just a one stop shopping to see traffic increase. It’s an evolving process that requires learning from mistakes and improving how to connect with the customers.




Cullinan, F. (2013, June 24th). A brief history of content strategy | Firehead. Retrieved from

Gillen, P. (2019, January 14). Content Strategy Answers. Retrieved from

Halvorson, K. (2018, December 18). Ten Years Later: The Discipline of Content Strategy. Retrieved from

Patel, S. (2019, April 1). 10 Years of Content: How My Approach Has Changed from 2009 to 2019. Retrieved from

Dean, B. (2019, February 19). We Analyzed 912 Million Blog Posts. Here’s What We Learned About Content Marketing. Retrieved from

Discovering Abstract Art


An abstract painting does not depict a person, place, or thing. With abstract art, the subject of the work is what you see: color, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale, and, in some cases, the process itself. The painting may access your imagination where you may see an environment or it may bring on an emotion specific to you.

Abstract art is one of my favorite forms of art to view. I love that it will make me think and invoke an emotion. While looking at an abstract painting, I find myself falling into the layers of colors and shapes. I try to imagine what the artist was trying to share with the world and come up with my own interpretations. Painting is an art form I have never been able to master; I struggle with perfection instead of going with my heart.

Replicating a work of art


Photo: Abstract Art Gallery. Artist: Mira Zupljanin

This week I used Photoshop to replicate an abstract painting by Mira Zupljanin. I chose Photoshop because I wanted to explore the brushes and explore the colors that were used. There are so many aspects that I love about this painting. The choice of colors that seem to highlight off of one another. The perspective of the line from which the colors grow and the choice of bold colors that layer onto one another. It almost at times looks as though it is a reflection under the horizontal line. My eyes initially focus on the middle of the painting then move back and forth between the colors on each end.

Photoshop brushes

This was not easy and although my attempt does not look pretty, I feel like I was able to experience the levels of colors within the painting. I knew that I would not be able to duplicate the painting but rather focused on the design of the colors using the brushes to build on each stroke. I don’t have very much experience in using brushes for effects, and hope to explore them further within this class.


“It is an art style that breaks away from drawing art as it is represented in real life. Abstract art is about exploring form and color.”

The group of complex shapes makes a wave of parallel lines. Even with my ghastly attempt at recreating the design, my eyes continually move back and forth, never leaving the design. The contrast of using bold primary colors in a variation of shades gives depth to the painting creating a movement. The lighter colors are in the distance while the louder bold colors are up front.


My favorite part of this assignment was exploring not only the brushes within Photoshop but the colors layering onto one another. The colors are what bring dimension and depth to the painting by Zupljanin. I have learned how the placement of colors and textures create depth within the painting. I have also found that I have a lot to learn about the brushes within Photoshop and look forward to exploring how to use these going forward.

I encourage you to take a trip to an art museum. Find a painting that catches your eye, take a deep breath and let yourself escape into what you see. Feel the colors and the shadows while letting the different layers within pop out. What does it remind you of? How does it make you feel? Art is the door to finding your creativity.



Cleveland, Colleen. (n.d.) What is Abstract Art? – Definition, Techniques, Types & Paintings. Retrieved from

Lepore, Jennifer. (n.d.) 6 Key Elements to Abstract Art Success. Retrieved from