Content is everything we do! We create content on social media, we consume content by reading the news or browsing through our feeds. We even interact with contact when using our favorite apps to hail a ride or order that new dress online.
Brands are the content they produce, it's how the world views them. That’s why it's so critical to properly manage all of your content for an efficient and agile content engine.
So how do we manage this chunk of language that serves as the backbone of your company’s online identity? Enter: content management.
What is Content Management?
Content management (CM) encapsulates the entire lifecycle of assets from inception to letting it go into the ether.
It is the culmination of the process from creation to delivery of messaging we share about our goals and services. So it has to be handled delicately and professionally.
So if content management is the process of creating, publishing, storing and reusing content, then a clear and organized process is critical for a successful content engine.
With proper content management process in place, your brand will have a leg up to expand and incorporate localized, in-language experiences.
Content Strategy is Home Base
All content should be tethered to your strategic vision and mirror your business’ ethics and values.
- Experienced strategists will use your vision as a foundation and fold in scalable business expansions by combining their vision and your bottom line.
- Mapping your customer’s journey is one strategy a business should employ to truly put the company in the shoes of a potential customer. Identify the best ways to close the user experience in a financially beneficial way. As the kids say, secure the bag. 💰
- Technology goes hand in hand with strategy. No longer are the days of content living in silos. Using technology in a way to hold all your content, assign deadlines for internal creation and reviews in one single source of truth!
Top Tips for Content Management
We’ve compiled the crème de la crème of tips for you as you navigate your quest of mastering content management.
1. Understand what your vision looks like
Nobody but you understands what your goals look like in your head. Effectively communicate your goals to your team so everyone can be on the same page and work towards the same outcome.
This can start with an overall vision, but should be fleshed out into an overarching content calendar with themes or topics to focus through the next few weeks or months.
2. Roll out a cohesive strategy
Combine your team’s strengths and formulate a strategy that supports your goals.
Understand everyone brings different areas of expertise to the table - work together to create a strategy that supports your entire team, and enables individuals to contribute in the most effective way possible.
For example, some writers can churn out quick blog posts, while others love compiling longer research pieces or white papers. Incorporate all of these into your strategy and plan out different content types.
3. Find a platform that supports all your endeavors
Content Management Systems(CMS) are designed to help you do all of this -- help users create, modify, maintain, manage, plan, schedule and publish their content.
The idea is a CMS enables users to create and maintain their website without any heavy lifting. With the right CMS in place, your team can maintain a consistent calendar and cadence of publishing content, with the right tools to organize your existing content, plan future content, and quickly publish new or even modify existing content.
Managing Localized Content
Now, all of this will become even more complex when we introduce the next integral part of content: localized content.
As a refresher, when we talk about translating content we are talking about taking a bank of language assets consisting of a business’ internal documents, contracts, websites and social media content, and transforming it into another version of itself suitable for a new audience.
Not all content management systems are created equal, and translation isn’t a prioritized functionality within these platforms.
That’s why you’ll want to combine a content management system with a translation management system. Just take a look at how Smartling works to make WordPress translation even better.
Combining your existing content management process with a translation management process empowers your brand with the tools necessary to stay organized with your content, no matter what language it might be in.
The bottom line
A proper content management startegy enables an agile and effective content engine with one single source of truth for strategy, planning, organizing, modifying, maintaining and publishing content.
Without a clear content management strategy in place, your publishing will be ad hoc, simply creating content and pushing it live whenever its ready. But with the right strategy, and set of tools, you can ensure that content flows consistently.
Laura Wyant is a freelance digital strategist and writer/editor. She is currently working with start-ups, tech companies, and health and healing spaces. Laura has been contributing to the Smartling blog on topics around cloud translation, digital strategy, and overall creative translation process. When she isn’t working in media, she is working to educate herself on matters such as intersectional women’s health and advancements in technology.