The article “The discipline of content strategy” made really good points about the need for at least one dedicated content strategist to facility producing quality content for our users. I can’t argue with the logic or the concept behind the logic, and I completely understand how it is necessary to create an ideal web product. Here is where I am finding my disconnect though. On the small scale, or individual web developer level, your clients are already used to a ballpark dollar amount, and a ballpark cost for the project.
So after you have added the additional time and money onto the estimate for the next project that you bid for them, and you do you best to sell them on the benefits of good content strategy, focusing on telling them it will improve their SEO, more hits, more return traffic, and eventually a better ROI, you are more often then not still left with a client that will not cough up that extra money. At that point your options are to still build a sub-par product, lower your profits by doing it anyways (if you have time in the production cycle) or let your client go find someone who will do the work at the price you’ve been charging them for the work you used to produce.
Clients don’t like large sudden changes, but over time it is possible to slowly add, or remove, steps and costs in the production process. If every time I produce something for them I add and explain one more small facet of content strategy or findability to them they are much more likely to be agreeable. “It’s only a little more time, and a little more money, and here are some of the benefits”. That works much more smoothly. So this leads me to the question, can someone put the different facets of content strategy in order of importance? Now I understand that these aspects of content strategy depend on the others to function at their full potential, but at least these projects would be making progress in the right direction. This would also allow you to go back to projects that used only some facets of content strategy and include more as the client becomes aware of and sees the uses in them.