As our oldest, Tasha, was trying to explain Content Strategy to me, I walked away with a new view and interest in what purposes content can serve – this is what I came up with, but as the gurus of content from my past and present lives, I’m seeking your input, guidance or redirection to books, sites, blog posts, talks, … to further facilitate this understanding and terminology that presumably exists out there somewhere.

Content Strategy, as I now am beginning to see it, revolves around at least eight types or concepts of content in the purposes they serve as part of a user experience.

Functional (or Navigational?) – enables use and navigation of the site – helps guide the user to the functions and information they seek. There is no expectation or need for the user to retain any of this type of content.

Facilitative (or Connective ?) – facilitates the user making connections to other people – either employees (consultants, teachers, advisors, coaches, sales, support, …) or other users in various roles (peers, their students or customers, third party consultants, teachers, advisors, coaches, …).
There is no expectation or need for the user to retain any of this type of content.

Informative (or Educational?) – provides the user with information they wish to know / educates the user by presenting information they wish or need to know. This is typically intended to be “sticky content” where the user wishes to retain some or all of the information presented.

Branding – to help establish and further brand, business, service entity recognition and association to help grow the audience, customer, partner base.

Marketing – to attract and bring into the site and the business prospective users, clients, customers, partners, etc

Entertaining – while I can see the value of including some engaging entertainment in the above content types, entertainment is not their sole purpose. I could see that some content may serve no other purpose than to entertain the user.

Retentative (ok I guess that’s not really a word?) – All of the above content types/purposes can, if done effectively, also help facilitate having users find value in the site such that they wish to spend time on the site, return to the sight, refer the site to others.

User Generated – If the site also facilitates user engagement in generating content, it can enable users of various roles to generate content of their own that contributes to the value of the site in one or more of the above purposes (e.g. it may facilitate connections between users of different roles teachers/students, coaches/clients, service providers/customers, …) and may be reviewed by site editors (that could be employees or other users). It could also include user stories about their experience with products and services and how it helped them…