As companies work to define more effective ways of reaching and engaging their customers, the topic of content strategy often comes up. All too often, content strategy is applied only to the most visible information: marketing collateral and web sites. Useful as they are, these are not the only types of content that can benefit from a rigorous application of content strategy. The information created by technical communicators—documentation—is just as important, but for a long time has received short shrift when compared to its more high-profile brethren.
Technical content is often thought of as a “necessary evil,” but in fact good documentation is critical in supporting the product-buying decision and in reducing the cost of product support.
Note that I said good documentation. Good documentation is a valuable part of a product, but without an effective content strategy, your chances of getting that “good documentation” are about as good as the chance of a snowball in… well, you get the idea. You need a content strategy for all your content—but where to start?
Content Strategy 101 is the perfect place.
Content Strategy 101 helps managers to understand the key factors required to build a business case, and the book guides practitioners through the many aspects of a content strategy they need to investigate and implement.
Sarah O’Keefe and Alan Pringle draw on their long-term experience in the technical content industry to cover a broad range of issues affecting a good content strategy, including business processes, solution architecture, the creation of good content, and the role of technology. And they don’t just talk about traditional print and help-based content; they discuss the role of web-based, wiki-based, and customer-generated content.
Sarah and Alan’s Content Strategy 101 is a much-needed book that fills a significant gap in the discussion of content strategy.