The Key to Better Content? Embracing Content Ownership

By Kat Liendgens — Thursday, May 11th, 2017 at 11:00am

There’s no shortage of challenges when it comes to creating, editing, publishing, and promoting high quality content. This is especially true for decentralized organizations such as colleges and universities. Sure, you have what seems to be an unlimited number of subject matter experts in many different areas, plenty of crowdsourcing opportunities, and a Marketing and Communications department. But at the end of the day, who is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of a content asset?

All too often, after a piece of content has been published, it is neglected, if not forgotten completely. As a result, you run the risk of having outdated information and broken links or images. If nobody takes ownership of your assets, you will experience a degradation of your website. Ownership and accountability are the key to better web content.

That’s why in Cascade CMS, you have the ability to automatically assign content ownership upon the creation of an asset and to assign ownership either on a page by page basis or in bulk.

Here are some of the benefits of embracing content ownership.

Increase Collaboration

We’re not good at spotting mistakes or areas of improvement in our own content, just like we might not notice a crooked picture frame in our own house. Therefore, content owners have the ability to notify other Cascade CMS users on the fly when they need help with something, just like they would in a Google document. In addition, users can leave comments on assets for the content contributor and alert them to potential problems, such as incomplete sentences or blurry images. The content owner then receives an email alert and can directly go into the asset in question to either fix and resolve the issue or respond to the user who made the comment. In a time where colleges and universities continue to increase their content creation and the number of contributors, this level of mutual QA is invaluable and can take a big burden off your marketing team.

Increase Content Freshness

Search engines continue to place an increased emphasis on content freshness. Therefore, it is crucial that you don’t wait until you do your semi-annual content audit in order to identify content that needs to be reviewed and updated. A much more sustainable and scalable approach is to put some level of responsibility on the individual content owners, who have the ability to filter both the Stale Content Report and the Content Up for Review Report so that they only see the assets for which they are accountable. In addition, the Task Manager provides an easy way for managers to assign the creation of new pages and the updating of existing pages to specific contributors and for users to self-assign tasks. This makes it much easier to divide and conquer in order to keep your content fresh and provide more up to date content to your audience, with the added benefit of better SEO.

Empower Users

When your users feel empowered, they are much more inclined to stay on top of content creation, QA, and updates. One of the biggest opportunities that colleges and universities are leaving on the table, so to speak, is the concept of content ownership and assignments. Content management can be a daunting task for your contributors simply because they don’t always have specific actions to take. That’s why so many users only log into the CMS infrequently, and almost never to update existing content. By assigning ownership, you will significantly increase end user adoption of your CMS, especially if your system provides specific action items to the user.

Let’s face it. If everyone is responsible for a content asset, nobody is. Assigning content ownership to individual contributors is the best way to scale your content creation and QA and to maintain a fresher website that delivers a better user experience, both for content contributors and for visitors to your website. Make your content management scalable. Implement ownership.

What about you? Have you embraced the concept of content ownership? Why or why not? We encourage you to comment in the section below.

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