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The Fundamentals of Content Strategy

Whether you’re a blogger, a user experience designer, a social media maven, an SEO practitioner, a small business person, a corporate marketing professional, a CMS developer, an information architect....  We may have different relationships with content, but we all generally accept that “Content is King.” That said, not all kings are good.  Yet, creating and delivering good content it more important than ever. Understanding what Content Strategy is and how to apply the fundamentals to our work will help our content to be more effective, whether our focus is on creating the content itself, using it to engage an audience, or designing methods to deliver it.

There are many definitions of Content Strategy.  In general, the focus of Content Strategy is on identifying, creating, delivering and maintaining content.  This presentation will cover the fundamentals of Content Strategy, and provide you with ways to apply Content Strategy methodologies to the work you do. Some things we’ll likely cover:

  • Why digital content – and good content – is more important than ever.
  • How to identify and prioritize the development of the right content.
  • Why “Content Strategy” should be the foundation for user experience design, social media strategy, SEO, search marketing, email marketing and other digital content publishing and promotional activities.
  • Why the “Persona” is more than a fluffy marketing document, and should be a foundational tool for content professionals.
  • How to apply a few basic Content Strategy approaches and tools to what you’re working on now.
  • Why focusing on the latest new topics to blog about may not be the best strategy for engaging with your target audience.
  • Where to look for good resources to further study Content Strategy.

Jim Woolfrey

Jim Woolfrey is Portland-based content strategist and content marketing consultant, and is the founder and one of the organizers of the Content Strategy PDX meetup.  Jim has more than 18 years of digital marketing  experience -- split about 50/50 between digital marketing agencies and the corporate marketing organizations. About half of his career has been within B2B technology companies, building and managing digital marketing programs with a strong focus on demand generation and sales lead generation. The other half of his career has been within digital marketing and advertising agencies – as an account director, creative director, content strategist, project manager, producer. Over the last half dozen years, Jim has been focused on developing and applying Content Strategy methodologies to digital marketing.

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  • jimmie m.

    It is always helpful to hear an expert's opinion. Not being an expert, I would have thought that the importance of content is intuitive. In some (tongue-in-cheek) way, this is why after years in engineering I became a writer. Which does not mean that the idea should not be strongly promoted as it is the noble intent of this evening's speaker. Still.... as a separate add-on to this comment, I am looking for someone to help me write an i-phone mobile app. I found resources in India but I would prefer a local option. My blog, by the way, is www.yourdailyshakespeare.com
    See you

    February 25, 2013

    • Patty A.

      I hope you find someone local...

      February 26, 2013

  • jimmie m.

    Post #3, follows 1 and 2
    Still… on the business of the “customer life-cycle”, I must believe that, when writing Hamlet, WS was thinking of content management. Otherwise the play could not have survived the literal life-cycle of several hundred million “customers”.
    That said, those who have read so far may ponder about a suggestion I have. Many of us, who use their time for content, have not much time left for Wordpress topics that I arbitrarily call “Tips and Good to Know.” With limited time for technology updates we would benefit from those who are more involved in the bits-and-pieces of web management and who are willing to share their knowledge. It would require the splitting of the group in smaller sections etc. but if there is a will there is a way.
    Jimmie Moglia www.yourdailyshakespeare.com

    February 26, 2013

  • jimmie m.

    And I am serious. To quote another example. A professor of sociology may write something like this, “Human beings are completely exempt from undesirable behavior patterns only when certain prerequisites, not satisfied except in a small percentage of actual cases, have, through some fortuitous concourse of favorable circumstances, whether congenital or environmental, chanced to combine in producing an individual in whom many factors deviate from the norm in a socially advantageous manner.”
    Instead I may write, “Most men are scoundrels - those who are not must were lucky, both in their birth and in their upbringing.” The first professor would get the job and I the sack.
    By and large, the business of today’s management is to complicate the simple and to leave the complex to those who do not know any better. To fight the current is hard at best, if not useless. Better to learn the language of the trade and use it accordingly.
    ... continued post #3

    February 26, 2013

  • jimmie m.

    I also would like to invite fellow Wordpress practitioners or enthusiasts to moderate their criticism. Especially job-seekers should have found yesterday’s information valuable. If you say on a resume, “I know how to write”, most likely the statement will go unnoticed. But if you say, “Skilled in Content Management”, the meaning may be nebulous but it will catch the future employer’s positive attention.
    Let’s not forget that today, more than ever, management is the product of academia and graduates have almost imbued Orwell’s new-speak with their training. To call a spade a spade suggests simple-mindedness, whereas to call it “an upward-downward, dynamic and portable soil management tool” shows evidence of college-education.
    .... continued post #2

    1 · February 26, 2013

  • Jim W.

    Perhaps interesting for the first minute or so... then monotonous, boring, perhaps tiresome, lacking visuals.

    February 25, 2013

    • Jesse G.

      "Content is King". Even in PowerPoint slides about content strategy. Well, at least it should be.

      1 · February 25, 2013

    • Craig

      Jim, you were trying to convey a complex subject and I think you did a good job. You presented a crap-load of great information and I, for one, appreciate you taking the time and effort.

      2 · February 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would like to see some speakers that know how to speak. Someone who can get out of his/her chair, engage the audience, make eye contact, use their voice, do something other than read the power points. I recommend some instruction in public speaking skills.

