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What is Content Operations? Strategies and Best Practices

Post by
William Griffiths
What is Content Operations? Strategies and Best Practices

Content Operations Strategies and Best Practices

In design, as is the case in any industry, you need to stay on top of things. At the heart of that is the need to control your content. Within your team, you have to be able to steer the ship with regards to your output and ensure that you stick to your schedule as efficiently as you can. Today, we want to run through some key components of content operations - including providing you with a rough definition.

Although it may seem simple on the face of it, companies can often find it easy to stray away from best practices in this department. That’s why it’s so important to have a refresher now and then to ensure you don’t let the little things slip through, regardless of how inconsequential they may seem.

With that being said, let’s dive into it.

What is content operations?

Content operations are the set of processes that need to be put in place to plan, create, manage and analyse all of your content. The aim is to ensure it aligns with your objectives as a business, delivering value to your target audience in the process. Essentially, it’s all about executing your content strategy and following through on the plans you’ve been setting out.

You have to integrate your team with the technology you have and the processes you’ve created to make sure your content lifecycle is managed efficiently. It benefits the customer, it benefits the company, and it hopes to make everything run like clockwork - but it requires an awful lot of commitment and organisation, as you’d expect.

Where it separates itself from content strategy and content management is in how active it is. You’ll be getting the wheels turning to the point where you can start to see some results instead of just working off of a theory. This is where the real creativity can begin to flow, allowing for the distribution that will help your company grow.

Read also: How content marketing and design work together?

The key components of content operations

In the eyes of many, three key pillars work in unison to make content operations function properly: people, process and technology. These are all broad terms when you look at them on a screen, but when you break them down individually, it quickly becomes clear that they all hold a specific place in the setup.

People

Despite what certain tech giants may tell you, people are critical when making up a company's infrastructure - and that should go without saying. When you surround yourself with others willing to give a different point of view, you can gain a much better insight into what is going well and, perhaps more importantly, what isn’t.

Within content operations, you must divide them up and assign them roles and responsibilities. While someone can lead the charge with the actual content creation and oversee how much progress is being made, others can examine the facts and figures, whereas you’ll also need teammates there who are ready to come up with the latest design ideas.

Process

How do you get from point A to point B? It seems like a simple question, but it isn’t. When you’re building out your content operations team, one of the things you need to consider is how it’s going to function in terms of the actual structure. How do you get things off the ground, through to understanding how you will finish things off. It’s all a cycle.

Essentially, we’re talking about taking things from content ideation to publication. Everyone does it differently, and it could involve very few steps, or it could be a lot more extensive than that. It comes down to personal preference and looking at case studies around you, picking up pieces that make sense and disposing of ones that don’t.

Technology

In the modern age, just how important technology is to society can't be overstated. We all (most of us) use it on a day-to-day basis, and the majority of folks simply cannot function without it. In the world of design, that’s also a pretty accurate way of describing it, and with content operations, it’s always key to figure out how you’re going to use it.

When you’re examining the analytics of how your content is performing, for example, or what kind of content your target audience enjoys, you need to have the right tech on board. Beyond that, there are systems and platforms out there that can provide crucial assistance with overseeing schedules and making sure your team members are meeting their deadlines.

The benefits of content operations

With content operations, one thing you can always rely on is improved content consistency. Before, you may have had a loose plan that served as the ‘status quo’ for longer than you can remember - but now, there’s a certain level of professionalism in place that can take you to heights you previously thought unthinkable. How? Through planning and teamwork.

The quality is going to be higher, there’s going to be increased demand off the back of how smoothly everything is running, and there’s going to be a level of efficiency that will arguably make everyone’s jobs a little bit easier in the long run. It takes time to reach this point, but nobody can argue with the balance once you're there.

The challenges of content operations

We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t point out a few of the challenges on offer here because, let’s face it, nothing in life comes without complications. Some common challenges can include analysing content relevance and making sure that work doesn’t go stale over time - which, on the flip side, is why you always need to have evergreen content handy.

There’s also the issue of overcoming potential bottlenecks and, in a general sense, maintaining compliance. If one singular thing is out of place, it can cause a ripple effect flooding through the entire operation, and although that may sound daunting and a little bit scary, it’s better to face that reality now than to suffer from the consequences later.

Final thoughts

To figure out the perfect content operations plan, you must stay updated with the latest trends and how they evolve. For example, the increased role of AI is a hot topic right now, and some positives and negatives come with that. You have to deduce how much of an influence you want it to have and how much you want your team to utilise it - and the same goes for data-driven insights.

In terms of best practices, you must employ the best SEO (search engine optimisation) possible for your product to make the biggest splash. Alongside that, you have to use the most robust CMS (content management system) you can because if tech problems start appearing everywhere you turn, you’re going to have headaches that are totally avoidable.

In terms of the bigger picture, we here at Hatchly can provide a helping hand with any design needs you may have now or in the future through our unlimited graphic design service. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to check out our website here - and get in touch if you have any questions!

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