I’m far too familiar with the panic that sets in when someone tells you that the case study you need is “on the public drive.” As soon as I hear it, I know I’m about to search through no fewer than four different folders trying to find what I need.
If the content creation process involves more than one person (which it almost always does), it’s easy for things to get out of hand. That’s why I’m here to tell you that having a single source of truth can be an invaluable asset to an organization of any size. Here’s why.
Everything under one roof
The content management model has been so disparate for so long, we hardly notice its inconsistencies and shortcomings anymore.
We’ve become accustomed to firing off spreadsheets, tracking down word document revisions and volleying obscene amounts of emails back and forth to find our answers. And this doesn’t describe a few companies that are a little unorganized. In a survey we conducted a little over a year ago, we found that 86% of our agency clients were using a combination of Word, Excel and email to manage their content. In addition, the vast majority of those same clients have three or more people involved in the content creation and management process.
You don’t need much of an imagination to see how that might get a little complicated.
A comprehensive content marketing platform can help to tidy this jumbled mess by keeping everything in one place, from the editorial calendar to the blog content to social media posts.
“The core advantage” in investing in a content marketing platform, according to David Kraft, BrandpointHUB‘s Product Specialist, is that clients will never have to “dig for content in tons of different places. There is no blog folder on the server, no e-book or whitepaper drive to maintain, no separate tool for social media management. Every piece of content is housed in one place with one calendar and all media assets (photos and video and docs) are all accessible as well.”
On top of that, being able to keep track of the comments helps you stay in touch and up to date without having an email inbox full of single sentence responses.
Accountability and transparency
The biggest problem we see in the content management equation is how far spread out accountability and transparency are.
While so many companies claim this is an important aspect of content creation, it’s not reflected in the tools they use. Google Docs can get you so far in that you can see who has access to the content, who can edit it and who’s working on it at that moment.
But it doesn’t go far enough.
“We needed to assign, review and submit work that didn’t involve endless email threads,” according to Amanda Silva, the Managing Editor for Wikimotive, discussing one of their biggest content management problems.
The content creation process outlined in lots of other platforms often manifests itself as a glorified task list with no real safeguard against things getting done either out of turn or not at all. This is especially a problem if several people in your organization need to review or approve the content or you’re creating content for another organization. The more hands involved, the harder it becomes to track progress and if everyone thinks the content is in someone else’s court, you’re going to have a hard time getting it to publish.
Our idea? Workflows.
For every piece of content produced in the HUB, there’s a workflow. That workflow can have as few or as many steps and authorized users as you’d like. Each step is assigned to one user and everything must happen in order, meaning that you never have to guess who’s in charge of the content at any given point and what needs to happen next. If there needs to be a photo sourcing step before the content is reviewed by two people, no problem. If you want an SEO review before it’s sent to the editor, piece of cake. Not only does this help you identify any potential bottlenecks (and ridicule them publicly, if that’s your style), but it also gives everyone a sense of how their contribution fits into the entire content creation process. We’ve also built in robust Revision History and Track Changes features to make sure everyone involved knows what’s been changed, by whom and when.
The ultimate benefits
While headaches and bottlenecks can be annoying, there’s another big benefit to having a single source of content management truth:
According to recent Gleanster research, mid- to large-sized B2B companies in the United States waste almost $1 billion every year by employing inefficient processes to produce content. By giving a team a process they can trust, they get the freedom to focus on what they do best, the content owner has a clear view of how things are progressing and your organization gets a more engaged workforce and a healthier bottom line.
Check out the HUB
There are a whole host of other reasons to reevaluate your content management process. If you want to see what the HUBbub is all about (see what I did there?), read more about it here and sign up for a free trial!