A successful digital workplace focuses on the quality of content, not the quantity. If your content is mediocre, even the best digital workplace won’t engage employees.
So how do you ensure that your content is fresh, valuable, and engaging? It all begins with a digital workplace content strategy that addresses every type of content, from major policy documents to blogs, comments, and likes.
In this first of a three-part series, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about creating and sustaining a content strategy for your digital workplace. In the process, we’ll help you answer these questions:
- What content do you have?
- Who are your target audiences?
- What content do you need and why?
- What process will you follow for creating content?
- Where and when will you publish content?
- How will you maintain and improve content?
Part 1: Digital Workplace Content
Strategy: What is it and Why is it Important?
Content is a key driver in the success of your digital workplace. Consistently useful, up-to-date, interesting content drives adoption and engagement, while inferior content does the opposite. To ensure your content is helping and not hurting your organization’s digital transformation, you need a documented content strategy.
There’s a common misperception that more is better when it comes to content. But what really happens is that users get overwhelmed and frustrated by too much content. They either cannot find what they need, or they discover inaccurate content and lose trust. Then they stop using the digital workplace, and all that investment is wasted.
Whether you’re launching a new digital workplace or revamping an old one, it’s never too late to take a strategic approach to content. Let’s get started by going back to basics.
What is content?
First, what exactly are we talking about when we talk about “content”? Essentially, it includes all the files, text, images, and video across your entire digital workplace.
The range of content depends on your organization, but usually it spans formal, top-down documents to informal, bottom-up stories and conversations, including:
- Business-critical policies and documents
- Knowledge bases
- Department and team resources
- Onboarding information
- Leadership blogs
- Brand guidelines
- Employee blogs
- Social spaces
It’s important to think about the types of content you have to work with when creating a content strategy. The purpose of the information you’re creating will dictate the content type you should use.
What’s the difference between a content strategy and content plans?
A content strategy…
- Determines how internal and external content can be leveraged to help your organization reach its business objectives
- Provides the overall content goals you’d like to achieve using your digital workplace
- Helps you deliver valuable, purposeful content that enables your employees to work more efficiently and effectively
Content plans, on the other hand, focus on the operational and tactical details needed to execute your strategy. Your content plans can include details about who owns specific channels, how often you want to publish on those channels, and whether that channel needs to be moderated.
The key elements of a content strategy
A digital workplace content strategy usually includes the following elements:
Goals: Align your content strategy goals with your larger digital workplace strategy and your organization’s overall business objectives. Content-focused goals determine how content is published, organized, and maintained in the digital workplace.
Here are a few goals for inspiration:
- Create modular content with multiple elements that can be used in multiple places and for multiple purposes.
- Ensure content is relevant, helpful, and useful.
- Deliver a positive content experience with content that’s easy to find, use, share, and save for all types of users (including mobile and remote).
Key messages: Integrate your organization’s key messages throughout all content, based on what your audience/users need.
Audience: Identify your key audience/users and their unique content needs. Support every user group – from leaders and frontline employees to external partners – by tailoring the type of content and delivery method to their specific requirements and contexts.
Guidelines on language, tone, and style: Take a user-centric approach in your content strategy. Choose a tone and style that appeals to your audience/users and establish clear guidelines. This voice should also align with and reflect your brand.
Resources: Outline all the available resources to support the execution of your content strategy (e.g. documented development and publishing process).
Information architecture : Determine the location of content.
Nomenclature: Define taxonomies and naming conventions to ensure findability.
Accessibility: Finally, don’t forget to make the organization’s content strategy easily accessible to all employees.
Aligning content strategy with the content lifecycle: When you build your digital workplace content strategy, make sure it covers all stages of the content lifecycle. This will ensure continuous monitoring of content while leaving room for adaptation as your employees’ needs evolve.
Developing and maintaining digital workplace content is a continuous process. Each stage of the lifecycle focuses on different elements that ensure you have the right content for the right audience. The stages of a typical content lifecycle within a digital workplace include:
- Assessment: What content do you have and how is it performing?
- Planning: What are your content goals and what types of content should be created to meet them?
- Creation: Who will create the content and how, and who will review/approve it?
- Publication: How will content be organized, categorized, and published?
- Maintenance: How will content be managed and governed?
Remember, this is a cycle, so there’s no endpoint. After maintenance, you’ll need to go back to the assessment stage to identify areas in need of improvement, including:
- Changes to the type of content you’re creating
- Updates to your processes and policies
- Adjustments to where and how your content is being presented to employees
- Changes to how you’re measuring the success of your content
More tips on content strategy
Before we move on to Part Two: Best Practices to Build into Your Digital Workplace Content Strategy, remember this key takeaway: Don’t publish content for the sake of having something new to push out. Content that’s not aligned to your business objectives and audience needs will only hinder the success of your digital workplace.
Check out the Igloo Playbook for more recommendations on producing, publishing, and managing digital workplace content that your employees will consume, interact with, and leverage in their daily tasks.