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The Next Step in Content Marketing: Governance and Workflows

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If you are struggling with “too much content,” “not enough content,” or “the wrong content,” this workshop is for you! Learn how to master the fundamentals of producing great content, including how to align teams, formulate iterative plans for governance and workflow, and sell your organization on the consistency and coherency that guidelines and standards will bring to content. Take home a recipe for:

Assessing current workflow and governance standards
Choosing the right tools for your organization
Building tools that work
Gaining executive and team buy-in

Presented at Forum for Healthcare Strategists

Published in: Marketing
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The Next Step in Content Marketing: Governance and Workflows

  1. 1. The Next Step in Content Marketing: Governance and Workflow Ahava Leibtag President Aha Media Group May 8 2017
  2. 2. Today’s Schedule 1. Introduction 2. Exercise #1 3. Break around 10:30ish 4. Exercise #2 5. Exercise #3 2
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  4. 4. www.ahamediagroup.com 4
  5. 5. www.ahamediagroup.com 5
  6. 6. Why do people just groan when they talk about content governance? 6
  7. 7. www.ahamediagroup.com 7
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  9. 9. Exercise #1: 1. Gather in pairs 2. Define one problem in governance and/or workflows, in detail, that you would like to learn how to solve today 9
  10. 10. You know you’re in trouble when:  There is not executive or upper-level management support for governance  No one person is dedicated to being in charge  Politics take precedence over expertise  You have no documentation around governance  You have no training programs around governance  People are not held accountable for governance issues 10
  11. 11. After today…(hopefully) 11
  12. 12. A good governance plan:  Has executive buy-in and support  Identifies who is responsible for making decisions in various scenarios  Has documentation and training based on expertise, not guesswork  Minimizes politics  Makes governance a part of people’s annual review process 12
  13. 13. 13www.ahamediagroup.com
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  15. 15. Content strategy takes the guesswork out of execution so creativity around content will flourish. 15
  16. 16. Workflow vs. Governance Workflow What processes, tools and human resources are required for content initiatives to launch successfully and maintain ongoing quality? 16 Governance How are key decisions about content and content strategy made? How are changes initiated and communicated?
  17. 17. Process 17
  18. 18. To-do list: Process  Map current workflow to understand weaknesses  Design workflow based on roles and responsibilities, not people  Clarify roles and responsibilities, each and every time  Document workflow clearly  Choose technology that will support your process 18
  19. 19. Types of Content Teams 1. Siloed 2. Distributed 3. Centralized 4. Rogue 19
  20. 20. Types of Content Teams 20 Type of content team Pros Cons Siloed  A lot of content gets created because there is no over-arching process to go through  Departments do not communicate with each other  The audience is confused  The Departments are confused Distributed  Can be useful in situations where you don’t have enough manpower on your central content team to keep all of your content fresh  For multi-national organizations, can deal effectively with language, culture, and other differences  Difficult to govern  Difficult to achieve consistency  Need careful, thorough training Centralized  Have complete control over content  Not enough resources or staff  Massive backlogs of content  Confusion over priority  Lack of clarity about ownership  Lack of subject matter experts Rogue  Are extremely motivated to converse with their target audiences  Understand the value of web content  Unhampered by political concerns  Almost impossible to govern  No interest in adhering to workflow  No stake in overall quality or consistency
  21. 21. Siloed Pros • A lot of content gets created by different teams because there is no over- arching process and team to go through Cons • Departments do not communicate with each other • The audience is confused • The departments are confused • Executives have no idea what’s happening on the ground 21
  22. 22. Distributed Pros • Can be useful in situations where you don’t have enough manpower on your central content team to keep all of your content fresh • For multi-national organizations, can deal effectively with language, culture, and other differences Cons • Difficult to govern • Difficult to achieve consistency • Need careful, thorough training • Accountability? 22
  23. 23. Centralized Pros • Have complete control over content • Not enough resources or staff Cons • Massive backlogs of content • Confusion over priority • Lack of clarity about ownership • Lack of subject matter experts 23
