Design and implement a content governance system to increase ROI

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Content is the core of customer experience. A company’s product or service can be phenomenal, but if the enterprise content — marketing, messaging, customer service communications, product documentation or even brand voice and style — is poorly written or unfocused, you’ll have a difficult time attracting and retaining customers.

That’s where content governance comes in. It involves taking a systematic approach to measuring your current content’s status and actively guiding content creation to achieve your stated goals, such as increasing sign-ups for a newsletter or increasing conversion rates. Content governance systems take the key elements of a style guide and content strategy and turn them into even more thorough, usable and holistic frameworks for your entire company. It goes beyond strategy, using AI and NLP to generate actionable advice on how to improve content.

The biggest benefit of this is content that establishes trust. The more businesses can retain quality in their support content, the more likely customers are to trust the solutions provided.

Choose metrics that matter

Your company is already likely using vanity metrics, like open rates, shares and time spent on a page, to measure how well your content seems to be performing. But how does that translate into a return on investment (ROI)?

Vanity metrics don’t measure how engaged potential customers are; they simply gauge the relative popularity of your business.

For example, vanity metrics might indicate that a landing page is performing badly, but they won’t tell you why. You can see that a page has high bounce and exit rates and that customers click away from it quickly, yet there’s no indication of the reasoning behind those metrics.

The truth is: vanity metrics don’t measure how engaged potential customers are; they simply gauge the relative popularity of your business. This makes measuring ROI tricky. With a content governance system, you need to ensure you’re tracking the right kind of metrics for your website.

Specifically, you should gauge how clear and inclusive your language is, as well as how well the tone fits your customer base. If a web page scores poorly in these categories, there are likely spelling mistakes, run-on sentences, exclusionary language and inconsistent references to products on the page.

Take IKEA, for example. With so many product names, instruction manuals and support articles, maintaining consistent terminology across all departments is a priority. Building your own furniture is difficult enough without getting bogged down by conflicting descriptions of assembly parts or being unable to find a how-to article because the product is spelled differently.

Here’s another example: A landing page for an online sports retailer opens with a sentence like “Running shoes for every athlete, no matter how hard he trains, how long he’s been running, or how far he goes, we have shoes for him,” could lead female runners to assume the site is only for male athletes.

These kinds of issues are immediate turn-offs and drive away many potential customers. Tracking performance scores that go beyond popularity gives you a better idea of why a particular page or content funnel isn’t doing as well as it should be. You’ll also better understand which problems you need to fix.

With all that in mind, here are some essential steps to take when implementing your own content governance system and how each step will impact your company’s ROI.

Create a brand style guide

Brand cohesiveness keeps your content consistent across the entire company. Determine which terminology to use in assets like sales presentations, website copy, blog posts, Google Ads, customer service messages and product documentation. What kind of language resonates best with your target audience? If you don’t already have a company style guide, take some time to find out what that looks like and upload a final, digital version somewhere your writers can easily access it.

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