In the world of customer-oriented businesses, the popular statement from Bill Gates that “content is king” may be frowned upon, but it doesn’t stop that statement from being the reality of today’s business world.
Content has become an essential part of today’s business world. However, many businesses struggle with successfully incorporating content management and content marketing into their existing business structure. A 2019 survey revealed the complexities content professionals face when dealing with big corporations. Most of the participants in the survey stated their biggest challenges were department silos and poor interdepartmental communication. These challenges hindered successful content management significantly because only 50% of the participants in the study reported being able to produce timely and relevant content to the right audience.
A poorly governed information layer and poor enterprise marketing taxonomy are to blame for problems with the quality of distributed data. The following information should provide some insight on how to prevent time lags, avoid wasted resources and stop brand inconsistency via implementing governed metadata during critical phases of the content lifecycle.
What is digital content management?
To put it simply, digital content management is a term used to describe the content lifecycle. More detailed definitions of digital content management will often mention the various stages involved (such as creation, management, distribution, publishing and retrieval), but I will keep it simple here. Digital content management (also known as web content management) involves the creation, distribution and management of content across a broad range of online channels using hosted, open-source or commercial management tools. One key goal of digital content management is to help ensure content is delivered and personalized.
The following roles are important in web content management:
- Content Writers/Editors
- Content Publishers
- Site Administrators
The size of the company determines the number of people fulfilling each role within the business. In larger corporations, you can expect each role to be fulfilled by more than one person and via outsourcing from a broad spectrum of brands and locations.
Larger corporations that produce a lot of content depend heavily upon digital technology to create, store and manage information. The following content management resources are just two of the categories mentioned in Gartner’s 2019 review of web content management companies:
Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS is a developmental tool that helps businesses create, edit and personalize content for distribution. Notable CMS’s are:
Digital Asset Management System (DAMS)
A digital asset management system is an organizational and storage tool used for content retrieval, personalization and recycling.
Notable DAMS are:
- Adobe Experience Manager
What is the relationship of metadata to content management?
Metadata is a set of data used to describe the information contained within other data. When it comes to content, metadata can refer to an image, a URL, written content, a video or anything else that is created that a user will relate to online. Businesses that make metadata the primary focus of their management solution are enabled to maximize the value of their content. It becomes easier for data analysts to interpret content ROI using the DAM’s data. In short, metadata transforms content into a valuable business asset.
Most people often associate metadata with implementing campaigns, but it also plays a critical role in the entire content lifecycle—from the time content is requested to the publishing of content. Metadata also involves other aspects of the content experience—from marketing channels to special offers and targeted audiences. However, many businesses fail to maximize the value of these other aspects of the content lifecycle because of a poor application of metadata. For example, if all content experiences are described differently, then there’s no way to compare these experiences. The result leads to site navigation confusion, poor personalization due to incomplete data and frustration for the analysts who have to interpret this poorly contextualized data.
The Information Layer
According to Factor Firm, the information layer of a business is the layer of metadata found between the customer’s experience layer and a company’s tech stack.
Elements in the information layer
Like the content professionals mentioned in the 2019 survey, the information layer interacts with multiple teams and systems within an organization. Therefore, a business needs to unify all its information assets so the company can have a consistent voice and vocabulary—especially when it’s time to repurpose content and maximize AI. In short, businesses that focus on their information layer will alleviate many of the conflicts businesses face concerning content management (including the problem of not having real-time performance analyses).
Governing your metadata
Many companies risk losing the value of their information when trying to manage content across an enterprise with no established governance. For example, content creators (who may be located all over the world) that are siloed from content strategists may omit data when they tag content because their focus won’t be on the brand voice like the strategists. Also, businesses lose data when they run ETL processes after a campaign is over.
Having each department do their content metadata is not enough if you don’t incorporate the following components into governing your metadata:
- Create a centralized taxonomy defined that’s used by the entire company.
- Create a standardized content creation and tagging process.
- A lot of businesses forget this component, but it’s important to have a strategy for validating your marketing tags, data readiness, and your pages.
- Centralize the management of your data format and data flow.
Governance around tagging
Here’s an example to show you a framework for governing content metadata.
Content creation workflow with governance applied
Let’s say a fortune 100 manufacturing business commits a few billion dollars to its marketing engine and tech stack. Having inconsistent information among the company’s various departments caused the business to lose a lot of money and time in the beginning.
When they adopted the strategy of creating a centralized taxonomy, they were able to establish a common vocabulary of core terms and ideas.
When the governance of metadata is absent, teams will publish content and create titles, descriptions, search keywords, tags and metadata that may be ineffective because they are siloed from the team that has the most knowledge about the content and its context.
However, when a content creator enters details into a marketing data governance platform using centralized taxonomy, the content publishing team can analyze the metadata created from this workflow successfully. Then the content is verified and published via the chosen CMS. In short, the company saves money and time by reducing the hours needed for launch time and the approval cycle. connecting data appropriately into analytics systems.
A company with a successful digital content management process can handle a complex enterprise structure. Centralized taxonomy will create appropriate metadata so there are fewer errors during the creation of content and no misunderstandings among outsourced teams. Therefore, governing your metadata allows you to maintain an efficient digital content management process due to eliminated department silos and a streamlined content creation strategy.