Why content is queen

There are quite a few misconceptions about how best to use content for your brand. It can be a winning formula to create more brand awareness if used with the right strategy and an organization that is in sync with producing it. Content strategy consultant Meghan Casey has clear ideas on how to help organizations reach their true content potential.

Meghan Casey
Leadership is critical to your content success. If you don’t have people who care about good content, it is not going to happen.Meghan Casey

What is it exactly you do as a content strategy consultant?

As a content strategy consultant I help my clients to find out what content they need to produce and why. Why is that content necessary? Once we know what that is, we can structure it, support the people who create it and fit the content with the right strategy. It really is about making the internet better from a content perspective.

Content is a broad term often mistreated/misused on many occasions by many people. What is content in your opinion?

I tend to focus more on websites, like the body copy on the site or the navigation labels. I do not produce video’s or infographics, so I always make sure we are applying the same strategy to video content, infographics, illustrations and other content stuff as to the words we write.

What are the pillars of a successful strategy?

One of the things I always do is write a guiding mission statement for the content and that statement really should cover three things. One, what are the business goals we are trying to achieve? Two, who are the people we are trying to reach in aid of achieving those business goals? And three, what is the content those people need and why? When you have those three things in place you can really start to put some guardrails around those things. You will be able to say no to things that might not fit.

Can you give an example?

Well, you always need to ask yourself how it is going to help your business. The bottom line here is: how is it going to help our users and is it actually content that they are going to want and need from us.

Who are your clients mostly?

I have clients everywhere, from a smaller school in Texas to a pretty large company that provides smart screens for classrooms to Elsevier. But also data insights and publishing companies.

Let’s focus on the larger companies, what are the challenges you face when dealing with big corporations? What do they need to do right?

It is really hard to do content right on a large scale, so governance becomes really important. That’s one of the things I have really been trying to work more on. I develop what I call a content playbook to help them set the strategy and make smart decisions about what content to focus on when having this strategy. I create the necessary framework so people can actually create great content and I help them with tools to make the content really well.

What are the pitfalls?

Content problems are often not about the people or the skills, but revolve around the strategy. It is really important that people are aligned on the strategy.

How do you align people around a strategy in a big corporation?

Good question. I am actually thinking about writing a book on this topic, because I think there is so much we could do there. One of the most important things is to focus less on the past. So if you want to increase sales, let’s not look at the past and say you have done it all wrong before. Nobody really wants to hear that and people will shut down once they hear that.

What I do when I start is try to get everybody’s perspective and specifically ask the client I am working with that I need to talk to anybody she thinks might derail the process for whatever reason. I want to talk to the objectors, because if we don’t talk to them now, they will pop up later. We don’t want them to get hurt or have the feeling we have moved on without them. After having talked to these individuals, I will hold an alignment workshop where everybody gets to pour out what they think is the most important audience and what they are trying to achieve for the business. This way we can try to focus and see what content we need to create for the website and for the social channels, which can of course be completely different. This helps everyone understand where they fit in and what their role is exactly.

So after that all noses will point in the right direction?

Alignment does not always mean agreement. You still may have people who think the focus should be on their product. Or their part of the website is most important. There can be alignment to move forward with the strategy that people came together to produce.

So strategy is the absolute key to be successful?

Yes, strategy and stakeholder alignment. I find in most cases that doing fewer things really well with a sound strategy is going to be much more effective than doing a lot of things that may or may not contribute to your users understanding your product or service.

Quality over quantity?

Yes, definitely. I often feel content strategy, UX, design and even SEO is used more like a vanity measures matrix. Do people like the way it looks? Great. You can like the way something looks, but it can be absolutely not relevant.

Can you give an example?

Time on page from a content perspective on some pages can be great, but on some pages that might mean they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Using the right SEO, you can get a lot of traffic to the site but no conversion. You have to balance it. Engagement is not your goal, your goal is your goal.

But how do you stay away from vanity?

The best thing you can do, which is not always easy, is actually measure whether that content could or did influence a key performance indicator. Sometimes you can’t do that, which means you have to talk to people. There is not always a budget for it, but actually having conversations about specific content with customers gives you worthwhile insights on how your content will perform in the wild.

What are the pitfalls when it comes to creating content?

There are many, but one of the pitfalls I believe is that you have people who are asked to create content, but it is not actually part of their job. It might fall to the end of the list which means it does not get the proper attention it needs.

So start a content department to tackle this?

That can be an option, but you can also make sure creating content is part of people’s job description. Make sure that people feel confident when creating content, so make sure you have a content playbook that outlines the strategy and the guidelines for writing about that specific brand. Those things empower people and set them up for success.

Often people are terrified of failing or not doing a good job, but when you empower people and set them up with everything they need to do a great job, you are going to have better content. Leadership is critical to this success. If you don’t have people who care about and understand enough, or won’t champion or advocate for good content, it is not going to happen.

How do you change this mindset?

What you really need is someone who can have frank conversations with the senior leadership, because it needs to start there. It needs to be at the c-suite level to be really effective.

What do companies need to stop straight away?

They need to stop wasting time on things that just don’t make sense. It is not about creating content to just have your name out there. It is not about creating content to have traffic to your website, because all traffic is not necessarily good traffic. If there are things that you know are not going to have a huge business impact, then you can just stop doing it. If you have a content marketing strategy where you are producing just a bunch of content and there is no real strategy behind it, you can also just stop doing it. Measure what you have done and see if there have been some actual impacts and then proceed from there with a strategy to create better of the right things.


If you are working on a website redesign and content has not been a big part of your process, hire somebody amazing and have them help you get a more strategic focus into the project and try to make it better than you found it.

It sounds pretty easy to get it right. Why do so many corporations get it wrong?

A lot of it is leadership and a lot of it is education. We need to find the champions in the organizations and bring them along and ask them to advocate for content. Demonstrating towards leadership how good content can contribute to the bottom line.

And good content gives a positive brand experience.

Exactly. And to get that right organizations need to focus on their people and good governance. Plus they need to be willing to learn from failure.

We've had the pleasure to collaborate with Meghan for the new platform. Edenspiekermann was responsible for the redevelopment and transformation of, while Meghan was responsible for the content strategy of the platform.