Content Science has released the findings from its first content operations study in four years. The research reveals a strong correlation between content success and factors such as a clear content vision and strategy, regularly evaluating content effectiveness, and using advanced technology like artificial intelligence.
However, compared to 2017, more organizations are in the early stages of content operations maturity and not taking advantage of evidence-based success factors.
“This unique study gives insight into how content operations are evolving, what makes them challenging, and what makes them successful. We’re finding many organizations are struggling, but some really stand out as thriving. So we can learn from them,” says Content Science Founder + President Colleen Jones.
A new spotlight has turned to content operations because digital disruption has accelerated. Jones explains, “As more organizations and businesses put digital first, they face more content demand. A digital first company has to be a content capable company.”
Senior Analyst Angie Vaughn says content operations is a dynamic trend that Content Science is continuously studying to help organizations take the right way forward.
“We ran a similar study in 2017 and were able to make comparisons to that data. We assessed what trends are emerging and how things are shifting, especially in a post-pandemic environment,” she says.
“One of the most insightful elements of this study is being able to compare what thriving and successful organizations are doing versus those who are not having as much success or who are in earlier stages of content maturity. This is where the roadmap really starts to develop,” Vaughn adds.
The content operations study collected responses from 109 content professionals during the period January 2020 through March 2021. Participants work in variety of industries including technology, finance, health, retail / ecommerce, education, media, and nonprofit.
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Among the top findings are:
>> The majority of companies are at either level 2 (piloting) or level 3 (scaling) out of 5 content operations maturity levels.
>>The top three challenges to mature content operations are: Content strategies are not standard for the entire organization, No direct evaluation of content effectiveness, No clear content strategy or plan
>> Organizations that report being very successful are more likely to have a clearly defined content vision.
>> Very successful organizations are more than twice as likely than slightly successful ones to evaluate content impact and success regularly.
>> Very successful organizations are more likely to be using ROI to evaluate content.
>> The top barriers to maturing content operations are lack of communication across silos and red tape / bureaucracy.
>> 73% of organizations use a content management system. 41% use specialized content technologies in addition to or instead of content management.
>> 44% report personalizing the content experience for their users or customers.
>> 22% use machine learning or AI for content work such as distribution and generation.
>> Organizations that offer content-specific training are less likely than teams without it to experience challenges.
>> The majority of content teams consist of six members or fewer and have more diverse roles compared to the 2017 study.
>> Significantly more organizations have leadership roles such as content manager and director compared to the 2017 study. Some organizations have executive level content roles.
This study also serves as a model of Content Science’s research and content development capabilities through solutions like CS Brain and CS Forge. “I’m proud of the Content Science team for conducting this unique study at a high level of quality and efficiency. We really lived up to the high standards we set for ourselves and for our work with clients and partners,” notes Jones.