This section looks at how to set up systems for managing your content effectively.
The most effective way to help your business realize its goals and objectives is to turn every content-related area of your business into systems that anyone in your organization can help to manage.
It’s difficult to manage content effectively if you have not set up effective systems and processes to handle the areas of your business responsible for planning, creating, delivering, distributing, and promoting your content.
At the same time, it’s difficult to plan, create, deliver, distribute, and promote your content successfully if your business doesn’t have an effective way to manage all these processes.
In this module, we look at how to address these challenges.
Before You Begin
Additionally, we recommend subscribing to our free content management course email lessons if you haven’t already, as these provide a practical step-by-step way to implement the lessons in this course.
As a subscriber, you will also get notified when new posts containing practical information and valuable content management tips are added to our blog.
Content Management Is Challenging
Managing content for your website and other digital assets can be challenging as it involves a combination of creativity, organization, and technical skills.
Here are some of the main challenges of managing your content that you may run into:
- Content creation: Generating new, high-quality content that aligns with your goals and resonates with your target audience.
- Content curation: Selecting, editing, and organizing existing content to keep your website fresh and up-to-date.
- Content organization: Structuring your website’s content in a logical and user-friendly way, making it easy for your visitors to navigate and find what they are looking for.
- Content maintenance: Keeping your website’s content up-to-date, removing outdated or irrelevant information, and updating, revising, and archiving content to keep it accurate, relevant, and useful.
- Content governance: Setting guidelines, policies, and standards for creating, managing, and publishing content on your website, and ensuring that all content on the website adheres to legal and ethical guidelines and company policies.
- Multiple authors and contributors: Managing the contributions of multiple authors and ensuring consistency and quality across all content.
- Integration with other systems: Integrating your content management system with other systems such as CRM, analytics, or e-commerce platforms.
- Multilingual content management: Managing content in multiple languages for your website catering to a diverse audience.
- Content security and backups: Protecting your website’s content from unauthorized access, complying with data privacy regulations, and ensuring that regular backups are made to restore the content in case of unfortunate events.
- Measuring and analyzing performance: Tracking metrics such as website traffic, engagement rates, and conversion rates to measure the success and effectiveness of your content management efforts.
Addressing The Challenges Of Managing Your Content
According to digital marketing experts, your business should use content marketing to promote and market itself using content, and you should do this by:
- Publishing new content regularly on your blog and on social media,
- Sending out regular email newsletters to your subscribers (and your email marketing should be segmented to different users – i.e. prospects, customers, partners, etc.)
- Creating special reports, and guides to generate new leads for your businesses.
But that’s not all…
Your business should also be continually creating new content targeting different audiences using tweets, pins, stories, videos, audio, infographics, slides, webinars, etc.
And your content must not only engage, entertain, delight, inform, educate, and sell, but if you want your content to rank well in the search engines, it must also be original, authoritative, expertly written, well-researched, and able to satisfy all the needs of your audience (or different audience groups).
That’s asking a lot of any business. Especially businesses with limited budgets and resources.
And once you figure out how to create (and meet the cost of creating) all this content…
How do you manage all of this content you have created?
How do you keep your content organized, up-to-date, and accessible so that anyone who needs it can quickly and easily access it without wasting time searching for it or duplicating it?
Managing all the content in your business requires setting up effective systems and processes for content planning, content production, and content promotion before you even start planning, creating, or promoting any content.
Without these systems and processes, your business is just guessing what may or may not work and hoping this will lead to great results.
Creating content without a plan, without defined targets, and without systems for measuring its performance and results is like throwing bricks into an empty yard and hoping these will somehow arrange themselves into a beautiful house.
This would be a complete waste of time, effort, money, and resources, wouldn’t you agree?
As we mentioned from the outset of this course…
The More Content You Have, The More Content You Have To Manage
Suppose you have a blog and you regularly publish new content on it.
In just a few short years, your blog could have hundreds or even thousands of existing posts. Many of these posts will eventually contain information that needs updating, rewriting, or removing.
You can’t stop creating new content, but as your content gets old, you also have to keep maintaining it.
Managing the existing content in your business is like painting bridges. Maintaining the structure fresh and up-to-date to make sure it remains standing while everything around is trying to corrode it is an ongoing process.
So many factors can affect your existing content.
- Facts, stats, and prices are continually changing,
- Companies, brands, and platforms appear, evolve, get acquired, change names, or collapse,
- External pages that your content links to (and are out of your control) are constantly being added, modified, moved, or removed,
- And many other things.
Keeping track of all your existing content to see if anything has changed (and if so, what has changed) is a massive challenge, especially as your business matures and your web presence becomes more established.
