Content management: Everything you need to know about strategically managing your content

Content management: Everything you need to know about strategically managing your content

9 minute read

Content management: Everything you need to know about strategically managing your content

9 minute read

Paige Toomes

Copywriter and Digital Marketer

Content management: Everything you need to know about strategically managing your content

Paige Toomes

Copywriter and Digital Marketer
Managing content is not easy. You’ve got to think about people, processes, and technology, as well as handling different types of content (internal content, website content, social media content, offline content), where ownership, creation, and distribution are often dispersed across the organisation - especially in large organisations.

Table of contents

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

If you are new to a content management role, need to formalise and strategise your content management practices, or just feel confused by content management strategy and its related concepts, keep reading to learn the basics about content management and different types of content strategy.

Content management definitions and distinctions

There are many terms related to an organisation’s content that can seem similar at times, and hard to distinguish. And content management is just one of them. Let's define content management along with content strategy, content governance, and content operations.

There is some overlap and several, varying, often conflicting, definitions for each out there (plus, it all depends on your context anyway) but I have tried to summarise and break it down:

Content strategy

A widely-used definition of content strategy is:

"planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content."
Kristina Halvorson
Founder and CEO, Brain Traffic

So it actually includes governance, and arguably some aspects of management.

In short, content strategy is about planning and focuses on tying content back to audience needs and business goals. Broadly speaking, it’s about the ”‘Why’” or the purpose of the content. As in, why create this content at all? What do you want to achieve?

Content governance

Content governance is about the governing, controlling, and maintenance of content. It’s about following overarching guidelines and frameworks (which help with consistency of content at best and make sure you don’t get embarrassed or sued at worst).

Content governance deals with inventories, ownership, style guides, policies, regulations, risk management, updating content, and accessibility. Content governance is the “What” of content. As in, what do you need to pay attention to? What does good content include? Governance is “doing the right thing” based on a documented definition of what the "right thing" is.

Content management

In contrast to governance, content management is the “How?” and “Who?” of content. It’s about the way things are done and the people who are involved. It focuses on the day-to-day content production process and handling of content, from creation to archiving and updating.

Content management is about allocating the resources (people, processes, and technology) for content strategy and governance to take effect. This includes roles and responsibilities, workflow and accountability, storage, editing and approvals, and publishing.

Content Operations

Your content operations are all of the above, and more. It’s concerned with everything that happens between content strategy and content delivery. Content operations encompass the people, processes, and technology needed to systematise, automate and scale content.

All organisations that produce content will have some form of content operations. But having effective operations is about improving and investing in your content. It's about assessing “where” your organisation is in terms of content operations maturity.

GatherContent content status
Understanding the status of content is an important part of content operations because it helps avoid bottlenecks and delays.

Managing content strategically

Day-to-day content management needs to be strategic – i.e. aligned with content strategy – to be successful. According to Content Marketing Institute’s Content Management and Strategy Survey, 78% of organisations take a strategic approach to managing content. And the top reason organisations don't take a strategic approach to content management is the lack of processes (63%).

Establishing and documenting content processes is essential to strategic content management. Content has the potential to be an organisation’s best asset, and management processes can, and should, do it justice. They should improve efficiency and allow you to focus on what’s important: creating content to meet the target audience's needs.

Need to know: Find out how GatherContent can help you to simplify content management and build a repeatable content creation process.

Five ways to manage content strategically to create more effective content

If you want your content marketing efforts to be effective, you'll need to ensure that your content management is aligned with your content strategy. Here are five tips to help you manage your content more strategically:

1. Categorise and organise content so you can get the most out of it.

Organising and categorising is a key part of managing content. But staying on top of it is tough, given the sheer volume, velocity, and variety of internal and external content that organisations manage - particularly large organisations. The longer you wait to organise and categorise your digital marketing content, the more likely you are to miss opportunities to use this content to your company's advantage.

But for content managers, managing content is about more than just staying on top of it and keeping it organised. It’s about getting the most out of it and managing it strategically. Taking the time to make sure you uphold a clean content house will pay off in the future when it comes to SEO, targeting, and personalising content.

