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Content Strategy
3 min

The ROI of Content Strategy

by Emma Richardson February 26, 2024

Is this article worth your time?

According to GatherContent, you’ll make that decision in about 15 seconds. It’s widely acknowledged that most users are pressed for time and overwhelmed with content at every digital touchpoint. In turn, they rely on compelling information to help make fast-paced decisions that meet their needs.

A bad content experience can negatively impact both the user experience and your brand perception. Investing in content strategy enables you to meet your user’s needs, achieve your business goals, and stand out in a noisy world.

Evaluate your content

To identify where you should focus your content investments, start by evaluating your current landscape. Perhaps you’re embarking upon a large-scale website redesign and need to start by auditing the content across your site. Or maybe you’ve recently identified a new market for your product and need to review your SEO strategy to ensure you’re capturing that target audience.

This can seem daunting at first, but there are tools to help navigate the path ahead. At One North, we work with clients to develop a core content strategy statement that serves as a guide to creating meaningful content. Think of it as a thematic compass—a statement that helps you stay on course through the writing and revision process. This helps everyone align on business goals, user needs, and the related content product(s).

The Core Content Strategy Statement

To [Business Goals],

We’ll create [Content Product]

That motivates/enables/inspires [Audiences]

To [User Needs]

Whether your content needs are ambitious or straightforward, understanding where content investments can be made from the start allows you to prioritize the work that will realize the greatest impacts on your business and your users.

Structure your content

Once you have determined your content investment strategy and identified where you want to focus on creating a successful content experience for your users, the next step is to consider how to organize and make the content easily discoverable.

Let’s return to that website redesign example. What content is most important to your users, and where should it live on the new site? What paths are they taking to get to the information they need? What action(s) do you want them to take once they’re in the right place? Intentional and intuitive wayfinding, organization, and labels ensures users can seamlessly navigate your site—and engage with the wonderful content you’ve spent time creating.

Content hierarchy plays a critical role in how you command a user’s attention and guide the flow of information on a page. For many years, studies have shown that users favor scanning patterns when reading web content. By chunking your content into distinct sections, your users can skim the page while retaining important information. Consistent use of this method aids user recognition and recall of your content.

Standardize your content operations

It goes without saying that findable and useable content doesn’t magically appear on a website. Each sentence a user encounters travels through a (sometimes simple, sometimes complex) process from creation to publication. Whether you’re a mighty team of one or a part of a larger marketing function, taking the time to standardize your content operations—the people and processes needed to create and publish content—helps drive internal clarity and overall efficiency.

There are many ways to document content workflows and governance. A popular method is to work with a key group of stakeholders and collaborators to document roles, responsibilities, and processes through a RACI chart or matrix. You’ll establish who is responsible or accountable for completing various tasks, who needs to be consulted as the work gets done, and who should be informed of your progress.

By streamlining your content workflow and creating governance guardrails, you’ll empower content owners to focus on the work without politics getting in the way.

As users navigate a sea of sameness in the rise of AI-generated content, it’s more important than ever to produce content that establishes credibility with your users. These strategic investments in your content experience allow you to authentically connect with your audience while meeting their needs and achieving your goals.

Isn’t that worth your time?

Photo Credit: Boliviainteligente | Unsplash

Emma Richardson
Senior Content Strategist

Emma Richardson is a Senior Content Strategist with seven years of experience in copywriting, editorial strategy, and content design. She enjoys working with clients to develop content that meets business goals, design accessible and user-friendly content, and deliver compelling storytelling to a wide range of audiences.