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Drive Consistency and Results With Content Governance

Posted in:  Sales Content Management, Sales Enablement Strategy

Navigating the content landscape can be challenging, and nothing hampers sales and customer experience like outdated or misleading content.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of content governance. You’ll learn about key metrics specific to content governance, discover the critical steps in establishing a compliant workflow, and get inspired by a real-life success story that showcases the powerful impact of a well-implemented content governance plan.

What Is Content Governance?

Content governance involves managing and regulating content to guarantee its quality. It ensures alignment with brand identity and with business priorities and policies. The goal is consistent and useful content no matter where it lives.

Why Do Businesses Need Content Governance?

A good content governance plan ensures that content begins and remains accurate and relevant. It helps maintain brand consistency, legal compliance, and alignment across all platforms, from social media posts to digital content. This protects the company’s reputation and integrity.

The content governance process, fundamental to the overall content strategy, often results in creating messaging, templates, and sales playbooks aligned with a style guide. It also goes beyond internal content to support your sales enablement initiatives. It guides your organisation’s content through different stages of the sales funnel, from brand awareness to closing a deal. This ensures that your sales and marketing team delivers a unified and compelling narrative to potential customers.

What is the Difference Between Content Management, Content Governance, and Content Strategy?

Three key content concepts often get intermingled yet serve distinct purposes. Content management focuses on creating, storing, and publishing content. Content governance establishes content policies and standards to ensure quality and consistency. Meanwhile, content strategy is the master planner of content.

Download Resource: The All-In-One Sales Content Management Toolkit

4 Steps on Implementing a Content Governance Plan

Implementing a content governance plan revolves around a model of policies, lifecycle, and risk management. This plan guides content marketing and the nuances of the content management system. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all team members, especially content creators, align their efforts with business goals and priorities.

Below are four must-do’s to make content governance work for your organisation:

1. Build a Content Workflow and Structure

Creating a successful content governance plan starts with establishing a robust content workflow and structure. This includes several stages: planning, creation, review, approval, and distribution. Each stage plays a role in ensuring content quality standards and perfect alignment with your content strategy and brand message.


The planning phase sets the stage. Identify your objectives, target audience, and the types of content you’ll create. This ensures all content serves a specific purpose and reaches the appropriate audience.


In the new content creation process, develop content that aligns with your plan. Be sure to follow content guidelines to ensure quality and that it resonates with your audience and achieves your strategic goals.


The review process involves evaluating content for quality and adherence to guidelines. This step will help maintain alignment with your editorial guidelines and message.

Content Approval

The approval process is a step where you ensure the content meets all criteria before publication. This stage helps uphold the integrity of your content, ensuring that it aligns with your messaging and meets quality standards.


The distribution of your content across the proper channels is vital to reaching your intended audience. This step maximises the impact of your content, ensuring your target audience that sees it engages.

2. Define the Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly defined content governance roles and responsibilities helps create a smooth content lifecycle. It’s important to identify who will be accountable for each stage, from creation to distribution.

Typical roles include:

  • Content strategist: Responsible for overseeing the overall content strategy, ensuring alignment with your organisation’s goals, and guiding the content creation process.
  • Content creators/writers: Tasked with producing content based on the provided content briefs, guidelines, and strategies.
  • Content editors: Play an important role in reviewing and refining content for grammar, style, and consistency, ensuring it adheres to quality standards and brand voice.
  • Legal/compliance officers: Essential for ensuring that content meets legal requirements and industry standards, particularly in regulated industries.
  • SEO specialists: Focus on optimising content for search engines, ensuring that it is useful and ranks well.
  • Graphic designers: Create visual and multimedia elements that enhance and complement the written content.
  • Content managers: Oversee content operations, including managing editorial calendars, ensuring timely content delivery, scheduling publication, and performing content audits.
  • Marketing and communication teams: Involved in distributing content through the appropriate channels and ensuring it reaches the target audience.
  • Data analysts: Responsible for measuring content performance, providing insights for improvement, and ensuring that content achieves its intended goals.
  • Subject matter experts: Provide in-depth knowledge and expertise on specific topics, ensuring the content is backed by facts.

These roles and their responsibilities help create a structured workflow where each aspect of content governance is meticulously managed, leading to more impactful content.

