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Knowledge Management: The Next Great Frontier in Content Marketing

Knowledge Management: The Next Great Frontier in Content Marketing

Creating a knowledge management system will provide your business with the resources needed to grow.

We all remember those trips to the library as a kid. You’d search the database for the latest “Goosebumps” or Judy Blume book and race to its exact shelf.

But imagine this experience without the super-organized Dewey Decimal System, call numbers, and catalog. What good would a library be if you couldn’t find what you were looking for?

It would waste a lot of knowledge, that’s for sure.

Knowledge management is doing for businesses what the Dewey Decimal System did for libraries: providing access to the resources you need. To get technical, this “codification approach” to knowledge management is a push strategy that makes knowledge accessible to an organization by collecting and storing codified information in previously designed electronic databases. 

Whether you call it a knowledge bank, knowledge repository, expertise directory, or something else, it’s just a centralized source of information primed to help you work smarter. But let’s put all this technical jargon aside and focus on what it can actually do for you.

Unlocking the Benefits of a Centralized Knowledge Management System 

Influence & Co. specializes in extracting clients’ expertise and creating high-quality educational articles for their target audience. We use clients’ stream-of-consciousness responses to specific questions to craft unique articles that reflect their expertise. 

A knowledge management system is the perfect complement to our business model. We’re now starting to create organized, searchable, and confidential knowledge banks for each client to make our process more efficient.

Although this system is still under construction, knowledge banks serve several functions:

  • A central, organized storage spot for all client content: This helps increase productivity around content creation. Our account strategists can easily find and utilize client responses to questions we’ve asked before and refer to their published materials.
  • A way to save our clients time: Answering the same question multiple times drains a client’s limited time. With the knowledge management system, we can store the knowledge he provides for one article so we can refer back to that when we need a specific insight for a later article.
  • A place to pull article ideas: We look at previous client topics, recurring themes, interesting points, and personal passions to generate article ideas. If the client references the positive impact his college mentor had on his company often, we know that mentorship is important to him.
  • A way to supplement low-quality answers: We want clients to spend as much time as possible on their answers to convey their expertise, but they’re all busy people, so that’s not always possible. In these cases, we can pull from a client’s old content and remain true to that client’s insights and advice when creating new content.
  • A vehicle for business education: By storing lessons learned, company processes, and experiences in a knowledge bank, our clients have a resource they can use to educate others in their company.

The knowledge bank system works best for our content creation efforts, but this particular model may not be the best format for your company’s information storage needs. Regardless of its specific features, a knowledge management system can help you store and extract information with ease. twitter_blue

5 Tips for Implementing a Knowledge Management System

Consider a study KMWorld and APQC conducted. They asked 494 business professionals how effective they believe their content management efforts are. Only 3 percent responded “very effective” while 43 percent said they were “minimally effective” or “not effective.” Interestingly, more than two-thirds of the respondents who rated their efforts “effective” or “very effective” have a formal knowledge management strategy in place.

Knowledge banks can increase productivity, employee engagement, and collaboration while also reducing the time it takes new employees to get up to speed. twitter_blue When you’re ready to reap these benefits — and many more — here are five tips for implementing a knowledge management system:

  • Choose your system carefully. There are dozens of management tools available, but vetting each option carefully is the best way to find one that meets your specific needs. PHPKB is a popular software that offers both public and private permissions for knowledge access, while Bloomfire gamifies knowledge by allowing users to “high-five” one another when a valuable tool is added.
  • Clearly define a meaningful system of category names. If your knowledge bank isn’t clearly organized, employees can’t use it to increase productivity and extract necessary knowledge. Name your categories and subcategories, and determine what should go under each so employees can quickly find what they’re looking for. 
  • Decide which types of information you want to store. Will you use your system to store videos, documents, or something else? At Influence & Co., we include images, video links, recorded and/or transcribed interviews, and question sets. As long as it’s useful and relevant, we use it.
  • Determine who will have access. You need to think carefully about who has access to your company’s knowledge bank. It’s important to find a balance between “the more the merrier” and “too many cooks in the kitchen.” A good rule is to provide access to anyone who could benefit from the information. Severely restrict editing capabilities to make sure your information isn’t lost or manipulated.
  • Add an index. Having the ability to do simple searches is one of the most important elements of a knowledge bank. Information is useless if users can’t find it, so create an index of commonly used terms and acronyms to facilitate easy access to information.

Imagine wandering through your local library in search of a single book. Having general book categories, clearly marked call numbers, and a computer system to point you to its exact location will save you hours — if not days — and help keep your sanity intact.

Although you might not need the complexity of the Dewey Decimal System to manage your content or internal information, the organizational ideas behind this structure can help employees find useful information without wasting their time asking the same questions over and over.

Find a system that makes sense for your company, and let it educate for you. twitter_blue The boost in productivity and efficiency will be worth the effort you put into creating it.New Call-to-action

 

Picture of Brittany Dowell

About Brittany Dowell

Brittany Dowell is a digital marketer and former vice president of content at Influence & Co.

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