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Web Content Development: Evaluation of All of the Touchpoints
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Quite often the key to any marketing activity stems from content.  Consider the idea of advertising through whatever channel you so choose.  Regardless of the channel at the heart of that advertising is a message a.k.a. content.  When we talk about digital marketing in the online environment, content becomes all that more important.  It is true that better web content can mean better business.  This is true for both B2B and B2C websites.  You live and die by the content, and type of content that you feature on your site.

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when writing content for the Web.  One of these things to keep in mind when preparing your content development strategy is to factor in all of the touchpoints that your content typically goes through.  While this can vary depending on the size of your business, there are numerous touchpoints that your content passes through from start to publish.  We have summarized some of the content touchpoints that your content typically goes through on a regular basis.

Content Touchpoints

Content creation and development is a shared responsibility with many people touching the content at one point.  Here are some of the common touchpoints in the Web content development process:
  1. Content Requester - this is the person or entity that requires or "requests" the content to be created.  this could be anyone from marketing to your actual client or customer.  The process typically starts here.

  2. Content Owner - similar to the requester and in fact sometimes the two are one in the same, there is a content owner who is responsible for envisioning what the content needs may be.

  3. Content Strategist -  those responsible for determining how content will be leverage on your web properties.

  4. Content Provider - those resources that have access to historical content or pending content that can be leveraged.

  5. Content Creator/Writer -those resources that can actually create and write the content.  These resources may be internal copywriters or external, outsourced resources.

  6. Content Editor - the reviewer and editor is quite often the same person, but this is not the case for all organizations.

  7. Content Reviewer - the person or persons that perform the peer review of the content

  8. Content Publisher - the publishing role can fall on various people.  It may include cross departmental teams that include IT and your Web Dev teams.  Sometimes, it may be your SEO team.  At the end of the day, the content that you create for the Web needs to "go live", it is the publisher that makes this happen.

  9. Marketing - your marketing team usually has a language of their own, but they still play a key role in the contribution of the content that you feature on your web site.  The one thing to remember is to remind marketing that the target audience quite often speaks a different language that the marketing jargon that graces your sales and marketing offices.

  10. I.T. - the technical team is quite often the folks who ultimately place the content on the Web for your organization.  Whether it is through a content management system (CMS) or manually uploading an HTML page, the IT team play a key role in the content development process.

  11. Web Usability Team - it never ceases to amaze me about just how much control the web team can have with regards to what content can be placed and where it can be placed.  Usability testing is a great thing, but there is a point where they can be extremely restricting in what content should or is actually featured on the site.

  12. SEO Team - creating content can sometimes be completed with your SEO team, but if it is not, you will want to ensure that your SEO team has the opportunity to optimize your content to help you improve visibility for relevant and appropriate key phrases.

  13. Analytics Team - most content that gets added to the website requires some sort of analytics coding to be added.  Asa result even your analytics team touches the content at some point.

  14. Legal - ah yes legal.  We all love legal don't we?  While it is true that Legal can hold things up, they have a job to do and a very important job to do.  Ultimately they will dictate what can or cannot be said on your website.

  15. Management - yes even management can be a touchpoint when it comes to the Web content that you add to your web properties.  With content taking many forms and shapes such as blog content, press releases, video and even tweets, everyone from the CEO to regional managers are touchpoints for content that gets published on the Web.

As you can see, without even trying, we have come up with fifteen typical content touchpoints when it comes to Web content development.  Each play a key role and while some of these roles can be combined or shared, you see the importance of ensuring that you have a central Web editor to ensure that the content you publish is accurate, reflective and relevant to the intended audience.  Content development is not an easy thing to accomplish, an effective process needs to be established.  Defining the roles at each touchpoint can make the process more efficient and worthwhile.  Consider mapping out your touchpoints.  Think about all the people that touch a piece of content from creation to publishing.  I bet that you'll be surprised about just how many touchpoints there are. 

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010  
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