What created the content storm?

We probably don’t need to tell you that in today’s digital world, content is king. And, as marketing strategies are built increasingly around content that will be leveraged in more ways across more channels, demand for it is growing at lightspeed. If you’re wondering how you can keep up the pace using traditional content creation methods — well, the hard truth is, you can’t.

Inefficiencies, duplicated efforts, lack of synchronization and poor planning can all have disastrous impacts on your content strategy and your customer experience, particularly when that content is deployed in an omnichannel environment.

Stop running in circles. If you want to keep a grip on the quality, relevancy, cost and time to market of your content, it’s time to industrialize your creation process.

Enter modular content creation

Content that’s locked up in the specific channels where it was created (social media, mobile app, etc.) is difficult to repurpose elsewhere in your digital ecosystem. Not only is it not working as hard for you as it should, but it could even be working against you if customers notice inconsistencies in your experiences. That leaves marketers and content managers having to work even harder to create a streamlined and consistent experience.

 

Modular content is separate, channel-agnostic pieces of content that can be reused across various channels. By creating these malleable building blocks, you focus your creative and editorial efforts on making reusable pieces of content that can be easily assembled into channel-specific publications and localized.

 

It’s not how some marketers have been trained to think about the art of content creation, but it does work — and it demands a paradigm shift.

 

Personalization: An extra layer of complexity

The more we as marketers personalize content, the more our customers are going to expect it. And the more they expect it, the more fine-tuned the personalization needs to be. As we get increasingly granular in building detailed customer personas across different channels and devices based on the data we gather, the demands for content to satisfy all those various personalization requirements continue to grow.

The vision of modular content is about reusing content across channels. Sitecore offers a platform that can support that vision, in the form of a two-step process.

Two steps to operationalize content creation

Step 1: Identify building blocks

As channel-agonistic pieces of content, the building blocks you’ll create have a universal value for reuse. If you’re not sure what modular content you might need for your specific business, try looking at your different channels — for example, a web page, a print brochure and an app — and see which elements are shared across these channels.

 

An image might be a good example. Since this same image appears everywhere, it has the potential to be a modular piece of content — one building block that can be reused in the different channels, in different ways.

 

Step 2: Assemble them

Product content can also be considered modular content, albeit on a slightly more sophisticated level. The same product might appear on a spec sheet, a mobile site, and on packaging, which are all just different iterations of the same kind of structured content. The content contains a product image, name, description, features, and benefits.

A print ad probably has a visual, a baseline, and a disclaimer. A social media post has a visual, a title, and a piece of short copy — and so on.

Tweaks can be made at this stage to make it channel-specific, such as adding hashtags on social media.

The common thread is that none of this channel-specific content is created from scratch. It all comes from modular content that is then customized per channel. It’s a process that saves you time, money, resources … and sanity.

With growing expectations in speed, quality, and volume, marketers need to be smart and agile about the way content is produced, and more importantly, about how it is reused or reassembled.

Weathering the content storm — a paradigm shift 

This massive change in the approach to content creation may be easier said than done. In many cases it will require breaking down long-standing organizational silos. However, companies that can demonstrate agility in their process forcontent creation and think about content universally instead of channel-specifically, will be the ones best positioned to weather the storm they currently face, and those that lurk out there on the horizon.

Sitecore Content Hub has the tools and the vision to support you in your shift to modular content creation. We offer project management and collaboration tools, easily configurable and extendable content types, and a modular approach to content creation, lifecycle, and assembly.