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Content Governance definition

Content governance guideline. (© Tumsasedgars -

Content governance guideline. (© Tumsasedgars -

Content is one of the most critical components of a marketing plan. In order for your content to be as effective as possible, you must have a plan. Content governance refers to a system that helps you determine how the content for a business is created and published. It ensures that content is used properly, and it can expand the reach of your content, ensuring that it is seen by the audience that it is intended for.

It’s no secret that content is one of the most important tools in marketing tool box; however, creating great content – and enough of it – and ensuring that it is as visible as possible requires some planning. Content governance can help you achieve your goals, boost the quality and reach of your content, and increase your overall success.

What is Content Governance?

Content governance refers to a system, or a set of specific guidelines, that help you determine how your content is create and published. Essentially, it is the detailed management of content style and delivery, in addition to the execution of tactics regarding content strategy for the long term.

Content governance can be thought of as a structure that helps to:

  • Establish priorities
  • Offer detailed standards and guidelines regarding how content should look, act and interact with your targeted audience.
  • Assigns ownership to those who work within an organization, enabling them to make strategic decisions regarding content.

Why Content Governance is Important

A lot of people regard governance as a specific phase of content strategy, very much like planning and creating. However, governance really belongs at the top of a content strategy. Why? – Because governance offers key benefits that are crucial for a successful content strategy.

Some of the most important benefits of content governance include the following:

  • It helps to create a consistent experience for customers across various channels.
  • It aids in avoiding content bloat.
  • It establishes internal organizational controls.

Essentially, a properly designed and well executed content governance system can help you leverage the knowledge of the people within your organization to create more diverse and more dynamic content.

Tools Used in Content Governance

There are several tools that can be used in content governance. These tools can include some or all of the following:

  • Guidelines for editorial
  • Guides for stylizing content
  • Workflows for content
  • Committees that are dedicate to the creation and distribution of web content
  • Taxonomies
  • Standards that are established for archiving content

By utilizing these tools, governance can be properly executed and a content strategy plan will have much greater success.

Which Content Governance Tools to Use?

You don’t have to use all of the above-mentioned tools for your organization’s content governance. There may be some tools that will work better for your goals, and some that will prove to be ineffective.

In order to determine which content governance tools you should use, you need to take the attitude and culture of your organization into consideration. For example, if your work environment is generally supportive of trying out new things, then introducing the concept of content governance to your colleagues probably won’t be very difficult. However, if those in your company are opposed to change, introducing the concept might be a bit tricky.

openPR tip: As a general rule of thumb, you should consider starting off with introducing a style guide. Most people can easily digest what a style guide is and how it should be used. To make the introduction of your style guide as easy as possible, focus on a key aspect of your guide; perhaps voice and tone. Once your team has a firm understanding of your style guide, you can move onto another tool or aspect of your content governance system.

Before Content Is Created

The most successful content governance system begins before one word has been written or a single pixel has been pushed. You should create a specific set of expectations and goals that everyone who is involved with content creation and publishing thoroughly understands right from the get-go.

You can execute a successful content governance system by doing the following:

  • Assign ownership. Start by assigning ownership for specific aspects of the process of content creation. For example, one person should be assigned to approve, or own, content. This person’s job will be to work with writers, editors and SMEs in order to ensure that the finished product meets the standards and goals of your organization.
  • Ensure content creators know why they are creating content. It’s important that those who are creating content understand why they are creating it in the first place. This ensures that they will deliver a product that meets the needs of the company, and it also prevents the creation of contradicting content.
  • Identify success. Make sure that the content owner and the content creators have the same definition of success for the content that is being created. The idea of success will vary from business to business, but there does need to be a general consensus of what the content should achieve, for both the audience and the brand.
  • Constantly evolve. It’s also important to evolve your content governance plan. Things change on a constant basis, so you want to make sure that you are current with new strategies and techniques, and most importantly, that the content you are creating will serve the ever-changing needs of your audience.

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