Content Strategy

The Ultimate Guide to Content Governance

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 5/04/229 min read
The Ultimate Guide to Content Governance

Table of Contents

  1. Why Content Governance Crucial is For Your Business
  2. Benefits of a Content Governance Plan
  3. Challenges of Content Governance
  4. Elements of a Content Governance Plan
  5. How to Build a Content Governance Plan For Your Business
  6. Essential Tools For Content Governance
  7. Stages Involved in the Content Development Process

Content governance is a system that creates, publishes, manages, and archives content for an organization. The content is created for a brand based on a set of guidelines and standards.

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Content governance is the responsibility of the content strategists, managers, and stakeholders. When businesses started creating creative and relevant content, they realized that there was a need to govern it.    

Organizations produce different types of content such as blogs, listicles, infographics, ebooks, videos, case studies, how-to guides, emails, etc. With the successful implementation of a digital content governance program, loads of content can be created to share information about its products, services, recognitions, news, etc. It is used to send out a message and educate the readers about the company.

Why Content Governance is Crucial for Your Business

Today organizations understand the importance of good content as it helps them communicate their message to their current and potential customers. When the content is engaging, educational, and valuable, it can help develop relationships, improve conversions, and generate leads.  

A content governance plan is important because organizations have started producing a lot of content. A plan like this will help any company manage all its content effectively by overcoming any challenges that come in the way.

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Benefits of a Content Governance Plan

Content governance is important for organizations, especially those generating lots of content, for various reasons: 

  • Consistency: The organization can ensure that the content created is consistent across different teams and channels with a content governance system. 
  • Quality: Content governance also ensures that the quality of the content is not compromised at any stage of the content creation process.
  • Efficiency: The quality of content improves with content governance as the content adheres to the company’s guidelines and message. Content governance takes care of the new content that is being produced and works towards improving the old content already created.
  • Accuracy: Content governance allows writers and reviewers to review content regularly and ensure that there are no inaccuracies in the content.

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Challenges of Content Governance

  • Content mapping seems challenging, but it is a great strategy to achieve business goals. You should have a content-focused website, and the main aim of your content must be to address the readers’ issues.    

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  • Editorial guidelines help execute and maintain a successful content strategy by improving content consistency. Consistency is important for every piece of content that goes out of the organization. Nevertheless, it can be complicated to maintain consistency due to various factors. Creating and maintaining good editorial guidelines will ensure that good quality content is produced, which is also consistent.

Editorial guidelines also include an editorial style guide that should look into aspects of a content piece like punctuation, capitalization, pagination, format, units of measurement, hyphenation, numbers, etc. It should also maintain the voice and tone of the content, and grammar, images, and positioning must be standardized. 

  • When content and data are moved from one system or server to another, it is called content migration. This becomes difficult to manage when content is generated at a large scale in a company. However, this can be handled with the help of specific digital tools.

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  • Content audits should be well conducted and involve analyzing and assessing all the content on your website. This analysis tells you how and where the content can be repurposed or improved by disclosing strengths and weaknesses in the content development and strategies. 

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Several online tools can help you audit the content. Conducting content audits can be challenging in the case of auditing huge websites or pieces of content and qualitative analysis. This problem can be solved by using the right tool, the right way.

  • A content calendar is a written schedule that mentions what, when, and where you plan to post your content. This content calendar planning is a great strategy to publish planned content on platforms and at a specific time to improve engagement and reach on particular posts. 

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The challenges of content planning are the time required for brainstorming ideas, understanding and choosing metrics to create and publish good content, and the divided focus on content planning. 

  • Content creation workflows are important as they will help streamline tasks and achieve efficiency and meet deadlines for the content plans. It involves the roles, responsibilities, and documentation required to complete a piece of content. If the content workflows are not well planned, they can negatively impact the projects. It can also lead to a waste of money, time, and resources. 

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Elements of a Content Governance Plan

After reading about the content governance plan, why a company needs it, its benefits, and the challenges, you must know how to design it. Successfully creating and implementing a content governance plan can be a difficult task as many elements need consideration. 

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You start by designing a plan that includes a set of guidelines along with checks and balances to manage content and avoid cost mismanagement strategically. A content governance plan will let you optimize and modernize content. Before you read up on how to create one, you must know about the several elements that a content governance plan must include.

