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by Emerson Welch  |  April 14, 2022

10 Signs It’s Time to Automate Your Content Management Processes

Content Intelligence

How modern content lifecycle management ensures a bright content future

Content volume is increasing because organizations of all sizes across all industries are creating more information to share with their audiences via multiple channels, including print, desktop and mobile websites, and social media platforms. Your business may be struggling to meet your stakeholders’ content expectations, especially if your processes and software still reflect a traditional print content workflow that requires manual adaptation for each audience and channel.

Given today’s rate of change and growing (and ever-evolving) demands, it’s no surprise you may be questioning your content management strategy. Perhaps you doubt whether your company publishes content that engages your audiences effectively and reaches them through all the right channels. For regulated industries like pharmaceuticals, stakeholders could have concerns that information does not meet regulatory compliance requirements. These are just a few examples of what keeps content teams and executive leaders up at night.

Many factors drive a business to invest in new IT infrastructure. In the era of Big Data, organizations were fast to adopt technologies to better manage data growth, and importantly, harness the power of data insights to make smarter business decisions. The same holds true in what we might call the era of Big Content. So now is the time to evaluate your content management maturity level and invest in technologies to better manage your content ecosystem and ensure its future readiness.

If you believe any of these statements reflect your organization’s current content state, then it’s time to consider automating the stages of content lifecycle management:

  • We need to publish more without increasing the size of our team.
  • Customers want an optimized mobile experience, so a PDF isn’t good enough.
  • I spend too much time recreating content I know already exists.
  • We can’t enter new markets because we can’t keep up with the content demands of the business.
  • We need to reduce the cost of localizing (or translating) our content.
  • By the time we publish content and deliver it to customers, it’s already out of date.
  • Our regulated documents have too many errors.
  • Customers complain about content inconsistencies across channels (print vs. digital).
  • Keeping track of content changes is impossible.
  • We don’t have content intelligence, so we can’t measure or improve content ROI.

Modernize your content management lifecycle

To be successful and gain a competitive edge, your business must modernize its content strategy and the stages and systems involved to meet the demands of your customers, prospects, regulators and employees. Consumers are devouring content at an epic pace, taking a self-service approach to finding the information they want and making decisions quickly. This makes it more important than ever to develop meaningful, personalized content and publish it in the right place to successfully engage your audience(s). Remember, you have one chance to make a great lasting first impression with your content.

Automation can help you make that positive first impression. But the process starts from inside the organization.

Your business will struggle to keep up with customer content demands if your processes and software still reflect the traditional content workflow model where content is manually adapted for each of the many different print and digital channels. With content automation, your organization can save time, money and keep your subject-matter experts (SMEs) focused on what they do best.

Here are the topline benefits of modernizing the content lifecycle with automation:

Create reusable content components

According to IDC, employees spend an average of 26 hours each week creating or editing content. Content automation allows your SMEs to graduate from creating static, “one-off” documents in which content is locked within a PDF to a structured/modular authoring approach in the familiar Microsoft Word environment. That makes it simple to create reusable content components that can be seamlessly integrated into omnichannel formats with just a few clicks. XML is auto-generated and your reusable components are tagged directly with metadata for easy searching and tracking across the entire content estate.

Reduce review-and-approval cycles for faster time to market

An automated workflow fosters true content collaboration, so content teams can work with SMEs and other key personnel (procurement, legal, HR, etc.) to assign, review, comment and approve content in turn and streamline these time-consuming and error-prone processes. With automation, your organization can shorten review cycles by days or even weeks compared to a traditional publishing process by centralizing collation of feedback and version control. As an example, an author can create reusable content components that keep the source content available in that one component, so no one has to review or update multiple documents every time a change is made. If a content component is updated, the updated content is reviewed and approved only once.

Make assembly easy

In a content automation workflow, all preceding manual tasks are automated by the reusable content components that contain XML metadata, which the system can interpret. What’s more, document templates are designed to automate layout and formatting rules and can dynamically link through to contributory assets to eliminate manual copying and pasting for items such as charts, tables, images and video files. Designers can focus on what they do best: determine the template design and layout rules. The content author can now see how the content will look in each output format while still writing the content and doesn’t have to wait for the creative team to lay out the content. Your organization can reduce its content publishing timeline from weeks to seconds.

Revolutionize publishing

In traditional publishing workflows, every one-off document strains creative resources and creates a bottleneck. Automating publishing processes allows teams to extend the life of content assets by repurposing them for use in different formats and channels (eg, print, web, mobile). Importantly, it also allows your team to create and deliver personalized omnichannel content while supporting both internal and external scalability requirements, such as localization and translation. The era of Big Content will continue to revolutionize creation through consumption, so don’t let legacy publishing processes and technologies drag down your organization by compromising the customer experience. Increase your time to market, meet customers’ right-way, right-time expectations, and capitalize on revenue opportunities with content automation.

Create intelligent content

Your content holds critical information that not only keeps the business running, but can be turned into insights and knowledge that allow you to continually improve it and maintain a competitive advantage. Adding intelligence to your content allows you to capture data about how your external audiences engage with and consume your content. You can see how effective – or ineffective – your content is, ultimately providing insights for stakeholders not only to improve content effectiveness but also see the real ROI on content creation when compared with your production costs.

Automating your content management processes ensures your organization can achieve its most important objectives – from digital transformation and customer satisfaction to regulatory compliance and revenue generation. Quark’s modern approach to content lifecycle management enables you to automate every stage of content creation and publishing, including collaboration, assembly and analysis – all of those areas we discuss above. And we just released the latest version of Quark Publishing Platform (QPP) NextGen, our SaaS-based platform for unified content creation, automation and intelligence. Click here to learn more.

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