The Solution: Develop And Implement An Effective Content Management System
- Your business needs a web presence,
- Your web presence needs web content,
- Your content needs management, and
- The more content you have, the more content you have to manage…
Then the challenge for your business is to figure out not only how it can keep pumping out new content regularly, but also how it can proactively maintain all of its existing content updated, relevant, and accurate, in addition to managing all of its content-related processes and activities, while working within its current business setup.
For additional information, read our article on the challenges of managing content effectively.
Assessing Your Current Content Management Practices
As we have just seen…
Effective content management involves managing both the planning, production, and promotion of new content and the ongoing maintenance of existing content, throughout your entire organization.
So, is your business ready to manage its content effectively?
Think about all the areas of your business that are involved in the planning, creation, delivery, distribution, and promotion of your content, and ask yourself these questions:
- How quickly can your business create and publish new content?
- How does your business keep a pipeline of new content going?
- How does your business keep the information in your existing content (across all content types and distribution channels) up-to-date, relevant, and accurate?
- How do you know when your content is out of date, has become irrelevant, inaccurate, or obsolete?
- How can you tell if your content is performing well?
- How do you keep your content processes documented, organized, and accessible so anyone who needs the information can quickly and easily locate it?
- How can you tell if your team members are implementing and following effective content management processes?
- How quickly can your business adapt to incorporate new content planning, production, and promotion processes, strategies, methods, and tools?
The above answers will help you develop an effective Content Management Strategy, which is outlined below.
Your Content Management Strategy
The first step to managing content effectively in your business is to develop a content strategy.
Without this blueprint to guide your content activities and direction, your business will be like a rudderless ship.
Once you have your strategy, you then begin to follow it to create your content plan. Use this plan to define how your business will manage areas like content research, content production, and content promotion.
While you are doing this, your team should also be documenting your content processes, tracking your content’s performance, and periodically reviewing your content to make sure it’s still aligned with your business objectives.
Your Content Management Plan
After creating your content strategy and content plan, the next step is to break your overall content plan down into smaller plans for content production, content promotion, and content management.
Your content management plan is a document that outlines the process and procedures for managing and maintaining the content that your business produces.
It typically includes your goals and objectives for your content, your target audience, the types of content to be produced, the distribution channels to be used, the roles and responsibilities of team members, the workflow and approval process, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your content management practices.
Your business needs a content management plan because it helps you to efficiently and effectively manage the content that you produce, from the initial idea to the final publication.
It also allows for a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of team members and stakeholders and establishes a consistent workflow, which helps to ensure that your content is accurate, on-brand, and on-time.
Also, a content management plan allows your business to track the performance of your content over time, and make adjustments as needed to ensure that you are meeting your content goals and reaching your target audience effectively.
Furthermore, a content management plan can help your business ensure that your content is organized, easily searchable, and retrievable, which can save time and resources in the long run, and provide a consistent customer experience.
Additionally, having a content management plan in place will help your business keep your content up-to-date and accurate, avoid duplication of effort, and ensure compliance with legal or regulatory requirements.
In short, your content management plan is a strategy for organizing, storing, and maintaining your business content.
It helps your business keep its content organized, ensuring that it stays up-to-date and relevant, and making it easily accessible to those who need it.
Content Management Plan Goals & Objectives
Common content management plan goals and objectives include:
- Content organization: The goal is to create a structure and system for organizing and categorizing content in a way that makes it easy for users to find and access. This can be achieved by using tags and categories to organize blog posts and creating a hierarchical file system for document management.
- Content creation: The goal is to create and publish new content that is relevant, valuable, and engaging for the target audience. This can be achieved by writing and publishing blog posts, creating and publishing videos, and creating and publishing infographics.
- Content optimization: The goal is to improve the visibility and performance of existing content through search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This can be achieved by researching and including relevant keywords, optimizing meta tags, and creating internal and external links.
- Content distribution: The goal is to reach and engage the target audience through various channels such as social media, email, and other digital platforms. This can be achieved by sharing content on social media, sending newsletters, and creating and sharing infographics on social media platforms.
- Content measurement and analytics: The goal is to track and measure your content’s performance in terms of engagement, conversion, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). This can be achieved by using Google Analytics to track website traffic, using social media analytics to track engagement, and using A/B testing to optimize conversion rates.
- Content governance: The goal is to ensure that all content is accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with legal, ethical, and brand guidelines. This can be achieved by creating and enforcing a content style guide, regularly reviewing and updating content, and ensuring that all content is accessible and inclusive.
- Content archiving: The goal is to preserve and protect historical content for future reference. This can be achieved by keeping a record of all previous blog posts, preserving old videos, and archiving all previous documents and files.