  24. 24. Rogue Pros • Are extremely motivated to converse with their target audiences • Understand the value of web content • Unhampered by political concerns Cons • Almost impossible to govern • No interest in adhering to workflow • No stake in overall quality or consistency 24
  25. 25. Map current workflow to understand weaknesses 25
  26. 26. Why workflow? • Break down the content process into manageable tasks • Identify each piece of content’s stage of development • Identify each step for the content to receive approval • Know who is responsible for each step and when 26
  27. 27. Why is workflow so hard? • Information flow • Misplaced talent • Lack of guidance and clear models • Lack of training 27www.ahamediagroup.com
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  29. 29. Work the problem. 29 www.ahamediagroup.com
  30. 30. Workflow Mapping: Phase I Identify: • Why create the content (the business objective)? • Who is involved (the roles)? • What each role does (the tasks)? • When the tasks get done (the flow)? • How will you assess (the result)? www.ahamediagroup.com 30
  31. 31. What are the steps? How is content: • Requested • Sourced • Created • Reviewed • Approved • Published • Analyzed 31
  32. 32. www.ahamediagroup.com 32 Requesters Providers Creators Reviewers Approvers Publishers
  33. 33. www.ahamediagroup.com 33 Roles Definitions Requesters Providers Creators Reviewers Approvers Publishers Distributors Analysts
  34. 34. Questions to ask while mapping 1. Who currently inhabits the above roles? 2. What is the current process in place for that role? 3. What happens when that person is unavailable? 4. Who gets to make decisions about change in process? 5. How does information flow from one role to the next? 6. How does information get shared? (Files, shared drives, project management software) www.ahamediagroup.com 34
  35. 35. www.ahamediagroup.com 35 Roles Definitions Requesters Creates Assignments Providers Sources Content Creators Writing & Sourcing Reviewers Editors Approvers Final Approval Publishers Prepare content for distribution Distributors Distribute content Analysts Analyze content performance and behavior
  36. 36. Roles: Phase II 1. Understand current workflow 2. Write up or use current job descriptions 3. Rearrange workflow to be appropriate for the end content product 4. Rewrite job descriptions 5. Examine who is in those roles www.ahamediagroup.com 36
  37. 37. www.ahamediagroup.com 37 Roles Tasks Who? Requesters  Requests content Providers  Sources Content—could be multiple subject matter experts Creators  Writing & Sourcing  Video editing (if necessary)  Photographic editing (if necessary) Reviewers  Edits  Legally approves  Approves for messaging and branding Approvers  Final copy editing Publishers  Prepare content for distribution Distributors  Distributes through different digital channels Analysts  Analyzes the content over time to see if it is performing well
  38. 38. Design workflow based on roles and responsibilities, not people 38
  39. 39. FOCUS ON THE ROLES. NOT THE PEOPLE. NOT THE TALENT. 39 www.ahamediagroup.com
  40. 40. Put the Right People in the Right Roles • Evaluate talent fairly • Structure for experience and personality (where possible) • Don’t be afraid to experiment www.ahamediagroup.com 40
  41. 41. May Need… • More guidance • More training • Different job • More documentation • Rewards www.ahamediagroup.com 41
  42. 42. Clarify roles & responsibilities 42
  43. 43. Who is in charge? 43
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  45. 45. www.ahamediagroup.com 45
  46. 46. Examples: Define roles and responsibilities • Marketing Manager: Why did you ask for this project? What do you need to be most successful? What metrics do you plan on using to ascertain if we were? • Project Manager: What is your job? Explain it to the content people. • Content Strategist: EXACTLY what are you in charge of doing? • Writers/Content Creators: Who is responsible for each of the steps? • Quality Assurance: Who performs and to whom do they give that information? • Reporting: How do we know if we’ve been successful? www.ahamediagroup.com 48
  47. 47. Who is a part of each process? • Project managers • Content strategists • Writers • Graphic designers • Subject-matter experts • Marketing managers • Business owners • Reviewers (legal, HR, department heads, etc.) • Developers 49
  48. 48. Document workflow clearly 50
  49. 49. Showing Workflow 1. Spreadsheets or editorial calendars 2. Content flows 3. Swimlanes 4. CMS 51 www.ahamediagroup.com
  50. 50. Identify potential bottlenecks NOW. 52
  51. 51. www.ahamediagroup.com 53
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  53. 53. www.ahamediagroup.com 55 • PLAN • CREATE • REVIEW • APPROVE • PUBLISH • MAINTAIN
  54. 54. www.ahamediagroup.com 56 Plan Create Review/Approve Assemble Publish/Distribute
  55. 55. www.ahamediagroup.com 57 Establish Content Governance Content Analysis Content Creation Establishing workflows Content Planning • Persona Development • Messaging Architecture • Identity Pillar Identification Build OR clarify the business case Content Auditing Discovery YOU ARE HERE
