Creating a content strategy
Last updated: February 28, 2021
A content strategy is the plan you create at the beginning of any content project to guide its creation and governance. It happens before the content is written and continues throughout the content’s life cycle. It's the vision for how and why your content will be created and managed. Your vision may change throughout the project, and that’s ok, your content strategy should be able to adapt to the project’s needs.
If you have existing content but do not have a strategy, it’s time to start one.
On this page
- Follow the standards
- Understand the current website
- Do design research
- Define success measurements
- Where will the content go?
- Draft and edit the content
- Assign accountability
All online content created for the B.C. government is required to meet our Web Content Standards.
What content already exists, and do you need something new? To understand if there is a need:
- Do an inventory and audit of existing content
- Review site analytics
- Review any research that has already been done
- Find out what the business and project goals are
Design research (also known as user research) is a vital and ongoing process. It helps you understand the people using your content and why, when and how they use it. By identifying gaps between what people need and what you offer, you can design more useful content.
Define what successful content means to your team and then develop goals to measure it. This allows you to track when content needs to be created, updated, moved, or removed:
- What is your content trying to achieve? Is it providing information or a service?
- Do people find and navigate the content easily?
- Is the information they want clear and easy to understand?
- Do they complete the service? Or do they give up and call or go into an office? Connect with the teams that manage calls or in-person aspect of your content. They may have good insight to share
- How will you know if it works for your audience?
- Is the content accessible?
- How will you track the content over time?
- How will you test it?
- What data will you base this on? Site analytics? Interviews? Is there current data you can compare it against? Or is it brand new content?
Information architecture (IA) focuses on how we organize, structure and label web content. Thoughtfully considering where content lives in the IA helps people understand where they are and how to find what they need. If people can’t find what they need, it doesn’t matter how good the actual content is.
An information architecture can shape:
- How content is structured and organized
- How much content you need
- Which topics are out of scope
- How you can work with existing content
- Design content that meets your audience’s needs
- Use the Plain Language Checklist
- Follow the the web content standards
- Make your content accessible
- Plan how you will optimize your content for search engines
- Do not edit alone
Determine the content governance and life cycle before you hit publish. This means planning who, how often and how you will manage what you publish. This helps reduce clutter on the website by removing duplicate, unneeded, and out-of-date content. This in turn helps people find what they need faster.
- Assign a person to maintain the content once it is published
- Have a backup in case that person is unavailable
- Know who has approval to make changes
- Decide how often to review published content and assigned roles
- Establish timelines based on your success measurements
Once you've created content that meets our Web Content Standards and planned who will maintain this content, you’re ready to hit publish.