The Never-Ending Editorial Process
When you look at how content is created at most large businesses, it’s usually not a very efficient process. Big companies tend to have long, looping editorial cycles. This means that getting even a seemingly simple piece of content out the door can take more time than it should.
At the heart of the problem is the fact that content creation is often a slow and highly manual task. As a result, most organizations aren’t able to produce enough content to fuel critical business initiatives. At the same time, whatever content they do wind up producing often isn’t personalized, doesn’t align with their personas, and isn’t consistent with the brand.
All of these issues translate into content creation processes that are more costly and time-consuming than they should be — while yielding substandard results. It’s when various departments across the business recognize this, that they often decide to go rogue! Sometimes even creating content on their own rather than working with assigned content teams. Which only makes things worse: resulting in even higher costs along with lower consistency, and further misalignment with the brand.
So how can you avoid these and other problems? As we’ll see, one solution is to build a better revision process that uses automation to power greater efficiencies.
One of the biggest bottlenecks for most content teams is getting content reviewed and approved. Simply sending your content for revision can add days or even weeks to most content creation cycles. That’s because reviewers are often overworked and get asked to revise far more content than they have capacity to handle. To tell you the truth, most companies only have enough editors to review a small fraction of the content that’s destined for publication.
As a result, you sometimes find a company’s subject matter experts stepping in to fill the gap, opting for a less thorough peer review process. As part of the approval process, for example, they can wind up fixing grammar mistakes, adjusting style, and trying to align the content they’re involved in creating in line with the company’s brand standards.
While it’s nice of them to do so, the reality is that having subject matter experts worry about editing for style or making sure that content uses the correct terminology isn’t an efficient use of their time. Their sole focus should be on reviewing the technical accuracy of the content, not making sure that it’s well written.
While you might think that the solution is to simply hire more editors, the truth is that it’s a very expensive approach. And one that just doesn’t scale. A much more effective option is to actually start automating this part of the editorial process.
Consistency at Scale
Global companies produce a lot of content. Ranging from technical documentation and knowledge articles, to content marketing and customer support. So it’s no surprise that it can be challenging keeping all enterprise content consistent with brand voice and style guidelines. With content teams spread out all over the world, saving time through immediate feedback for writers can help them get it right on the first draft.
Using an automated solution to help maintain brand voice and follow company guidelines across the content workflow reduces costly editorial cycles for burdensome quality checks. At some companies, writers might not be creating content in their native language, so being guided to use preferred terminology and aligning content to your brand voice maintains consistency. Automation also means that this can be done at scale, streamlining the editorial process and speeding up time to publication.
A Better Way Forward
The key to working smarter and not harder is to use technology to help automate your editorial processes. Adopting the right content improvement and governance platform, can eliminate the need for the majority of human editing. The best platforms learn how your team, department, and company write, while capturing your enterprise content standards. They then make those standards actionable by guiding your writers to apply the correct preferences right in their favorite content authoring tools. The result is content that’s not only free of errors, but also fully compliant with your company’s particular standards.
Using technology to build better editorial processes leads to many other benefits, too. In addition to simply speeding things up, it results in higher-quality content. That’s not only great news for your audience, but also for your bottom line. For example, if you’re a global organization, and translate your content into lots of different languages, having higher-quality source content will dramatically cut down your translation costs. At the same time, automating the editing process will reduce your reliance on high-value employees, like subject matter experts, to do the work.
Acrolinx learns how your enterprise writes and captures your content standards and brand voice so it’s actionable across your workflow. Regardless of whether you’re writing in your native language or not, Acrolinx reduces the legal risk associated with non-compliant or poorly crafted content. It’s a safety net against mistakes — at scale.
To learn more about how to use technology to help your content teams work smarter and not harder, download our brochure: Automate Your Content Workflow with Acrolinx: Your Content Autopilot.