Content strategy jobs survey results part 6 – the business case for content strategy

coins next to calculatorHow does content strategy save money on content production and/or for your business? In our final Content Strategy Hiring Trends Survey* question, we asked our survey-takers: ‘What new process, method, or trend that have you implemented in the past three years that has saved your organisation or client the most money (time)?’ We had quite a variety of answers…

Making the business case for content strategy

Content strategy is a new field we content people got excited about because it values, well, the content. But it took off for more than just reasons that we communicators like: it saves clients money. We never would have seen the phenomenal growth we have in this field if it didn’t have a great business case behind it. Let’s not forget that along with getting attention focused on the content, this content is a business asset that has a value and an ROI. Quite honestly, this is all most content strategists’ clients care about.

So, to look at (another) good argument for content strategy and your career advancement, it’s important to make the business case for cost savings in projects, big or small. That’s why, in our final segment of content strategy survey results, we asked about money savers – new processes, methods or trends that hirers had introduced that had saved money for their clients or organisations. We got some interesting answers. Here’s the list, directly quoted from survey responses, which we’ve divided into four sections.

What would you add?

Staffing and delivery

  • “Using more than 2-3 dedicated freelancers.”
  • “Using social media staff for maintenance of content strategy created plans.”
  • “Putting one person in charge of all content strategy, with a global view of the organisation, instead of relying on product managers to do the job. This unified approach saves a lot of time and money in redundant work done in separate silos.”

Content management and tools

  • “Using online project management tools. Project planning was de-centralized and now junior writers too plan their projects subject to review by manager.”
  • “Content management system.”
  • “DITA.”
  • “Establishing content quality control procedures.”
  • “Content workflow” (ie, the process of how the content gets from concept to publication via creation, editing, sign off, amends, uploading and distribution).
  • “Effective and efficient website or admin systems and well-crafted content cut down on customer/audience enquiries and administration tasks. This saves salary and management time.”
  • “Templates and methodology. Setting best practices. Internal communication platforms. Content curation.”

Documenting and user testing

  • “A user-centered design process, adapted to content strategy, which includes a comprehensive content matrix that was used to populate other deliverables.”
  • “Usability testing.”
  • “Documenting processes around web audits, content strategy creation and management.”

Overall approach

Next steps

These money-savers were some simple elements that saved our respondents and their clients time and money. While most of them are really already established parts of a sound content strategy, every content project is different and needs its own care and feeding, hence the slight variations in approach.

Sometimes we get into a fixed idea about how to approach projects when we’ve been doing it for a while and are seeing results. It’s always worth reviewing and updating your approach to make sure you’re including everything you can to help the bottom line.

Little pieces of magic can really help your career.

* Our online survey questionnaire was disseminated via the Firehead blog and social networks inviting anyone in a position to hire in content strategy work, from HR managers to department heads. The survey remained open from 1 March to 1 August 2012. We also contacted a number of recruiters on Firehead’s client list as part of the exercise. The 30 respondent hirers came from a range of countries and backgrounds. Further results will be shared here on the Firehead blog. Firehead is a leading recruiter in digital communications and is based in Europe.

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