  56. 56. www.ahamediagroup.com 58 Writer Email web producer (builds it and puts in alt tags) Writer (looks at it in staging for QA) Publisher Writer/Project Manager Program Director and Interviewees (for comments) Project Manager (collates comments) Publisher Extensive changes Go back? Non-extensive changes Push to go live Announce to reviewing staff Chooses photos
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  59. 59. Reporting Structures www.ahamediagroup.com 61 Content Rep Sales Marketing Internal Comm PR Content Rep Product Engineering Service Engineering Customer Support Content Rep Finance Accounting HR Logistics Content Team
  60. 60. That’s how content strategy scales; it’s owned by everyone. 62 www.ahamediagroup.com
  61. 61. Exercise #2: Sketch your current workflow; just the highlights—not the details Notice the bottlenecks and the bright spots. 63 www.ahamediagroup.com
  62. 62. 64
  63. 63. Choose technology that will support your process 65
  64. 64. Discover where breaks in governance can be automated 66
  65. 65. Where can we automate this? • Understand what your CMS can do • Create authoring tools that provide guidance • Create content models that only allow certain inputs • Show the ROI on tagging and proper authoring • Select tech tools to evaluate that might help you • Use technology to remind you to archive 67
  66. 66. www.ahamediagroup.com 68
  67. 67. Popular Tools for Monitoring and Reporting • Siteimprove • Monsido • Content Insight • Divvy HQ • BrandpointHUB • GatherContent 69 www.ahamediagroup.com
  68. 68. Don’t be fooled. Technology is not governance. It’s a part of your toolbox. 70
  69. 69. Tools 71
  70. 70. To-do List: Tools  Create or modify style guides, playbooks & templates  Content workflows  Editorial guidelines  Style guides  Business rules  Page tables  Taxonomies  Playbooks and checklists  Archiving standards  Reporting  Create cheat sheets for meta data and some basic style issues 72
  71. 71. The right tools for your organization are rooted in your culture and attitude. 73
  72. 72. Create or Modify Style Guides, Playbooks & Templates 74
  73. 73. Common governance tools 1. Content workflows 2. Editorial guidelines 3. Style guides 4. Business rules 5. Page tables 6. Taxonomies 7. Playbooks and checklists 8. Archiving standards 9. Reporting www.ahamediagroup.com 75
  74. 74. Workflows 76 www.ahamediagroup.com
  75. 75. Editorial Guidelines www.ahamediagroup.com 77
  76. 76. Editorial Guidelines www.ahamediagroup.com 78
  77. 77. Style Guide www.ahamediagroup.com 79
  78. 78. Business Rules 80 What happens when: Decision A source component is changed by someone other than the owner? The changed component becomes a derivative. A source component that has been identically reused changes? Authors who reused the component are notified of the change to determine if they want to make change to their usage of the component. If they choose not to use the changed component their version of the component becomes a derivative. New content is created? It is not part of the source until approved. Authors can resume unapproved content which is in progress, but their information product cannot be published until all components are approved. From: Managing Enterprise Content, Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper, pg. 242
  79. 79. Business Rules • Govern your reuse • Implemented in your CMS • Controlled by CMS or by staff (manually) • Develop the business rules before they are implemented • Once you know what they are you can implement them 81
  80. 80. Page Tables 82 www.ahamediagroup.com
  81. 81. Page Tables: 2 83www.ahamediagroup.com
  82. 82. Page Tables: 3 www.ahamediagroup.com 84
  83. 83. Word with Character Limits 85www.ahamediagroup.com
  84. 84. Excel with Character Limits 86www.ahamediagroup.com
  85. 85. Taxonomies • Identifies content • Defines metadata • Manages the relationships between those pieces of content and metadata • Manages the organization of information so that people can find the information they need 87
  86. 86. 88www.ahamediagroup.com
  87. 87. 89www.ahamediagroup.com
  88. 88. Your goal is to have a shared and controlled vocabulary. 90
  89. 89. Playbooks and checklists 91www.ahamediagroup.com
  90. 90. www.ahamediagroup.com 92
  91. 91. Archiving Standards • Use your CMS • Use your content models • Have people be in charge quarterly • Create digital handshakes and handoffs • Create if  then scenarios: If this happens…that happens 93
  92. 92. Reporting • Non compliant pages • Spelling errors • Dead links • References to out of date info • Improper keywords • Bad metadata 94www.ahamediagroup.com
  93. 93. Create cheat sheets for meta data and some basic style issues 95
  94. 94. LINKS add depth to your site. Here’s how to use them:  Use action words  Match links to the page title (H1 tag) as much as possible  Link 3-7 words only  Label links if they don’t jump to a web page (example: [PDF])  Ensure active and visited links use consistent colors (i.e., blue and purple, respectively)  NEVER: use “click here”, put links in places where you’ll lose the reader in the conversation, or make headlines links www.ahamediagroup.com 96
