Content Ownership: How It Affects Creation, Marketing, and Governance

When it comes to organizing, planning and producing content, one of the biggest struggles your enterprise might be facing relates to who owns it. Without defined owners across all areas of content, it’s easy for projects to go off-script, hit roadblocks, or hang out in review purgatory. Having clarity around content ownership shapes how you create, market, and govern it.

First, let’s define what content ownership is and who those owners might be.

What Is Content Ownership?

In terms of content marketing, content ownership describes those responsible and accountable for content projects. Those content owners will dictate the content strategy, content workflows, and how a brand will use the content.

content ownership - content team

Your company can have many different owners. That’s especially true for large businesses that have numerous locations and products. The type of content will also contribute to who should own it.

Here are some examples.

  • Technical content: The owner for knowledge bases, how-to guides, and tutorials is likely a technical content creator that understands the end user’s experience.
  • Product marketing content: The owner here would be the product marketer responsible for the good or service.
  • Blog content: The owner here is typically a managing editor or content marketer, as they develop the strategy and blog schedule and create/edit the blog posts.
  • UX (user experience) content: A content strategist and UX designer could co-own this category.
  • Event marketing content: For any event content, from preview posts to live streams, the owner should be the person who develops the strategy for such occasions and attends them.
  • Nurture track content: A marketing operations role may own this type of content. They’ll use project management skills to develop a framework that creators work within.

In determining who should own the content, you should consider:

  • Who has the most knowledge?
  • Is the owner able to strategize and execute?
  • Does the owner have the access and tools needed to manage the type of content?
  • Are there any gaps in assigning owners?
  • How do those outside your content team play a role in ownership (i.e., legal or compliance may hold final approval, so they have to take some ownership of it)?

The Impact of Ownership on the Content Lifecycle

In looking at the content lifecycle, there are seven stages. Those cover creation, marketing/distribution, and governance. Depending on who owns the project, the lifecycle will look different. Here are some reasons why it can impact these core stages.


Content creators can be owners, and most of the time, they should be. They understand the strategy because they were part of its creation. They also know the goals for each piece of content and what resources are necessary to complete, such as interviewing an SME (subject matter expert) or collaborating with a designer.

In cases where creators are owners, you’ll likely see these projects run smoothly. That will be even more probable if you’re using workflows and a content calendar, which support transparency and accountability.

Other types of owners may have some hiccups. For example, product marketers may own creating one-sheeters on their software platform. They need to source information from product managers, refer to product roadmaps, or consider other factors.

Product marketers may not adopt workflows if it’s not innate to them. They may also require many more approvals. In these cases, content teams can support these projects better by developing new workflows.

Marketing and Distribution

content distribution and promotion

The content owner often controls the marketing and distribution of a piece. They may choose the channels to distribute, like social media, email, or PR avenues. While most content has a similar distribution, the unique element is paid promotions.

The content owner isn’t always the budget holder. Even if they are, budget allocation means that only some pieces of content get a monetary push. The decision on this rests in the company’s overall goals and if the content can help meet those.

Another area of marketing would be pitching the content to publications or industry associations. The capacity to do this rests in a content owner’s connections and relationships. The greater it is, the better chance other groups will amplify it.


Content governance describes the guidelines and quality control processes you undertake to ensure content is on-brand, accurate, and of high quality. Consistency in content is often a foundation for your content strategy. It includes:

  • Adherence to brand and voice guidelines
  • Harmonious product messaging that doesn’t veer or change
  • Keeping compliant with any regulatory constraints
  • Staying in concert with your content strategy

Content governance is often a challenge for organizations. In fact, 72 percent of brands say they aren’t managing content strategically.

Even if you document everything, you have to have safety nets to catch this. This could involve reviews by legal or product managers as well as proofing by copy editors.

Technology is the best way to enact governance and give content owners a foundation. It’s a game-changer. A content marketing platform can house your content strategy, calendars, and workflows. There’s no question about processes or messaging because everything is in a centralized solution.

See the video below to learn how such a solution keeps you organized and aligned.

Content Ownership Tips: How to Improve Accountability

Technology will make the biggest difference in ownership and accountability around content. There are things you can develop both inside a platform and out to boost these objectives.

  • Develop content workflows that identify all tasks to take content from idea to development to publication to measurement.
  • Ensure content owners have authority and are involved in strategic planning.
  • Create content calendars that offer complete transparency and view-ability.
  • Practice your process; if you don’t, then everything goes askew.
  • Look to platform analytics to discern where roadblocks are for owners and develop plans to alleviate them.

These are just a few ideas, and they’re all capabilities you’ll find in DivvyHQ. Our award-winning software was purpose-built for content marketing teams. Check out our free trial to find out why so many companies trust it to streamline, manage, and improve content operations.