Learn how to build your own intranet content strategy
Employees visit an intranet with a goal. Whether it is getting company news, collaborate on a project, or find co-workers’ contact details, people use the intranet to accomplish tasks.
An intranet content strategy focuses on three main processes when creating useful intranet content:
This blog post shows what an intranet content strategy looks like, and how to implement it in your organisation.
Why do you need an intranet content strategy?
Intranets have typically grown organically over time to thousands, or tens of thousands, of pages of content. Therefore, it is important that information is accurate and easy to find. An intranet content strategy defines policies for how to create, publish, and manage content.
Useful intranet content that is relevant and well-organized helps employees locate what they are looking for and perform their tasks more effectively. Well-organized content saves the company time and money. Ultimately, they finish the task they have at hand faster and better. With an intranet content strategy, you make sure:
- Your content is easy to find
- Your content is relevant
- Your content is always up-to-date
- Employees do not waste time searching for something they cannot find
If employees are unable to locate information on the intranet, they waste their time, and perhaps most importantly, they become frustrated and start making their own rules for storing and finding information.
But great content does not write itself, and your employees will not automatically find what they are looking for. With the huge amounts of content that float around in an organisation, there is a risk that an intranet may become clogged with information. An intranet content strategy is a framework for the rules and policies for creating, publishing, and governing content on an intranet.
The fundamentals of an intranet content strategy
An intranet content strategy is not much different than any other content strategy, even though intranet content is not the same as other types of content. We will get back to the differences between intranet content and other content later.
Therefore, the definition of a content strategy also applies to that of an intranet content strategy. A content strategy has been defined by content strategist Kristina Halvorson as “the creation, publication, and governance of useful content.” A content strategy is described as a continuous cycle that defines the entire editorial content development process for an intranet.
An intranet content strategy offers guidelines for content requirements, roles and responsibilities, formatting, and writing. It helps ensure that employees can easily find content, and are updated according to the organisation’s standards.
Intranet content strategy
An intranet content strategy is not much different than other content strategies and content lifecycles. The simplest depiction for the average content creator is one that illustrates the three components of the content management cycle.
To plan, write content for the intranet, and assess the quality of current intranet content.
To put content into a content template, add keywords and metadata, and to make sure that content can be controlled and found in the future.
To set up policies for accessing content, reviewing it as necessary, and to eventually archive or delete it.
The next section goes into depth with the three phases of the Content Management Lifecycle and describes how to implement it on your intranet.
You will be able to create content that is both relevant and accessible to each employee by following the four guidelines below.
Creating useful content requires time, focus, and knowledge about procedures. Make sure to keep you intranet content effective by following the steps in this infographic.
Make sure your content is written for the intranet
Make your employees into content masters, but do not expect great content from day 1. It requires guidance and practice. You can provide guidelines for great content on the intranet, and show the employees content that inspires their writing. Advise them on how to write and build content that rocks.
Creating accurate, useful, and relevant content saves your employees time by making it easier to find what they need and carry out their business more effectively.
When creating intranet content, consider how information is consumed on an intranet. The thing is, writing for an intranet is not the same as writing paper copies, because people read online text differently than they read an annual report or white paper. People are visually driven and read in chunks when they read text online.
Furthermore, your intranet users are usually busy people. Being busy means that when they look up information on the intranet, they are usually in a hurry, so the content should be easy to scan.
11 practical tips for creating relevant intranet content:
- Use short paragraphs – four sentences max
- Communicate to people in a way that they understand
- Written text should be easy-to-read chunks
- Content should have a relevant and catchy title, and a summary to make it easy to understand what the content is all about
- Bullet points can be used to emphasise key points
- Text above the fold should be helpful, interesting, and should match the page title
- Avoid jargon, as not all employees understand it
- Images, videos, and infographics are important to attracting readers and bringing content to life, thus, making engaging people easier
- Address intranet visitors directly, using the word ‘you’
- Content should have helpful links to related content, either from manual links or automated recommendations
- Visitors should be able to interact with the content, either through comments or giving feedback
Beyond the readability of your content, content guidelines should provide the creator with standards to make sure that all aspects of good intranet best practices are followed.