Digital Interactive Services

Do you have content governance in place?

In a highly digitised world, the success of brands depends not just on the quality of their products and services. It also matters how the brand engages with its customers. In this endeavour, brands have some stiff challenges to overcome. Firstly, they need to be found, especially, if they are not a known or established brand. 

It is this need to be found digitally that gave rise to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies, which depend on keywords used in searches.

If you ‘fluff’ your website content with the right keywords, it is highly likely that you will be found. However, you need much more than SEO to hold audience interest and make conversions happen. You need to create great user experiences, which will only happen with great content. There is no denying the fact that content is king, digital or otherwise.

Content governance

User experience is not a one-time consideration and needs to be consistent across all brand communications. This is easier said than done because communication happens through multiple channels. All communication is not necessarily centralised or streamlined and involves multiple stakeholders, more so for SMEs. At times, it results in the audience getting conflicting messages and interferes with branding. Ideally, for a great user experience, a brand should publish only curated content, which consistently maintains its values and syncs with its business goals. Such a need led to the creation of the concept of content governance.

SEO is a strategy to help organisations create guidelines and policies that will ensure branding, quality and accuracy through every piece of content being published, irrespective of the channel being used. It is a structured approach to content creation, publishing and even storage and access. Content governance is an assurance that guidelines and policies are being followed, with defined roles and responsibilities, to streamline organisational content.

Why do organisations need content governance?

Apart from ensuring great user experiences, what purpose does content governance serve in an organisation? Even with the best-laid plans, things can go wrong. So, what happens when you do not have content governance in place? Human errors could result in bad quality content, inconsistent branding, duplicate content etc. Also, when there are multiple stakeholders, each may work in a silo. People just might reinvent the wheel or put off the audience with content overload or conflicting messages.

If everyone involved in content creation and publishing has access to all organisational content, a lot of time and effort can be saved. If this is done systematically, the organisation’s content journey will become streamlined, more efficient and, thus, hyper-productive.* The guidelines in place may also help the organisation avoid any gaffes or legal implications related to the published content. Typical organisational stakeholders, who are part of content governance, are content creators and editors, sales and marketing personnel, SMEs, top management, and a few others, based on role and need.

How to put a content governance strategy in place

Every organisation is unique and so are its business needs and goals. Therefore, there is no standard content governance policy that organisations can adopt. It is a concept that needs to be discussed with all stakeholders and evolved within the organisation. It may be a tedious process; however, once the content governance plan is created, all it may need is some tweaks in between. Here are some activities that may help arrive at a content governance policy.

1. Review all content activities

- The first step is to list all activities that deal with content creation through to publishing. Identify all workflows and establish processes that form part of the content governance guidelines. It may also include the fundamental activity of identifying what constitutes content for your organisation. Content, often, is much beyond text and includes videos, infographics, podcasts and more.

2. Identify roles and responsibilities

- Based on step 1, create a content governance plan that includes all stakeholders who work with content in any form. The plan must include templates (standardisation), style and branding guidelines, processes, checklists, roles, access permissions, content publishing calendar etc.

3. Use a Content Management Software (CMS) or avail of digital content marketing services from an established player

- Determine if automation is needed for the implementation of the content governance plan. CMS can largely help manage content and, also, implement the content governance plan. Another way would be to partner with a digital content services provider who can own the content governance plan. This approach will also ensure centralised storage for the content making access easier.

4. Train the stakeholders

- Once the plan and tools are in place, it is necessary to train all stakeholders on using the same. This may be a periodic activity as policies may be tweaked or people may change.

5. Track and tweak

- Identify some metrics to track the performance of the content governance plan and tweak as applicable, on the go.

Overall, content governance is a key strategy that organisations need to have in place to ensure good user experience. It can be easily achieved by following some of the tips mentioned above.

* For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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