  • Clear objectives 

A company creates content and campaigns for various communication channels that serve different objectives for them. If the objectives are clear, you will achieve them sooner. 

  • Accountability

When large teams work on projects, you must distribute the responsibilities to make every member accountable for the tasks they are performing.

  • Organizational agility

Create a flexible content governance plan so that you can understand and move past any unexpected changes or issues without negatively impacting the project’s efficiency.

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  • Editorial guidelines

While writing editorial guidelines, you have to be careful as these content rules and regulations will help everyone in the organization understand the content standards. This will ensure consistency in every piece of content written for the organization.

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 

The WCAG guidelines play an important role in content governance as these make web content more accessible to your audience and allow them to use your website easily. Web content accessibility guidelines ensure that your web content is robust, perceivable, operable, and understandable for the audience. 

  • Measure success 

When an organization puts immense hard work into building great content, it will also want to measure how far it has come in terms of success. You must outline specific methods that can help you measure KPIs and success over time. 

  • Fairness among peers

With employees working on several big projects, competition can at times become unhealthy, and it is the organization’s responsibility to ensure fairness and consistency among the team members. 

How to Build a Content Governance Plan for Your Business

Creating a content governance plan includes several steps.

  • Audit the content that is created in the organization, including the type of content, processes, workflows, and team members involved.
  • Determine the organization’s goals and create a content strategy based on those goals. The content map should include the channels you wish to target and the type of content that you are using to achieve goals. You must analyze the different content strategies and content types used to promote the company, its products, and its services.
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the members like writers, editors, and videographers. Then document the processes with clear objectives and guidelines with editorial standards. 

Essential Tools for Content Governance

Content-related tools are handy for streamlining content marketing and creating effective content marketing strategies. Let’s talk about a few tools to support your content governance plan.

1. Trello

Trello is an easy-to-use web content management tool that helps you create, distribute, and promote content consistently. This tool lets you document and manage content team workflows and ensure that the tasks are completed efficiently and on time. They offer features that allow customization as per requirement. 

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You can create lists and cards to manage teams, projects, timelines, etc. It has a calendar feature to record the dates when a blog is started, completed, published, etc. The Trello cards are also used for team interaction or team and client interaction. The best part about Trello is that it provides all these features to its users for free.

2. MarketMuse 

MarketMuse is artificial intelligence and machine learning content planning and optimization software used to save time and increase efficiency with content research, creation, evaluation, and optimization. 

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It helps businesses create robust content strategies based on insights drawn from data. Its main two features include inventory and applications. Inventory includes pages, topics, plans, and reports that keep a tab on all the produced content and provides information on the published content. 

Applications include tools such as research, competition, questions, connect, and optimization that can be used by the user for content research and creating content strategies. MarketMuse also provides a content score by analyzing the content, indicating its quality and the necessary improvements that can be made for it to rank well on search engines.

3. Google Spreadsheets

It is an editorial calendar and project management tool that helps ensure that the teams meet deadlines and keep track of their progress. Google Spreadsheets can be used to create a content calendar or schedule and share it with other people to view or edit it. This is a great way to plan and manage teams and their projects. 

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This cloud-based app will allow you to fill in the content gaps by accelerating content planning, research, and workflow. Several Google sheets content templates are available online for use. 

4. CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a content marketing management tool that manages several content projects on your calendar all at once. Projects like blog posts, social media posts, web content, case studies, etc., are managed on this platform. It allows its users to effectively plan, organize, and execute content marketing strategies. 

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It has a drag-and-drop calendar on its dashboard that lets you communicate with other team members and schedule all your posts. By using this tool, businesses could leverage the products that CoSchedule has to offer. Marketing calendar, Marketing suite, Headline studio, and Actionable marketing institute are the products that can get more work done by your employees in less time and efficiently.

5. Wistia

Wistia is a video hosting platform that helps businesses use content such as videos and podcasts for marketing. It is a great tool that can drive traffic to the websites, boost engagement across the websites, and improve conversions through video SEO and email collectors. 

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Wistia Turnstile, one of its tools, collects the viewer’s details such as name and email address through a clickable call to action. Wistia also lets you integrate this list of email addresses into an email marketing service of your choice. This strategy ensures that you get a list of people who have shown interest in your company, and there are high chances of them being your potential customers. 

