British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides radio and television programmes for Her Majesty's Armed Forces and their dependents worldwide. Its 24-hour news coverage of the military world is produced by The SSVC Forces Welfare Media Team, a not-for-profit organisation that receives grant funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.
With multiple media channels and content management systems (CMS), the organisation urgently needed to consolidate its offering into a single platform to:
- Strengthen its brand identity
- Enable content editors to work across different brands within the same system
- Make it easier for users to find and consume different types of content
The organisation’s legacy CMSes were inflexible and unable to support the unified media portal BBFS was aiming to deliver. And so BFBS was looking for a new, flexible, and open-source platform that would be easy to evolve alongside the organisation’s changing needs.
The new platform needed to be mobile-first, optimised for both site users and content creators using mobile devices. It also needed to outperform the old systems on efficiency, usability, and security.
Our team ran a series of facilitated workshops with all key stakeholders – including users, editors, journalists, in-house developers, marketing, and PR teams – to fully understand the in-house capabilities.
The Inviqa Discovery process helped BFBS to clearly define goals for Forces Network and the wider business and ensure the all-important intellectual investment in the project from the senior management team.
Following this process we were able to recommend Drupal 8 – the enterprise, open-source content management system – as the ideal basis to achieve the goals and aspirations of Forces Network, the new media portal.
The first phase of work included migrating the Force.TV website to Drupal 8.
The second phase of work included creating a new digital ‘umbrella’ brand that would act as a guide for the organisation’s wider rebranding efforts.
We then began the process of consolidating Forces’ many sites into one Drupal 8 site under the single brand.
The project was delivered on time and to budget.
Since launch, we have made ongoing enhancements to the portal including:
- Continuous article scroll to increase engagement
- Migration to a new hosting infrastructure to improve stability and deployments
- A site redesign with improved taxonomy, navigation, and cross-promotion of content
Our work included:
Discovery workshops with key stakeholders to gain a deep understanding of the project goals and how success would be measured to help prioritise and inform decisions
Drupal 8 customisation and implementation
Drupal 8 training for Forces Network’s in-house developer and editorial teams, including tailored training on Forces' own customised platform
Content modelling and information architecture to determine the right migration strategy
UX design & digital branding: creating a new logo and brand identity in keeping with the heritage of the British military
The launch of the new portal has seen tangible growth in engagement and a fall in bounce rate – both being key drivers for the project.
Year-on-year milestones since launch include:
- 46% rise in page views
- 25% rise in users
- 22% rise in average session time
- 20% rise in sessions
- 20% reduction in bounce rate
The new site allows consumers to easily discover other areas of the organisation, encouraging the consumption of content from across a diverse array of channels.
Enhancements to the platform continue to deliver ROI. The implementation of continuous article scroll, for example, resulted in a 120% increase in page views and 97% increase in session duration.
Meanwhile the hosting migration has resulted in smoother deployments and the ability to cope with higher concurrents.