Content marketing includes more than developing relevant content to engage your audience consistently. Processes, policies, and regulations govern certain aspects of it. As such, it’s critical to establish a content compliance strategy.
Such an initiative should cover many components of compliance, including industry-specific regulations, processes to ensure compliance departments review and approve content, and the parameters about data and privacy.
In this post, we’ll discuss what content compliance is, how to develop a plan, and more tips for adhering to regulations.
What Is Content Compliance?
Content compliance describes a set of rules and guidelines that manage compliance obligations. Those can involve:
- Defining what types of content have compliance requirements
- Keeping industry-specific compliance mandates updated and followed
- Providing a content workflow that enables compliance and legal teams to review and approve compliance-related content
- Putting measures in place to follow data and privacy laws
Each of these is critical in content operations. They safeguard your organization from falling into noncompliance, mitigate legal risk, and standardize your processes.
Now, let’s look at how to build a content compliance strategy.
How to Develop a Content Compliance Strategy
As with any aspect of a content strategy, content compliance requires input from multiple stakeholders. Together, you’ll need to work out what the process looks like in the content lifecycle. For example:
- What technology do you need to support you?
- What laws must you abide by?
- Are there checks and balances needed along the way?
These steps can help you build a program that considers all the many elements and parties involved.
Understand the Types of Content with Compliance Requirements
Not all content will have compliance considerations. Much of the content you develop as part of your content calendar doesn’t fall into this category. However, for highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance, you’ll have more fall into this bucket.
For example, if you are a content marketer in the pharma industry, there are many rules about what you can say about medications. The same is true in most areas of banking. Whatever the specific industry guidelines are, they should be the cornerstone of your plan and be top of mind when developing projects.
Discuss the Rules with Compliance and Legal
Inviting compliance and legal experts to the discussion is a smart move. They are always going to err on the side of caution. It can be limiting for content creators, but necessary. Go over the types of content you’re planning and how it relates to any regulations. They are the experts on this, so heed their recommendations.
Once you have an idea of the topics and formats that need their eye, work out a review process. If you’re using a content marketing platform, you have access to develop custom workflows for this. Compliance and legal reviewers can be part of this and complete reviews and approvals within the system.
At this time, you’ll need to work out timelines and expectations so that projects don’t stall out while awaiting feedback. Using such an application keeps everything transparent and visible, so there’s a lot less back-and-forth via email or chat.
Create Standardized, Compliant Language
In your strategy, you’ll also want to craft standardized and compliant language around products, services, and policies. Doing so ensures that the message is consistent and meets guidelines. It should be accessible to any who works on content creation, so there’s no question about how you refer to certain areas of the business.
Work Out Privacy and Data Law Practices
There are a variety of privacy and data laws to consider in content compliance. These deal with how you collect customer data and use it. Some of these apply to specific types of content like PHI (personal health information), regulated by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Others are more about the consent for data collection and usage when people visit your website or fill out a form.
The U.S. does not have a national data privacy law like the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It governs the collection, use, transmission, and security of data from residents of the EU, so if you have operations or customers in these companies, it applies to you.
Most organizations have adopted cookie consent parameters, which require visitors to agree or not to their use. You must explain how and why you collect data and what you might do with that information. It’s a valuable component for marketers, as it provides insights into how visitors interact with content and the journey they take. It can also deliver a more customized experience for the user and feeds content analytics. Thus, it’s critical, but you must always follow the laws regarding usage and restrictions.
In addition to cookie consent, you’ll also want to include disclaimers about data collected from form fills and that the person agrees to receive content from your company.
Even though a national policy is still absent from the U.S., many states have their own laws. These apply to data collected and used for residents of these stats. Those include:
- California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)
- Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA)
- Colorado Privacy Act (CPA)
- Utah Consumer Privacy Act
- Connecticut Data Privacy Law (CTDPA)
- New York SHIELD Act
Revisit Content Compliance Often
The regulations that govern content are always apt to change. New legislation is currently in the works in many states, as is a national bill. Check in with legal and compliance at least bi-annually to stay on the right track. Doing so helps minimize your risk and protect your brand.
Content Compliance Is Easier to Manage with the Right Processes and Tools
Content compliance is a critical area of content operations. Technology can streamline processes, provide visibility, organize assets in one central spot, and more. Coincidentally, DivvyHQ provides all of these benefits, and more. For a personalized walkthrough of our compliance and reporting features, request a demo today!