Content compass

Core strategy statements and messaging frameworks

Map compass

A content compass is made up of a core strategy statement, and a messaging framework.

Core strategy statement

The core strategy statement helps us provide the right content to the right people at the right time, and for the right reasons.

  1. Business goals. What are we trying to achieve with our content?

  2. Content. What content do we need to provide?

  3. Audience. Who is the content for?

  4. User needs. Why are users looking for this content from us?

An example strategy statement might be:

To help us better sell our courses {business goal}, we will provide clear information about how we help people develop a career {content} to prospective undergraduate students {audience} so they can very quickly see how they can develop their future {user needs}.

The strategy statement can be used to help build a list of content ideas. Some of these ideas may not be workable, but the strategy statement will at least have given the process some focus.

As an example we might consider the following for our content:

  • Repurpose our careers section. Yes.
  • Show a timeline of how we can get a student to a particular career goal. Yes.
  • Provide videos of successful alumni and how they built their careers. No.
  • Improve current student profiles. Yes.
  • Get current students to start blogging about their studies. No.
  • Provide an interactive course chooser tool. No.

Messaging framework

A messaging framework clarifies what you want your audience to know and believe about you, and tries to prove to them that this message is true.

If a piece of content doesn’t fit in the framework, it doesn’t belong or needs to be revised.

First impression
When a user first lands on the site, we want them to feel <xxx>.

Value statement
After spending a few minutes on our site, users should feel <xxx> because they understand we provide <xxx>.

Our content demonstrates that we provide just what our users need because <xxx>.

An example of a messaging framework from a user's perspective
An example of a messaging framework from a user’s perspective


The ideas in this post are a summary of the excellent A List Apart post Create a Content Compass by Meghan Casey.

Featured image by Mike Petrucci – (14) Kit – Map Compass –

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