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Five website content problems you can solve with GatherContent

by , Content Strategist, GatherContent

GatherContent helps teams organise and produce lots of content for websites. When we developed the platform, we set out to solve five fundamental problems that come with website content production:

  1. Content is all over the place
  2. Lack of clearly defined workflow
  3. No standardised or structured content formats
  4. Hard to stay on the same page with contributors
  5. Manual copy and paste CMS migration

We’ve heard many horror stories related to these pains from agencies working with clients, in-house teams, small, medium and large organisations, across all manner of sectors and services. The severity of the pain may vary, but these stories prove that content is hard, often underestimated and can be a real blocker to project momentum and success. It needn’t be this way.

Let’s look at each of those issues in turn and uncover exactly what issues they cause for content teams and the ways in which GatherContent can help.

Content is all over the place

It can lead to:

All of those issues make for a messy and chaotic content situation. It takes time to dig through all of the emails and folders to find what content you need and even then, it can be unclear what the latest version is.

Use GatherContent to:

Gather and organise website content in one place. You can import existing content from a spreadsheet and bring together all current website content into one place, whether you’re working on a website redesign or a website project. That means it’s time to wave goodbye to messy shared folders, uncertainty about content versions and chaotic documents. A centralised place for web content allows you to organise your content to create a hierarchy and list all existing content and identify what stays, what goes and where there are gaps.  

No clearly defined workflow

There are often many people involved in getting content from brief to published. Copywriters, editors, subject matter experts, designers, developers, marketers, the list goes on. Without a clearly defined workflow there is no visibility and understanding of who is responsible for what, and by when.

When people are unsure of their responsibilities, or unaware of the amount of effort required to get content completed, it is easy for them to shy from the task assigned to them. A workflow allows for accountability. That’s not to say it’s a way to blame people for not doing certain things, but rather it surfaces any bottlenecks in the workflow quickly. That way, those bottlenecks can be unblocked to keep content production moving.

Use GatherContent to:

Make sure people know what they need to do and when. Start by inviting your team to GatherContent and define their roles and permissions to keep them focused on their responsibilities. Create a bespoke workflow (for example: draft, review, approval, published) to suit your team and process and set deadlines to keep content moving. Easily track what stage content is at, who it is with and what’s left to complete so you can provide status reports quickly to stakeholders. Bonus: you can also give each stage a colour so that you can easily see visually, how the content is progressing through the workflow.

Content is in the wrong format

Even with a clear workflow and the best content team involved, that doesn’t guarantee that the content that is delivered will be correct. If you ask your team to provide their bios for the new company website, you will likely get different lengths, no consistency in the tense, information included, headshot sizes and style etc.

This results in lots of back and forth to get all of the content consistent and in the same format.

Use GatherContent to:

Ensure content is in the right structure, well written and ready for the CMS (making it easier for migration). Create easy to populate structured Templates tell contributors what to write and break up content into manageable components. Define field level guidelines to provide authors with rules for how to provide content and dictate word and character limits to get content in the format you require.

Hard to stay on the same page with contributors

Collaborating on content can cause several issues for teams:

These pains apply to teams of all sizes and both agencies and in-house teams. When people have jobs to do outside of content production/approval, it often slips down the list of priorities. This is certainly true when the main pains outlined above (content all over the place, lack of defined workflow) are also true.

The easier you can make it for people to work on content, the less resistance they’ll show. Inefficient collaboration is an all too common delayer to projects being completed on time (and budget).

Use GatherContent to:

Educate authors to produce better content from the start. Bring all of your writers into one place and arm them with the information they need to focus purely on the content they need to produce. By controlling what permissions your team has, you can make it clear what each individual’s responsibilities are. GatherContent also allows you to include guidelines within your templates so you can advise on things like voice and tone, language, character and word limits, tense, and any other rules that ensure authors put your content style guide into practice.

What’s more you can use comments for discussion to keep both content and feedback for edits in one place (and everybody on the same page!).

Manual copy and paste CMS migration

So you have all of your content, it is on brand, formatted correctly and has made it to the end of the workflow. But even then problems lurk around the corner, you may have to spend more hours than you would care to manually copying and pasting content into your Content Management System.

This opens up the margin for errors to be made and without a proper approval process prior to publishing, those mistakes may be live before they are spotted.

Use GatherContent to:

Migrate approved content into the CMS, ready to go live. By using our import and export functions, you can easily get your content where you need it to go. Our API also allows you to import content straight into the CMS, so no more copying and pasting, saving time and stress! With more and more integrations being released (and many more to come), GatherContent can reduce your content pains for the entire project (and content) lifecycle.

Use GatherContent to combat these content pains and help your website projects run smoothly. Sign up for your free 30-day trial now!

About the Author

Content Strategist, GatherContent

Rob is Content Strategist at GatherContent. He is a journalism graduate and has previously worked as Studio Manager and Head of Content for a design agency and as an Audience Research Executive for the BBC. He’s a published author and regular contributor to industry publications including Net Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 24 Ways, WebTuts+, UX Matters , UX Booth and Content Marketing Institute. On occasion Rob speaks about content strategy at leading industry events.

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