Content Governance in the Content Marketing Era

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Today’s content marketing requirements and opportunities are straining traditional corporate thinking, policies and processes.

How has your company adapted policies and procedures to accommodate the “democratization of content creation” with the shift from centralized, “professional” production processes, to a distributed or (hopefully) agile creation process?

A common occurrence we experience when creating video vignettes for companies provides a good example. This involves the internal review process that is based on traditional thinking, policies and procedures.

First, some context. We typically create content for our customers, to address their buyer’s journey: their issues, challenges, opportunities, options, etc. This content is educational in nature. Hopefully it delivers insights bordering on  “thought leadership“, with some degree of a “point-of-view.” Relatively little of this content presents an official corporate offer.

Our process begins by interviewing our customer’s subject experts to acquire the language they typically use when talking with customers about customer business issues. We expect these experts know the language that resonates with their buyers. Therefore, this is less an original creation effort on our part, than a structured interview and editing process.

The copy we produce – for text as well as video content – are reviewed and approved by subject experts and the primary sponsor group. No problem.

Now, often because this is a “vid-e-o,” the script must go through a corporate (marcom) review process, perhaps “brand” review, and legal. This process alone can take weeks, often with multiple iterations. Multiple people within our customer organization are tied up pouring over copy.

Rarely, except when we document the feedback in our customer’s Content Frameworks, are these insights captured and documented to guide future content creation efforts. No sharable learnings.

Meanwhile, every day across the organization, how many customer conversations are occurring without brand, marcom or legal review …

… blogs,

… webinars,

… email campaigns,

… proposals, etc.?

The issue isn’t removing the guidance of marcom, brand or legal. Obviously it is completely missing in the vast majority of customer communications that occur daily throughout every corporation – large or small.

Content creation has moved beyond formal, centralized, marketing controlled resources, to the periphery of the corporation – and beyond (business partners and re-sellers?).

One example of the implication of this shift, and the nature of content in the content marketing era, is volume. As content is personalized across industries, roles, and stages in the buying cycle, content volumes are exploding.  Traditional review cycles were not designed for this volume.

How have your policy and governance teams adjusted their thinking, process and procedures to support your “new producers” – and the new requirements – in this digital age?