Getting Smart About Creating (Intelligent) Content

Lisa  Park

March 07, 2016

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Intelligent Content: A Primer Book Cover
 

When I signed up to review Intelligent Content, A Primer, written by Ann Rockley, Charles Cooper and Scott Abel, I figured I’d glean a few good nuggets from a somewhat dry, albeit fairly quick read. What I learned was that I see eye to eye with Rockley and team: No doubt content drives consideration, purchase decision and engagement. And it does so by flowing across multiple experiences to reach users wherever they are. 

The question is, how does it flow? For example, does creating content require a lot of heavy lifting, or is it a fairly fast and easy process for you? If you’re a content marketer or producer who’s finding it challenging to keep up with the manual process of developing quality content for your customers, then what you need is intelligent content.

So say Rockley and company, who add that—in our multi-channel, multi-screen, multilingual and globally connected world—handcrafting page-centric, device-specific content deliverables isn’t scalable, nor is it an efficient use of time and resources.

Content Is Still King

Bear in mind that, according to research provided by Rockley and team, B2B content marketers in the US spend more than two-thirds of their time—and an estimated $5.2 billion annually—producing content. Additionally, they state that roughly 60%–70% of the B2B buying decision is based solely on content found online—including product information and specifications as well as training materials.

Enter intelligent content, which Rockley says is “designed to be modular, structured, reusable, format free and semantically rich and, as a consequence, discoverable, reconfigurable and adaptable.” Whatever you call it, this is the kind of content that will help you gain efficiencies and positively affect the bottom line. Here’s why. 

Intelligent Content Is Discoverable, Reusable and Adaptable

Because this type of content has been enhanced with semantically rich (aka meaningful) metadata, it’s now discoverable—read: search engines will surface your content more effectively. And you’ll be able to better and more rapidly access and repurpose your own content.

Content that’s been chunked up into discrete components is content you can reconfigure quickly and easily based on customer and business needs. Modular content, another key to making it intelligent, allows you to mix and match to create new content products or update existing ones.

Meanwhile, when content is adaptable, you can easily and automatically tweak it to meet the particular needs of an industry, audience segment, subject or purpose. This makes it possible to personalize experiences—and thereby increase engagement—based on those needs.

Intelligent Content Benefits Your Users and Your Business

Intelligent Content, A Primer, goes into quite a bit of detail—and includes a fair amount of research—to explain how you’ll benefit from this type of content. It includes three brief case studies, highlighting an investment bank, medical device company and HMO, to further illustrate the benefits of designing content that’s modular, structured, reusable, format free and semantically rich. These benefits include increased sales, a reduction in campaign development time and better customer satisfaction. 

Two out of the three case studies mention key content strategy components such as a content model, taxonomy and workflow that contribute to the creation of intelligent content, but don’t describe what those entail. Indeed, Rockley and team clearly state that Intelligent Content, A Primer is not a how-to on all things content strategy, but rather meant to explain why intelligent content is the optimal solution for content marketers and producers.

So if you’re looking for a blueprint on how to put intelligent content into action, you won’t find it here. What you will gain is a basic level of understanding on what intelligent content is, and how you and your users will benefit from it. If you're looking for help with your own content initiatives, Extractable has an experienced team of content strategists, writers and editors ready to help.