Here are some ways to categorise and organise your content strategically:

  • Conduct a content audit and inventory. Running a content audit and creating an up-to-date, detailed inventory of every single piece of content in your organisation may sound scary, but it's the best way to ensure you manage content effectively. Use our audit template to help you make sure you've covered all the relevant information in your inventory.
  • Utilise metadata, categories, and tags in your content management system (CMS). Accurately and consistently updating metadata, categories, and tags in your CMS is important. This information helps you, your readers, and the search engine find your content easily. Make sure you stick to one category per post (but you can add multiple tags for context). Also, make sure you follow standardised naming conventions to avoid confusion.
  • Map your content to personas stages in the customer journey. Rather than just creating content randomly, you should always tie each piece back to a user's need or goal. The best way to do this is to create buyer personas, and then map each piece of content to a different stage in their journey. Broadly speaking, these stages are 'awareness', 'consideration', and 'decision.' Try our user journey map to help with this process. Doing this will allow you to then strategically link an online piece of content to another that's in the next stage of the journey, using calls-to-action and landing pages to guide people through your website and turn visitors into leads.
  • Develop pillar pages and content clusters. Again, this is about the way that you organise your content online. 'Pillar pages' are detailed, often long, pieces of content covering all aspects of a certain topic. Then, around these pillar pages, you create 'content clusters' for different related topics. You can then internally link from your pillar page to these topics. This is a great way to help both search engine bots and people logically navigate through your site, making it a winner for user experience and SEO.

At GatherContent, we redesigned and migrated our blog. Although it was a slog, it was an essential process to get better categorisation, consistency for our readers and for SEO, and better ways to discover related content. Well, it certainly paid off! We can now do all the great content on our blog justice through the way we manage it.

2. Use an editorial calendar to keep yourself organized.

It’s so important to keep track of everything in one place when you’re creating and managing content. An editorial calendar will help you document what content you’re going to produce and publish, and spot opportunities and gaps quickly. It will also help you manage the frequency you publish certain types of content, and ensure you’re publishing high-quality content consistently.

Make sure you include the format, authors, owners, the date it will be published, goals, and the user journey stage/user need the content ties back to. You should also be able to track the status of content easily. You can make this what it needs to be for your organisation, the main thing is just to keep it updated and keep the content flowing.

GatherContent blog calendar
On the GatherContent platform, you can get a bird's eye view of all of the content you're publishing for the month with the content calendar view.
Free Download: Download our free editorial calendar template to help you get started. It includes a horizon planning tab to give you an overview of what’s coming up.

3. Establish and maintain accountability for your content team.

When you’re managing the content production lifecycle, establishing accountability in your content team helps you avoid massive hidden problems appearing too far down the line. It also allows you to ‘clean as you cook’ so to speak, and spot opportunities along the way.

But what does it look like day-to-day?

  • Content all in one place
  • A clear workflow
  • Defined and assigned roles/responsibilities for each task
  • Version control and tracking changes
  • Checklists and templates for standardisation
  • Visible deadlines and progress trackers
  • Style guides (and making sure these actually get used)
  • A way of estimating the cost of content
  • Tracking the success and ROI of content
  • A review cycle for updating and managing content
GatherContent pre-submission checklist
Checklists are a great way to keep your content team accountable by reminding them of responsibilities and expectations.

4. Foster a culture of collaboration that keeps everyone invested.

Related to creating a culture of accountability, is also creating a culture of collaboration. As Liz Moorehead says in her article, tips for first-time content managers:

"when you're a content manager, you're also an internal relationship manager."
Liz Moorehead
Head of Brand + Content, BS+Co

Content managers will often encounter friction when trying to manage content that is produced across different silos, by different people, with conflicting priorities. A lack of collaboration can also mean work is duplicated, and the review process takes longer than it should.

Successful content management is about using tools and processes to help people create and deliver content with a common goal in mind. This will lead to content that provides a great user experience.

