A content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content with the intention of reflecting the institutional goals and user needs. Usability.gov illustrates some common concepts in content strategy including:
- Understanding how a user thinks and speaks about a subject.
- Communicating to people in a way they understand.
- Being relevant, factual, and up-to-date.
- Being accessible to all people regardless of any special needs or disabilities.
As part of ACC’s web redesign, the web team used a common outline and structure to identify the content strategy for each section and audience of the new website.
- Position statement
- Expansion statement 1: Goals
- Expansion statement 2: Top Tasks
- Messaging Framework
- First Impression
- Value Statement
This outline was applied to each audience identifier specified in the creative brief. It serves as a starting point for the overall direction of content to reside within each section of the new website. The creative brief outlines the audiences and gives a sense of the general personas or audiences that will interact with the ACC website.
Audience and User Types
Lead – A user who is interested in attending ACC or is gathering more information in order to make a decision. This user has not completed any key conversion tasks (apply or request information) and may just be exploring available programs, comparing costs, and finding out if attending would be possible for them based on program availability, financial concerns, or some other reason.
Prospect – A user who has completed a key conversion – either applying or requesting information.
Student – A user who has applied and selected an area of study or program. This user may have a record either within the customer relationship management software (CRM) or the college’s main enterprise resource planning software (ERP). This user may or may not have attended class yet and would be engaging with the college based on identification through one or both of these systems.
Business and Community – A users who has an interest in engaging with the college either due to business relationships, as taxpayers and tax paying entities, or because of some other interest.
Faculty and Staff – A user who is a current employee and engages with the college as part of their employment. This audience has special privileges and access to content and systems that may be restricted to a credential-based login system.
Content Strategies by Audience
The web team will use these content strategies in conjunction with the content audit to develop information architectures (IAs), or outlines, for sections of the website that match up with the audiences specified in the creative brief.