About the intersection of content strategy and product management

“Words are just as much a part of a good user experience as effortless interactions and beautiful visuals”.

Ustwo’s Copy Guide introduction

“Some people associate Content Strategy closely with Content Marketing and SEO, some people associate it with Information Architecture, and others see it as language, tone of voice, style and template design. All of those assumptions are correct.

It can be confusing because Content Strategists often have their fingers in many of the pies […] Their main mission is to make sure that every digital experience they work on has a sustainable future.”
Ellen de Vries from Clearleft on “How do content strategists work?

Amen to that. And as it turns out, Product Managers also have their fingers in many of the pies.

Here’s where they meet.

Listening

Research, detective work and user testing.
In the early stages of any project, a healthy amount of market research and audience knowledge is an absolute pre-requisite.
Getting aligned on a purpose and a message helps achieve greater strategic clarity.
Content Strategists and Product Managers typically act as advocates for regular user testing to check usability and collect qualitative feedback.

User research can come in particularly handy to map out audiences and wording associated to the product. A crucial step in any project’s lifecycle is to share these insights which help confirm or infirm intuition and advance with a clear view.

Translating

Diverse teams, same goal.
Product Managers interact daily with software engineers, strategists and designers. For that, they need to be able to adapt their language to each specialty, understand and offer context on the advancement of projects.
Their role is also to be open to discussion and approachable for each expertise to give feedback, signal potential risks/dead-ends and come up with alternative solutions.
Byegone are the days of vertical teams and trickle-down decisions. Phew!

A Content Strategist’s responsibility is to translate technical language into a democratic version destined to a wide audience.
They will have made sure that there is the appropriate amount of storytelling and editorialisation to boost adoption and understanding.
They will also have spent time with their clients and their teams to make sure everyone is aligned on the purpose and the message.

An iterative process

You’d be surprised how counter-intuitive this still seems to some teams.
Trial and error goes by much more smoothly when you’re working on short-term projects and making sure their lifespan can exceed two weeks. Making sure people like the concept, the design, the way the product works.
And internally, this allows breathing time to identify gaps and/or opportunities.

More about Content Strategy (again, largely from this article):


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