Whenever I teach a writing or content strategy workshop, I inevitably get this question: “How do we manage stakeholders and internal clients who want to add more content to the website? We know there’s already too much there.”
“We know we have too much content,” participants lament, “but we can’t seem to convince our stakeholders that it’s too much.” Complicating this “too much content” challenge is that studies have shown the more time people spend on a website, the higher the chance they will convert, i.e., become a customer.
Content strategy tools to the rescue! What you need is a content core model*: A set of questions that stakeholders must answer before adding more content to the website.
5 Questions to Ask Before Adding Content
Here’s how you use the tool: Before adding content, stakeholders must answer the following five questions in a form. If the content is SO important that it needs to be on the website, they can take the five minutes it takes to answer these essential questions:
Who is the target audience?
Which task does this cover?
Which business objective does it cover?
How will users find this content?
Why is the website the right channel for this content?
If stakeholders provide appropriate answers, and they follow the two main objectives of content strategy (satisfy business goals AND user tasks), then perhaps the content does belong on the website.
*Hat tip to Ida Aalen, who taught me these during her fabulous presentation at Confab Central 2014.
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