Zen and the art of content strategy

Here’s why you’re not seeing results even after writing a bunch of content and pushing it out via your social channels: just writing content isn’t enough. You need a strategy.

A content strategy lines up the content you produce (or will create) with both the business goals you’re aiming for and the needs of your audience. It’s a tough balance, but it’s critical for success.

I find that Robert Pirsig’s 1974 novel “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” offers some insight into the problem of creating and delivering quality content. For Pirsig, quality isn’t an attribute that can be applied; it’s the event at which a subject becomes aware of an object. In our case, it is the moment when a reader discovers a piece of information that enlightens her current situation and creates awareness of the publisher as a worthy source. In a word: context.

For content creators, the concept of quality as context has new relevance in an era of increasingly conversational search tools and on-demand information via mobile devices. In a saturated media landscape, straight sales pitches are dismissed, but the same tools that offer a constant stream of data can also provide great opportunity for relationship building. More than ever, delivering the right information to the right person at the right time requires forethought and planning.

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