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Thursday, December 14, 2023

Creating a Center of Content Excellence

By Adam Driggs — Director, Solutions and Innovations
Birds eye view of people sitting at a round table with phones, laptops, tablets, and notebooks
Creating a Center of Content ExcellenceDirector, Solutions and Innovations — Adam Driggs
Birds eye view of people sitting at a round table with phones, laptops, tablets, and notebooks

Nearly 70% of companies have (or plan to develop) a Center of Content Excellence, with the vast majority leveraging the system for business intelligence and analytics. But a new digital asset management (DAM) system alone isn’t enough to affect real change. For true optimization, the organization must adopt a strategic approach that achieves alignment across all marketing functions.

What is a Center of Content Excellence?

A Center of Content Excellence refers to a strategic imitative within organizations, particularly those with a significant digital presence, focused on the creation and delivery of high-quality, valuable, and impactful content in marketing and communication strategies. It is about establishing standards and best practices for effective cross-functional collaboration aimed at producing content that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of the target audience. Establishing these standards and best practices require thoughtful alignment between people, process, and technology.

To achieve content excellence, content must be relevant, consistent, engaging, and accessible. Organizations must have the ability to measure the impact of content through KPIs and analytics, and content creation must be sustainable and adaptable for many platforms and devices.

Why Develop a Center for Content Excellence?

As the world becomes increasingly digital, businesses need to maintain an online presence to reach their audience. Content, including articles, videos, podcasts, or other formats, is a primary way to attract, inform, and engage online users.

Virtually all of the top-performing organizations evaluate content impact and success on a regular basis, which highlights just how impactful a Center for Content Excellence can be. A centralized content center ensures strategic alignment in all content initiatives while providing greater quality assurance, efficiency, and brand consistency. It also allows organizations to effectively measure the impact of content strategies, helping them achieve better results over time.

Without a centralized group standardizing the deployment of tools, organizations are often left with disjointed technologies that are unable to synchronize data. As a result, the organization can’t track the necessary metrics across each stage of the content lifecycle and may require duplicate data re-entry.

Center for Content Excellence: Best Practices

Developing a Center for Content Excellence is about more than creating high-quality content, investing in a new DAM, or using the latest and greatest creative tools. It's about creating a systematic framework that consistently engages audiences, aligns with core objectives, and provides actionable insights to improve the effectiveness of content over time.

Here are the key steps to establishing a Center for Content Excellence as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

Establish a Center for Content Excellence Governance Committee

To effectively steer your initiative, you'll need a governance committee that achieves representation and goal alignment across all marketing functions, composed of content creators, strategists, technologists, and more. Their collective expertise will ensure that your content is streamlined and standardized across all departments, while also meeting high standards and aligning with your organization's strategic goals.

Prioritize People and Process Change

Technology will only get you so far. Don’t begin implementing software solutions before conducting thoughtful research, including thoroughly assessing current people and skills. Identify gaps in existing processes, then identify the people who will empower change within your organization.

Often a small tweak in process can greatly improve the cross-functional collaboration between dependent groups. Too often organizations begin by purchasing expensive and complex software solutions to solve all of their content-related challenges. Although software can greatly benefit the overall goals and initiatives for A Center of Content Excellence, it must be considered supplemental to thoughtful business strategy and design. Don’t design your process around the technology, rather identify how the technology can enhance your process.

Design With the End in Mind

Remember that your overarching goal is to better measure the effectiveness of content, and then use those metrics to make informed decisions. By designing with this end goal in mind, you’ll be more effective in planning how content is tracked and measured across the various internal and external marketing channels.

Focus On Developing Modular Content and Content Reuse

An emphasis on modular content and content reuse will help increase efficiency, productivity, and speed to market. It allows for quicker content deployment and empowers organizations to respond rapidly to market demands, trends, and opportunities. Utilizing centralized and cloud-accessible brand libraries to store brand elements, templates, and modular content is a great place to start.

The Bottom Line

A Center of Content Excellence allows organizations to streamline their content processes, enhance efficiency, maintain brand consistency, and measure the impact of content efforts. Businesses that develop such a center can position themselves for long-term success, foster innovation, and build enduring relationships with their audience, ultimately driving growth and achieving their business objectives.