What Multi-brand Companies Need to Do to Avoid Content Chaos

Victoria Burt

Large enterprises have the ambition and drive to tackle international markets and gather a vast customer base. Part of the strategy to accomplish this goal often involves launching multiple brands and keeping them all under one roof. 

However, scaling to this size can also increase complexity, particularly for content management, as companies must manage multiple brands and teams across various channels. 

Multi-brand companies can struggle to manage their content strategies due to a lack of content operations, resulting in content chaos. So what’s the solution? An effective content governance strategy can reduce complexity. 

Signs of a Content Operations Problem

Content operations or ContentOps refers to the people, processes, and technologies used to maintain the content lifecycle from start to finish. How do you know you have a content operations problem? For multi-brand organizations, there are a few telltale signs.

Formation of Content Silos 

When a brand suffers from poor content organization and visibility, it can lead to silos being formed. Content silos are isolated content assets, often scattered across multiple tools and databases. If content operations aren’t in place, these content silos can continue to grow, leading to content duplication and other inefficiencies.  

Tone and Messaging Inconsistencies

Global brands have the unenviable task of maintaining consistency in their tone and messaging across multiple channels. This is usually accomplished with clear brand guidelines and content alignment. However, when there is a content operations problem, messages can become misaligned, and customers may wonder if this is the same brand they were accustomed to interacting with.

Incomplete Approval and Workflow Processes

For any content strategy to be effective, there needs to be solid workflows and approval processes to ensure high productivity, reduce the number of errors, and stay on track with deadlines. If these workflows are incomplete and errors consistently slip through the cracks, it is another sign of a content operations issue. 

It’s Not Necessarily a Technology Problem

Since content operations is so closely tied to content management systems and other tools, problems are often thought to be technology based. However, that isn’t always the case- not completely anyway. 

Limitations in the overall content strategy can sometimes cause content chaos. This includes how backend technology, like the CMS, is integrated and how the strategy is implemented. If the right personnel aren’t in the correct roles or the processes aren’t in place to take advantage of the best technologies, companies can still struggle.  

Some of the questions that must be asked include:

1. Can we create the content needed to have conversations with our customers? 

Not being able to create the right content can be a technology problem if you don’t have a headless or hybrid CMS that can deliver content to multiple channels. However, it can also be due to a lack of proper marketing and IT workflows. If these two groups cannot properly collaborate, it can lead to issues in producing content at the speed and scale required.

2. Is ContentOps aligned across the organization? 

ContentOps can seem like something only the marketing team or developers need to worry about. In some organizations, fear and performance expectations coupled with company structure can make adjustments difficult. However, everyone should be involved in ContentOps in some capacity, as that complete collaboration is needed to break down silos.

3. Can we effectively reuse content across multiple brands and channels?

Content reuse is fundamental to a working multi-brand content strategy as without it, marketers will be forced to undergo excessive content duplication, and inconsistencies will creep in. Businesses need to be able to create frameworks and content models that promote reuse throughout the organization. 

Fixing Content Chaos With Better Content Governance

Content chaos can negatively affect multi-brand organizations in a number of ways, but there is a way to fix it with content governance. 

Content governance is a plan to achieve your internal content strategy. It’s the framework that helps your team keep track of all the moving parts and determine how content gets created, reviewed, and published.

While a content strategy aligns your content creation and management efforts with business goals, content governance ensures that everything content-related in your organization functions as it should. Content governance provides structure and helps you establish roles and responsibilities to ensure consistency. 

Benefits of a Proper Content Governance Strategy 

Improving your content governance can yield several benefits for your content teams and the organization as a whole.

Alignment on Purpose, Goals, and Direction

Content governance creates alignment throughout the company. You can create policies and procedures for content that clearly defines the goals of content and how it maps back to the content strategy and overall vision for the organization.

Improved Collaboration

Content governance defines the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved. Doing this helps to improve collaboration as everyone knows what they need to do to achieve the goal, and they can build workflows and communicate more effectively to see it completed.

Increased Productivity

Productivity can be improved with content governance in two ways. First of all, having brand guidelines, style guides, and other resources can save team members time when they need to create content. No one has to guess about what needs to be created and why. Secondly, assets can move through the content lifecycle faster with improved collaboration and more streamlined workflows.

Improved Content Reusability

Having a structure in place can improve reusability as it’s easier to find different assets, how they relate to each other, and where they have been or will be published. As a result, marketers can avoid duplicate content and reuse content across different channels. 

Better and More Consistent Customer Experience

The structure of content governance ensures that multi-brand companies can maintain consistency and deliver a higher quality experience to their customers, even if the content is delivered across multiple channels or regions. 

How dotCMS Helps to Improve Content Governance 

Taming content chaos and creating a structure for your content requires careful planning. And while technology isn’t the only consideration that should be made if you have content governance and operations issues, having the right technology supporting you does make things easier.

dotCMS is an agile and secure content management system for the enterprise, and its hybrid headless features are meant to help businesses deliver content-driven applications at scale. dotCMS provides the functionality organizations need to improve their content governance efforts and achieve their content goals. 

  • Hybrid CMS: dotCMS blends the capabilities of a headless CMS and a traditional CMS into one platform. Multi-brand companies can deliver content to a variety of channels, but marketers aren’t left out in the code and can leverage drag and drop and other user-friendly tools to manage content.

  • Nocode Content Modeling: With dotCMS’ content type builder, marketers can build any content type required without technical expertise. The UI and layout for content types can also be configured to allow for agile content editing.

  • Content Versioning & Restore: Content can be versioned and restored as required, allowing you to roll back content to prevent errors and keep track of changes and who made them.

  • Workflows and Approval: dotCMS offers four-eyes approval and customizable workflow schemes to ensure that the right people see content at the right time.

Global payments industry leader Worldline has over 20,000 employees in 50 countries worldwide. With so many people, they needed a way to manage multiple developer documentation sites and streamline how writers create and edit content for 7 different brands. With the help of dotCMS, they were able to create developer portals to help govern their documentation content strategy. 

Learn more about Worldline in our case study: How Worldline Handles Complex Content Requirements With dotCMS.

Image Credit: Brett Jordan
Victoria Burt
Director of Product Marketing
February 21, 2023

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