3. Model Your Content Workflows

Modelling your content workflows involves creating detailed, step-by-step processes for each type of content. This helps streamline content production and ensures consistency. Here’s a sample workflow for a typical content piece:

  • Ideation: Brainstorming session where the content team develops ideas aligned with the strategy.
  • Research and data collection: Gathering necessary information, data, and insights to support the content.
  • Content outline: Creating a detailed outline or brief, defining the scope and structure of the content.
  • Drafting: The content creator writes the initial draft based on the outline.
  • Review: A preliminary review by a team member for initial feedback and suggestions.
  • Editing: A content editor refines the draft to effectively meet strategic goals. They work closely with writers to improve content quality.
  • SEO optimisation: An SEO specialist reviews the content, includes relevant keywords, and ensures it’s search engine-friendly.
  • Legal/compliance check: Ensuring the content meets all legal and regulatory standards and checking for proper attribution and permissions for any third-party content.
  • Final copy approval: The content manager or strategist gives the final approval for publication.
  • Graphic design and multimedia integration: Adding images, infographics, videos, and other visual elements to enhance the content.
  • Scheduling and publishing content: Setting the content live according to the editorial calendar.
  • Distribution and promotion: Sharing the content across various channels like social media, email newsletters, sales enablement platforms, etc.
  • Analysis: Monitoring engagement metrics and analysing the content’s performance.
  • Feedback and iteration: Collect feedback and insights and make adjustments for future content.

This workflow is adaptable to various content types, from presentations, case studies, and sales enablement content to emails, blog posts, and promotional videos, and should be adjusted to fit your organisation’s unique content needs.

4. Ensure Accountability with Guidelines and Standard

To maintain high-quality content, it’s important to develop and implement robust governance guidelines and standards. These will steer every aspect of content creation, distribution, and maintenance.

These guidelines should include a style guide to standardise voice and tone, editorial standards for accuracy and clarity, and brand guidelines to maintain a consistent brand image. Research reveals that a recognisable brand image can enhance audience engagement, potentially boosting company revenue by up to 23%. This demonstrates the direct impact of content governance on financial performance.

Compliance rules are also important, especially for industries subject to specific regulations, to ensure legal adherence. Additionally, guidelines for SEO best practices help optimise content for search engines, while accessibility standards provide inclusive content for all audiences.

The standards should also cover using images and multimedia, citing sources, and balancing promotional and thought leadership content. By adhering to these comprehensive guidelines and standards, organisations can ensure that their content not only reflects their brand values but also meets the needs and expectations of their audience.

5. Produce and Share Documentation

Make sure your content governance policies and procedures are clearly documented and easy for stakeholders to find and use.

Specifically, the documentation should include:

  • Content governance introduction
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Workflow processes
  • Style guide and branding guidelines
  • Legal and compliance standards
  • SEO and accessibility guidelines
  • Tools and technologies
  • Performance metrics and KPIs

Store this documentation in a centralised, easily accessible location. It’s important that all people involved, from those who make content to the top bosses, can understand and use it. Update it regularly to stay up-to-date with market trends and organisational changes.

6. Measuring Success: Review, Rework, Improve

Metrics specific to content governance like how much the content is used, its accuracy, relevancy, consistency, user feedback, errors, and ROI are key. They help assess if content meets standards and how it’s performing both inside and outside the organisation.

  • Content utilisation: Tracks how frequently each piece of content is used, helping to identify underutilised resources that may need updating or archiving.
  • Content accuracy and relevancy: Assesses the timeliness and accuracy of content, ensuring that all information is up-to-date and relevant content targets your audience.
  • Content consistency: Evaluates whether content across different platforms maintains a consistent tone, style, and branding, which is essential for brand image.
  • User feedback and satisfaction: Gauge the response of internal stakeholders (like sales or marketing teams) and external users (like customers) to the content.
  • Error rate in published content: Tracks the frequency of errors in published content, such as typos, incorrect information, or broken links, which can impact user trust and credibility.
  • User feedback: Collect and analyse feedback from user comments, surveys, or direct customer interactions for qualitative insights.
  • ROI analysis: Assess content return on investment by comparing content creation cost and promotion against the revenue or value it generates.

Highspot’s Approach to Effective Content Governance

Highspot’s content governance tackles many challenges. It provides advanced integration tools for CMS, policy enforcement, detecting governance issues, and auditing. This ensures that the content stays in line with policies. With this, teams collaborate, stick to best practices, unified messaging, and agreed-upon ways to measure content’s value.

In the case of Rimini Street, Highspot played a pivotal role in addressing their content governance challenges. Initially, Rimini Street struggled with almost non-existent content governance, leading to disorder as anyone could upload content, complicating their management of 30 different product lines. Collaborating with Highspot, they established a robust content governance framework, defining clear roles, responsibilities, and policies for content publishing and maintenance. This strategic partnership allowed them to streamline content assets and publishing rights, resulting in a more organised, efficient, and scalable content management system.

Put an End to Content Chaos Now

For sales reps, having the right tools and information is crucial for success. However, managing the plethora of sales activities and customer-facing content can be a daunting task. This is where the content governance plan comes into play. A well-planned content governance strategy gives content teams the guidance to organise and control the creation, publication, and maintenance of their content. This ensures that all content is current, accurate, and genuinely valuable, thereby enhancing the overall user experience for both buyers and sales reps.

Whether you’re dealing with content chaos or looking to streamline your content governance policy, Highspot provides the best tools for your needs. Reach out today for a Highspot demo.