The Importance of Content Governance in Content Strategy

The Importance of Content Governance in Content Strategy
January 3, 2016 Joe Vernon

Rules and guidelines have always been part of our lives. Ever since birth, you are taught to follow a set of rules and guidelines that will keep you from getting in trouble, hurt, or to the cookie jar. Though these rules may seem to take a lot of fun out of life, life would be chaotic without these in place. Then why are rules and guidelines often overlooked when it comes to content strategy?

Sure, there is a plan of what type of content to create but is there a plan for who is responsible for creating, editing, reviewing, approving, or posting it? This is why content governance, or structure in your content strategy, is important.

What is Content Governance?

Content governance is the structure for managing content strategy. It includes the management of priorities, guidelines, standards, style, and assigns ownership to people within the organization for different phases of content production. This allows for a realistic approach and a more efficient content creation process bypassing potential bottlenecks within the organization.

What are the Benefits of Content Governance?

Content Governance creates mental freedom for organization as micro-management is no longer needed. It defines who is empowered to plan what content is needed, who edits, who approves, and who publishes it. It empowers individuals to own the content that is being created. A content governance organizational chart may look like this:

Publisher & Marketer
Editor-in-chief
Editor1 * Editor2 * Editor3
Author1.1 * Author1.2 * Author2.1 * Author2.2 * Author3.1 * Author3.2

And the workflow process would look like:

Plan > Create > Edit > Revise > Approve > Publish

With content governance in place, a team can create content without worrying about problems before or after they contributed their efforts.

The Tools Needs for Content Governance

The tools needed for content governance will vary by organization. It is best to start with a style guide that includes voice and tone guidelines. However, each stage during the workflow could benefit from additional tools. Those tools are:

Plan – Editor in Chief, Editor, SEO/Marketer

  • Content Audit
  • Editorial Calendar

Create – Author

  • Content Guides
  • Content Templates
  • Content Models

Edit/Revise – Editor, SEO, Author

  • Message Architecture
  • Editorial Style Guide
  • General Content Guides
  • Content Models
  • Content Templates

Approve – Editor in Chief, Editor, SEO/Marketer

  • Message Architecture
  • Editorial Style Guide
  • General Content Guides

Publisher – SEO/Marketer

  • Publishing Guidelines
  • Visual Style Guide

TL/DR

Content Governance is the structure for managing content strategy. It creates a mental freedom within the organization as it empowers individuals to own aspects of content creation and make decisions when needed. Content governance allows for a realistic approach for creating content within an organization and creates a more efficient content creation process.

Be sure that when attempting to adopt a content governance that each team member is equipped with the tools needed.