How to Implement Content Governance for Consistent Messaging

Content governance is a way to streamline the planning, creating, and publishing of content. With it, you can become more organized in your digital marketing efforts and proactively plan your content strategy, identifying and setting priorities along the way.

How to Implement Content Governance for Consistent Messaging

Creativity plays a primary role in coming up with great content to further your company’s goals. 

Yet, if left alone, that creativity can be all over the map, and not meeting those goals and strengthening your brand.

In addition, content marketing is getting increasingly complex as more platforms are available and more stakeholders are becoming involved in the process. 

And when it comes to the best content marketing strategies, it’s no longer just about quality vs. quantity.

The creative content, it turns out, needs a framework to advance and do the job you need it to. It needs content governance.

No matter how talented and creative your writers and editors are, content governance is a way to ensure a consistent message and increase your chances of making every piece of content positively count.

This is what we will cover in this blog post: 

    What is Content Governance?

    Content governance essentially is the act of applying a structured approach to activities usually ruled by creativity alone.

    It’s a way to streamline the planning, creating, and publishing of every piece of content in your organization — from social media posts to blogs to videos to webinars to white papers.

    For instance, implementing content governance within your organization will formalize how you assign, create, edit and even approve the various content you need to promote what you have to offer.

    It provides a way for everyone on your content marketing team to know where to focus for the greatest impact. 

    Roles and responsibilities will be defined. Guidelines created. All of these in an effort to help your organization reach and even exceed its digital marketing goals.

    Content governance doesn’t mean all creativity is restricted, however. 

    Your team will still be able to create exceptional content, but now it will be within certain guidelines instead of wide open in scope.

    Why Do You Need Content Governance?

    Think about all the places you can distribute your content these days. 

    You have social media platforms, blogs, various news venues, and other sources. 

    Every piece of content requires formatting and customizing to meet the requirements of each of these platforms.

    Now, consider who is involved in the process. 

    Today, you can likely expect more stakeholder involvement in guiding the content creation process.

    It only makes sense, then, to put in place a corporate governance plan. With it, you’ll save both time and resources and ensure a consistent message for your brand.

    Why is Content Governance Important?

    With the increase in the differing types of content distribution channels, organizations must learn to adapt. 

    Marketing teams are finding it time-consuming to keep up with what goes where when it comes to content release.

    Not only will content governance make your marketing team more efficient and effective, but it’s also important for several more reasons, including:

    • To create effective workflows, saving time, money, and resources overall.
    • To streamline the assignment of roles and responsibilities.
    • To help teams focus on content with defined goals.
    • To allow others, such as subject-matter experts, to offer input or approval of the content before releasing.
    • To protect and reinforce your brand or company image.
    • To address any potential legal implications of released content.

    What you avoid with the help of content governance

    Content governance protects your business from inconsistent messaging across channels. 

    In other words, it helps you to formulate a unique, identifying message for all content.

    It also shields you from delays in releasing content or accomplishing important campaigns. Such delays are often the result of inconsistent approval workflows.

    Besides that, content governance guarantees that you won’t stray away from following established brand guidelines.

    When this happens, customers along the buyer’s journey recognize you quicker and know what you stand for and how you promote yourself.

    Building a Content Governance Model for Your Business

    Taking the time to create and develop a solid content governance model for your business will save you time and resources going forward. 

    It will also help you successfully reach your intended audience.

    Having said that, all businesses are unique, so adopting a common format is not the best way to achieve results. 

    ➤ Instead, start with your particular business type, resources, and goals. 

    ➤ Find your own way to adopt content government measures.

    ➤ Go simple or expand your content governance model based on your needs.

    So, let’s get down to the essential details of how to build a content governance model for your business.

    1. Review Current Content Workflows and Processes

    Consider what you already have in place to create and manage content and what is working so far. 

    In other words, audit yourself

    Find out what types of content you use, where it’s located, and if it matches your organization’s current needs.

    2. Establish Goals and Develop a Content Strategy

    Once you establish your organization’s overall goals, it’s time to develop a content strategy. 

    To do so, start out with the following:

    • Develop a content map showing the channels you wish to use and the type of content you’ll need for each.
    • Analyze content types you are currently using. Do you have mostly written content and find you are lacking in videos?
    • Define your aims or success measures for each channel. Do you want your content to educate, engage, or entertain?

    3. Identify Team Roles and their Responsibilities

    We’re talking about writers, editors, videographers, and content approvers.

    4. Design Concise Processes

    Or document your existing processes.

    State all goals and objectives clearly for each type of content and each communication channel. 

    Design processes to reach each one. With clear objectives, all campaigns will be designed to work towards the organization’s larger overall goals.

    5. Create Guidelines and Editorial Standards for All Content

    All involved team members will need to understand the purpose and needs of each content channel and how to uniformly guide content in a certain direction to meet your organization’s goals. 

    There are many content governance tools you can create to help with this, including:

    Content workflows

    Workflows will prioritize tasks, assign team members, establish approval process, and identify deadlines and due dates.

    It will lay out the steps content providers need to follow. Answer such questions as who writes what, who edits, who approves before publication. Build accountability into your content governance model.

    Content Style Guide

    Develop a guide that outlines expectations each piece of content must meet. 

    These may include such things as capitalization, spelling, grammar, design, and so forth. This is meant to keep content consistent and set clear standards for team members to follow.

    Editorial Guidelines

    Establish editorial guidelines, including what voice or tone you wish all your messages to convey and who the intended audience is.

    Editorial Calendar

    Centralize everything possible, including key dates, such as product launches, and organize efforts around those key dates.

    For example, visualize a timeline for the release of a new product two months from now, and set up a calendar for tasks (such as posting on social media or sending out an email to your email list in advance).

    6. Automate Processes Whenever Possible

    Automate as much as possible to ensure higher consistency rates.

    7. Add a Content Management System or Other Platform

    Determine what platforms will be most useful to the governance of your content.

    8. Use Templates

    Templates are beneficial in setting expectations for each type of content over time. 

    For example, a content brief form will help you define the scope, clarify a timeline, and address details such as word count, your target audience, keywords, and calls to action.

    9. Determine What Your Post-Publishing Content Governance Will Be

    Consider how you will distribute and promote content once it is published. 

    Also, determine how to measure its impact and oversee its performance.

    Once developed, your content governance model need not stay static. 

    Revisit it at least annually to determine if any modifications are needed to adapt to new marketing realities or a change in your business goals.

    Best Practices for Content Governance

    When designing and establishing the content governance model for your organization, consider the following best practices:

    Create a central location for storing all content

    Assign one department to own and oversee the content library to ensure consistency and to identify when any type of maintenance may be required.

    Select the right people to oversee content governance 

    Start by identifying those who care about the content requirements and successful outcomes of that content. 

    Assign them the responsibility to maintain the model put in place.

    Communicate clearly

    It’s essential to communicate with those involved in content creation and management.

    Everyone involved needs to know, understand, and follow the processes you put in place.

    Use a process management tool

    This goes for all contributors, internal and external.

    This way, you will have all communications within one framework and eliminate the scattering of emails and other resources.

    Confirm that all content strengthens your brand

    Eliminate anything that doesn’t meet those criteria.

    Wrap Up: Structure Your Marketing Strategy for Success

    Your marketing strategy, including implementing a content governance model, is the key to the success of your organization in today’s content-driven world. 

    Want to know more about your own business?

    Take our quick assessment and find out what you need to make your Content Strategy Rock!

    Barbara von der Osten Rock author vector
    Rock Content Writer

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