This tool analyzes and provides data that can be used to evaluate how well a video is doing to generate leads. You can view engagement graphs and heat maps that will tell you about the engagement of the audience in every scene through rewinds, forwards, pauses, etc., and show you a graphical representation of a single viewing session. 

Wistia’s SuperEmber builder lets the users add color, and effects, change the size, add links, etc., to enhance the quality of the video and make it better from a marketing perspective.

6. Loomly

Loomly is a social media management tool that is calendar-focused and helps social media teams manage different social media platforms. This platform focuses on improving how social media content is created, scheduled, published, and managed. It has a dedicated library where you can preview posts before publishing them online. 

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This way, the approval process takes less time than usual. Besides that, Loomly provides real-time insights on the post’s performance and information about the popular topics among the audiences on social media. Large businesses and SMEs can leverage this selective information to become successful brands. The major highlights that make this tool great are its content library, its optimization tips, post and Ad mockups, approval workflow, automated publishing, Ads manager, interactions, and advanced analytics. 

Stages Involved in the Content Development Process 

1. Content planning

At this stage, the content team defines the scope of the content, sets objectives and deliverables for different content projects, considers the problems that might arise during the process, etc.

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2. Content creation 

Content is created according to the details set during the planning stage. At every step of the process, the plan must be kept in mind to meet objectives and deliverables. 

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3. Content review

Here, the content is reviewed at different levels. It is examined for its grammar, formatting, plagiarism, and vocabulary. The other aspects involve the tone of the content, if it meets the set guidelines, the level of engagement and clarity that it holds, if it targets the right audience, meets the objective of the project, etc.

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4. Content approval 

Once the content is reviewed, it is sent back to the writer for corrections. If everything looks good to the reviewer, the piece of content gets approved, and the approval is documented.

5. Content publishing 

After the approval is done, the content is published on one or more platforms, such as the company’s web page, a third-party website, or some other platform.

6. Content distribution 

Finally, the published content must be promoted or marketed at different channels to reach the maximum audience. 

The Final Word

An organization must ensure that the content governance plan includes policies, guidelines, standards, procedures, and processes. At the same, it must also possess content governance software that includes CMS, content review and approval software, digital asset management software, project management software, communication tools, internal knowledge-based software, and other tools and methods. 

Also, there is another option for those who do not wish to create a content governance plan from scratch. They can opt for the various free and easy-to-use online content governance templates that allow companies to audit content and draft a content governance plan that can help them streamline their content management process.

Key Takeaways

  1. Content governance is a system that creates, publishes, manages, and archives the content for an organization based on a set of guidelines and standards.
  2. A content governance plan helps organizations communicate their message to their current and potential customers with engaging, educational, and valuable content. It also helps companies efficiently manage content that is being produced in bulk.
  3. Content governance is important for organizations, as it ensures that all the content created is consistent, good quality, efficient, and accurate.
  4. Challenges in content governance rise with content mapping, editorial guidelines, content migration, content audits, content calendars, and content creation workflows.
  5. The key elements that a content governance plan must include are clear objectives, accountability, organizational agility, editorial guidelines,  web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG), measure success, and fairness among peers.
  6. Several online tools can help an organization with content governance. Trello, MarketMuse, Google spreadsheets, CoSchedule, Wistia, and Loomly, are just a few.
  7. The stages involved in the content development process include content planning, content creation, content review, content approval, content publishing, and content distribution.  
  8. Content governance plan templates are also available online to help organizations draft such plans easily.

FAQs

1. What are content governance guidelines?

Content governance guidelines involve procedures, rules, and regulations that help you plan, create, and distribute content. The information in these guidelines determines the look, feel, and tone of every piece of content that goes out of an organization.

2. What are the types of digital content management?

1. Content Management Systems (CMS)
2. Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMs)

3. What are the key components of a content management

1. Workflow plan
2. Data repository
3. User Interface
4. Editorial tools
5. Output utilities

4. What is the purpose of the content?

The purpose of content is to educate, attract, inspire, and convince the readers by creating relevant, engaging content in write-ups, videos, podcasts, etc.

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