Big companies often produce, publish, and promote large amounts of content. In fact, the biggest ones can have hundreds of thousands of documents in their content libraries. And while that’s great in theory, since content is critical to communicating with prospects and customers, in practice it can cause you problems. If you’ve got lots of different people creating content, all with varying styles and quality levels, it often winds up being inconsistent, off-brand, or below your company’s standards. We call this content chaos.
To get around these issues, companies typically try to govern the content creation process. They might create a content strategy, develop brand and editorial guidelines, or use editors to help bring their content into line. And while these are all steps in the right direction, these traditional approaches to content governance all have some pretty major limitations. That’s especially true at large organizations where there can be thousands of people creating content across different departments and geographies. Here’s why:
Enforcement Is Virtually Impossible
As a content leader, you can create all of the guides, strategies, and process documents you want. But getting people in your organization to actually follow these resources is exceedingly difficult. That’s especially true when the people creating content aren’t actually part of your department or line of business. Worse yet, you may not even be aware of everyone who writes content in your organization, let alone have any influence or authority over them. Add in all of the third party resources your company engages with to help create content, and the challenge of sticking to a governance plan becomes all the more complicated.
Unfortunately, even if you could make everyone in your organization read your content strategy and guidelines, or consult your company’s terminology database, getting them to use these and other tools consistently would be an uphill battle. The reality is that manual governance tools can be cumbersome, and most content owners just don’t have time.
It’s a Static Approach
Content strategy, style, brand, and even terminology are all fluid. They can change over time to meet the evolving needs of your business. And while you can manually update your guidelines and strategy to reflect such changes, doing so and rolling them out in real time just isn’t realistic.
As a result, there’s always going to be a delay between where you want your content to be and how your content creators produce it. Of course, that’s assuming your content creators are using the tools and workflows you provide them in the first place. If getting them to adopt your content governance process is difficult, try changing communication habits once they’re established!
It’s Impossible to Scale
Lots of companies try to get around the issue of enforcement by hiring editors to review content before publishing it. And while you can train those editors on all of your company’s standards and preferences, and get them to apply them all to the content they review, the problem is that’s not a scalable solution. Editors are costly and can dramatically slow down the content creation process. Meanwhile, you’d need a small army of them to review 100% of the content that large enterprises produce. Since that’s just not realistic, it means that even a few great editors aren’t nearly enough to keep pace with your needs.
A Better Way to Achieve Content Governance
The bottom line is that if you take an old-school approach to content governance, you’re probably going to run into problems. Thankfully, Acrolinx provides a solution to these challenges. Our content governance platform learns how your team, department, and company writes, while capturing your enterprise content standards. It then applies those content standards by guiding your writers to the correct preferences right in their favorite authoring tools. By seamlessly integrating governance into the content creation process, it becomes automatic. The result is total compliance.
Remember, a good content governance plan is critical. But for it to work and drive value for your business, you’ve got to ensure a modern, technology-driven approach.