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Six Steps for Building a Government Content Strategy

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Do you work in a large government agency and wonder if your content is effective? Are you struggling to coordinate content across various levels of the organization? If so, a content strategy may be the right tool for you. This presentation covers the basics of building a content strategy and provides resources for additional information.

Adapted from an earlier cross-industry version, this edition was specifically created for government agencies. The steps are divided into work to be completed by the global brand (leadership level), by the subunits (topic-specific groups), or through a collaborative effort between both groups.

For more from Digital Edge Communications, visit our website: www.digitaledgecommunications.us

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Six Steps for Building a Government Content Strategy

  1. 1. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com START  HERE Six  Steps  to  Building  a     Content  Strategy   presented  by:   Erin  Edgerton  Norvell   Government  Edi;on  
  2. 2. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Why  Do  Government  Agencies   Need  a  Content  Strategy? Today’s  consumers  are  moving  to   mul;-­‐device/omnichannel   approach  to  finding  and  ac;ng  on   digital  content.     To  meet  the  expecta;ons  of   today’s  ci;zens,  government   agencies  need  a  strategic,   coordinated,  and  user-­‐centered   approach  to  developing,   delivering,  and  evalua;ng  their   content  offerings.     www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us  
  3. 3. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com What  Makes  a     Content  Strategy  EffecDve? •  Defines  how  you’re  going  to   use  content  to  meet  your   business’  goals  and  audiences’   needs   •  Guides  decisions  about   content  through  its  complete   lifecycle  (discovery  to  dele;on)   •  Sets  benchmarks  against  which   to  measure  the  success  of  your   content   crea;on   governance   delivery   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us  Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)  
  4. 4. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Your  Content’s  Maturity  Determines   the  Focus  of  Your  Strategy PHASE  01:  PILOTING   If  you’re  in  a  trial  period  of   crea;ng  new  content  or  tes;ng   new  communica;on  channels,   your  strategy  should  help  you   define  your  target  audiences  and   align  content  crea;on  with  their   needs.     PHASE  04:  THRIVING   If  you’re  using  your  evalua;on   data  to  inform  program   enhancements  and  adap;ng   content  to  rapidly  respond  to   emerging  issues,  your  strategy   should  help  you  determine   where  to  focus  resources  for   expansion  and  innova;on   ac;vi;es.     PHASE  02:  SCALING   If  you’re  expanding  your  pilot  phase   to  ongoing  ac;vi;es  or  addi;onal   channels,  your  strategy  should  help   you  develop  rou;ne  processes  for   content  crea;on,  dissemina;on,  and   evalua;on.     PHASE  03:  SUSTAINING   If  you’re  working  from  an  agreed-­‐ upon  content  strategy,  focusing  on   scaling  content  ac;vi;es,  and   evalua;ng  how  your  content  is   performing,  your  strategy  should   help  you  look  for  process   improvements  and  efficiencies.   Pilo;ng   Phase   Sustaining   Phase   Thriving   Phase   Scaling   Phase   Source:  Content  Science    The  Value  of  Content  to  Marke6ng  (whitepaper)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us  
  5. 5. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Six  Steps  to  Developing     a  Content  Strategy Define   Your   Content’s   Substance     Conduct   Internal  &   External   Analyses   Structure   Your   Content   for  Success   Create   Your  Core   Strategy   Develop   Workflows  &   Governance   Conduct   an  Audit   1 65432 Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us  
  6. 6. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com AdapDng  This  Process  for   Government   Global  Brand   Subunits   Agency  level  oversight  and  coordina;on   Responsibili;es:     •  Amplify  subunit’s  (SME)  content   •  Provide  brand  guidance   •  Maintain  centralized  tools  (e.g.  CMS  systems)  and   plaUorms  (e.g.  social  media  channels)     •  Coordinate  governance  ac;vi;es   •  Manage  global  digital  partnerships   Topic  level  groups  with  narrower  missions  and  specific  target   audiences   Responsibili;es:   •  DraV  topic-­‐specific  content  and  tailor  content  for  various   target  audiences   •  Manage  topic-­‐specific  websites  and  social  media  channels   •  Manage  topic-­‐specific  digital  partnerships   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us  