Here are a few relationships to consider, and tips on managing these relationships in the content creation process:

  • Subject matter experts and writers. Often, subject matter experts (SMEs) and writers come at a project from very different mindsets and speak totally different languages. This can make the editing and approval process tricky. A simple, but sure-fire way to help this is to think about pair writing. This literally means, instead of sending drafts back and forth with red pen, sitting down and creating content together.
  • Designers and writers. A common challenge for organisations is keeping content production in line with design. We’re big advocates of going content-first when designing content for the web (using 'proto-content' early on in the process, rather than lorem impsum). This is because it helps both teams spot problems and opportunities when they arise, and work on these together.
  • Clients and your team. If you’re an agency, do you struggle with client relationships in the content production lifecycle? Is wrangling content often a challenge? Having strong content creation processes in place, and using the right tech can help you build client relationships. It's a good idea to use sign-off checklists with specific review criteria, to ensure clients aren't just skimming over content when reviewing it. Once you're confident in your tools and processes, you can start to sell your content strategy as a billable service. We have a great book on how to sell high-value content services.

Truly successful, user-centered content will always be the result of proper collaboration throughout the content production lifecycle. It's about teams coming together early on in the creation process, asking the right questions, then trying to figure out the answers together. Only then will content become an asset to your organisation.

GatherContent feedback feature
GatherContent makes it easy for your team to collaborate and leave feedback on content in a way that's easy to read and respond to.

5. Choose the right tech for your organisation to keep things running smoothly.

A huge part of building a culture of collaboration and creating an environment where high-quality content shines through is the tech that you use. Your people are only as good as the tech you give them, so it's important to choose tech that works for your organisation.

A good content management system (CMS) is integral to managing and publishing content to your website. It's also important to think about distributing and promoting content on social media channels through content calendar tools and automated publishing.

That said, content management is about more than just these publishing systems. Many organisations’ content problems can be traced back to a lack of the right tools for the pre-CMS phase of content management.

The CMS isn’t an ideal space to ideate and create content. It also isn't always the best editing environment or a place for feedback. Not to mention, your CMS will not allow you to build workflows or provide status updates. But then again, neither is Microsoft Word, and relentless email chains.

GatherContent was designed to make content management more efficient and effective by giving your content or marketing team one place to collaborate on content throughout the pre-publish phase. On the platform, you can collaborate in real-time, make comments during the revision process, and notify collaborators on when content needs their attention.

You can also build repeatable content workflows where responsibilities and actions are clear. The platform also offers status updates that allow team members to communicate their progress, helping ensure that content moves through the pipeline smoothly. These features help you avoid bottlenecks that can delay the publishing of your content.

Content workflow on GatherContent
Creating a content workflow that clearly outlines the phases of the content creation process is vital to keeping everyone on the same page.

Different types of content strategy

There are different types of content strategies that you might use depending on the type of content you're creating and the approach you are taking to creating that content. Since content management needs to align with content strategy, it's important to understand the different types of strategy and when to use each.

Lead generation

A lead generation content strategy is focused on generating content that is used to get people to opt-in to an email list. This strategy focuses on two main elements: driving traffic to the piece of content and developing an opt-in that's enticing for potential customers.

Lead generation content often isn't as long or in-depth as other types of content like thought leadership or SEO content. The goal is to give the reader something quick they can take away and put into use so they can recognize the value of your brand.

A lead generation content strategy includes content that's focused on educating customers on their pain points so that they can begin to move from the awareness to the consideration phase. But the opt-in needs to be interesting and valuable enough for a lead to hand over their email address.

Thought leadership

When you want to be recognized as an industry leader or expert, you'll develop a thought leadership content strategy focused on increasing your reach. In order to be known as a thought leader, you need to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

A thought leadership content strategy focuses on content that's innovative, attention-grabbing, in-depth. It needs to say something new about the topic rather than rehash what has already been said by others in the industry.

The second part of developing a thought leadership content strategy is coming up with a solid plan for distributing and getting eyes on the piece. You'll need to get the piece of content in front of people who are outside of your typical readership. This might include publishing on guest blogs, industry publications, or sites like LinkedIn or Medium.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

An SEO content marketing strategy focuses on driving lead traffic to your website through search engines. While you are ultimately creating content for humans, taking search engine optimization into consideration when creating your content strategy can help ensure that the greatest amount of humans can see and access your content.

One of the main considerations for an SEO content strategy is knowing what people are searching for. This often requires an SEO expert to do some competitor and keyword research. This reveals SEO opportunities for your content that you may have not realized were available.

