Companies today are under enormous pressure to create vast amounts of content, across an ever-expanding array of channels. And while content has become much easier for you to produce, publish, and promote, it’s also a lot harder to keep consistent, clear, and aligned with your strategy.

That’s especially true for big enterprises that typically have hundreds or thousands of people creating content. And while many might be experts in their respective fields, few are actually professional writers. With so many different individuals contributing content to your company’s website, social media channels, knowledge bases, technical documentation, marketing hubs, and more, it’s easy for the content they produce to veer off strategy. When it does, it can actively erode the experience you’re trying to create for your customers.

The resulting content chaos is something that most enterprise businesses are dealing with on some level, with serious implications for their bottom line.

How Content Chaos Impacts Brands

While most companies recognize the importance of creating content to support their business goals, simply creating it isn’t enough. If it’s not properly governed, it can actually cause more problems than it solves.

Consider that the more diverse your content creators, the more likely you’ll end up with content that’s off-brand and written in a multitude of voices. That’s a problem because inconsistent content can be confusing and even off-putting to customers. And that inconsistency has other implications. Say you need to create content in lots of different languages. If your content is confusing for translators, causing them to spend time asking and finding answers to their questions, your translation costs will soar.

Duplication of effort is another big side effect of content chaos. If you’re not managing your content strategically, it’s easy for it to end up trapped in silos, hidden from customers and customer-facing employees. It also gets recreated unnecessarily, resulting in overlapping or contradicting assets. And of course, with so many content contributors, there’s the huge issue of poor quality. Sloppy, hard to understand, or factually inaccurate content does little for your business.

The fact is that when you’re producing tons of content across your enterprise, human editors and manual workflows simply can’t cope. Inefficient content creation, including editing, reviews, and approvals, leads to bottlenecks that delay content from getting to market. Worse yet, you wind up with poor-quality content that’s off-brand and off-message, which only serves to undermine your customer experiences.

Introducing Active Content Governance

There are, of course, traditional ways of governing content that have been around for a long time. Things like brand and style guides, writer training, human editing, and approval workflows and policies. These measures worked well in the old, low-volume days, but they’re not up to the task of today’s enormous content requirements. They’re hard to enforce and impossible to scale.

So, what’s the solution?

Active Content Governance is an emerging discipline that’s helping organizations cut through the chaos. It’s a systematic approach that operationalizes your content strategy. It takes the key elements—your goals, priorities, and policies—and digitizes them so they’re actionable and measurable. By leveraging AI-powered governance technology, companies can revolutionize their efforts into a streamlined, measurable, and mature content operation that’s easy to manage and that targets resources effectively.

Active Content Governance helps you create, publish, and distribute content faster, while driving down costs and eliminating duplication, streamlining processes, and only delivering content that’s on-brand and of the highest quality. Organizations can also benefit by being able to translate their content more accurately without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, better-governed content helps companies improve their customers’ buyer journeys, by giving them consistent, high-quality experiences.

How Does Active Content Governance Work?

The Active Content Governance journey won’t be identical for every organization, but it typically consists of four important steps:

1. Systematically capture and digitize your company’s content strategy.

A documented, accessible content strategy that’s clear, defined, and actionable is your roadmap to success. You need to establish a set of goals, policies, processes, and metrics, and make that available wherever your organization creates, edits, reviews, and tracks content.

2. Measure the current status of your content.

Once you’ve translated your strategy into things you can deploy and measure, you need to understand where you are and where you want to be. Using metrics and targets, you can identify the gaps between your current status and your goals. From there, it will be easy to prioritize where you need to improve.

3. Actively guide content creation to achieve your goals.

Measuring and tracking your content’s effectiveness is all well and good, but the aim of governance is also to improve that effectiveness. The guidance aspect of Active Content Governance means creating standardized, documented processes that help guide your content creators from the point of creation through to publication. Efficient content is created through clearly identifiable workflows where every step in the content lifecycle is documented, streamlined, and simplified. This also gives creators support, guidance, and confidence in their work.

4. Improve your overall performance over time.

The last building block of Active Content Governance is metrics. You need to know that your governance efforts are working or not. Feeding content consistency and performance KPIs into a governance analytics dashboard will allow you to monitor, assess, and track them over time, and make vital adjustments to ensure continuous improvement.

5. Move forward with Active Content Governance.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by content chaos. Poorly managed, inconsistent content can have dire effects on a business’s relationships with its customers and its bottom line. However, by employing the strategic discipline of Active Content Governance, you can harness the power of great content and deploy it in a way that adds value to your customers, maximizes your resources, and brings you greater ROI.

Cynthia Spiers

About Cynthia Spiers

Cynthia Spiers is Head of Global Content and Digital Marketing at Acrolinx, the AI-powered platform that eliminates content chaos and delivers strategy-aligned content at scale.