    1 · February 26, 2013

    • Daniel B.

      We're always looking for speaker recommendations! Feel free to message me directly if you have a name / topic in mind.

      February 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I would be happy to teach a brief workshop to the speakers in how to engage their audience. I don't mean to be disrespectful about the speakers. I appreciate their time, their expertise, and their willingness to share their knowledge. I want them to succeed as much as they want to succeed!

      February 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm grateful for all the volunteer help: Andrew, Daniel, Zack, everyone. Can I make a few meeting suggestions?

    1. A way to project larger images on the wall--half the room can't see or read slides that size.

    2. An attendance limit: the room holds what--50 people comfortably? An overcrowded room is uncomfortable, and makes conversation afterward challenging.

    3. A microphone, or folks who can speak a bit louder.

    4. More beer.

    -james

    PS: I'm the one that just started a new Portland WordPress LinkedIn group. I'd love to hear if it's useful to folks, and if so, join up. If there's an existing group, I couldn't find it.

    3 · February 26, 2013

    • Daniel B.

      Duly noted! We'll see what we can do about employing these recommendations next time. Thanks for the feedback.

      February 26, 2013

  • Mike B.

    Thanks also Jim. Coming from an agency background I thought the presentation covered a ton of useful info. I think marketing really is this complex, or more people/companies would be doing it well.

    3 · February 26, 2013

  • Kronda

    Maybe the people who are complaining got this meetup confused with the keynote of An Event Apart? I appreciate anyone who's willing to give their time to come and share what they know. It's not like he wasn't upfront about who he was. I feel I got my money's worth. (Hint: this is a free / volunteer operation).

    Sad to see so much negativity and UNgratefulness here.

    6 · February 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd also like to suggest that folks who are unhappy with a presentation volunteer to give a better one--and send constructive criticism to folks, not complaints. This is an all-volunteer effort, with a primary goal of *helping each other learn and grow*.

    2 · February 26, 2013

  • Jason D.

    Thanks, Jim, for sharing with the group what you have discovered. You took a very complex animal and helped us understand that it is, well...complex. I especially appreciated the information on the persona and customer life cycle. Although there was confusion on the customer life cycle, it was the appropriate term to describe the process of a customer entering/leaving our business/blog/non-profit portal. Showing us a few examples of what the persona looked like and how detailed we should be will aid in future critical analysis of our content.

    I apologize for the group as a whole. Although the presentation could have contained more examples, there is no excuse for personal attacks on you as the presenter. For those of you who are reading this, may I suggest an option? If you have disparaging and disrespectful remarks, can you email the organizer or speaker directly? This maintains the integrity of our group for future speakers who may examine our comments about this group.

    4 · February 26, 2013

  • Deborah

    I am certain the presenter did absolutely the best that he could under the circumstances with the type of material to be covered. I greatly appreciate that he donated his time and energy to attempt to help the community.

    It is my sincere hope that we can all support the good intentions of hard working professionals in the field regardless of whether they provided zesty entertainment during their delivery or not.

    3 · February 26, 2013

  • Robert G.

    Speaker was disappointing. Probably the expert in this field, but not able to communicate well at all. Visual aids inadequate. 1/3 or more left half way thru the talk.

    2 · February 26, 2013

  • Steven S.

    Intended for a different audience, methinks...

    February 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dull, uninteresting.

    2 · February 25, 2013

  • Dan G.

    Someone left a pair of gloves in the back of the room. They are at the security desk of big pink ready for pick up.

    February 25, 2013

  • Jesse G.

    ...leaning more towards the Sloth.

    2 · February 25, 2013

  • dianne f.

    Meetings running long today. Any chance there will be notes to share?

    February 25, 2013

  • Sebastian M.

    Damn. Can't make it.. If someone is interested to catch up anyway for some co-working, idea-juggling or just a coffee, let me know.

    I'm in town for quite a while, before going back to Berlin (Germany) in April.

    See you!

    February 25, 2013

  • Piero

    This meeting conflicts with Mobile Portland unfortunately...

    February 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey all @pdxwp folks--I didn't see a LinkedIn group for Portland WordPress people, so I created one: Portland WordPress Users. Useful?

    February 20, 2013

  • Steve S.

    It's a brave new world. Content to me means providing what your target audience is interested in. What a surprise that this is becoming a popular idea! Also I want to go on record with my predictions: the "Content Drought of 2013" followed by the "Content Flood of 2014" followed by the "new name for Content" which should appear around mid 2014.

    February 19, 2013

  • Jennifer C.

    I'm a technical writing manager, and I think I've been doing this for years before it was called "content strategy."

    February 18, 2013

  • Patty A.

    I bummed. I have another meeting. Any chance to ever tape some of these presentations? This one should be awesome.

    February 17, 2013

    • Daniel B.

      If someone wanted to volunteer to video record, we'd be happy to accommodate.

      February 18, 2013

  • Jim W.

    Hello PDXWP members! I'm looking forward to the presentation. I hope you'll find it helpful and interesting, although to set expectations, I don't think I can live up to Patty's suggestion: "This one should be awesome."

    Thanks for inviting me in to talk, and I'll look forward to meeting with you Monday evening.

    February 18, 2013

  • D Michael W.

    "Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't."
    William Shakespeare
    Hamlet

    February 18, 2013

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