For any organization, your content stands as a perpetual work in progress. Even if your site communicates all the information your user base needs, you have to ensure it remains current and aligned with who you are. And if your content needs improvement, it’s a daunting challenge because the work is so complex it often feels like climbing a mountain
Along with understanding what your organization needs to say with its content, you also need to articulate the audience you’re addressing and what you want them to learn. Then, you have to consider your organization’s voice and tone. Do you want to sound playful? Academic? Maybe some combination of both?
With so many details to manage, it’s no wonder organizations end up publishing content simply because someone on the team has time to write and post it. Even as you recognize inconsistent or outdated content, it’s difficult to take the first step toward improvements
For all these reasons (and more), we’re excited to launch the Content Strategy Quiz.
Why you need to monitor your content strategy
Managing your organization’s content takes a lot of work. Along with requiring an advanced strategy, you need to establish a plan for content creation and approval. Everything your organization communicates should be delivered with intention and according to a larger content plan
More than a marketing or communications initiative, your content strategy is a shared responsibility. Vital details such as a core strategy statement, editorial workflow, and publication schedule demand time, energy, and commitment from across your organization
And if your teams lack the necessary bandwidth, you can easily struggle to decide where to begin developing a strategic approach to your content. Ultimately, it’s impossible to establish and implement a reinvented content strategy overnight
But you can identify clear and attainable steps toward creating dramatic improvement
Introducing the content maturity assessment
At Four Kitchens, we consider ourselves a content-forward agency. We created a short, interactive quiz that’s drawn from a questionnaire we’ve long used with clients to assess their content maturity
“Maturity” is not our favorite word to describe what this assessment measures. It’s not as if any organization can level up and “finish” its approach to content. Your organization’s content is a living, breathing thing that can change with your calendar, your personnel, or your strategic direction. Think of this quiz like going to the doctor for a checkup about your organization’s content strategy, content production, and its overall editorial process
We see this quiz as a way to pull the curtain back on how we assess our clients’ content. Plus, in keeping with our open-source values, we want to share knowledge in the communities where we operate. The assessment is based on our process, but we gave it its own visual identity
After taking this quiz, you will be able to:
- Diagnose your organization’s pain points around content production and curation
- Create a plan to address those issues with meaningful, incremental improvements
How the content strategy quiz works
The quiz is built on questions related to your organization’s approach to content strategy, content production, and editorial workflow
For example: Do you have a style guide? How many contributors do you have in your organization? Do you have a review schedule for your existing content to evaluate whether it should still be on your site?
These details all determine how organized, optimized, and socialized your content strategy is across your organization. The quiz assigns point values to each answer and assesses where your organization stands according to the following five-point scale:
- Ad-hoc: Everyone is doing their own thing and hoping for the best.
- Emerging: We’re making progress toward changing our content culture for the better.
- Organized and repeatable: The most common level for organizations that are seeing results.
- Managed and sustainable: We’re building a content-first culture with leadership support.
- Optimized and strategic: Take a moment to celebrate, but content strategy never stops.
No matter how your organization scores, this assessment isn’t a report card. It provides a way to review your organization’s content framework and explore actionable next steps
For example, if your organization is at the Ad-hoc level, you need to align your organization’s approach to content. Creating a core strategy statement, along with real content standards and definitions of success for anything you publish, will make a big difference in where your organization stands. Then, after reaching a new level, you can focus on moving forward.
Content strategy is a living, breathing thing
Even if your organization scores lower than expected on this assessment, you shouldn’t view any results as a failing grade. Fundamentally, you should view the results of this quiz as offering more guidance than judgment
As your organization progresses, a strong content strategy allows you to make more informed decisions and understand if your initiatives are aligned with your goals. But gaining these insights requires more than website analytics. You also have to talk to your users through interviews or focus groups to understand how well your organization is communicating
Ultimately, content is always a work in progress — and that work is difficult. For all the times we have administered this quiz, no one has scored a five. No matter where your organization lands, a strong strategy is key to connecting with the audience you serve. Better still, it provides a way to reduce the mountain your teams need to climb with clear editorial guidelines and processes that allow your organization to perform at a higher level.
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