Partner PerspectivesToday’s marketer knows they need to work smarter, not harder. Sitecore Content Hub offers the intelligent support marketers need to centrally manage content and distribute it across channels. In this post, we demonstrate how the centralization and atomization of content works, how to model content types by considering the target channel, and how to measure the impact of your content. We also discuss why it’s important for marketers to leverage these techniques.

Benefits of centralizing

Like most marketers, you likely use a wide array of technology tools, many of which specialize in a specific channel: web, email, social, etc. When your content is buried in a channel tool, it makes it more difficult to adopt omnichannel operations. For instance, you may have a great message within your email tool, while a colleague uses a different one on social media. Not only is their messaging not as good, but also your overall brand message is disjointed.

In addition, you’re also missing the opportunity to make reporting more natural by having a single campaign your messaging can tie back to. Consider the following diagram where content created for a purpose is scored within the umbrella of a campaign. With this approach the style of the communication is consistent, the content is re-usable, and the distribution is managed in one place.

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Planning content types

In Sitecore Content Hub, a Content Type is a template your writers fill out during the creation process. For example, a simple blog could have the following: title, meta-title, date, byline, body, and CTA. It’s important to consider what the target channel(s) are for your content type so you can visualize re-usability and flexibility. If you define content types with fields that overlap with other content types, you’ll potentially have to maintain duplicate information. Each organization is different, and while there is no single data model that works in all instances, your team can discover an approach that works best for you by whiteboarding a prototype.

Consider the following example: your marketing team wants to distribute content for an event to both the web and social channel, but each have their own unique purpose and constraints. On the web, the team can present as much information as they’d like. It will be the “home base” for specifics about the event, where attendees and those considering it can easily discover all the information they need: title, location, time, admission fee, dress code, etc.

For social media, however, you want to drip this information over time given that it tends to be real-time centric with date descending. This scenario reduces duplication of content, making it easier for your team to create and distribute content.

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Content Hub integration

Adopting Sitecore Content Hub for Content Management gives you confidence that all of your valuable assets are in one place — a system designed for omnichannel distribution. This confidence is important since you and your team have invested time and energy preparing marketing copy, image assets, and metadata tags.

Today’s digital marketers wear multiple hats — product owner, communicator, strategist, etc. To ensure the solution is optimized for all your team needs, it must be set up well. Understanding at a high level how the system will distribute content will enable you to better communicate with your systems administrators, who will rely heavily on you to describe the desired outcome and edge cases to better configure the system.

Here is a list of questions you likely need to answer:

  • To what channel will each content item be distributed?
  • What are the business rules for distribution, are workflow approvals required, is there a timing aspect?
  • What fields are included and are there special data types that require extra consideration such as localizing date or currency?
  • What happens if we make a mistake, can we roll-back or update?

Measuring impact and maintenance

Digital marketers must measure their performance to prove the value of these investments. One technique shown in a previous image was the impact score, which is an aggregate of activity multiplied by a relative weighting score. Impact on its own may not seem like that great of an indicator. But if you were to have 10 campaigns with impact values ranging from 25 to 200, you would be clear about which was the best performer. This is not a substitute for other metrics, such as click-through or average cart sale, but it is another valuable data point.

Below is an example of scoring impact. For instance a share gets more value than a click, and you might calculate this based off of activity generated by a social media post that ties back to the content.

Omnichannel-Distribution-third.png

In terms of maintenance, you can use reporting in Sitecore Content Hub to get a high-level view of your content ecosystem. In this example, the team is very active in events and social media, but weak in white papers. Your feedback to the content team may be that our message is shallow and we need to increase depth to engage our expert buyers.

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Changing operations to centralize content and measure impact may seem daunting, but it’s vital for survival in most industries’ increasingly competitive landscapes. Sitecore Content Hub is the best solution for this challenge; it quickly empowers you to leverage these techniques in a centrally accessible hub with significant out-of-the-box functionality. This leaves you to focus on planning your content types thoughtfully, communicating to system administrators how distribution should work, and including measurement as part of every campaign – so your team reaches your audiences with maximum impact. You can explore Sitecore Content Hub here.

Walt Rolle is a Sitecore Strategy MVP and leads the Digital Sales & Marketing practice for RDA, helping his clients launch digital transformation that works through accurate technical guidance and a rock-solid management strategy. Connect with Walt on LinkedIn and Twitter.