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Leveraging your brand’s subject matter expertise is like herding cats if your organization lacks a cohesive web content strategy. Web pages, blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, guides, interviews, webinars, or other informative and solution-oriented content spreads across several categories and formats, often residing in multiple repositories.
Scattered content complicates your ability to deliver useful information and solutions to your audience based on their interests and challenges. In addition, your organization might be missing opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership, including detailed product and services information, reports on successes, and best practices, and insights on industry trends. As a Marketing Insiders Group article reminds us, “Thought Leadership can come from any source—executives, customers, product managers, designers, customer service reps, sales people,” which can mean lots of cats to round up.
Admitting you have a problem begins a road to improvement: “Only 12% of respondents feel successful in their current efforts to strategically manage content,” reported The Content Marketing Institute in their 2018 Content Management & Strategy Survey. A holistic approach to reviewing and renewing your content strategy can begin with a few high-level activities that involve collaboration across the enterprise. That kind of collaboration has the desired effect of helping socialize and then reinforce content guidelines and governance necessary for a cohesive content strategy.
Reviewing and revising content guidelines will better position your organization for delivering the right content at the right time and promoting thought leadership. A page-level audit with analytics is a strong starting point for assessing current content. You can begin identifying a critical mass of current content that performs well and continues to be purposeful.
The assessment is an opportunity as well to review content guidelines for format and structure. Guides for web writing have long advised articles and posts comprised of small sections of text spaced with informative headlines and enlivened with images. That modular approach offers an opportunity for content managers to identify key content snippets that can be delivered at critical points of need in the user journey. Your review of current content will also help shape a cohesive strategy for content creation moving forward.
Your content management system is crucial for turning strategy into action. Newly established guidelines should focus on optimizing your CMS capabilities, taxonomy, and strategies for indexing and tagging. Additionally, content guidelines that promote modularity can ensure portions of content are tagged for multipurpose use.
Your content strategy will remain incomplete and vulnerable without a plan for enforcing and evolving content guidelines, policies, tone, and SEO. Without governance and plans for enforcing it, your organization risks falling back into the same processes and habits that led to disorganization. Knowledge sharing by executives, customers, product managers, designers, customer service reps, sales people, and others adds up to lots of cats to round up.