  7. 7. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Global  Brand   Subunits   Complete  list(s)  of   content,  including   content  formats,  quan;ty   and  complexity   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Step  1:  Conduct  an  Audit CollaboraTon   Comparison  of  business   goals  (at  all  levels)  and   best  prac;ces  vs.  your   current  content   There  are  three  types  of  audits   to  analyze  your  exis;ng  content:   Comparison  of  your   overarching  content  (e.g.   homepage  and  top-­‐;er   pages)  against  compe;tors   (e.g.  market  share,  value   proposi;on,  level  of   engagement,  etc.)  
  8. 8. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Global  Brand   Subunits   •  Alignment  between  global  brand  and   subunits  business  goals   •  Purpose  of  each  communica;on   channel  (e.g.  centralized  social  media   channels)   •  Cross-­‐linking  or  cross-­‐promo;on   strategies  (across  pages,  topics,  or   social  plaUorms)   •  Governance  and  workflow  processes   •  Content  maintenance  ac;vi;es   •  Refining  business  goals   •  Target  audiences  (in  priority  order)   •  Target  audience  needs   •  Preferred  channels  (by  audience)   •  Common  calls-­‐to-­‐ac;on  (by  audience)   Step  2:  Conduct  an     Internal  Analysis CollaboraTon   -­‐  What  do  want  to   achieve?   -­‐  Who  do  we  serve?   -­‐  What  do  they   need?   -­‐  What  do  want  to   achieve?   -­‐  What  channels  are   needed?   -­‐  How  do  we   coordinate  and   support  content   ac;vi;es?  
  9. 9. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Step  2:  Conduct  an     External  Analysis Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Global  Brand   Subunits   •  Brand  recogni;on   •  Brand  familiarity  and  considera;on   (relevance,  credibility,  perceived  quality,   intent  to  use/engage/act)   •  Brand  loyalty  (sa;sfac;on,  reten;on,   word  of  mouth  marke;ng)   •  Value  (market  share  vs.  similar   organiza;ons)   •  Promo;on  tools  (e.g.  search  tools,  email   marke;ng,  cross-­‐linking)   •  Partnership  tac;cs  and  par;cipa;on   •  Target  audience  needs  vs.  how  your   content  meets  those  needs   •  Target  audience  needs  vs.  internal   business  goals   •  Compe;tors’  offerings  and  how  your   content  compares   •  Partnership  tac;cs  and  par;cipa;on   CollaboraTon   -­‐  Is  our  brand   posi;oned  well?   -­‐  Are  we  amplifying   our  subunits’   messages  well?   -­‐  Are  we  mee;ng   our  target  audience   needs?     -­‐  Are  we  mee;ng   our  business  goals?  
  10. 10. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Step  3:  Create  Your  Core  Strategy A  core  strategy  –  or  “content  marke;ng  mission  statement”  -­‐  should  map   to  your  global  mission  statement  but  be  focused  on  the  purpose  of  your   digital  channels.  It  should  also  be  forward-­‐looking,  aspira;onal,  and   answers  these  ques;ons:     •  What  does  your  strategy  need  to  accomplish?   •  What  content  will  we  produce  for  our  users?   •  What  will  the  organiza;on  need  to  do  to  support  the  content?     Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   3 www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us  
  11. 11. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Step  3:  Create  Your  Core  Strategy Start  with  a  simple  template,  then  wordsmith.  Remember  a  focus  on  plain   language.     Source:  Meghan  Casey,  Content  Marke6ng  Ins6tute  (2016)   3 www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   CollaboraTon  
  12. 12. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Step  4:  Define  Your     Content’s  Substance Your  content  needs  to  provide  value  to  your   target  audience  and  meet  their  specific  needs.   For  each  audience:   •  Iden;fy  your  primary  communica;on   channels     •  Determine  the  high-­‐value  content  you   should  offer  (a  balance  between  business   and  users’  needs)   •  Define  clear  and  relevant  call-­‐  to-­‐ac;on  for   each  channel,  webpage,  or  content  type   •  Document  the  tailoring  strategies  (e.g.   message  framing,  tone,  language,  use  of   mul;media)   Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Subunits  
  13. 13. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Refine  and  Document     Your  Brand  Voice To  encourage  consistency  across  all  subunits,  the  global  brand  should   establish  brand  guidelines,  including  voice.  Consider  these  four  brand  voice   aaributes:   Source:  Social  Media  Explorer   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Global  Brand  
