Content governance is about scaling your global strategy for success and defining content purpose, quality, and process while avoiding brand damage and substandard results. When going global with your content, it’s an essential part of developing an effective global content strategy. Here’s how to get it right.
The term “content governance” doesn’t exactly inspire creativity. But it takes a team to produce consistently relevant and engaging global content: researchers, copywriters, editors, subject-matter experts, in-country stakeholders, etc.
Because of all the people and steps involved, content creation, localization, and publishing can be a messy process. The more people involved, the more potential for conflicting perspectives, styles, and interpretation of the content strategy. What’s more, if one dependency in the chain fails, the whole content cycle can be delayed.
That’s where content governance comes in.
Put simply, content governance defines how your content is created and published. It allows you to define clear roles, responsibilities, and guidelines for your content creation cycle and distribution process so you can keep your content flowing – and more importantly, performing against your content goals.
CONTENT GOVERNANCE BASICS
Content governance is the set of guidelines behind content creation and publishing that helps the process go smoothly. Streamlined content creation cycles can be especially challenging when you’re working with international content. Here are some basics to keep in mind for effective content governance.
DESIGNATE ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CONTENT CREATION
Decide on the essential roles involved in developing your content. We recommend starting with these four:
Strategic director: They set the agenda. They’ll define the content strategy and make sure your brand sticks to it. They probably won’t be directly involved in creating content, but they will have final sign-off.
Content manager: They’re responsible for the day-to-day management of your content creation and distribution and keeping it in line and on time with your strategy. They’ll also deal with ad-hoc content requests from other stakeholders.
Content creator: This role can include copywriters, editors, designers, photographers, or videographers – basically anyone who brings content to life based on the brief.
Specialist: This role is about the technical accuracy of specialized information. Be sure to include a review step by your subject-matter experts. Ideally, this would come right after copywriters produce their draft based on the content brief, and before final proofreading.
Once you’ve established the basic roles and responsibilities in your content creation cycle, you can refine the model from there.
DEFINE CONTENT WORKFLOWS
Creating content often takes longer than you think. To achieve a consistent content cycle, consider the following:
- What’s your content cadence and how long will it take you to create each type of content?
- Who will create the content? Do you have the talent and time you need to create content in-house, or will you need to outsource?
- Will your content be localized for your international markets? How will you incorporate translation or transcreation into your content cycles?
- How will you manage content distribution and optimize for each channel?
- Where could you streamline your process?
Use your answers to build out content workflows per channel. Be as specific as you can and include:
- The steps you need per channel
- What’s involved in each step
- Who’s responsible for getting it done
- How long it should take
- What tools you have, or need, to manage your workflows
Don’t forget to document your conclusions. This gives you written guidelines to refer to, provides a baseline for evolving process, and ensures everyone is on the same page. It’s also useful when it comes to onboarding people into workflows down the line.
DEFINE CRITERIA FOR CONTENT SUCCESS
It goes without saying that your content will serve different purposes on different channels in different markets. So decide what you want to achieve and set clear KPIs. Do you want more engagement on social media? Increased traffic and lower bounce rates on your website? Is your content focused on lead generation or brand awareness? Use these standards to measure the effectiveness of your content and inform your content creation goals.
EXPANDING INTO GLOBAL CONTENT GOVERNANCE
Once you have a working content governance model for your domestic market, you can scale that for multiple languages and markets. To do that, consider:
- Are you centralizing content creation and distribution with headquarters, creating content in-country, or both?
- How much content will you translate, and how much will you create from scratch?
- How can you ensure in-language content quality and brand consistency?
- Do you have in-country stakeholders to consider? Who and where are they?
- How will you measure success in each market?
Your localization partners can help you develop a global governance model for seamless, consistent, and effective multilingual content creation.
Global content governance may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. When done well, it’s an efficient and effective way to build on your content strategy and get results – in every market. With planning and execution defined by your content goals and process and resources informed by what’s working in each locale, you can maximize international engagement and results.