- File Size: 6670 KB
- Print Length: 306 pages
- Publisher: XML Press; 1 edition (January 15, 2013)
- Publication Date: April 3, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00C7CC4IK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$24.95|
|Print List Price:||$39.95|
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Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Considering the $40 price point, I wish the authors would have gone into detail in a few more places instead of using phrases like, "simplified for the sake of space" or "that's not the point of this book". I know it wasn't their intention, but it felt sort of like a cop out to briefly introduce important concepts and then quickly abandon them. I didn't realize "space limitations" were a consideration when creating a book. I would have loved to get a deeper understanding of the parallels between CS work and consulting work.
Despite these minor quibbles, I enjoyed it. I liked the technical expertise they brought to the table, and that they didn’t feel compelled to dumb it down. I felt like this book was more serious and "weightier" than Halverson's "Content Strategy for the Web" and McGrane's "Content Strategy for Mobile", although I enjoyed both of those as well.
I’d recommend this text alongside Wachter-Boettcher's "Content Everywhere", Jones's "Clout", Bloomstein's "Content Strategy at Work", and Redish's "Letting Go of the Words". Along with the works of Halverson and McGrane, each of these books is helping to define and shape the field of CS. You can add “Content Strategy” to the list.
"This work is what's missing amongst all the content strategy material that's out there. It completely answers the question "why content strategy" and expertly positions its business value for every single decision maker. If you have a vested interest in improving content, brand and product performance, this book is a must."
The book excels in providing a solid definition for content strategy. It turns then to show how it's done vis-a-vis the business value it provides. The work draws from business cases and case studies, and illustrates how content strategy can help organizations reach their business objectives and goals through optimizing content processes and building better content experiences.
It touches on all aspects of content strategy, from content experience to content lifecycles and governance. It provides a clear and solid case for the ROI of content strategy against several different types of metrics and organizational goals, and it offers insight on how to sell content strategy into management teams that may be reticent to embrace it.
This isn't a Dummies book. It assumes that you already know about things like CRM and branding. It doesn't tell you how to create good content. It doesn't lead you by the hand through the process of developing a content strategy. (It couldn't: as the preface explains, content strategies are highly situational.)
It does give you everything you need to make the business case for a content strategy. It describes the business benefits and the characteristics of an effective content strategy, using numerous case studies and examples distilled from the authors' extensive experience. It maintains its focus (no small feat when you have such rich subject matter and such knowledgeable authors): not belaboring basic ideas and not wandering into the weeds of detail. It even offers an extensive glossary to bring you up to speed on terminology.
While you'll take away a lot, however, reading Content Strategy will require you to invest some serious time and thought. That's understandable: content strategy is a complex topic.
Still, the book would be enhanced by a substantive edit. The outline is inconsistent -- for example, the B2C and B2B case studies in chapters 13 and 14 have completely different sets of headings. Some ideas are covered more than once -- like "what we mean by content" on page 4 and then again on page 36. (To the authors' credit, they never contradict themselves.) I'd like to see more evaluative statements -- for example, in chapter 19 where different municipal websites are shown but not really critiqued ("this worked because..." or "this technique is recommended when...").
The writing is sometimes opaque. Again, the subject matter is complex. But I'd like to see stronger verbs and fewer instances of have, help, and the various forms of to be. I'd like to see crisper, less complex sentences. I did see a few copyediting mistakes -- not enough to disrupt my reading, but enough to notice.
The book ends with a list of basics to help you launch your own content strategy. The advice in the list is great, and it builds on the principles laid out in the book. Still, the list is daunting: ten recommendations, all presented as having equal weight. Could the ten be distilled to, say, three or four top-shelf recommendations, with the rest secondary? Or could the ten be grouped somehow, so as not to leave the impression that content strategy is great for business but only slightly less complicated than brain surgery?
All in all, though, the book's flaws are decisively outweighed by its strengths. Regardless of your experience level, you'll learn a lot about content strategy. You'll find advice that's relevant, realistic, and business-savvy.
Creating a good content strategy is hard work, but it's worth the effort. Reading Content Strategy might seem like hard work, but it's worth the effort too.
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