Why you need to start using intelligent content NOW
If you’re not utilising intelligent content then you should probably get started, now.
“Intelligent content! All my content is intelligent thank you very much, splutter content marketers everywhere. But while your beautifully constructed content may be absolutely on point with your strategy, it’s probably not as intelligent (in the marketing sense) as it could be.
What do we mean by this attack on content and this weird new use of the word ‘intelligent’? It’s a good question and as with all good questions the answer is more complicated than it would seem.
Join us as we delve into exactly what intelligent content is, how it differs to normal content and how your business can be taking advantage of it now.
#Contentmarketing isn’t just about creating engaging and valuable content. Ultimately it’s about generating leads and turning them into paying customers. Here are 10 #tips from the world of science that can help you do just that. https://t.co/stz50GNYMS pic.twitter.com/gmrwNmL3GU— Castleford Media (@castlefordmedia) August 2, 2018
What is intelligent content?
Intelligent content refers to a specific approach to managing and creating content. It leverages new technologies, such as machine learning, to make use of advanced publishing processes heavily backed by data and metadata. The ultimate aim of this approach is to maximise the discoverability (yes that is a real word) of all your content for both bots and humans.
The term itself can sometime be a little vague particularly as it is a complex concept. For that reasons it is best described by its characteristics.
As a rule intelligent content consists of five key elements:
1. Intelligent content is modular
Modular content is build from discrete components, or modules, which can then be assembled to create a complete content piece. This lego brick type approach means that the content is literally designed at birth for reuse. Modules can be swapped in and out of different content pieces to build whole new repurposed articles. Modular content is incredibly flexible and increases content consistency. It also makes it very easy to implement forms of automation which can also speed up content composition and distribution processes.
2. Intelligent content is structured
Structured content is designed in a way to make it readable to both machines and humans. In order to do this it contains embedded instructions that clearly dictate how it should be displayed on different devices.
The content is also semantically labelled (we go into this a bit later) and organised according to an overarching template, which is arranged to maximise readability. This again increases consistency and content usability. It also lays a lot of the groundwork for content delivery automation.
3. Intelligent content is reusable
One of the defining principles of intelligent content is that it is reusable. This radically reduces the time and energy put into creating, managing and publishing brand new content pieces. By far the easiest type of content to reuse is text as paragraphs, or modules, can simply be shifted from place to place to create a new piece. However it is also possible with other formats and media.
4.Intelligent content is format free
Intelligent content does not include formatting such as fonts, column widths or text placements. This separates the actual content from a specific style so that it can be manipulated and delivered through multiple channels and easily consumed on different devices. Specialised computer programmes are able to take the content and create a specified look or style in an agile manner without being bogged down by specific and potentially non-applicable formatting.
5. Intelligent content is semantically rich
Semantically rich content is any media that contains added machine-readable information. This information describes what the content is so that it can be accurately processed by bots.
Normally this semantically rich information is contained in the metadata and tags. Semantically rich content significantly increases the findability of content as bots indexing search engines can more easily match it relevant searches.
The technology behind intelligent content
Intelligent content requires a lot of technologies to build its characteristics. Common necessary programmes and tools include:
- Web content management.
- Marketing automation.
- XML, DITA.
- Business process management.
- Social media.
- Customer relationship management.
- Authoring tools.
- Content marketing technology.
- Component content management systems.
- Digital asset management.
Not all of these tools are necessary to get started and also this is by no means an exhaustive list. But it’s important to remember that intelligent content is very tech driven so basing it around specific technologies is an important factor.
#TipTuesday: While a blog can do a lot for your business – from helping you generate leads to boosting your ranking in search – you need to push content further if you want to see significant, long-term results. https://t.co/ZnOuTUMwma pic.twitter.com/qKwmcxZ9nA— Castleford Media (@castlefordmedia) May 29, 2018
The importance of metadata
Intelligent content is built on high quality metadata tags, or if you like, backend content, which describes the actual content. There are three broad types of metadata that need to be included:
- Administrative metadata: This data type provides information to help manage the content resource and who can access it. It will list things such as how data is created, file type and other technical information.
- Descriptive metadata: Designed to help make the content more discoverable and easily identifiable. It includes elements like the author, keywords and headline title.
- Structural metadata: This determines how the content is organised, for example the order of certain pages or chapters.
Correctly formatting and arranging your metadata is the key to truly intelligent content. Without this aspect you can tick off semantically rich and structured aspects that create intelligence. Metadata also allows more advanced touches such as leveraging chatbots or retrieving personalised elements with the help of artificial intelligence.
How does it link to content marketing?
So how on earth does this form of content creation link to your content marketing activities?
Firstly it’s important to note that intelligent content is not in itself content marketing. Content marketing refers to an overarching strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable content to a target audience.
Instead, intelligent content can be seen as a crucial component of content marketing and can significantly benefit the overall strategy. However, it is worth bearing in mind that intelligent content offers a slightly different approach to pure content marketing. Rather than aiming to create and nurture audiences by providing them with valuable content, intelligent content looks to manage content through structuring it with the five characteristics mentioned above.
These two approaches can be used to compliment each other: Usually with content marketing driving the whole strategy and assigning certain elements, such as an article series or newsletter, to be run under and intelligent umbrella.
What are the benefits of using intelligent content?
Intelligent content presents many benefits that can immediately be used to the advantage of most business types. Some of the most notable are:
- Reuse, recycle and repurpose: Intelligent content allows you to restyle content regularly and use it anywhere. You can switch up articles and make them landing pages, take videos and make them instagram clips. It is an inherently multi-channel method of content creation, allowing your business to be agile in its content approach.
- Become more efficient: The ability to easily repurpose and deliver content through numerous channels significantly increases process efficiency. It also means less time and care has to be taken creating and formatting new content. This approach increases the consistency of the work produced, which is great for crafting a brand image.
- Embrace the future: Intelligent content aligns itself with a variety of technologies and in doing so makes itself transferable to technology that has yet to come.
- Improve your search ranking: Being ‘bot discoverable’ is one of the main criteria of intelligent content and where expert use of metadata comes in. By using semantically rich intelligent content your content will improve its search rankings and relevance.
- Develop your scalability: The systems that enable intelligent content also allow for website scalability without the need for redevelopment. Increasing the size of a website or adding new fundamental services is possible and the intelligent systems will support them.