How to move from content creation to content automation – and improve engagement

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Content marketing is naturally a vital process in terms of telling your customers – existing or potential – about your message, as well as become a lead generation tool in itself. But the content method can be industrialised through an ‘intelligent content supply chain’, according to a new study.

The findings appear in a report from content management firm SDL and analyst Forrester. The study, titled ‘Today’s Content Supply Chains Prevent Continuous Customer Journeys’, argued many organisations’ content gathering processes don’t just need tuning up, but a complete rethink.

“To reach the desired end state of intelligent content, companies need to build for the future today,” the report notes. “They need to rethink their current processes, technology, and organisational structures to be prepared for a future where the strategic value of content continues to grow and determines the difference between company success and failure.”

The report advocates six strategies in order to streamline the content and engagement process:

  • Take control of your content supply chain: The report suggests enabling a ‘global content operating model’ (GCOM), potentially moving businesses to an automated and autonomous model of creation, translation and delivery. As brands continue to create more and more – 93% saying they will produce more content in the coming two years – this step is a necessary one
  • Explore intelligent content platforms: This involves adding intelligence to a content ecosystem again focused on the automation side. Only one in three brands say they provide customers with a continuous customer experience, according to the report
  • Rethink how content is constructed: There are more avenues for content than ever; never mind just blogs, video and podcasts, but also chatbots and virtual assistants, among other emerging channels. Brands need to look at these areas and ensure their content can be adapted with ‘minimal rework and maximum impact’
  • Be ready to adapt content for any channel: A lot of the best practice tips come back to one source. Here, while brands are creating more content than ever, is it hitting the right places? Only half of companies polled said they had a centralised and standardised toolset for content creation, translation and delivery
  • Realise that customers want product information: This is a necessary step in getting the proper notes right throughout the process – getting information in place during the buying cycle. “Brands need to be ready to deliver everything from production manuals, videos and spec sheets to customers, in their own language and to the highest standards,” the report notes
  • Leadership should drive change: Four in five respondents said that challenges with content supply chains impede their ability to deliver on primary business objectives

“The result of organisation and technological disconnects is poor, fragmented experiences and frustrated customers,” said Peggy Chen, SDL chief marketing officer. “At a time when customers are turning online dozens of times a day, that’s an enormous missed opportunity.”

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