Content is everywhere. Whether you like it or not, your business is built on content. This includes different types of content and various formats. And if you want to be successful in this digital world, you need a content management strategy to keep you organized and strategically aligned.
What is Content Management?
When it comes to content, it’s important to be clear on the terms we use. And in order to understand what content management is (and how to deploy a tactful plan), you also have to get clear on related terms like “content strategy” and “content governance.”
Content strategy is the term used to describe the planning of content creation and dissemination to align with larger business goals.
Content governance is all about governing and controlling content so that everyone is on the same page in regard to policies, regulations, risk management, and accessibility. It’s a documented approach that ensures you’re following the rules.
Then there’s content management, which is focused on the day-to-day content production and handling of content. It involves everything from creating to archiving to updating. It’s the organizational framework behind the strategy. The goal is to allocate the proper resources, roles, and responsibilities to create a logical and accountable workflow.
In other words, content management is the process of organizing, consolidating, and collecting all content in a company’s digital ecosystem – both structured and unstructured varieties.
Do you know what content marketing is?
Top 5 Content Management Best Practices
Content management is a noble pursuit, but most companies do a poor job of actually executing. Typically, this is because they lack (a) the plan, (b) the resources, and/or (3) the consistency. With this in mind, here are several best practices of content management you can use to overcome the odds and be successful:
Choose the Right Content Management System
It’s impossible to manage content these days manually. Especially when you consider the endless stream of unstructured content, it seems to proliferate by the day. So you need a content management platform fully integrated into your business.
“Enterprise content management platforms are especially important in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare and finance. Often, these organizations need extensive transparency and traceability to abide by their respective regulatory agencies’ guidelines,” Box explains.
Other businesses in industries like manufacturing and research also benefit from having an enterprise system in place. It helps not only manage marketing and customer-facing content, but also helps with organizing and maintaining guides and instructional content related to product control and worker safety.
Run a Content Audit and Inventory
If you’re just now getting serious about content management, take the time to do a thorough content audit and inventory. This includes creating a detailed and up-to-date inventory of every single piece of content your business has.
This includes blog posts, PDFs, instruction manuals, employee handbooks, social media content, compliance forms, etc. It needs to be tagged, accounted for, and properly inventoried if it exists.
Develop a Plan
Moving forward, you need a plan that allows you to inventory content the moment it’s created. This means devising a strategy for categorizing and tagging content inside of your content management system.
Thankfully, once you choose a system and learn how to use it, most of the heavy lifting is done for you. It’s just a matter of training your team to utilize the processes that are in place.
Speaking of training your team, the assignment of roles is crucial here. Every single person on your team should know how they fit into the overarching content management strategy. Whether the individual creates content, uses content, or simply works on the backend, clear roles are a must. Even the smallest gaps between content “hand-offs” can lead to massive problems down the road.
Take Compliance Seriously
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of compliance. Content management used to be the “wild, wild west” of the online world, but this is no longer the case. Regulatory bodies are hyper-focused on content integrity these days (especially in highly-regulated industries like healthcare and finance). Make sure your team is up-to-date in these areas!
Adding It All Up
Content management is more important than most companies know. And as the volume of both structured and unstructured content increases with time, it’ll play an increasingly vital role within your business. Use this article to start thinking critically about content management and best practices.