For the last couple of years, the Content Marketing battle cry has been “content is king!” and CMS’ are feeling the effects of this. They’re sluggish, bloated, and filled with content that is uncategorized and repetitive. It’s not uncommon for pieces of content to languish unused, not because it’s not high quality, but because everyone has forgotten it exists! Furthermore, over the years, staff members have come and gone, leaving the content they created inaccessible and without a rightful owner to answer to its subject matter relevance or validity.
That is a challenge I’ve encountered in my existing job responsibilities. The person who was in my position previously created an impressive amount of content that, while still relevant, needs to be updated in order to remain usable. Because this person created the content using Google Docs, it “lives” under his username and email address, something that is no longer active. To make matter’s worse, because he didn’t utilize any tagging or other categorizing system, there’s a lot of duplicate content in all stages of completion as well.
It’s been quite a headache to work with our support team to identify and strip away the permissions of these documents and determine the most up-to-date-version, just so I can utilize them. I know this problem is not isolated to my organization. It exists, in one form or another, in companies in every industry and in every corner of the world. These are symptoms of a struggle that is called “content chaos.”
If we had a Content Intelligence (CI) solution in place when my predecessor was here, I wouldn’t be struggling with access privileges or trying to figure out what version of a document is the most recent. CI stores the content in a central repository that makes it available to anyone within the organization. It also ensures there is no duplicate content, eliminating the need to figure out what version is the most up-to-date.
There are a number of ways in which Content Intelligence can help your business, but I’ve chosen a few of the most important ones to talk about here.
Increased Productivity and Efficiency
The first benefit of utilizing CI in your company is the fact that it increases productivity and efficiency in creating, locating, and utilizing content. When you have a CI solution doing all the heavy lifting, you gain complete control over the content lifecycle. Artificial Intelligence (AI) engines tag content, thereby organizing it properly for future use.
This simplifies the workflow of anyone who wants to utilize a piece of your company’s content. They no longer have to track down the document owner or otherwise search databases full of content that is unmanageable at best. CI even allows you to create workflows to streamline processes, including different access or permission levels in the content creation and curation process. In other words, only the people you want to create content will be able to create content and there is no need to try to figure out who is allowed to do what. When everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing as well as how certain types of content and processes should be handled, it saves time and money.
Another way that CI improves productivity and efficiency is that when content creation processes are established, only the best content gets through the appointed “gate-keepers” whether those are peer reviewers, editors, or managers. This ensures that there are multiple sets of eyes on all content that is presented to the customer, ensuring that it’s of the highest quality possible. On the other side of the coin, if only a few trusted content creators have access to the Content Intelligence solution, content publication can be automatic, which lessens the need for human intervention even more.
One important aspect of Content Intelligence is the need for a topic taxonomy to help with organization. A topic taxonomy is essentially traits that you use to classify corporate content's topics. For example, in the practice of Content Intelligence, it’s a good idea to create a taxonomy based on the steps of a buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, and Decision). These broad categories allow you to classify future content into that particular stage, further assisting with not only locating that content, but also ensuring that the content is presented to the customer at the corresponding stage of their journey.
Your taxonomy can drill down as far as you want it to. This could be especially helpful if you have a very niche product or service in your repertoire. Once these topics are clearly defined, it makes it easier for both the AI engine—and your team—to tag content appropriately, allowing you to track your users’ content consumption.
Protecting Brand Consistency
When content is disorganized, there can be multiple copies in all states of approval, on multiple platforms. It’s hard to know what content is the most up-to-date without going through everything manually… which wastes time and money. Content Intelligence platforms keep all content in one central repository. It can tell you who published what on which platform (and when). When all content is in one place, it’s easier to keep a close eye on the quality of what’s being shown to your customers, ensuring it all lives up to your brand expectations.
One important part of maintaining brand consistency is breaking down the silos between departments and ensuring each team has access to the same content. With Content Intelligence, gone are the day of the sales teams working from one data sheet, while the tech support team works from another and the design team is creating an entirely new one. Content no longer has to belong to one department. You can apply different tags to the same content, ensuring that searches performed by the sales team will turn up all applicable content, regardless of which team created it. On the other hand, however, you can keep separated content that is to be only available to internal people and content that’s meant for an outside audience.
Boosting Customer Engagement
One of the most exciting features of a Content Intelligence platform is that it uses AI to collect important data such as the topics and features that influence customers to respond to Calls-to-Action. If you see that certain content is being responded to more often than others, your team knows to produce more of that type of content. If the user is anonymous, you can focus your content creation efforts on the trends you are seeing instead. Either way, you’ll never be flying blind when it comes to the types of content that people are consuming on your different platforms.
It also gives specifics down to the user-level, allowing you to customize every user’s experience on your website. For example, if you are a gardening website and Content Intelligence data tells you that a user (I’ll call her Susan), views products and blog articles on how to start up a vegetable garden, you’ll want to serve Susan more content that’s geared towards the beginner gardener. In other words, you wouldn’t present her with content that discusses such advanced topics that you scare her off of gardening—and your site—altogether.
Another important way that CI can help your business is by keeping your channels dynamic. A Content Intelligence solution can change the content that’s displayed for each person based on past visits and behavior. When customers see repetitive content, they eventually ignore it. If the content is constantly fresh and new, it will capture their attention more. When coupled with effective calls-to-action, this capability can really drive conversions.
Content Intelligence is a hot topic in the world of Content Marketing. Where marketing departments once struggled with maintaining a content catalog that is current and searchable, they’re now able to quickly find appropriate content for customers. Furthermore, when utilized in the customer-facing aspect of it, CI (with the help of AI), can improve the user experience of both current—and potential— customers.
If you want to know more about Content Intelligence,
read the book Content Intelligence for Dummies!