  14. 14. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Step  5:  Structure  Content  for   Success Priori;za;on  and  planning  steps   for  structuring  content:   Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Global  Brand   Subunits   •  Iden;fy  common  content  types  and  map  to  each  of  your  communica;on  channels   •  Develop  guidelines  for  how  content  will  be  formaaed  for  easy  scanning  and  reading   •  Develop  a  metadata  taxonomy  (for  findability,  search  rankings,  and  social  sharing)     •  Test  content  across  mul;ple  devices  and  address  issues  for  cross-­‐plaUorm  dissemina;on   •  Adapt  global  structure  to  meet  the  needs  of  the  subunits   •  Determine  the  priority  order  for  each  content  piece  (per  sec;on  of  content,  not  per  page)   •  Par;cipate  in  the  development  of  a  search  engine  op;miza;on  (SEO)  plan  and  social  media   op;miza;on  plan,  including  specific  keywords  and  cross-­‐channel  links   •  Evaluate  content  across  mul;ple  plaUorms  (web,  mobile,  social)   •  Iden;fy  gaps  in  the  exis;ng  global  structure  
  15. 15. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Step  6:  Develop  Workflows  and   Governance 03   02   01   05   04   Editorial   Style  Guide   Internal  Tools   &  Resources   Internal  Content   Crea;on  &  Clearance   Processes   Content     Automa;on   Processes   Schedule  &   Process  for   Content  Review   &  Archiving   Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   A  strategy  is  only  effec;ve  if  it’s   clearly  communicated  to  all  par;es   and  consistently  implemented.     Governance  ac;vi;es  include:   •  Define  ownership  and  roles     •  Design  workflows  and  governance   processes  for  newly  created   content,  new  dissemina;on   channels,  and  content  maintenance   •  Develop  and  share  governance   documents     •  Assign  a  lead  for  the  ongoing   implementa;on  of  the  content     strategy   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   CollaboraTon  
  16. 16. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Gathering  Internal  Support To  succeed,  internal  buy-­‐in  and  support  is  important  at  all  levels.     Team   If  they  prioriTze…   And  neglect  to  consider…   The  risks  are…   Leadership   •  Budget/ROI   •  Schedule   •  Deliverables   •  User  experience   •  Time  needed  to  produce   high  quality  content   •  Content  doesn’t  meet  user  needs   •  Missed  deadlines     Communica;ons   •  Campaign-­‐driven  crea;ve   •  Digital  and  social  media   •  Highly  interac;ve  features   •  SEO   •  Exis;ng  content   •  Maintenance  post-­‐launch   •  CMS  restric;ons  or   requirements   •  Content  is  more  flash  than  substance   •  Content  is  launched  then  neglected   •  Content  is  delivered  in  ways  that  can’t   be  indexed  or  measured   Subject  Maaer  Experts   •  Scien;fic  accuracy   •  Ability  to  measure  response   •  Message  tailoring   •  Audience  priori;es   •  Usability   •  Content  contains  jargon/lacks  plain   language   •  Content  doesn’t  resonate  with  target   audiences   User  Experience   •  Audience  needs   •  Research   •  Visual  design   •  Current  state  content   analysis   •  SEO  considera;ons   •  Strategic  business  decisions   •  Business  objec;ves  are  overlooked   •  Quality  content  can’t  be  completed  on   ;me  due  to  lack  or  source  materials  or   resources   Technology   •  CMS  development  or   requirements   •  Produc;on  workflow   •  Content  creators   •  Brand  and  message   tailoring   •  Content  published  before  it’s  in  a  high-­‐ value  state   •  Lack  of  brand  consistency   Source:  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (Halvorson  &  Rach)   www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   CollaboraTon  
  17. 17. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com R E S O U R C E S www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Books   •  Halvorson,  Kris;na  and  Melissa  Rach.  Content  Strategy  for  the  Web  (2nd  Edi;on)     •  Sara  Wachter-­‐Boeacher.  Content  Everywhere   •  Redish,  Ginny.  Le4ng  Go  of  the  Words:  Wri:ng  Web  Content  that  Works  (2nd   Edi;on)   •  Jones,  Coleen.  Clout:  The  Art  and  Science  of  Influen:al  Web  Content       Digital  Resources   •  Content  Marke;ng  Ins;tute   •  Brain  Traffic  blog   •  Hubspot  blog   •  The  Content  Strategy  Noob  blog    
  18. 18. www.rawoonpowerpoint.com Thank  You! www.digitaledgecommunica;ons.us   Erin  Edgerton  Norvell     Founder  &  Principal  Strategist   Digital  Edge  CommunicaTon     ExecuTve  Director   Society  for  Health  CommunicaTon  

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