How To Create A Content Management Plan
Here are the steps you can follow to create a content management plan for your business:
- Inventory your content: Perform a content audit and create a list of all the content your business currently has, including the format, title, and location of each piece.
- Identify the types of content: Group your content into categories, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, etc. This will make it easier to manage and keep track of.
- Create a content schedule: Decide how often you will update and republish each type of content. This will help ensure that your content stays current and relevant.
- Establish a process for creating and publishing content: Develop a workflow for creating and publishing new content, and make sure that everyone who creates content knows what is expected of them.
- Create a system for storing and sharing content: Decide on a way to store and share your content, such as a content management system (CMS) or shared drive.
- Define roles and responsibilities: Assign roles and responsibilities for content management to the appropriate people or teams within your organization.
- Regularly review and update your plan: Regularly review and update your content management plan as needed to ensure that it is still effective.
Example Of A Content Management Plan
Here is an example of what a simple content management plan for a SaaS company that creates marketing software might look like:
- Inventory: Blog posts, case studies, webinars, product demos, whitepapers
- Types of content: Blog posts, case studies, webinars, product demos, whitepapers
- Content schedule:
- Blog post: Once a week
- Case study: Once a month
- Webinar: Once a quarter
- Product demos: Once a quarter
- Whitepaper: Once a year
- Research: Marketing team
- Writing: Marketing team
- Editing: Marketing team
- Design: Graphic designer
- Publishing: Marketing team
- Storage: Google Drive
- Roles and responsibilities:
- Content management: Marketing team
- Content scheduling: Marketing team
- Content publishing: Marketing team
By following these steps and regularly monitoring your results, the SaaS company will be able to create a content management plan that will help them keep their content organized, ensure that it stays up-to-date and relevant, and make it easily accessible to the people who need it.
Content Management Checklist
- Define your content management goals: Clearly define the goals for managing the content, such as improving website traffic or increasing customer engagement.
- Create a content inventory: Create an inventory of all existing content, including the format, topic, and target audience.
- Develop a content strategy: Develop a content strategy that outlines the goals, target audience, topics, and formats for the content.
- Establish a content workflow: Establish a content workflow that outlines the process for creating, reviewing, editing, and publishing content.
- Set up a content calendar: Set up a content calendar that outlines the publishing schedule for your content.
- Assign roles and responsibilities: Assign roles and responsibilities for creating, editing, and publishing your content.
- Use a content management system (CMS): Use a CMS to organize, store, and distribute your content.
- Optimize for SEO: Optimize your content for search engines by including relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
- Track and analyze: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content and gather insights for future content management.
- Review and update: Review and update your content on a regular basis to ensure it stays fresh and relevant.
- Collaborate and communicate: Collaborate and communicate with other teams and stakeholders to ensure the content aligns with the overall company goals and objectives.
- Keep backups: Keep a backup of all your content.
- Document all processes: Ensure that anyone can manage your content to the highest quality standards set by your business.
- Continuously monitor and improve: Continuously monitor and improve your content management process based on your results and feedback.
Where To Start With Content Management
If you haven’t started building your online presence yet, then we recommend starting from the very beginning of this course, especially The Role Of The Content Manager, Content Management Mindset, and Content Strategy, and then going through all of the modules.
If your business is already underway and your content management practices have started to become chaotic and disorganized, then we recommend going through our Content Troubleshooting Guide.
Regardless of which of the above options applies to your situation, we also recommend also subscribing to our free content management course email lessons.
The email lessons will guide you through the course and provide the information you need to start managing your content effectively.
As a subscriber, you will also get notified when new posts (containing practical information and valuable content management tips) are added to our blog.
All web content needs management and the more content you have, the more content you have to manage.
Before you can manage content effectively, however, you need systems and processes to manage all content-related areas of your business.
From creating high-quality and engaging content that aligns with your website’s goals to organizing and categorizing it in a way that is easy for users to navigate, managing content requires a strategic and systematic approach.
Additionally, maintaining and updating the content, ensuring adherence to legal and ethical guidelines, and integrating with other systems are also important aspects of content management.
Furthermore, measuring the performance, dealing with multiple authors and contributors, and ensuring the security and backup of the content are also significant challenges to be addressed.
Without a proper plan in place, managing content can be a time-consuming and complex task.
Review the lessons in this training module and begin to implement systems and processes for managing content effectively in your business.
- Content Troubleshooting Guide – Use this guide to troubleshoot content-related issues.
- The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It – Michael E. Gerber’s classic book provides valuable information on how to stop working in your business and start working on your business.
- List of Streaming Services (Wikipedia)
The list below contains all the lessons included in this module:
- Return to the Course Outline
Image: Team discussion