How To Keep Up with Content Demands and Keep Your Sanity
by David Mennie
In the world of digital marketing, content has never been more important. Marketing organizations are raiding talent from all kinds of creative industries to try to meet the demand for exciting stories, moving photos and engaging videos. In the Age of the Customer, content needs to serve a specific purpose for its intended audience: It needs to be useful, thought provoking, and shareable.
While creating engaging experiences might be on the minds of marketers, content is a key component. And let’s be honest: Creating a library of great content to pull from is not easy. There are no shortcuts for creativity; if it’s a new piece of content you need, someone has to pull it together. You can gain a serious edge and stay ahead of the competition by:
- Reducing the time you spend searching for existing content within your network.
- Eliminating the duplication of work.
- Automating the distribution of that content.
- Normalizing all content within your systems.
Access to All Content in Your Network
Digital has turned everyone into a publisher. If you have any sort of online presence, you are creating content hoping to engage and captivate your audience. This content is most likely not limited to a single website or channel but distributed across multiple digital touchpoints with multiple authors. Often, organizations try to centralize their content to make it easier to find and manage but that’s not always achievable or practical.
For example, you’re a local news site which is part of a larger regional news network and each organization has their own content management system (CMS). You want to do a story on Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid, but another writer in your network has already written a piece, complete with facts and quotes from sources. You have two choices:
- Spend the time writing a similar article yourself, including tracking down your own sources.
- Spend time searching for the other article, with no easy way to find it.
Both take up valuable time you could be dedicating to other stories. But there is a third option: All the content available in each news site’s CMS can be easily found and syndicated from a single interface. In this way, you can easily see what has already been created around your topic, in this case the 2024 Olympics. You can read everything that’s been written, decide what’s right for your audience, and then push or tailor that existing content to suit the needs of site that you manage.
Automated vs. Manual Content Curation
With the ability to easily discover and locate relevant content across your network of sites, your entire organization gains access to all content that has been produced. From there, the next step is deciding the best way to curate that content on the site(s) you manage. This can be done automatically or manually, depending on where the content lives.
If the content is stored in a set of verified, trusted sites within your network, anyone with the proper permissions would have the option of automatically publishing all relevant content from any other site.
Automatic Curation: The ability to set up and receive notifications automatically when new content contains a specific keyword (or matches other metadata queries) is available anywhere within your network of sites would make it even easier to curate the content you need.
Manual Curation: Depending on the sensitivity of the content available from the rest of your network, you may want additional oversight and review. While this content may be valuable to your audience, manual curation may make the most sense.
It should be just as easy to push your content out as it is to pull the right content into your site. This would make syndication of your content as easy as curating content from all your sites. Looking at the Boston 2024 Olympic bid example, rather than have other writers in your network ask to for a story or try to find it themselves, you could make your article available to all the news sites within your network simply by tagging it appropriately. If those teams had an automated query setup, then it would be available for their use as soon as you publish. Or, knowing that this is a hot topic, you could also publish it to multiple sources simultaneously, increasing and expediting the impact and reach of your content. Time is money in all aspects of the business world and this capability will save you both.
Normalizing Your Content
Content isn’t limited to text that you publish on a website. Content can be documents, photos, videos, or audio files. It can be accessed not only from laptops, but mobile phones, tablets, and so on–with new devices popping up every year. The content viewed and even created on these devices is just as important as any created directly within your CMS.
In addition to being able to find content and syndicate it, you need a system that can normalize it as well. Normalizing content means that it is aligned with a standards-based, semantic schema so it can be reused across different applications and be rendered or displayed properly on any device.
The post-web-browser world requires the ability to author content once in any system and deliver it everywhere and anywhere it’s needed. Delivering content to the right person, in the right channel, at the right time is what today’s consumer expects. With the proper system and tools to centralize, syndicate, discover and normalize your content, you will meet that expectation every time.