What Is Content Governance and Do You Really Need It?

Creating content in silos can quickly create a chaotic state internally and dilute your brand’s voice, message, and power externally. This often happens in enterprises where content is produced at a high volume and carried out by different people or groups. Consistent management of it all may seem like a goal that is out of reach. Good news — it’s not. To achieve this, you’ll need to adopt a content governance process.

Let’s dive into what content governance is, the risks of not using it, and how to create a model for your business.

What Is Content Governance?

Content governance is a framework like any other one you’d develop to define guidelines and processes. It describes how to manage content and how you create, publish, and maintain it. It’s typically part of a content strategy, outlining what content parameters should be and who owns processes and tasks.

Its goal is to ensure consistency no matter who is producing the content. It should include:

  • Content creation’s roles and responsibilities
  • Platforms or channels where you publish and distribute content
  • How you’ll update content moving forward
  • Style guides for brand voice and tone, which include grammar rules, word choice and syntax rules, and more specific guidelines on how the brand should sound
  • Other consistency principles, such as SEO practices, content length, formatting, and product messaging matrices.

The Risks of Not Adopting Content Governance

So, why should you go through the work to deploy and maintain content governance? There are numerous ways your company benefits from it, but what about the risks of not?

First, it’s important to look at why disconnects happen without it. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) 2022 Content Marketing Survey revealed that the number three challenge for content teams is internal communication between teams and silos.

CMI Research - Top B2B Content Marketing Challenges

Image: CMI

That’s the key issue that content governance resolves. It’s the single source of truth about how your brand creates, distributes, and maintains content.

Even if you have a content governance outline but don’t follow it, you could end up with these issues:

  • Poor quality content that doesn’t reflect your brand voice, content strategy, or content goals
  • Inconsistencies in messaging, language, or value props, which can confuse audiences
  • Duplication of efforts
  • Inaccurate content regarding product or service features
  • Gaps in aligning content to the buyer journey (e.g., not having assets for all funnel stages)
  • Challenges with onboarding new employees or outsourced talent
  • Disconnects between content and audience needs or expectations

Do You Need Content Governance?

The issues listed above are more than just concerning outcomes. They could actually put content marketing on a crash course to not meeting goals around ranking, leads, nurturing, etc. If your content is inconsistent, not resonating with buyers, or simply lacks quality, you won’t be able to attract and convert. Content, like any other business tactic, needs parameters or “guardrails” to ensure everyone stays on the right track.

When you commit to governance, you’ll be able to:

  • Ensure structure for every content project
  • Establish roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders
  • Create detailed  content workflows and processes
  • Identify standards around content
  • Drive efficiency across the content production cycle
  • Improve the quality of all content

With all these advantages, you’ll have more clarity around content ROI. Making this connection is difficult for many enterprise content teams. Only 8 percent of organizations characterized their ability to do this as excellent, with the majority unsure.

CMI Research - Demonstrating Content Marketing ROI

Image: CMI

So, how do you create or improve content governance?

Developing a Content Governance Model

Build the ideal model for content governance that fits your organization, teams, and brand. Use these four steps for success.

Define the People

Every aspect of content operations and production has people behind it. When they know their roles, they can be more productive and consistent. So, this is the first step. Consider all the people with roles — content creators, specialists, editors, approvers, and SMEs. Label the responsibilities for each role and the expectations. There will be some overlap, and that’s okay.

Design the Workflows

For each role to meet their responsibilities, they need workflows. These describe the process and tasks for every piece of content. Different formats will have different variations. These keep everything moving, and you’ll find they have the most impact when part of a dynamic content calendar.

Determine Policies and Procedures

The next step is about those guidelines and guardrails discussed earlier. They define the tenets of what brand content should include. That ranges from tone to word usage to publication.

Document Everything for Enterprise-Wide Compliance

All these components need to be in a living document that can change as needed. Make sure all those involved in content creation and distribution have access to ensure compliance. You don’t want any “rogue” groups doing their own thing because that can damage your brand.

Adopting Content Governance: Why Technology Is Key

To govern content effectively, you’ll need to embrace technology. Manual processes take up too much time and invite more errors. It also inhibits transparency. The most essential for this is a content marketing platform. These applications align specifically with content marketing efforts versus others that you have to adapt to your workflows.

When seeking out such a solution, ensure it includes:

  • A dynamic content calendar
  • The ability to create and duplicate content workflows
  • Tools that help streamline content collaboration
  • Content automation options
  • Content production and performance measurement features
  • Publication and distribution capabilities

With these and more, you’ll be able to operationalize content governance. Its framework comes to “life” with this technology. In turn, it promotes standardization, accountability, and stronger results.

Content never ends; it’s a continuous foundational piece of your brand’s ability to drive traffic, leads, and loyalty. Enterprise teams have such significant throughput, and governance fills the checks and balances void. It makes executing your content strategy more accessible and breaks down the silos keeping you from success.

You can find all these features and more with Divvy — the award-winning content marketing platform that enterprise teams love and trust. See how it works by starting a free trial.