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StrategyMar 04, 2020

An Introduction to Intelligent Content: How to Make Your Content Work for You

Grace Lee

Content is everywhere. It comes in many forms and is delivered across an ever-increasing number of channels. Content is not just what a company produces; it is the representation and expression of a brand. Content is communication. Content creates identity. When strategically created and deliberatively delivered, content can produce lasting experiences for customers that build loyalty and drive action.

The power and importance of content brings many diverse challenges. How might we tear down organizational siloes to create a unified brand voice? How do we transform our content efficiently and effectively? How might we hyper-personalize our content at scale? Enter intelligent content. This is the first of a five-part series on how to activate intelligent content and make your content work for you.

what is intelligent content?

First, let’s define intelligent content. What makes content intelligent? We define intelligent content as fulfilling four purposes:

  1. Unification: Bridges organizational silos to deliver a consistent brand voice and identity.

  2. Adaptiveness: Creates modular content that transforms to be delivered across any channel.

  3. Efficiency: Makes your content work for you by reducing duplication and enabling reuse.

  4. Accuracy: Effective in serving personalized content to the right person at the right time in the right place.

These tenants of intelligent content are the answer to many traditional challenges of content, from organizational siloes to effective measurement of content value.

The heart of intelligent content is redefining content as an asset instead of an expense, one that strategically and sustainably creates business value. The path to making your content intelligent involves many considerations and requires a united approach across people, process, and technology. When approaching a large ecosystem of content with cross-team involvement, manual processes, and disparate technology, it can be daunting to know where to begin.

the journey to intelligent content

At Credera, we start by stepping back and evaluating organizations’ content across our content activation framework.

If intelligent content is like a journey, let’s break it down in those terms—like a road trip:

Alignment is the destination. Just like the first step of a road trip is deciding where you’re going, the first step toward intelligent content is gaining alignment among leadership on a shared vision for content and defining business objectives that your organization hopes to achieve with content. Beginning your journey with alignment is vital to identifying gaps, prioritizing initiatives, and measuring success as you progress through your intelligent content journey.

Intelligence is the fuel. To start driving, your car needs fuel—the right kind of fuel. Similarly, in order to be intelligent, content must have structure. As opposed to creating content in Word documents or static HTML files, intelligent content must be modular in nature and be marked up with metadata to make it meaningful. A carefully crafted content structure will enable your content to be reused across many channels without copy/paste creation, to be personalized on demand, and to be future-proof against emerging technologies and distribution channels.

Enablement – Technology is the vehicle: You need different vehicles depending on where you’re going. Driving in the mountains? Make sure your car has four-wheel drive. Driving long distances on a budget? Fuel efficiency is of utmost importance. Technology is the vehicle that enables your content to meet your defined business goals. With the seemingly limitless number of technology options and approaches, it is critical to be intentional when selecting, customizing, and integrating technology systems.

Enablement – Process is the path: Typically, there are many paths to reach any given destination. As an organization, you want your path to be efficient and to meet your unique needs. The processes you define as an organization should be well-defined, clearly communicated and understood across teams, and optimized to eliminate unnecessary steps.

Always On Content is the drive. Now that you have an agreed upon destination, a well-oiled machine, and the most efficient path to get there, you’re driving. Always on content is the result of a strategically planned road trip. Always on content means that the right content is delivered at the right time to the right person in the right place.

time to take a road trip

The road to intelligent content can seem intimidating, but the destination is worth it. A good first step is to invest in understanding current state. Holistically evaluate your content ecosystem, identify gaps that prevent you from achieving defined business objectives, and prioritize opportunities. At Credera, we have developed a digital content assessment with more than 50 criteria across organization, content, technology, and customer-centric categories to guide evaluations and develop an all-encompassing roadmap to activate intelligent content.

We hope you feel empowered and equipped to begin your journey toward intelligent content. If you want to know more about Credera’s approach or perspective, please feel free to reach out to findoutmore@credera.com.