How do you make sure your content strategy is implemented successfully?
There can feel like a real gap between the successful development of a content strategy and its implementation.
Whether you’re an in-house content leader who’s developed a content strategy with your team (bravo!) or you’ve brought in content strategy experts to help, you may find it daunting to initiate the multiple changes set out in your new content strategy. There might be several teams to wrangle, new processes to implement, and new standards and guidelines to share and adhere to.
One tool we always include in our content toolkit, and one that can help with this challenge, is the content strategy roadmap.
What’s a content strategy roadmap?
Content strategy is a process that’s never done. But our roadmap organizes a content strategy into manageable “projects” with designated owners and timelines. It clearly defines the effort, skillsets, resources, and support tools required to implement the strategy.The roadmap clearly defines the effort, skillsets, resources, and support tools required to implement the strategy. Click To Tweet
We use a spreadsheet divided into two worksheets: one for project details, and one for timeline. Download our content strategy roadmap template (.xls) and follow along as we outline the different sections.
Start with the project details worksheet to clarify who and what are required to implement your content strategy.
Projects: Divide your content strategy into functional categories. For example, you might have a content governance project, a measurement and success plan project, a content migration project, and/or a standards and guidelines project.
Subprojects: Further divide these into subprojects as necessary. For example, your content governance project may include:
- Roles and responsibilities (RACIs)
- Content strategy working group
- Quarterly meetings
- Weekly editorial meetings
- Employee training
User impact: Based on the research used to develop your content strategy, determine whether each project and subproject is of high, medium, or low impact to your audience.
Business impact: Similarly, indicate what impact each project and subproject will have on your business goals.
Cost of resourcing: Resourcing can refer to both people and any other technology or tool required to implement your content strategy. Include the projected costs here, if known, or indicate whether the cost is expected to be high, medium, or low.
Effort required: Indicate the amount of effort required for each project or subproject in person days if this can be calculated. Otherwise, rate as high, medium, or low effort.
Dependencies: Use this optional category for any known dependencies, such as the development of a new website, or approved brand guidelines.
Timeline considerations: Note any existing constraints for timelines, such as technology changes, known busy periods, or major time away.
Success metrics: Indicate how success will be measured for each project or subproject. For example, the success of the content toolkit might be its launch online, or dissemination to all employees. Alternatively, a successful process change might be measured by a staff knowledge-check.
The timeline worksheet gives a high-level look at the projects within your content strategy, and the overall implementation timeline. It includes the same list of projects and subprojects (so just copy and paste them!) as well as these additional categories:
Priority: Based on your responses to user and business priority from the project details worksheet, rank the priority of each project or subproject. You can rank them from 1 – 5 or higher, depending on your number of projects.
Owner: Choose one person to be accountable for each project or subproject.
Timeline: Depending on how far into the future you plan to implement, you can divide the year into quarters and then months, as seen on the template, or into smaller or larger blocks of time.
The content strategy roadmap helps you create a realistic action plan and divide the ownership of implementing your new strategy.