Content needs a purpose and has a mission—at least it should. But too often, your brand’s message is garbled or lost entirely due to poor planning.
The term “content management,” or some derivation of that term, was first bandied about in the early 1990s (for context, it precedes the Clinton administration, the completion of the Human Genome Project, and use of the term “Booyah!”). In the years since technology has changed, and so have customer standards for engagement. Organizations of all sizes recognize the relevance of the technology, and it remains a considerable area of investment for modern businesses.
In a recent report, 1,400 professionals were asked about marketing technology expenditures. When shown a list of marketing technology options, 56% of respondents expected their content management/digital experience management budgets to increase in the next year. That is an impressive level of investment for a 30-year-old concept.
If content management budgets are increasing, then there must be a perceived value to that content. There is certainly a cost to produce it. Are you getting value for your expense and effort?
In order to maximize your investment, let’s again discuss the notion of content with intention and two (there are more, but for the sake of brevity, let’s discuss two) widely held misconceptions that waste effort, time, and money:
In evaluating each, it helps to test your content strategy and content creation with this thought: “Content needs a purpose and has a mission.” In other words, before we ever put pixel to screen, we should ask ourselves why we are creating this content, and what do we expect it to do for us?
Have you ever considered how closely our content is related to our data? We create a tremendous amount of both, and arguably, there is some overlap in what constitutes data vs. content. We create content in response to the data we collect, and we collect data on the performance of our content.
According to the International Data Corporation, the digital data we create over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage. It is estimated that we currently collect 1.7 megabytes of data every second for every person on earth. Think of the amount of content that was created in reaction to that data collection!
But is it helping? A survey from a few years back reported 42% of consumers say irrelevant content annoys them, and 29% are less likely to purchase from brands that publish irrelevant content. Another recent study stated that 33% of buyers reported a lack of relevant, useful content in the purchasing process to be a major point of frustration. So much for more is better!
We reduce friction when we present the right content to the right person at the right time. Conversely, we allow unnecessary friction when we present the wrong content or target the wrong persona.
Irrelevant content that fails the test of mission and purpose erodes your message and hurts your brand. Content with intention demands that we avoid creating purposeless, mission-neutral content and that we discard or archive irrelevant content that has outlived its usefulness.
Much of what we’ve heard over the past few years is that personalization must be data-driven. This is true to a point—consumers expect to be known by the brands they patronize. However, if our data merely measures the performance of our message after the fact, we will always fall short of optimum success. The data we collect must do more than outline information; it must now predict and recommend what content we need to create in order to present an optimal message.
Collecting analytics from multiple touchpoints makes this much more challenging. It requires AI-driven insights and machine learning capabilities to wrangle that data into actionable information, but it’s worth the effort. With the tools now available, we finally can gain a handle on our data, combining and curating both to enhance our content creation.
Progress Sitefinity Insight streamlines content optimization, providing actionable recommendations to execute a targeted content strategy with real-time analysis.
Your content needs a purpose and has a mission: What is your message, and what story do you want to tell?
For a deeper look into ways to make your content work for you, please read our whitepaper, 3 Truths & 2 Lies About Your Content Marketing Strategy.
J.D. Little is a Senior CMS Market Strategist, a creative communicator, an educator and an advocate for change. Beginning his career in traditional media technology, he has been helping business leaders navigate the waves of disruptive innovation for more than 25 years.
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