We know content marketing has power, and of the positive effect that it can have on brand awareness, consumer engagement and sales. But there are also a number of risks that can negatively impact your brand when you have a team working on content marketing. Are you wondering what risks I am talking about? Here are some to consider before starting your next project:

    • Lack of resources and training
    • Low quality and/or irrelevance of content
    • Brand inconsistency
    • Not understanding your audience or marketplace (consumer/competition/buyer’s journey)
    • Misjudgement in affiliations and communications
    • Data breach, security, privacy

It is imperative for content marketers to have policies, procedures and governance built into their overall strategy. While “governance” sounds boring, it can save the day by providing clarity around how decisions regarding your content strategy are made and how changes are initiated and communicated. It also provides clear accountability for strategy, policy and standards. The size of your organization and the number of freelancers and/or agency partners you work with can also add to the complexity.

Developing, communicating and implementing effective policies, procedures and governance is not an easy task, as content marketing can impact many areas of your organization and involve many people.  One way to develop business rules is to break it down into four main areas. Depending on your company structure, some of the areas may overlap and need to have cross-departmental involvement.

Four areas of business rules and considerations within those areas:

  1. Editorial:
    Content mission (why are you creating this content), brand narrative, content themes, key messaging, brand voice and tone, buyer personas (who you are creating the content for), length of content by platform/channel, SEO (key phrases), linking policy, naming conventions.
  2. Design and creative:
    Logo(s) usage and placement; colour palette (primary and secondary); typography (primary and secondary); visual identity (types of images and usage); layout/design for
    business cards, letterhead, social posts, ads, etc.
  3. Network and infrastructure:
    Domain names, website structure, tagging/headers, microsites, landing pages, archiving and deleting content, CMS and other tools that may define how your taxonomy works (software and hardware), hosting, security, privacy, intellectual property/copyright
  4. Publishing, promotion and development:
    Tools (marketing automation, CMS, Google Analytics, etc.), domains, websites, microsites, landing pages, multi-channel protocols, information access, taxonomy, paid promotion/amplification processes, data analysis

The other key area of consideration is the workflow and approval processes. Brands need to ask what processes, people and tools/technology they need to put in place to effectively maintain their ongoing content marketing efforts. Here are some questions to ask:

    • Why create the content?
    • Who (people) is involved in content marketing efforts?
    • What are each person’s roles and responsibilities, including the approval process?
    • When a person’s work is done what happens next (flow) – manual or automated?
    • How do you determine the results/analysis to continue, discontinue or change?

Developing a workflow chart can be helpful in training and serves as a reminder to ensure everyone understands the various stages of the process. If you have a larger organization, you may want to set up committees or teams to help develop governance structure. In the end, governance may not be sexy, but it sure can help you be more successful.

If you are looking for some advice on content marketing strategy, we would love to chat. Give us a call or email me at smiddlebrook@fifthstory.com.