Content operations, or ContentOps, is the people, process and technology required across an organisation to create a repeatable and scalable process for planning, producing, and managing effective content.
ContentOps comes after you have defined your content strategy and before you deliver content to your audience.
So that’s a lot of stuff to think about. Whilst it can take time, effort and resource to invest in improving your ContentOps, there are many benefits to doing so.
What follows are five key benefits that teams and organisations can expect if they invest in their own ContentOps.
1. Saving time and money
Who doesn’t want to save time and money? But in order to do so you may have to spend money and allocate time to investing in your ContentOps, so how does that ROI work?
This is about the long game – scalable and repeatable processes that allow teams to do more, with less.
There are different elements you can invest in:
- People – Building a content team, training an existing team, skilling up on a project-by-project basis
- Process – Defining clear workflows, content production plans, governance frameworks (and much more!)
- Technology – A Content Operations Platform like GatherContent, a new CMS, project management tools and the like
Having a team in dedicated roles with specific tasks focused around content, along with clear processes and the technology to support these ways of working, will make your ContentOps efficient and the time and cost saving benefits of this will vary, but can be plentiful. Here are some examples:
- Save time by reducing back and forth between content drafts and approval
- Save money by launching projects on time by putting content first
- Save time by mapping out processes for specific requirements such as localisation of content
- Save time by having content delivered in the right format
- Save time and money by reducing/removing bottlenecks
Any increase in efficiency can see time and cost saving benefits so even if it requires more effort and financial investment upfront to get the people, processes and technology in place, repeatable and scalable processes will yield savings in the long term.
2. Avoid unnecessary or duplicate content
When it isn’t clear who is doing what, how and by when, time can be wasted by duplicate and unnecessary content being worked on and created. The other side of this is not having content you do need because nobody knows who is responsible for it and the buck gets passed from team to team, or person to person
Inefficient ContentOps is common in organisations where silos are prevalent.When those responsible for managing and creating content work independently of other teams there is no shared understanding of what content is needed
Time can be wasted producing something that isn’t needed, or creating content that already exists.
3. Making planning and strategy easier
Any planning and delivery of a strategy is easier when you know the people, process and technology needed and available. You’re able to plan around your resource.
Here are some examples of how your ContentOps can help:
- Knowing what is feasible with resources in terms of content production and delivery allows you to be realistic with project scope
- Understanding how you will get something done means you can plan for this long term if there are repeatable processes to adhere to
- ContentOps can connect silos such as different departments so you can start talking about technology like the CMS early on
Whilst investing in ContentOps can make future content project initiatives easier to plan, and strategies easier to deliver, it is still important to bear in mind that there will always be challenges and changes needed, but getting the basics right and the fundamentals in place is a good place to be.
4. Produce quality content faster
Elements of ContentOps such as style guides, structured content types and templates and a clearly defined workflow can combine to help teams produce effective content faster.
These elements can also offer templates, benchmarks and blueprints for ‘how to do content’ across an organisation, coming back to the scalable and repeatable processes that ensure content is given the attention it deserves.
ContentOps can reduce common issues such as:
- Inconsistent content undermining the brand
- Content standards and guidelines not being adhered to
- Poor quality content due to varying writing styles from subject matter experts
Producing content faster is possible when there is a clear workflow with defined roles at each stage. It is agreed who is doing what, when, and in what order. When there is the same process for future content too, naturally it will be produced more quickly, rather than starting from scratch each time or having to redefine the workflow.
5. Happier teams
With a clear way of producing content, definite roles and tasks throughout the process, and the right technology to facilitate everything, teams (and clients!) will be happier. There is a shared understanding around the content that is needed, why it is needed and how it will be delivered and maintained.
Each benefit in this article compounds to deliver a stronger return on investment when you invest in ContentOps to produce effective content.