What, why and how
Content Strategy Melbourne
21 January 2015
I need some words
for my website.
OK, what kind of
I don’t know.
I think you
should change this
label on your
to check with the
I quickly discovered:
• There was no real plan for content in most
• Content was expected to ﬁt design, not the
other way around
• Content people weren’t regarded as important
But before the big bang…there
was the move from static sites to
content management systems
Beneﬁts of CMS
• Quicker and easier content updates
• Distributed authorship
• Integration with other software
• Database-driven approach lets you add
structure to content, which gives us
superpowers (if we choose to accept them)
What is structured content?
(Insert event details
Date / time
How to book
What can we do with this
Automatically add it to a calendar
Decide we don’t like the calendar and replace it with an
Automatically archive it when it’s ﬁnished
Display or link to a map of the location
Lay out the information diﬀerently on desktop vs mobile
Oﬀer a feed of our events to another website
Can I do all this in my CMS?
Probably…but you may
need to research the
Stuck? Talk to a developer!
So what is a content model?
A content model speciﬁes the structure of content
in your CMS.
It includes the content types that will be available,
and the ﬁelds (“chunks”) that they consist of.
(Every content type will have its own set of ﬁelds.)
Content models range from very simple to very
Content model vs
• The content model is about how content is
stored in the CMS database.
• The presentation model is about how that
content is presented to website users.
(Sitemaps, wireframes, design mockups etc.)
So let’s get started with some
The content types you need depend on what
content you have (your content ecosystem),
and what you want it to do.
Some common content types
• Blog post
• Case study
• Staﬀ proﬁle
• Member proﬁle
• And yes, “Standard page”
A content type may correspond to a page type, but they
are not the same thing.
(Content model vs. presentation model)
Blog post page
Blog index page
is part of
Once you’ve got your content
types, start thinking about the
ﬁelds you need for each of them.
A ﬁeld can represent:
• A standard component (or “chunk”) of the
content (text, image, audio, video), or
• An attribute of the content (e.g. categories/
tags, metadata), or
• A relationship with another piece of content
How much granularity?
Think about what you want to do
(or might want to do) with your
How much granularity?
But don’t be too constained by the present:
sometimes things are worth doing even if
they’re not put to use immediately.
LA Times journalists were geocoding articles
for years before they had a use for it
To document: use a spreadsheet!
Once you’ve drafted your content model,
test it with real content and real
Revise and revise again.