Why It's Essential to Have a Content Governance Plan
We might not think about them a lot, but rules have always been there. We've gotten used to various sets of guidelines: always look both ways before crossing the road, respect your elders, or drink eight glasses of water a day. If you don't follow the rules, you might do yourself harm or offend someone. Since there are instructions connected to almost every aspect of our lives, having a set of dos and don’ts of content creating makes sense. How else can one maintain a cohesive brand?
Sink or Swim
According to Data Never Sleeps, there were about 473,400 tweets posted every minute in 2018. That's almost half a million content pieces created per minute on only one channel—can you even imagine that? That crazy number is only 60 seconds on Twitter. Now try to imagine how much content every large organization must have created over the years of their existence.
We can paraphrase Hamlet's famous words and say, “To drown, or not to drown, in the content, that is the question.” It's no exaggeration that a large organization can easily drown in the amount of content they produce. And, despite how important a content governance plan is, few brands have such a thing in place.
What Is Content Governance?
The definitions vary. To give an example, content governance is “the set of unique guidelines your company establishes to ensure content quality, consistency, and general suitability” or “a process of managing content roles, responsibilities, processes, documentation, tools, and training.”
If there are too many people producing content, the visitors of the company's website will easily get confused because, without any guidelines, the texts produced by different writers might not communicate the company's message well. It's not only about what you say, but it's also about the way you say it.
Having one dedicated person who wants to approve multiple steps for each piece of content is not effective, either, because they won't always be available to check everything before it gets published.
So, when neither employing a group of writers nor one person who supervises everything does the trick, what is there to do?
Having a content governance plan in place will ensure consistency in practice. Since every organization is unique, you need to create a plan specific to your organization's needs. Well, how to start?
Audit What You Already Have
Governing all the content the company already has sounds like a daunting task, but it will help you identify outdated, incorrect, and off-brand content. You need to find out what you already have before you can determine what you need for the future. Is your content up to your standards in terms of quality, quantity, and relevance? It is accurate and up-to-date?
Move from the Starting Point
After you've done the auditing process, decide what you need to create: Who is your target audience? What makes them tick? What texts and media assets are relevant to these people?
Make sure everybody in your organization knows what their role is. Every role should have well-defined responsibilities, and you should know who is empowered to plan what kind of content is needed, who creates it, who reviews the piece of content, and who publishes it.
Plan, Create, Review, and Publish
Making content creation easier, a Content-as-a-Service solution enables you to plan what should be produced and assign contributors to work on the latest version of the item (e.g., a landing page on which everybody can comment and suggest changes). When you know what's going on with your content, you can repurpose and reuse all quality content items, and nothing will go to waste.
Although content governance may seem like a tedious process at the beginning, it's worth it. Audit what you already have, determine what your content goal is, and specify the responsibilities of everybody involved in the creation process. Ultimately, creating a content governance plan means mental freedom for your organization that will streamline content creation and delivery.