Marketing Content Management: Best Practices for Enterprise Marketers
Content is a mainstay of marketing functions in businesses of all sizes, but enterprise marketers face an even bigger challenge when it comes to managing marketing content.
According to AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), enterprise content management is: “Neither a single technology nor a methodology nor a process, it is a dynamic combination of strategies, methods, and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver information supporting key organizational processes through its entire lifecycle.”
Challenges of Marketing Content Management in the Enterprise
Enterprises often source content from multiple sources, from in-house content production teams to freelance creative talent, agencies, and other sources. Production isn’t the only complexity; there’s also the issue of reformatting content for re-purposing content across multiple channels, distribution, promotion, and curation.
Enterprise content marketers are often tasked with supporting sales enablement functions as well, ensuring that the sales team has the right content suited for myriad selling scenarios, buyer personas, and touch points. As much of the success of an enterprise is dependent on the effectiveness of marketing and sales, both of which are supported in large part with content, effective content management practices are critical to the organization’s success. Let’s examine the strategies and best practices that cultivate successful enterprise content management.
Conduct Periodic Content Audits
A content audit should be carried out by every enterprise prior to implementing a content management process, but periodic content audits even after effective systems are in place are also valuable. There are many ways to approach a content audit, but the basic premise is to create an inventory of all content assets within the enterprise. Excel spreadsheets are a somewhat archaic, yet still effective, way to approach this task.
Obviously, it’s a monumental task. But after you’ve completed a content audit once, it becomes a growing and evolving tool that proves useful in several ways. First, undertaking a content discovery mission enables you to uncover valuable content assets that have been underutilized. This alone allows enterprise content marketers to revive older assets, update, reformat, and re-purpose them to get more leverage from each asset.
Content audits also enable marketers to categorize enterprise assets in several ways, by format, channel, buyer persona, or other characteristics, identifying key gaps and needs for content within the enterprise (content gap analysis). In other words, it can serve as a foundation for content production and reduce the time spent re-creating assets that already exist and require only a few updates.
A Central, Enterprise-Wide Approach to Marketing Content Management is Key
When implementing a content management strategy, it’s imperative to have a consistent, enterprise-wide approach to managing content. Otherwise, teams and departments may develop their own processes and systems, leading to disorganization and, essentially, chaos when it comes to actually being able to strategize and utilize content effectively.
While it’s practically impossible to get everyone across an enterprise on the same page as far as classifying and storing content in the proper repositories, there are tools that can overcome these issues. You don’t have to try to force everyone across your enterprise to learn a new system, use only a specified repository, or adapt to different workflows.
Shameless plug: Docurated provides a single source of truth for enterprise marketing and sales teams, sourcing all enterprise content from all repositories and data sources. Let technology do the heavy lifting and adapt to your team’s existing workflows while still achieving streamlined, central content management that supports every department.
Measure and Optimize Content for Continuous Improvement
Your content inventory and content gap analysis help to drive your editorial and content production strategy, but merely filling in existing gaps isn’t enough. Your editorial strategy should be driven by data; content should be measured and optimized from end-to-end. Content analytics are a content marketer’s best friend, providing key insights into the effectiveness of every content asset within the enterprise.
Contently identifies making better use of data – “speeding up the rate at which they evaluate and adjust content tactics” – as a key opportunity for brand publishers in 2016. And more brands are using content in more lines of business, meaning marketing content data benefits more than just the marketing department, but also HR, public relations, social media, and more.
From determining what formats and types of assets are most effective for reaching prospects at various touch points throughout the buyer’s journey to pinpointing the best assets for converting certain buyer personas, content analytics can transform enterprise marketing and sales. Not only do they enable marketing and sales professionals to find the best content for every unique marketing and sales scenario, but they provide the insights necessary for fine-tuning the enterprise’s editorial direction.
Marketing content management becomes a foundational function that supports every facet of the enterprise when done right. The time invested in conducting content audits, as well as the right investments in tools and technology to streamline content production, retrieval, and analytics, are investments that pay off not just for enterprise content marketers, but every department in the modern enterprise.
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