The second part of SEO content strategy is ensuring that the content you're creating is formatted in a way that makes it easy for search engines to crawl your content. Understanding how to utilize headings, find the right keyword density, and create effective metadata are all important to your SEO strategy.

Enterprise content marketing strategy

An enterprise content marketing strategy is designed specifically for large companies with over 1,000 employees. When building this type of content strategy, marketers will need to consider the company's needs, budget, challenges, and team members. Whereas a small business content strategy will prioritize doing the most with the least resources, and enterprise strategy will prioritize creating content at scale.

This type of content marketing strategy is focused on providing relevant content to the organisation's audience. The goal is to speak to specific pain points and needs while aiming to build rapport with the reader.

With an enterprise content strategy, you'll want to consider what resources you have to help add value to the content. For instance, you may have subject matter experts with who your writers can create content or get input from other teams.

Case study template on GatherContent
One way that GatherContent supports enterprise content strategy is by offering templates that make it easier to create content at scale that's consistent.

Content management strategy template

Ready to develop your content management strategy? Regardless of which tool you use to manage the content process, you'll need to include certain details in your strategy to ensure that everyone is clear on their responsibilities and deadlines.

You can use this content management strategy template to get started:

  • Type of content: Here's where you will put what type of content the piece is such as web content, case study, webinar, whitepaper, or any other type of digital asset.
  • Title: Put the working title of the piece of content here.
  • Personas: Indicate which customer personas this piece of content is going to be created for.
  • Targeted keywords: What SEO keywords will you be targeting with this piece of content? Include both primary and long-tail keywords.
  • Status of content: This is where your team members will indicate where they are in the content creation process such as researching, drafting, revising, publishing, or promoting.
  • Writer: Indicate who will be writing the piece of content.
  • Draft due: Indicate the deadline for the initial draft of the content.
  • Editor: Put the editor's name here so they know they're responsible.
  • Edits due: Indicate the deadline for initial edits.
  • Publication date: Indicate the expected publication date so everyone knows when the piece needs to go live.
  • Publication location: Where will you publish this piece of content?
  • Images: Here is where your graphic designer might attach images for the piece of content.

How to use GatherContent to strategically manage content

GatherContent is a Content Operations Platform that helps you plan, create, and manage content before it gets to the CMS. It helps with strategic content management, whether that’s for a website build, redesign project, or day-to-day content creation.

Here are some features you can use to strategically manage your content on GatherContent:

  • A unified collaboration environment. All content is stored in one place for a single source of truth. Rather than long email chains and multiple documents, it gives you version control and makes communication easy through real-time, in-line comments and notifications.
  • CMS integration. GatherContent plays well with lots of existing tools, including your CMS. Rather than spending precious time copying and pasting content, content can be created in the correct structure to map easily to your CMS.
  • Built-in workflows, style guides, and templates. Many organisations have clear roles, policies, and guidelines in place, but struggle to ensure these are followed by everyone creating content. GatherContent allows you to embed good content governance and management practices into your editing environment.
  • A simple user interface. Today, everyone has the potential to be a content creator in their organisation—from marketers and content strategists to customer service representatives and subject matter experts. GatherContent empowers people working on content, with a simple user interface, search functions, and accessibility options. If tools are easy to use and give employees a great user experience, they're more likely to be engaged and productive at work.
  • Training. GatherContent has a dedicated training portal to get your team and your clients up and running with the platform as soon as possible. This includes detailed videos to guide people through every aspect of the content production process.
Need to know:To find out more about how GatherContent can help your organisation manage content better, for productivity, quality, and compliance, try out our free demo or free trial.

Unlock the value of your content through management best practices

Well-managed content ultimately means that content fulfills the content strategy and governance through everyday processes and technology.

If you can keep an organised content house, keep track of the status and progress of content, ensure everyone follows a clear workflow, increase collaboration and break down silos in your organisation, then you can also speed up the process and ensure only high-quality content that meets user needs is being published.

This all means that content can be created and managed in a way that ties back to business objectives and innovation as well as proving ROI (rather than the focus being on the content creation process itself). With the right content management processes in place, your business can create a well-oiled content marketing machine.

If you are new to a content management role, need to formalise and strategise your content management practices, or just feel confused by content management strategy and its related concepts, keep reading to learn the basics about content management and different types of content strategy.

