What Can Happen When You Create Content in Silos

Take a moment to think about how your organization creates content. Do different teams and departments each create their own material? Do you outsource any of your content to third parties? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, you’re not alone. While scenarios like these are often necessary, they can also cause problems. That’s because anytime an organization creates its content in different silos, it becomes harder to ensure its consistency. It’s also more difficult to adhere to the same overarching strategy and style guidelines. As a result, you either wind up with content that’s not aligned, or you have to invest time and resources into editing it all.

According to our new report, “Content 2018: How Top Businesses Approach Content Creation,” 63 percent of companies reported creating their content in silos. Breaking that down further, 22 percent said that various groups create their content, but it’s funneled through one team for review. Meanwhile, the other 41 percent said that theirs was created in different silos, with no single team having oversight to ensure its quality and consistency.

Let’s take a closer look at how creating content in silos can hinder output, and what you can do to overcome it.

The Problem with Creating Content in Silos

Creating content in silos can be hard to avoid, particularly in large organizations with diverse content needs. From customer emails, website copy, and blog posts, to instruction manuals, white papers, and sales pitches, a company’s content will likely come from a range of sources. And, the more diverse teams you have creating content, the less likely it is that your content is consistent.

The problem is that when your content isn’t aligned and standardized across all streams, one of two things can happen. You either wind up using valuable time and resources to bring all that content up to the same standard, or you risk eroding your brand by exposing your customers to inconsistent content. Neither of these options is appealing.

How Companies Tackle the Issue

There are a few things that companies do to lessen the impact of siloed content creation. More than one-fifth of the companies we surveyed funnel their content through a single department for editing and quality control. While this may seem like the obvious solution, it actually adds an extra step to the process and requires more time and resources. Good editors aren’t cheap, and you’re going to need a lot of them, if you’re producing content at enterprise scale. Not only that, having a team of editors review each piece of content can create bottlenecks and delays.

Developing corporate style guides is another possible solution. The problem is enforcing them. According to our research, more than two-thirds of content professionals say that their company has an editorial style guide, but just 30 percent of them say it’s closely followed by everyone. That’s because people often don’t read or refer to style guides, they become outdated quickly, or they’re hard to use.

So where does this leave us?

The Benefits of Technology

Since silos make it difficult to produce content that’s accurate, high quality, and on-brand, more and more companies are harnessing new technologies to help. In fact, a quarter of content professionals believe that taking advantage of new technologies is the best way to address the challenges of producing high-quality content.

Nearly half of the content creators who have embraced technology say that content creation and optimization software are the best tools for the job. That kind of software helps maintain the quality and consistency of content automatically, regardless of who’s writing it. By checking and correcting in real time, writers are constantly coached to produce content that meets the organization’s standards. That means that it’s not only easier for writers to create content that’s ready to publish, but that doing so is a much faster and easier process.

Getting It Right from the Start

Creating great content isn’t easy. And, when your organization is creating its content in silos, it can indeed be challenging to ensure quality, consistency, and efficiency. Traditional approaches may work to a point, but they can be costly and unreliable. Leveraging new technologies can help bridge the gap and save you precious time and money. They can also help you ensure that your content is achieving the goals you’ve set for it.

To learn more about content creation challenges and how companies are addressing them, check out our new report, “Content 2018: How Top Businesses Approach Content Creation.”

Content 2018: How Top Businesses Approach Content Creation

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