I’ve talked a lot about the role content plays in supporting business success. I’ve also talked a lot about complexities associated with creating a successful content strategy. The crown jewel to this is adopting a Smart Content strategy – one that gives you fast, clear insight into the value of your content and knowing if content created and published is doing what it’s supposed to do.
Content is arguably the most important means to support the buyer journey. To be successful, organizations must ensure content created, regardless of format, is infused with ‘smarts’. It’s the only way to know that content delivered is personalized, valuable, compliance-controlled and meeting expectations of your target audience for optimal consumption.
This is part 2 of a 3-part blog series that discusses the value proposition of Smart Content. I previously wrote about what Smart Content is and why organizations need it, now let’s look at practical ways to put Smart Content into practice.
The Power of XML
Your subject-matter experts (SMEs) want to focus on what they do best, impart knowledge. A typical organization has several SMEs, with most working in silos. In many cases, content is being developed in multiple formats, contains outdated information, and doesn’t meet regulatory requirements that vary by industry and region. Add to this, content creators are likely communicating more than just words and are getting bogged down in formatting, adhering to corporate brand guidelines and more – impacting their time to value.
Consider deploying a web-based XML authoring or Microsoft Word plug-in for XML authoring tools, which requires no technical skills or training. This dramatically improves content team collaboration and fuels accurate management of content flowing across your organization. SMEs can create personalized, compliance-controlled content in one effort while using the tools they’re already accustomed to, and easily reuse and publish to any output channel instantly, without compromising accuracy, format or design.
They do this by no longer creating content in a ‘locked’ PDF format and instead use low-code/no-code structured authoring tools to create reusable, XML-tagged content components that keep source content available in a central CCMS repository, which can then be iterated to any digital output. For 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.
Leveraging XML authoring tools support your Smart Content strategy and delivers a superior authoring experience that balances the need for structure with ease of use. It allows your authors to create metadata-rich content that offers meaning and purpose of words, so your SMEs can concentrate on sharing knowledge, not trying to learn new technologies. This empowers your organization to be successful in creating content that will resonate with your audience.
Automation to the Rescue
Another opportunity to make Smart Content a reality is by taking an audit of your current content review processes. Automating these workflows puts you on the path to Smart Content. It fosters true content collaboration, so content teams can work with SMEs and other key business stakeholders to assign, review, comment and approve content 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 noted earlier.
Deploying a Smart Content strategy offers endless benefits, but organizations must first look at their content processes and ecosystems and identify and prioritize the complexities that must be addressed. Start with your people and look for ways to automate content creation processes. With automation, content is unleashed from silos, stored in a central CCMS repository with modular components that are easy to find and offer the necessary visibility into what content exists and in what format. Importantly, it makes it simple to determine what content is effectively supporting your business objective, as well as identify what content is not impactful and should be retired.
Stay tuned for my next blog that discusses how to measure ROI from your Smart Content strategy
Read The Beginner’s Guide to Smart Content eBook.
To learn more about Quark Publishing Platform NextGen and how it can support a Smart Content strategy, request a demo.