Content strategy is a little compound noun that causes big-time confusion. Like many things this century, the fields of technology and marketing continue to entangle themselves.
Content Marketing Institute outlines two types of content strategists. The author describes “front-end” content strategists—those more focused on marketing goals, the customer facing experience and content messaging. And then “back-end” content strategists, those more focused on content structure, scalability and platform.
I respect these categories as an organizing principle to help us understand the wide range of skills, methodologies and activities required for organizations to capitalize on the power of content.
However, I don’t think these types of content strategists should be seen as a dichotomy of roles. They’re intimately connected and ultimately working toward the same goal: bringing clarity to information, delivering value to users and creating cognitive ease.
The results of front-end content strategy activities are typically perceived through the quality and relevance of the content. The results of back-end content strategy activities often aren’t seen but are felt through one’s experience finding and consuming the content.
Most importantly, front- and back-end content strategy are highly dependent upon one another. Rarely can they be pulled apart. I think content strategists should possess a spectrum of these skills, with an eye toward identifying front- and back-end connection points depending on the problem they’re trying to solve.
Check out this content strategy spectrum to learn more about the activities and skills required to solve tough content problems.