Is your content strategy sustainable?

When you built your content strategy, did you make it sustainable? Sustainability is an element of content strategy that few people discuss in blunt terms. Yet it is one issue with which companies tend to struggle.

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What is ‘sustainable’? Define it

We can define the word ‘sustainability’ here simply as the ability to sustain your content efforts.

The bigger picture has a few different threads. These are the ability to sustain your efforts in relation to your:

  • customers
  • products
  • team
  • financial commitment
  • internal model.

The right approach is one that is long-​term

In this regard, your content strategy needs not to be something short-​lived, but supportive of all of your efforts regardless of what happens.

Very often, competing priorities and changing revenue impacts on content delivery, for example. If this is happening to you, then it’s a good indication that your strategy is not sustainable and needs some thought.

Focus on the quality and calibre of what you do

Trends come and go, formats come and go. But they come and go with such gusto that it is easy to get caught up and swept along. If you pick up a trend, you need to be able to explain, and explain clearly, why you’ve gone down that road and how it plays to your long-​term goals.

In terms of continuous content delivery, it’s better to play to your strengths. Focus on maintaining and gradually improving your standards. And make sure you find a way to measure that improvement.

For example, if your standard is ease of use by your average Joe, then perhaps your measure needs to include the semi-​structured data available in customer emails.

The sustainability of your content strategy is much like any other strategy

This means that lines of authority need to be distributed. Give your organisation the ability to retain its strength even if the whole structure is given a good shake or is exposed to risk.

Integrate the relationships important to your content strategy in a more networked way: Get the entire company involved.

This will help you to bring more minds to your projects. It will give your strategy the ability to withstand staff departures, competing priorities, company restructures, and changes to budget.

Growing fast, thoughtlessly, will result in failure

Like all types of growth, if things grow too quickly they become unstable and they will fail. This is a truism in business, and a truism in nature. It is also true where content is concerned.

If you do too much, too fast, and you don’t underpin it, then your efforts will come crashing down on your head.

To avoid this risk, grow from a considered and knowledgeable perspective. Make sure that any one relationship, workflow path, or arm involved is not too vulnerable. Stable growth can only occur when the foundation is strong.

Consider stewardship over agility

Being agile, able to adapt to the market and to be on trend, is sexy. But the larger your business gets, the harder it becomes to be agile. It gets less sexy when you can’t sustain your efforts. Abortive attempts at things can have negative brand impact, for example.

When you consider your purpose, think about whether being agile is a deal-​breaker for you. Maybe it is better to be the steward of an effective strategy, one that is continuously evolving and improving, than it is to be agile.

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