Content management definitions and distinctions

There are many terms related to an organisation’s content that can seem similar at times, and hard to distinguish. And content management is just one of them. Let's define content management along with content strategy, content governance, and content operations.

There is some overlap and several, varying, often conflicting, definitions for each out there (plus, it all depends on your context anyway) but I have tried to summarise and break it down:

Content strategy

A widely-used definition of content strategy is:

"planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content."
Kristina Halvorson
Founder and CEO, Brain Traffic

So it actually includes governance, and arguably some aspects of management.

In short, content strategy is about planning and focuses on tying content back to audience needs and business goals. Broadly speaking, it’s about the ”‘Why’” or the purpose of the content. As in, why create this content at all? What do you want to achieve?

Content governance

Content governance is about the governing, controlling, and maintenance of content. It’s about following overarching guidelines and frameworks (which help with consistency of content at best and make sure you don’t get embarrassed or sued at worst).

Content governance deals with inventories, ownership, style guides, policies, regulations, risk management, updating content, and accessibility. Content governance is the “What” of content. As in, what do you need to pay attention to? What does good content include? Governance is “doing the right thing” based on a documented definition of what the "right thing" is.

Content management

In contrast to governance, content management is the “How?” and “Who?” of content. It’s about the way things are done and the people who are involved. It focuses on the day-to-day content production process and handling of content, from creation to archiving and updating.

Content management is about allocating the resources (people, processes, and technology) for content strategy and governance to take effect. This includes roles and responsibilities, workflow and accountability, storage, editing and approvals, and publishing.

Content Operations

Your content operations are all of the above, and more. It’s concerned with everything that happens between content strategy and content delivery. Content operations encompass the people, processes, and technology needed to systematise, automate and scale content.

All organisations that produce content will have some form of content operations. But having effective operations is about improving and investing in your content. It's about assessing “where” your organisation is in terms of content operations maturity.

GatherContent content status
Understanding the status of content is an important part of content operations because it helps avoid bottlenecks and delays.

Managing content strategically

Day-to-day content management needs to be strategic – i.e. aligned with content strategy – to be successful. According to Content Marketing Institute’s Content Management and Strategy Survey, 78% of organisations take a strategic approach to managing content. And the top reason organisations don't take a strategic approach to content management is the lack of processes (63%).

Establishing and documenting content processes is essential to strategic content management. Content has the potential to be an organisation’s best asset, and management processes can, and should, do it justice. They should improve efficiency and allow you to focus on what’s important: creating content to meet the target audience's needs.

Need to know: Find out how GatherContent can help you to simplify content management and build a repeatable content creation process.

Five ways to manage content strategically to create more effective content

If you want your content marketing efforts to be effective, you'll need to ensure that your content management is aligned with your content strategy. Here are five tips to help you manage your content more strategically:

1. Categorise and organise content so you can get the most out of it.

Organising and categorising is a key part of managing content. But staying on top of it is tough, given the sheer volume, velocity, and variety of internal and external content that organisations manage - particularly large organisations. The longer you wait to organise and categorise your digital marketing content, the more likely you are to miss opportunities to use this content to your company's advantage.

But for content managers, managing content is about more than just staying on top of it and keeping it organised. It’s about getting the most out of it and managing it strategically. Taking the time to make sure you uphold a clean content house will pay off in the future when it comes to SEO, targeting, and personalising content.

Here are some ways to categorise and organise your content strategically:

  • Conduct a content audit and inventory. Running a content audit and creating an up-to-date, detailed inventory of every single piece of content in your organisation may sound scary, but it's the best way to ensure you manage content effectively. Use our audit template to help you make sure you've covered all the relevant information in your inventory.
  • Utilise metadata, categories, and tags in your content management system (CMS). Accurately and consistently updating metadata, categories, and tags in your CMS is important. This information helps you, your readers, and the search engine find your content easily. Make sure you stick to one category per post (but you can add multiple tags for context). Also, make sure you follow standardised naming conventions to avoid confusion.
  • Map your content to personas stages in the customer journey. Rather than just creating content randomly, you should always tie each piece back to a user's need or goal. The best way to do this is to create buyer personas, and then map each piece of content to a different stage in their journey. Broadly speaking, these stages are 'awareness', 'consideration', and 'decision.' Try our user journey map to help with this process. Doing this will allow you to then strategically link an online piece of content to another that's in the next stage of the journey, using calls-to-action and landing pages to guide people through your website and turn visitors into leads.
  • Develop pillar pages and content clusters. Again, this is about the way that you organise your content online. 'Pillar pages' are detailed, often long, pieces of content covering all aspects of a certain topic. Then, around these pillar pages, you create 'content clusters' for different related topics. You can then internally link from your pillar page to these topics. This is a great way to help both search engine bots and people logically navigate through your site, making it a winner for user experience and SEO.

