Boost Your Content Supply Chain Efficiency with These Key Strategies
By Budd Hirons
Creating and managing content can be complex and challenging. For 31% of enterprise content marketers, this is made more difficult by not having the right technology to manage content. In order to stay competitive, businesses must optimize their content supply chain to improve efficiency and performance.
In this blog, I’ll discuss the importance of building processes, workflows, integrations, training, and platform optimizations to leverage existing tooling. I’ll also provide actionable tips and best practices for optimizing your content supply chain, including identifying bottlenecks and streamlining processes for maximum efficiency.
By following these strategies, businesses can create a well-oiled content supply chain that delivers high-quality content faster and more efficiently.
What is Content Supply Chain Optimization?
Content supply chain optimization refers to a process of improving and streamlining the various stages of the content supply chain to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance.
When enterprises embark on a plan to optimize their content supply chain, their goal is to improve tangible results, such as content quality and time to market, by removing internal silos and other challenges that prevent the supply chain from operating to its full potential.
The Symptoms of an Unrefined Content Supply Chain
Organizations suffering from an unrefined content supply chain may notice the symptoms of inefficiency begin to creep through. While one or two may go unnoticed, over time, they can accumulate and negatively impact the customer experience.
- Slow to create, edit or approve content
If internal marketing teams can’t seem to create content assets quickly without running into a roadblock, it is a sign of a problem in the content supply chain. This could be as simple as not having contact with subject matter experts or as challenging as the CMS or other tools not being up to scratch. Editing or approval times being delayed due to handoff challenges or content leaders being unaware of where content is in the queue are other issues that could appear.
- Inconsistent or irregular publishing
Another symptom of issues in the content supply chain is an irregular publishing schedule. Enterprise companies need to cater to large audiences across several channels and digital touchpoints, and these audiences expect a regular cadence of content that satisfies their needs or they will search for it with the competition.
- Limited personalization
Businesses unable to deliver a personalized customer experience are likely facing a content supply chain problem. Personalization requires companies to create and distribute large volumes of content to their audiences. It also requires access to customer data and a formal process to incorporate that information into the content creation process.
- Limited tracking and analysis
Businesses need to track and measure content performance before determining how to improve it. However, extracting insights from data is a problem for 44% of enterprise content marketers. The lack of processes and tools to monitor performance or limited data to perform accurate analysis are signs of a content supply chain problem that must be resolved.
Failing to address the root causes of these symptoms will lead to reduced relevancy and customer engagement, which will result in reduced traffic from digital sources and fewer conversions due to a poor customer experience.
Focus Areas for Improving an Enterprise Content Supply Chain
Enterprises that want to optimize their content supply chains should focus on key areas and implement new processes and tools to power content operations.
Planning, Scheduling, and Workflows
Content teams need effective ways to plan and schedule content. They also need to create robust workflows that help them collaborate and communicate effectively.This remains the biggest challenge among enterprise content teams, with 64% citing it as a problem.
Without proper communication and collaboration channels, it increases the likelihood of silos forming and teams being unable to execute their content strategies.Implementing a workflow and collaboration tool, or a headless CMS with robust workflow and scheduling along with authorization tooling, can help organizations rectify any planning issues and manage their entire content lifecycle.
Content creation is the first critical step in any content supply chain. Enterprises must be able to create content to meet the demands of their audience and ensure that content is of the highest quality. To facilitate this, companies need to add processes that enable quality control and tools for asset management. For those organizations seeking to do this as part of a high-quality composable ecosystem, having a digital asset management (DAM) solution or a CMS that offers this functionality can provide content teams with the flexibility to manage hundreds of thousands of content assets to power their campaigns.
Reliable and Timely Publishing
While inconsistent and irregular publishing can be problematic for enterprise companies, reliable and timely publishing can improve engagement and attract new customers. Content teams need the tools and processes to support omnichannel distribution to reach customers on websites and mobile devices, VR/AR headsets, and other digital touchpoints that matter in the modern customer experience.
