How to eliminate content chaos in 4 steps.
Let’s face it. Your problem today isn’t about having enough content. It’s about governing all the content you’re already producing. And by govern, we mean making sure it’s all on message, targeted for the right audience, in the correct tone of voice, and well-aligned with your company’s goals and strategy.
The bigger your organization, the harder this is to pull off. With so many people (most not professional writers) contributing content to your corporate website, social media channels, knowledge bases, technical documentation, marketing hubs, and more, it’s easy for your content to miss the mark, confuse customers, or go to waste. We call this content chaos and it’s costing your company a lot of time and money.
The good news is that the right content governance strategy can easily solve the challenges of content chaos. And when you approach content governance in a systematic way, it can provide a framework that sets you up for ongoing content success.
To help get you started, we’ve broken content governance into four actionable steps.
Step 1: Capture and digitize your content strategy.
A sound content strategy establishes a set of goals, policies, processes, and metrics for your content. It answers questions like:
Who is your content meant for?
Does it include the topics they care about?
What actions do you want the people who read it to take?
How will you know if the content works?
What brand messages need to be part of the story?
What tone of voice is best suited for the audience you’re trying to reach?
What keywords will help make the content findable?
The tricky thing about content strategies is that they’re only effective when they’re readily available and understood by all the people who work on your content. That means you need to make them accessible — and keep them dynamic — by capturing them digitally.
When people talk about Content Governance, they’re really talking about Content Strategy – understanding what content is for, then taking active steps to ensure it meets its goals.
— Dr. Andrew Bredenkamp, Acrolinx CEO
Step 2: Establish your position today.
If you don’t know where you are, it’s hard to figure out where you need to be. Analyzing your current position helps you clarify what you need to do. An important next step of content governance is establishing your position today.
Through this process, you might find that only 5 percent of your published content is shared, when your goal is 35 percent. Or that only 7 percent of your content is reviewed before it’s published, compared with your goal of 80 percent. Or your tone of voice scores for your support topics are far too low and you want to see 40 percent improvement in the next 6 months.
By comparing your strategy to reality, you’ll easily see where the gaps are, so you can focus your efforts on areas of concern.
Our existing content processes were failing us. We needed to take a look at more evolved strategies.
— Laura Bellamy, Director of Content Strategy & Operations, VMware
Step 3: Align your content creation to the goals you’ve set.
You can measure and track your content’s effectiveness all you like, but you also need to be able to step in and make the right improvements. A key function of content governance is that it actively helps your content creators produce the best content they can.
Improvements can range from guiding writers to use the correct terminology and maintain the right tone of voice, to including the right SEO keywords and phrases, to achieving ongoing consistency and readability.
With authoring guidance, content creators can see how their content measures up as they write, whether they’re in Word, Google Docs, WordPress, or another authoring tool.
Best-in-class organizations use documented content strategy plans to drive clarity and alignment throughout the content lifecycle to ensure maximum quality, relevance, and performance.
— Sirius Decisions
Step 4: Measure, report, and keep improving.
Content analytics are hugely important in the quest for more effective content. Not only do they help with goal setting, they also help you monitor progress, recognize success, and see how different areas of your business are tracking to the content KPIs.
And bad results aren’t necessarily all bad news. They give you the means to identify areas of concern and allow you to redirect resources where they’re needed most. A robust set of analytics is a critical ingredient in the content governance process. Analytics allow you to evaluate and then optimize your content and your content creation processes before you ever publish anything.
On the path to enterprise content governance.
Getting your arms around your content operations can seem overwhelming, but this four-step action plan will start you on the path to active content governance. When coupled with an AI-powered content governance platform, you’ll be able to capture your strategy, establish your current position, align every content contributor with the goals you’ve set, and measure and track your success. It’s really the best way to eliminate content chaos from your business once and for all.
To learn more about implementing content governance, check out the Acrolinx Active Content Governance Playbook. It delivers everything you need to get content governance going in your organization.