  95. 95. 97www.ahamediagroup.com
  96. 96. People 98
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  98. 98. To-do list People  Gain executive buy-in by emphasizing business goals  Create multidisciplinary governance bodies  Assign decision makers  Train people how to use governance documentation and who to contact when there are questions  Make governance a part of people’s annual review process  Measure how you are doing; not just in reporting metrics but in organizational commitment 100
  99. 99. Gain executive buy-in by emphasizing business goals 101
  100. 100. www.ahamediagroup.com 102
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  107. 107. Convince them 1. Sell it to them 2. Show the mistakes 3. Find a head cheerleader 4. Advise that it’s a process; not an overnight change 109
  108. 108. Create multidisciplinary governance bodies 110
  109. 109. www.ahamediagroup.com 111
  110. 110. www.ahamediagroup.com PRITUX Executive LeadershipMarketing Customer RelationsVisual Design Sales 112
  111. 111. Content Councils 113 www.ahamediagroup.com
  112. 112. Why multidisciplinary teams? • Adapt to changing technologies • Break down silos • Better ideas • Look at things from different perspectives • See problems and solutions in a variety of ways • Have different kinds of political connections www.ahamediagroup.com 114
  113. 113. Who to look for? • Executive sponsor • Product management • Business intelligence • Creative/editorial • Information technology • UI/UX • Legal 115 • Marketing • Taxonomy manager • Content creators/editors • Content managers • Regional representatives • Search specialists • Business line owners • Training www.ahamediagroup.com
  114. 114. Option #1: Create two teams 1. Strategic authority: bird’s-eye-view decisions like site objectives, resources and budgeting, audience definition and annual planning. 2. Implementation authority: decisions related to day-to-day operations (requests for the home page, new content, content maintenance, editorial oversight. 116
  115. 115. Option #2: Create three teams 1. Steering Committees: they make business decisions about priorities and allocation of resources (they get the final say when politics or conflicts amongst different groups arises) 2. Work teams and working groups: Day-to-day implementation authority; report to the steering committee on a regular basis 3. Task forces: Groups that focus a unique project for a limited duration 117
  116. 116. Assign decision makers 118
  117. 117. Pick a Captain Content (or a few of them) 119
  118. 118. Somebody has to be the final say on each and every content project (and decide who that is BEFORE the project kicks off). 120
  119. 119. Train people how to use governance documentation and who to contact when there are questions 121 www.ahamediagroup.com
  120. 120. Training 1. Model good governance (show people what it really means; either with mistakes or best practices examples) 2. Invite to training meetings (serve food) 3. Send our reminder emails 4. Perhaps create content ownership? 122
  121. 121. 1. Model Good Governance www.ahamediagroup.com 123
  122. 122. 2. Invite to training meetings • Writing workshops • CMS workshops • Updates to governance standards • Archiving schedules SHOW THEM WHY THEY CARE www.ahamediagroup.com 124
  123. 123. 3. Send out reminder emails www.ahamediagroup.com 125
  124. 124. www.ahamediagroup.com 126
  125. 125. If you have a distributed content team, you should hold 4 trainings a year and make at least 2 mandatory. 127
  126. 126. Make governance a part of people’s annual review process (seriously) 128
  127. 127. 129www.ahamediagroup.com
  128. 128. Measure how you are doing; not just in reporting metrics but in organizational commitment 130
  129. 129. Measurement 1. Look at reviews 2. Create personal case studies 3. Use software to show decreases in mistakes with reporting 4. Track workflow to find ways you’ve shortened time to publication 5. Show how often tools are being updated or used 131
  130. 130. Exercise #3: What’s three ways you could measure how you’re doing with governance starting from today? 132
  131. 131. In reality, these activities are part of a continuous life cycle that repeats and repeats and repeats. 133
  132. 132. Remember!!!! • The law of tiny changes • If you can affect 10% of change in behavior in a year, you’re doing great! www.ahamediagroup.com 134
  133. 133. Content guides the interactions between customer and vendor. And it’s [our] job to orchestrate these content assets—these touchpoints across the entire customer life cycle—to deliver a winning, high-growth customer experience. 135
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  135. 135. www.ahamediagroup.com 137
  136. 136. Questions? Ahava Leibtag Aha Media Group, LLC ahava@ahamediagroup.com @ahavaL @ ahavaleibtag THANK YOU! 138

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