How an agency used GatherContent to guide large-scale content planning and production

Becky Taylor • 3 minutes

Founded in 1832 with 18,000+ worldwide employees, Havas Media Group gathers together the media talent from within Havas, one of the leading global communications and marketing groups.

They have worked with brands including Autozone, Coca-Cola, Fidelity, Emirates, LG, Mars, Mcdonalds, Nike, Sears and Volvo. We spoke to their SEO Associate Director, Harrison Kuo, to discover the main areas of success they’ve had with GatherContent:

  • Tripled the size of a client website using GatherContent to scale up content in a structured process
  • Managed two competing content requirements for a telecoms client with GatherContent since August 2014
  • Effectively collaborated on content with the Havas team, client(s) and third party writers with GatherContent

A time consuming and messy process replaced by GatherContent

For the Chicago based team of Havas Media, GatherContent came out of a necessity from one of their clients in the telecoms industry. That client had no existing process for managing their content. They didn’t even have a CMS, so everything was hand-coded. The symptom of this set-up was that Havas Media had incredible difficulty working with the client on content as it was emailed across in Word docs, Excel spreadsheets and HTML files from their IT department. It was a headache, but one that GatherContent was able to ease.

Forcing a much needed structure to facilitate content planning

GatherContent is a tool within the agency that is used by everyone who interfaces with content. Because of the lack of process around content with the telecoms client, GatherContent forced a level of discipline and structure to facilitate content planning and production.

There were two distinct content requirements for this client:

  • The content hub. This is where entertainment, sports and technology content is published to get people interested in the company and their services. Content includes upcoming shows, listicles, recaps of sporting events, what to look forward seasonally
  • The .com site. Content here includes product pages, what channels they have, what are the different packages they have etc. It was easier to update pages on the .com site and there was a better workflow and collaboration process for this content

For the client, each type of content serves a different part of a marketing funnel. For Havas Media, all of the content needed to be planned, produced and published in a structured manner with deadlines in mind and with collaboration across the organisation. This was true whatever part of the marketing funnel content was mapped to.

Havas Media have standardised how the pages for the .com site appear. There was no structure previously, so they created a template within GatherContent which included a title, summary of the page and 3 or 4 sections of content buckets where the body of the content was added.

“When we started using GatherContent it just made sense for the process we wanted to adopt, and the client accepted it really well too.”

Harrison Kuo SEO Associate Director

Defining a workflow for successful collaboration

Once the client approves the suggested topic for a blog post, a brief is passed to the third party content writers. They create a first draft, the team at Havas Media review this and if approved it moves forward in the workflow and is passed to the client for feedback. They then run this through their legal process and any programmers that would be associated with copyright issues. Once final approval is received, that piece of content can be published to the content hub.

With staff at Havas Media, the project team client-side and third party writers all involved in content planning, production and approval, it is essential that content moves through a workflow and all content is cohesive and consistent. Without this, it’s too easy for content production to get messy and cause uncertainty about what stage content is at, who’s responsible or which version is most up to date. The key to this is ensuring all content production takes place within GatherContent. The only content related activity that is allowed to happen outside of GatherContent is the time when content has to be exported in order to send to the legal department for review. Once feedback is received from legal, the client actions what is needed in GatherContent.

For any content changes, such as prices, that need to be made on the .com site, they are also completed in GatherContent. Keeping the maintenance and governance of content within GatherContent is important so that the team have a central repository for all changes that have taken place.

“Keeping the maintenance and governance of content within GatherContent is important so that the team have a central repository for all changes that have taken place.”

Using GatherContent for distraction free writing and editing

When there are lots of people involved in content planning and production, and spread across different locations, it is necessary for each party to be focused on their own tasks and responsibilities.

This is where the Roles and Permissions functionality within GatherContent became useful. Each person was assigned permissions based on what they needed to do and where they featured in the workflow. Writers for example, could add content and delete their own pages. They could only work on their own pages/assigned content, whereas those in the role of editor could access and work on all content.

“Tracking changes in GatherContent is really easy to manage so making updates to content is straight forward and quick.”

Harrison Kuo SEO Associate Director

GatherContent brings everything into one place

As well as the main website copy, GatherContent was also used for meta data. This existed in a separate tab within the content templates. Meta data is extremely important for Havas Media, and for their client, as they have SEO and inbound marketing goals. By including this on a separate tab, it ensured that the meta data was given the attention it needed and deserved.

“GatherContent was also used for meta data, given it the attention it needed and deserved.”

Additional instructions for the meta data were also provided on that tab. The character count was defined so that content was delivered in the required length. Writers were also made aware that this content would be in plain text so they didn’t need to worry about formatting. This kept the focus on the actual content itself and not on how it would be presented.

How an agency used GatherContent to guide large-scale content planning and production

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About the Author

Becky Taylor

Product Marketing Manager, GatherContent

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