At GatherContent, we redesigned and migrated our blog. Although it was a slog, it was an essential process to get better categorisation, consistency for our readers and for SEO, and better ways to discover related content. Well, it certainly paid off! We can now do all the great content on our blog justice through the way we manage it.

2. Use an editorial calendar to keep yourself organized.

It’s so important to keep track of everything in one place when you’re creating and managing content. An editorial calendar will help you document what content you’re going to produce and publish, and spot opportunities and gaps quickly. It will also help you manage the frequency you publish certain types of content, and ensure you’re publishing high-quality content consistently.

Make sure you include the format, authors, owners, the date it will be published, goals, and the user journey stage/user need the content ties back to. You should also be able to track the status of content easily. You can make this what it needs to be for your organisation, the main thing is just to keep it updated and keep the content flowing.

GatherContent blog calendar
On the GatherContent platform, you can get a bird's eye view of all of the content you're publishing for the month with the content calendar view.
Free Download: Download our free editorial calendar template to help you get started. It includes a horizon planning tab to give you an overview of what’s coming up.

3. Establish and maintain accountability for your content team.

When you’re managing the content production lifecycle, establishing accountability in your content team helps you avoid massive hidden problems appearing too far down the line. It also allows you to ‘clean as you cook’ so to speak, and spot opportunities along the way.

But what does it look like day-to-day?

  • Content all in one place
  • A clear workflow
  • Defined and assigned roles/responsibilities for each task
  • Version control and tracking changes
  • Checklists and templates for standardisation
  • Visible deadlines and progress trackers
  • Style guides (and making sure these actually get used)
  • A way of estimating the cost of content
  • Tracking the success and ROI of content
  • A review cycle for updating and managing content
GatherContent pre-submission checklist
Checklists are a great way to keep your content team accountable by reminding them of responsibilities and expectations.

4. Foster a culture of collaboration that keeps everyone invested.

Related to creating a culture of accountability, is also creating a culture of collaboration. As Liz Moorehead says in her article, tips for first-time content managers:

"when you're a content manager, you're also an internal relationship manager."
Liz Moorehead
Head of Brand + Content, BS+Co

Content managers will often encounter friction when trying to manage content that is produced across different silos, by different people, with conflicting priorities. A lack of collaboration can also mean work is duplicated, and the review process takes longer than it should.

Successful content management is about using tools and processes to help people create and deliver content with a common goal in mind. This will lead to content that provides a great user experience.

Here are a few relationships to consider, and tips on managing these relationships in the content creation process:

  • Subject matter experts and writers. Often, subject matter experts (SMEs) and writers come at a project from very different mindsets and speak totally different languages. This can make the editing and approval process tricky. A simple, but sure-fire way to help this is to think about pair writing. This literally means, instead of sending drafts back and forth with red pen, sitting down and creating content together.
  • Designers and writers. A common challenge for organisations is keeping content production in line with design. We’re big advocates of going content-first when designing content for the web (using 'proto-content' early on in the process, rather than lorem impsum). This is because it helps both teams spot problems and opportunities when they arise, and work on these together.
  • Clients and your team. If you’re an agency, do you struggle with client relationships in the content production lifecycle? Is wrangling content often a challenge? Having strong content creation processes in place, and using the right tech can help you build client relationships. It's a good idea to use sign-off checklists with specific review criteria, to ensure clients aren't just skimming over content when reviewing it. Once you're confident in your tools and processes, you can start to sell your content strategy as a billable service. We have a great book on how to sell high-value content services.