Analytics and Insights Gathering
Digital content teams need access to analytics and insights-gathering tools. Primarily, these tools will help to track content performance and help teams identify deficiencies in the content supply chain and areas for improvement. However, customer data is also valuable for enterprises that want to segment audiences and offer more personalized or localized experiences.
Whether through integrating a personalization engine or a headless CMS offering these capabilities, ensuring that content teams have access to the correct data is essential to a functioning content supply chain.
Best Practices for Content Supply Chain Optimization
To optimize a content supply chain, companies should follow these best practices to understand the current state of performance and workflows and enable real measurable improvement.
Evaluate and Benchmark Current Content Performance
Before optimizing your content supply chain, you must know exactly what you’re optimizing. Measure the current state of your content supply chain, assessing everything from your strategy to architecture to performance. Use this initial data as a benchmark to understand what effect your content supply chain has and determine areas where improvement is needed to hit overall organizational goals.
Map Current Workflows
Mapping the current workflows of the entire content lifecycle will help you determine whether or not any silos are present and also help identify any of the symptoms of a content supply chain problem.
Conduct a Content Audit
A content audit is used to assess your content assets to understand what’s present in your inventory. Here, you will assess everything from blog posts, whitepapers, and other written assets to videos, images, and audio clips found on websites and any external channels connected to the brand.
When used in conjunction with a performance evaluation and mapping of the content lifecycle and existing workflows, you can discover gaps and opportunities that can be taken advantage of. For example, during a content audit a company may discover they lack content that highlights how to solve a problem they frequently hear about on sales calls, or that they don’t have sufficient customer stories to showcase their expertise.
Performing these assessments at regular intervals will help teams quickly identify issues in a content supply chain and know what steps to take for continuous improvement.
Tips for Improving Your Content Supply Chain
If companies have identified problems impacting their content supply chain, following these tips will help them address them to keep their content supply chain purring smoothly and efficiently.
- Create a centralized content hub
A content hub centralizes all content and data assets in one location. This makes it easier for teams to organize and categorize their content, improve the findability of content assets, streamline content campaigns, and distribute content to the right audience without issues.
Depending on the goals identified and the gaps found during the performance evaluation process, incorporating a headless CMS or a component content management system (CCMS) might be the ideal solution for a content hub within the organization.
- Create and implement feedback loops for continuous improvement
To avoid content silos forming due to improper communication, content teams should strive to create and implement feedback loops. This includes adding content calendars and workflow tools to encourage collaboration and regularly conducting audits and performance benchmarking to foster continuous improvement.
- Identify tools to boost content performance
A key reason many enterprises have failing content supply chains and subpar performance is the lack of the proper technologies to support content strategies. Content teams can accomplish more tasks and hit performance targets when they have the correct tools.
Some tools to consider include a headless CMS, CCMS, DAM, workflow and collaboration tools, and analytics tools. Exploring modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning tools can help accelerate content production and better analyze performance while making team members more efficient.
Boosting Business Agility with an Optimized Content Supply Chain
Optimizing the content supply chain requires enterprises to adopt a strategic and detailed approach to both creating and distributing content, and selecting the tools used to help maximize performance.
As an enterprise digital consultancy that helps businesses create high-quality digital experiences, Content Bloom can support all aspects of the content supply chain, from planning to production and delivery. Our digital marketing services, expertise in various enterprise content management tools, and content intelligence framework can help your business optimize the content supply chain.
When global conglomerate Siemens needed assistance optimizing their content workflow processes they turned to Content Bloom. We identified the root cause in how content requests were being sorted creating bottlenecks that blocked content issues being resolved. After implementing a new Jira service desk designed to address the issue, Siemens saw a reduced time to market and a 65% increase in efficiency.
Learn more about how Content Bloom optimized the Siemens content supply chain by reading the case study Business Agility in the Content Supply Chain.
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