I love having job titles that didn’t exist ten years ago. It means that I am growing with the shape of the landscape, rather than trying to cram myself into familiar roles.
Four years ago, when I was offered a job with the title Web Content Curator I didn’t really know what that was supposed to mean, but I could immediately see why it was important. We are swimming (if not drowning) in content. The internet has long since moved away from static pages that connect to other static pages. It is alive with new content, dynamically interwoven and flowing from one site to the next, galloping through Twitter and climbing the ladder of Reddit. It’s as ephemeral as it is evergreen. And most of it is terrible.
The fundamental purpose of the Content Strategist is to put good content first. SEO is becoming less important than quality of content if you want people to engage with you. Click bait gets clicks, but unless you’re running a click-based model for ad revenue… Who cares about clicks?
What we should care about is conversation. Learning from each other. Building camaraderie, loyalty, and trust. Content strategy for a business is about turning curious readers into brand advocates. Content strategy is about connecting people with the things they already care about, not trying to convince them or coerce them.
Content can mean a lot of different things. Blog posts, white papers, images, videos, infographics, guest articles, social media posts, interviews… The trick is to find the right tools for connecting the people who care about what you do with content that will be valuable to them, and then finding the right content producers to make that connection.
But content strategy goes beyond marketing. In technology, we also need to understand content filtering and delivery systems. We need to create curatorial and editorial tools to deliver the right content in the right way. We need content taxonomies and hierarchies. We need to understand the structure of content and make it searchable.
I love good content. I love technology. As a humanities major with a passion for innovation, I have forged my own path and to some extent invented roles that let me engage with people, content, and technology in new ways.