Federal, state, and local government websites are facing three major digital disruption trends:
Here is a breakdown of these three trends and how your government agency can deal with each and end up with even better content.
The pandemic last year forced people around the world to work, live, and play digitally. And that trend isn’t stopping. For example, Georgia’s Department of Driver Services (DDS) website experienced a huge increase in the number of sessions. As another example, digital traffic to the CDC, NIH, and WHO websites (desktop and mobile) increased 425% by mid-March 2020.
More digital interaction means higher demand for effective content from your agency. Sometimes this demand means more content to support more decisions and tasks, and sometimes this demand means better content.
The use of channels like smart phones and social media was already on the upswing. Smart home devices, voice activated search, and chat bots are becoming the norm for more and more people.
For more facts about content channels and consumption, see these 50 Crucial Content Facts.
The more people use a variety of channels, the more they will expect your agency to use them, too. And that means figuring out how to deliver the right content through the right channel in the right context.
As a government agency, you might not think of your website or digital experience as competing with…anything. The fact is, your content is competing for your users’ attention. Your content likely competes on topics covered by traditional media, social media influencers, nonprofit organizations, individual blogs, or more. For instance, 4 million blog posts are published every day, according to Worldometer.
And, now, your content is competing with misinformation ranging from deep fakes to false ads to scams to rogue social media bot comments and posts.
Misinformation around COVID-19 has become so intense that many refer to it as an infodemic. As WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus notes “Public trust in science and evidence is essential for overcoming COVID-19. Therefore, finding solutions to the infodemic is as vital for saving lives from COVID-19 as public health measures, like mask-wearing and hand hygiene, to equitable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.”
This competition has far-reaching implications, from the visibility of your content in Google search results to the trust users have in your content. But, the real challenge comes down to this: Your digital users face a lot of noise. How will your content—content with critical guidance about consequential topics ranging from health to unemployment to licensing to taxes—emerge as the authority?
These modern digital trends require a modern content approach. The good news is we know what a successful approach looks like. From 2015 through the present, Content Science conducted research into what makes organizations, including government agencies, successful with content. Though trends and challenges have changed in that time, the factors in successfully addressing them hasn’t.
Organizations that report the most success with content have these factors in common:
To start planning a content strategy that accounts for and addresses digital disruption, check out these resources:
Last Updated: August 26, 2021
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