The Wheels and Cogs of Intelligent Content
By definition, Intelligent Content is not the content itself. Rather, it is the way the content is structured, allowing it to be used efficiently and intelligently. You have probably encountered one or more examples of Intelligent Content; but it is one thing to read published content and another to create it.
So what goes into creating Intelligent Content?
1. Content Strategy
Before creating a library of well-researched, well-written content, map out your plan to reach out to your audience and how to engage them. Think of the who, what, when, where and how to serve as your guidelines for content creation. With this in mind, you can begin creating content that is free of form or modular – standalone pieces that can be used independently.
2. Content Library
We are used to reading and writing content that follows a certain flow, be it for a brochure, a whitepaper document, a novel, etc. Intelligent Content, however, should be written such that each piece can be used autonomously.
Create content that can stand the test of time.
Writing about a current trend may engage your readers today, but that particular content will no longer be relevant in a few months or even just a few weeks' time. Evergreen content has a longer lifespan in terms of relevance, allowing you to maximise the content with adaptation, reuse and reconfiguration.
When creating your library, keep in mind the following structure to be able to maximise your content:
- Structurally Rich. While the content as a whole does not follow a specific form, the independent pieces of content is modular and follows a predictable structure, allowing each part to be used, reused or reconfigured to maximum efficiency. This allows it to be used automatically across multiple platforms, channels, devices and context.
- Semantically Aware. Each module is tagged with metadata and industry-related keywords. This gives the structure meaning based on the content. It also optimizes your Content Management System with easier referencing and automation of generating new content.
Implementing Intelligent Content involves a process that is unique to your company’s needs. Ask yourself what are your requirements, what is your communication strategy and how will you support that strategy with the content you created.
Based on Ann Rockley’s definition of Intelligent Content, here are some characteristics to help guide establishing your process:
- Discoverable. The tagging of metadata and industry-related keywords allows for proper documentation and easier retrieval within your Content Management System. The rich metadata can also help with Search Engine Optimisation and help you make your content searchable and automatically discoverable.
- Adaptable. Often, we create content for a particular use or audience. But we can also use this content differently to meet a new need. Say for example an e-commerce site that sells high-tech gadgets. The photos and product descriptions are used on the website. When Father’s Day or Christmas season rolls around, you can generate an article about the best gift ideas for dad or send out an email to your customers containing thoughtful gift ideas for dad using the same photos and product descriptions.
- Reusable. With evergreen content, you can reuse your content throughout the year. By reusing your content, the need to create new content is lessened and it ensures consistency throughout the content you put out. This is particularly helpful to standard texts such as basic information, disclaimers, warning labels and such, but is not limited to these alone. Reusing also helps streamline the process of translation.
- Reconfigurable. Since it is modular, the different pieces of content can be used to adapt to the communication requirements of the different platforms for publishing, for example reusing online content for offline digital signage content. The structure of the content allows it to be mixed and matched, letting you come up with new content every so often.
While the technical aspect can seem daunting, Intelligent Content makes smart use of technology, including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
This helps to move away from constant human involvement at every instance of use of the content and towards automation and a more advanced publishing process. (No more copy and paste every time you publish something with recurring content.)
Authoring tools can help efficiently catalogue your library for efficient retrieval and reuse of data or content. An optimised Content Management System streamlines the generation of the different kinds of content needed. Content generation and publishing can be automated by AI geared towards your process and requirements.
The application of Intelligent Content makes efficient use of people, processes and technology.
This promotes a strategic approach to creating and managing content as a business asset and allows content creators to devote more time towards innovation instead of re-writing or recreating the same content for different channels.
This article is an instalment of our Intelligent Content series, where we take a deep dive into what makes a successful content strategy that engages and delights.