What Is Content Governance and Do You Really Need It?

If your organization is a medium to large business or enterprise, it’s highly likely that there are multiple people publishing content that represents your brand. And, increasingly, you won’t just have a team of writers to focus on managing content, but departments, employees, and even customers may be producing their own content.

Due to the huge benefits of content marketing, today’s organizations are publishing more content than ever before. But with larger volumes of content also come greater challenges in maintaining it.

A free-for-all content strategy where anyone is free to publish whatever they want is obviously not the answer. Left unchecked and unmanaged, content published without stringent adherence to brand guidelines introduces potential for a number of problems including:

  • Poor-quality, badly written content containing errors or inaccuracies
  • Inconsistent content that doesn’t conform to the brand voice, style, and messages
  • Content that may damage brand reputation
  • Duplicated content
  • Poor customer journeys, buyer confusion, and the potential of losing leads.

Not only are more people creating and publishing business content than ever before (many of whom will not be trained writers or marketers), but there are also a multitude of places where that content may end up.

It’s not just a case of having quality control processes in place for a primary content channel, like a website or email. Content representing your company is likely to turn up on social media, forums, and unofficial websites. While you may be able to maintain control over content published on your owned channels, these external content channels are free and open to everyone.

Increased globalization also means that your content may need to be translated to reach different markets. With increasing volumes of content, the task of translating everything becomes increasingly expensive and unmanageable, but unofficially translated content will have no quality controls in place.

So, how do you tame the ever-increasing tide of content, while still reaping the benefits of employee advocacy? Enter content governance.

What Is Content Governance?

In its most basic form, content governance may just be a series of guidelines and manual quality control processes intended to ensure that content is on-brand, accurate and of decent quality.

decentralized content governance model

Example: A decentralized content governance model – Image Source

Most organizations do make an effort to manage the quality of their content, which may include:

  • Documented content publication and approval processes
  • Employing human editors, translators, and content gatekeepers
  • Publishing brand style and voice guidelines.

However, these manual processes quickly fall down as content volume increases. For this reason, many organizations need to take a more strategic approach to managing their content.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Content Management & Strategy survey, 42 percent of businesses say they do not have the right technology to manage content across the enterprise. While 60 percent say they have content governance guidelines in place, almost a quarter admit they do not take a strategic approach to managing content, with the main reasons for this cited as a lack of processes and lack of leadership priority.

no strategic approach to content management

Image Source

Does Your Organization Need Content Governance?

So, if the leadership of over half of the organizations surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute believes that strategically managing content isn’t a priority, why is this exactly?

Maybe you fall into this category, and you’re not convinced that content governance is a big enough priority. Or, maybe you feel that your budget or resources are insufficient. Forty-four percent of organizations said that lack of budget was their biggest content management challenge, and 53 percent claimed they didn’t have enough staff trained in content strategy.

top content management challenges

Image Source

The fact is that if multiple people and departments are publishing content on behalf of your organization, then yes – you do need content governance to avoid the problems outlined in the introduction.

And, it’s not necessary to have a huge team or budget to put a content governance strategy in place. Content management tools and technology can take much of the manual work out of your approval and management processes, giving you a wider picture of all your content and more control.

Managed in a strategic fashion, content governance should not create more work and slow down content production. Rather, it provides a framework for content creation and assigns ownership of content to named people so they can make strategic decisions and ensure that the content they’re responsible for adheres to brand guidelines.

Using Content Management Technology to Achieve Content Governance

A content management platform can take a lot of the hard work out of content governance.

Making sure content creators adhere to brand guidelines and style guides, training writers, editing content, and enforcing manual workflow and approval processes is most certainly a full-time job, even for a relatively small organization.

Content management technology fills the gap between the huge and growing volume of customer-facing content and these traditional manual guidelines and processes that are simply no longer fit for purpose.

By using technology to manage your organization’s content strategy and processes, you can ensure that content is produced to set guidelines, manage content workflow, streamline communication between individuals and teams, and monitor content performance to help you to meet your content marketing goals.

DivvyHQ is an enterprise-grade content marketing platform designed to cut through the chaos and simplify content management, putting you back in control to manage your content marketing from a central platform.

By putting your content strategy, calendars, production schedules, and content workflows in one place, you ensure that everyone is clear on the content objectives and every team and individual understands their role in making the overall content strategy a success.

On the content governance side specifically, DivvyHQ users are able to specify maintenance dates on individual content pieces and get notified as these dates approach. Ongoing maintenance schedules can be produced, which eliminates large audit initiatives that are common within the enterprise.

DivvyHQ maintenance date for content governance

Screenshot from DivvyHQ

Using a platform designed specifically for managing content processes and teams eliminates the inefficiencies and confusion that come from managing content with a series of scattered guidelines, spreadsheets, calendars, and email messages. Making information easy to find and processes easy to follow ensures that everyone is on the same page, working together towards your common content goals.

To find out more about DivvyHQ, get in touch to schedule a free demonstration. Or, read more about how this content marketing tool enables you and your teams to collaborate, streamline content production, and have full visibility of what everyone is working on at any time.