File Size: 2925 KB
Print Length: 154 pages
Publisher: XML Press; 1 edition (October 4, 2014)
Publication Date: October 3, 2014
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
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As a content strategist for almost a decade, I wasn't sure I would find anything I didn't know in Land's text. However, I was happy to find that she takes a seemingly "easy" foundational task in content strategy and, to put it simply, kick the stuffing out of it.This is THE book on how to collect and analyze digital content for any kind of mobile, tablet, or web project where the best (and sometimes only) way to achieve success is to capture, understand, and parse every single page or component of content.From concept to process to completeness, Land addresses it and explains how to squeeze statistics as well as useful insights from your content in a clear, clean, straightforward manner that anyone can pick up and start using.If you're new to content strategy, content management you must read this book right now. If you've been a content strategist for a while, you can read it this weekend.
Would you like to understand how to develop a strategy for performance-driven content? Or content planning informed by continual analysis of content performance? You cannot utilize such an approach without annual or ongoingl content audits and analysis. And thanks to Paula Land, the content strategy bookshelf just got a great new addition: Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook.Content audits and inventories are critical parts of a content strategy project and often not adequately planned for or resourced. Also, people often see an inventory or audit as a one-time project that occurs prior to a major digital experience overhaul (design of a new website). But organizations can and should look at audits as something to build into their content planning and development processes. Without knowing the assets you have to work with (or continually assessing how well that content performs), and without grounding your project in an understanding of your users and your business goals, you start at a disadvantage.This handbook lays out, step by step, how to get started with planning and scoping an inventory and audit, including how to establish goals and set the business context, then presents the various tactics you can apply to audit content across all your publication channels. The book also discusses how to extract the insights that inform your ultimate strategy and how to present the results to stakeholders. There is even a section of sample deliverables and a list of additional resources. All in all, a lot of information packed into this small, easy-to-digest handbook. I only recommend books that I feel are value-add. This book is definitely value-add.
The author did not include the term “A Handbook” in the title lightly. This is a reference to have in your hand at all times, whether you are consulting or working with content. As a practicing content strategist, I found that there are still refreshing takes on a fundamental task in the practice. The content audit lays the crucial groundwork for all planning and strategy.You can’t work towards a better experience if you can’t gauge what you already have, and how it performs across all channels. You can’t find where you need to fill gaps if you have nothing to feed your personas and journeys. Paula Land has made the case of the content audit, and that any content strategy you build without one will be proven to be anti-strategy.Very rarely do seasoned veterans get the chance to share example deliverables, tactics and insights, and this strikes the right balance. But it’s far beyond the deliverables - this book is about the full content lifecycle, and what we need to acknowledge to be sure we govern content long-term, no matter where we are in the process.It should inspire those new to content, and assure the old pros that there are still some new tricks to put in their arsenal.
The many available resources on content strategy define and explain the subject in varied ways. They describe the artifacts that we use, but they rarely give concrete examples.Paula Land's "Content Inventories and Audits" is different. Her book focuses on how an inventory and an audit complement each other. It also emphasizes inventories and audits as ongoing activities that drive your content strategy and enable you to monitor how well your content is serving your audience.Best of all, the appendix includes templates for all of the artifacts you need to move from discovery to maintenance and governance. I highly recommend this great book.
If you are new to conducting content inventories, this book is a comprehensive guide through the necessary steps. I was quite impressed with each chapter-level outline, how thorough each topic was addressed and the consistent high quality of knowledge that was transferred across the book. If you are a tech pubs type of content strategist rather than a marketing content strategist, this book will give you an additional perspective with lots of valuable nuggets of information. I read the entire book, front to back. It’s a great resource.
Teams often confuse a content inventory and a content audit. This confusion causes expensive scoping errors and a mismatch of deliverable expectations. Worse, in thinking the two are the same, your team misses out on one of the most important steps in a web site project — a step that gives you an unparalleled depth of information you need to successfully complete your project.Paula Ladenburg Land's book helps demystify content audits and provides a thorough, but clear and easy-to-follow, guide from planning the project to analysis and even through governance and ongoing audit steps. Sample deliverables, check lists and and a stakeholder interview guide along with tips on presenting the audit findings make this book an invaluable resource for any team working on content strategy. Don't put it on the shelf. Keep it next to your computer to reference while you work.
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