How To Meet Content Demands: Why Bidirectionality Matters
Digital has empowered consumers; the ease and availability of information has never been greater. Consumers no longer wait for brands to tell them what to do or what to buy; they seek out what they want to know. They trust user reviews over marketing messages, and they are quick to call you out on everything from false claims to insincerity. If brands want to reach customers, they need to recognize how savvy their audience has become by making sure every piece of content provides some kind of value. Content needs to be relevant to their interests, needs to be in the right tone, and needs to serve a purpose.
The demand is not just for content in general, but also for quality content. In order to meet this expectation, organizations need to have a handle on all content being published within their network, not just within in their primary CMS or on their main site. While a central content location might seem like the right solution, working solely in a centralized model is limiting.
Great content is often spread across multiple systems with content creators within different departments or different locations. It can be locked away in silos. To effectively deliver the content your audience demands, you need a tool that contains all the content already available for distribution, and that pulls in additional content from your organization’s entire network.
This ability to push content out and pull content in--this “bidirectionality”--is the key to effective content distribution and overall digital success.
Today, “content” doesn’t refer only to carefully crafted articles and papers, imagery or video; by definition content is any and all information made available by a website or other electronic medium. Content made available through the web is nearly limitless. Without an intelligent way to author, syndicate and discover content that has been siloed and locked away within your organization’s digital channels --websites, smart phones, tablets, social media, wearables--the investment you’ve made in producing content simply can’t pay off.
Content From All Network Sources
While having all of your content live in one location is a smart idea in terms of organization and distribution, it doesn’t mean that is the only place that content creation will occur. Everyone in your organization that touches content is both a publisher and a subscriber, working within a variety of systems with different workflows and content models.
For example, let’s look at an industry that creates a significant amount of content: news. A major news site is connected to many regional sites and affiliates. The primary site distributes the master version of the day’s news and the regional affiliates then edit it to suit their local audiences.
However, what if a story breaks in one of those locations? When it comes to the news, it’s all about who gets the story first. If the central content location is not pulling in a hot news story from an affiliate, not only is their audience missing out, but so is the rest of the network.
Master Content Management
Another benefit of bidirectionality is managing master content. Ideally, you need a tool that works within your platform and allows you to not only make changes to the master version after distribution, but to also send the updated version back into the repository. If an affiliate or regional site within the network makes changes, that author can then choose to store the updated version alongside the original.
For example, a North American consumer electronics company is running a camera giveaway. They’ve run similar promotions in the past and have the rules and regulations for this kind of giveaway stored within their main site, available to only to whoever has access to that site. Their UK division wants to conduct the same camera giveaway but the rules must to be revised to comply with British regulations. The UK division can store their localized version alongside the North American original, so all versions of the camera giveaway rules are in one place, easily accessed by anyone in the network who might need them .
Utilizing a tool that not only pushes content out to your network but also pulls it in gives the user an amazing opportunity for content discovery. Instead of combing through individual sites within your network, reaching out to other departments and colleagues for materials that you might need, or sifting through various systems, all available content is in one place. That single repository also allows for search functionality. This not only makes finding what you need much easier, but once you designate the type of content you want through saved search filters, you can automate both curation and distribution. The faster you pull in and find the right content, the faster you can push it out to your network, and the faster it can get to your audience.
By choosing the right platform that allows content to flow bidirectionally, you are now free to work within a distribution model that makes sense for your digital world. With the rise of multisite, mobile, and new digital channels popping up at a breakneck pace, keeping your content flowing is not only the best way to stay afloat, but it’s also the best way to get ahead.