Truly successful, user-centered content will always be the result of proper collaboration throughout the content production lifecycle. It's about teams coming together early on in the creation process, asking the right questions, then trying to figure out the answers together. Only then will content become an asset to your organisation.

GatherContent feedback feature
GatherContent makes it easy for your team to collaborate and leave feedback on content in a way that's easy to read and respond to.

5. Choose the right tech for your organisation to keep things running smoothly.

A huge part of building a culture of collaboration and creating an environment where high-quality content shines through is the tech that you use. Your people are only as good as the tech you give them, so it's important to choose tech that works for your organisation.

A good content management system (CMS) is integral to managing and publishing content to your website. It's also important to think about distributing and promoting content on social media channels through content calendar tools and automated publishing.

That said, content management is about more than just these publishing systems. Many organisations’ content problems can be traced back to a lack of the right tools for the pre-CMS phase of content management.

The CMS isn’t an ideal space to ideate and create content. It also isn't always the best editing environment or a place for feedback. Not to mention, your CMS will not allow you to build workflows or provide status updates. But then again, neither is Microsoft Word, and relentless email chains.

GatherContent was designed to make content management more efficient and effective by giving your content or marketing team one place to collaborate on content throughout the pre-publish phase. On the platform, you can collaborate in real-time, make comments during the revision process, and notify collaborators on when content needs their attention.

You can also build repeatable content workflows where responsibilities and actions are clear. The platform also offers status updates that allow team members to communicate their progress, helping ensure that content moves through the pipeline smoothly. These features help you avoid bottlenecks that can delay the publishing of your content.

Content workflow on GatherContent
Creating a content workflow that clearly outlines the phases of the content creation process is vital to keeping everyone on the same page.

Different types of content strategy

There are different types of content strategies that you might use depending on the type of content you're creating and the approach you are taking to creating that content. Since content management needs to align with content strategy, it's important to understand the different types of strategy and when to use each.

Lead generation

A lead generation content strategy is focused on generating content that is used to get people to opt-in to an email list. This strategy focuses on two main elements: driving traffic to the piece of content and developing an opt-in that's enticing for potential customers.

Lead generation content often isn't as long or in-depth as other types of content like thought leadership or SEO content. The goal is to give the reader something quick they can take away and put into use so they can recognize the value of your brand.

A lead generation content strategy includes content that's focused on educating customers on their pain points so that they can begin to move from the awareness to the consideration phase. But the opt-in needs to be interesting and valuable enough for a lead to hand over their email address.

Thought leadership

When you want to be recognized as an industry leader or expert, you'll develop a thought leadership content strategy focused on increasing your reach. In order to be known as a thought leader, you need to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

A thought leadership content strategy focuses on content that's innovative, attention-grabbing, in-depth. It needs to say something new about the topic rather than rehash what has already been said by others in the industry.

The second part of developing a thought leadership content strategy is coming up with a solid plan for distributing and getting eyes on the piece. You'll need to get the piece of content in front of people who are outside of your typical readership. This might include publishing on guest blogs, industry publications, or sites like LinkedIn or Medium.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

An SEO content marketing strategy focuses on driving lead traffic to your website through search engines. While you are ultimately creating content for humans, taking search engine optimization into consideration when creating your content strategy can help ensure that the greatest amount of humans can see and access your content.

One of the main considerations for an SEO content strategy is knowing what people are searching for. This often requires an SEO expert to do some competitor and keyword research. This reveals SEO opportunities for your content that you may have not realized were available.

The second part of SEO content strategy is ensuring that the content you're creating is formatted in a way that makes it easy for search engines to crawl your content. Understanding how to utilize headings, find the right keyword density, and create effective metadata are all important to your SEO strategy.

Enterprise content marketing strategy

An enterprise content marketing strategy is designed specifically for large companies with over 1,000 employees. When building this type of content strategy, marketers will need to consider the company's needs, budget, challenges, and team members. Whereas a small business content strategy will prioritize doing the most with the least resources, and enterprise strategy will prioritize creating content at scale.

This type of content marketing strategy is focused on providing relevant content to the organisation's audience. The goal is to speak to specific pain points and needs while aiming to build rapport with the reader.

With an enterprise content strategy, you'll want to consider what resources you have to help add value to the content. For instance, you may have subject matter experts with who your writers can create content or get input from other teams.

