Proprietary business content, or content that is unique to your organization, can provide a significant competitive advantage when managed and leveraged effectively — but that’s a difficult task, especially for organizations operating on a global scale.
Modern organizations invest tremendous resources creating content to support critical business activities, from providing new customers with the support they need to take full advantage of your product, to quickly acclimating new employees to your company, to providing the resources for employees to be successful in their career, to educating your partners and resellers.
But too often, that content isn’t leveraged to its fullest potential, especially when organizations are curating and delivering content at scale.
Let’s take a closer look at 3 ways your content strategy is holding you back, and how reevaluating your content strategy and investing in the right technology can turn your organization’s content into a competitive advantage.
Your Organization isn’t Treating Content as a Competitive Advantage
Modern organizations — especially global organizations — spend a significant amount of time and money creating content for different products, regions, languages, and skill levels.
This content, which is unique to your organization, is powerful.
It facilitates onboarding new team members and customers, supports up-skilling and re-skilling employees, provides performance support for team members and partners in the field — an area that continues to grow with the gig economy — and delivers just-in-time training at the point of need.
But traditional content development methods typically mean that each of those valuable pieces of content are trapped in the format in which they were originally created (a PDF or Word document, a PowerPoint presentation, a Storyline or Captivate file, etc.), so they can’t easily be reused, in whole or in unique sections, without a lot of rework.
When content can be reused easily, organizations can save a tremendous amount of time and money while also leveraging their content across a wide variety of both print and digital experiences, formats, and use cases.
Your Content Teams Can’t Keep Up with Market & Business Drivers
Traditional content development process makes it extremely difficult for content teams to develop new content quickly in order to respond to emerging market and business drivers, whether it’s a planned product update (especially difficult when operating on an agile development cycle), or an unexpected event, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
This traditional approach to content development is inherently time consuming, because each project is treated as a one-off.
Ultimately, hand-crafting each individual piece of content and relying on copying and pasting as a reuse strategy isn’t sustainable on a global scale, resulting in long turnaround times, slow response rates, and a significant maintenance burden.
When organizations shift their content strategy mindset away from a one-off, project-based approach that that traps content into limited formats and output types, to an enterprise-driven strategy that is designed to be format-agnostic and simplify reuse, they can truly turn their content into a competitive advantage.
With the right content strategy organizations can:
- Support change management
- Reduce time to market
- Accelerate the learning curve
In short, the right content strategy can provide significant competitive advantages — while also improving accuracy and consistency — to drive measurable ROI across the extended enterprise.
You Can't Keep Content in Sync
Every time a piece of content is copied and pasted for a new publication, it creates another file that will need to be found and updated when a change occurs. For global organization, this quickly leads to content chaos, or what we like to call “the content explosion problem,” making it all but impossible to keep content in sync.
Adopting a flexible content strategy that supports smart reuse and automation is vital for organizations creating, curating and managing content at scale without creating an unsustainable maintenance burden.
So what does a flexible content strategy look like?
Unlike traditional content development methods that trap content into a specific file type, a flexible content strategy focuses on creating content in a structured, reusable XML format that separates the content from its final design and appearance. By building content in small, reusable components, it can easily be reused as needed across any format or experience.
When content is built in a flexible XML format, it can be reused by linking to the original content component — not copying and pasting — so changes and updates only need to be made once to the source content, and can be seamlessly pushed to every publication and experience where it is used.
This creates a single source of truth for content teams (no more searching individual file shares and hard drives to try to track down all the various iterations of each piece of content), all but eliminating the content maintenance burden, and solving the “content explosion problem” once and for all, even when content is being reused and personalized on a global scale.
Rethinking Your Content Strategy to Streamline Global Content Operations
As technology and consumer expectations continue to evolve, it is imperative that organizations — especially global organizations — begin to rethink their enterprise content strategy to support agile content development and sustainable content maintenance over the long term.
A content strategy built on flexible content creation and sustainable reuse not only dramatically reduces content development and maintenance time, it also makes it possible to effectively personalize content at scale, even for global audiences.
But content strategy alone isn’t enough.
Leveraging modern technology, like Xyleme’s Component Content Management System (sometimes called a Learning Content Management System), allows organizations to implement a structured, component-based XML authoring approach and provides a single source of truth to simplify and streamline content creation, maintenance, reuse and delivery across any number of channels, formats and experiences.
Not only does this save a significant amount of time, it also drives measurable content management ROI across the enterprise.