Case study template on GatherContent
One way that GatherContent supports enterprise content strategy is by offering templates that make it easier to create content at scale that's consistent.

Content management strategy template

Ready to develop your content management strategy? Regardless of which tool you use to manage the content process, you'll need to include certain details in your strategy to ensure that everyone is clear on their responsibilities and deadlines.

You can use this content management strategy template to get started:

  • Type of content: Here's where you will put what type of content the piece is such as web content, case study, webinar, whitepaper, or any other type of digital asset.
  • Title: Put the working title of the piece of content here.
  • Personas: Indicate which customer personas this piece of content is going to be created for.
  • Targeted keywords: What SEO keywords will you be targeting with this piece of content? Include both primary and long-tail keywords.
  • Status of content: This is where your team members will indicate where they are in the content creation process such as researching, drafting, revising, publishing, or promoting.
  • Writer: Indicate who will be writing the piece of content.
  • Draft due: Indicate the deadline for the initial draft of the content.
  • Editor: Put the editor's name here so they know they're responsible.
  • Edits due: Indicate the deadline for initial edits.
  • Publication date: Indicate the expected publication date so everyone knows when the piece needs to go live.
  • Publication location: Where will you publish this piece of content?
  • Images: Here is where your graphic designer might attach images for the piece of content.

How to use GatherContent to strategically manage content

GatherContent is a Content Operations Platform that helps you plan, create, and manage content before it gets to the CMS. It helps with strategic content management, whether that’s for a website build, redesign project, or day-to-day content creation.

Here are some features you can use to strategically manage your content on GatherContent:

  • A unified collaboration environment. All content is stored in one place for a single source of truth. Rather than long email chains and multiple documents, it gives you version control and makes communication easy through real-time, in-line comments and notifications.
  • CMS integration. GatherContent plays well with lots of existing tools, including your CMS. Rather than spending precious time copying and pasting content, content can be created in the correct structure to map easily to your CMS.
  • Built-in workflows, style guides, and templates. Many organisations have clear roles, policies, and guidelines in place, but struggle to ensure these are followed by everyone creating content. GatherContent allows you to embed good content governance and management practices into your editing environment.
  • A simple user interface. Today, everyone has the potential to be a content creator in their organisation—from marketers and content strategists to customer service representatives and subject matter experts. GatherContent empowers people working on content, with a simple user interface, search functions, and accessibility options. If tools are easy to use and give employees a great user experience, they're more likely to be engaged and productive at work.
  • Training. GatherContent has a dedicated training portal to get your team and your clients up and running with the platform as soon as possible. This includes detailed videos to guide people through every aspect of the content production process.
Need to know:To find out more about how GatherContent can help your organisation manage content better, for productivity, quality, and compliance, try out our free demo or free trial.

Unlock the value of your content through management best practices

Well-managed content ultimately means that content fulfills the content strategy and governance through everyday processes and technology.

If you can keep an organised content house, keep track of the status and progress of content, ensure everyone follows a clear workflow, increase collaboration and break down silos in your organisation, then you can also speed up the process and ensure only high-quality content that meets user needs is being published.

This all means that content can be created and managed in a way that ties back to business objectives and innovation as well as proving ROI (rather than the focus being on the content creation process itself). With the right content management processes in place, your business can create a well-oiled content marketing machine.

Paige Toomes

Copywriter and Digital Marketer

Paige is an English Literature and Media graduate from Newcastle University, and over the last three years has built up a career in SEO-driven copywriting for tech companies. She has written for Microsoft, Symantec and LinkedIn, as well as other SaaS companies and IT consulting firms. With an audience-focused approach to content, Paige handles the lifecycle from creation through to measurement, supporting businesses with their content operations.

Ready to get started?
Start your 30-day free trial now
Start free trialBook a demo
No items found.

About the author

Paige Toomes

Paige is an English Literature and Media graduate from Newcastle University, and over the last three years has built up a career in SEO-driven copywriting for tech companies. She has written for Microsoft, Symantec and LinkedIn, as well as other SaaS companies and IT consulting firms. With an audience-focused approach to content, Paige handles the lifecycle from creation through to measurement, supporting businesses with their content operations.

Related posts you might like