Best Practices for Managing Content Strategically

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You see, every enterprise, every content marketing campaign, and even every data analysis process relies on a variety of forms and formats of content.

Sometimes, a proper form can be just as important as the content itself.

The concept of enterprise content management (ECM) is your ability to use the correct version of the document at any given time.

In order to achieve this and strategically manage your content, you would need to:

  • Capture the content
  • Enter it into the system
  • Store it
  • Archive it
  • Deliver it on-demand

This is the preferred lifecycle of any relevant piece of content that you come into contact with. So, with that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips to help you guide all your content along this path.

Dynamic and Static Content

There are two major content types in terms of user input. These are:

  • Dynamic content
  • Static content

Dynamic content is the one that is constantly changed/edited by the user input. We’re talking about tables with names, dates, locations. One interesting thing about this type of content is that it sometimes gets edited even after being published. The best example of this is product pages, websites, and ads.

On the other hand, static content doesn’t change due to the actions of the user or creator. Static content is various forms of records that are archived for historical reference. This historical reference can be invaluable for the analytics, seeing as how its role is to provide a reference point.

Structured and Unstructured Data

There are a lot of instances where the value of the content is determined by the value of data or information that it contains. This is why classifying data types is also quite relevant for your content management strategy. Here, we have:

  • Structured data
  • Unstructured data
  • Semi-structured data
  • Dark data

The simplest definition of structured data would be to say that it’s a form of data that’s easy to search. We’re talking about Excel/Sheets, where you can simply look up the type and form of information you’re looking for. This way, if you’re looking for a value like a date or location, it’s quite intuitive to know how to search for it and where to find it.

What about the unstructured data?

Unstructured data, on the other hand, comes in different formats. We’re talking about audio, video files, imagery, email, and sensor-collected data.

While the data’s there, you would have to process each of these files to extract the information you need (while with structured data, this is already available).

This is where the use of intelligent information management (IIM) systems like M-Files would prove to be invaluable.

There’s a middle ground between these two called simply semi-structured data. This is data that is in the form of structured data but is not organized tabularly. On the other hand, dark data is all the data that is not used to get insight (at the moment) but could still potentially be helpful in the future.

Additional Stages of Content Lifecycle

Previously, we’ve mentioned several relevant stages in the content lifecycle like capturing, preserving, storing, archiving and accessing data. There are, nonetheless, several additional stages that are relevant to the content lifecycle. For instance, there’s also have:

  • Categorizing content
  • Publishing content
  • Removing content

Categorization of content allows for it to be repurposed, maintained, and reviewed. All of these are essential for the proper strategic management of content. If you are going to put these files into directories (and the directory structure is the most efficient in this regard), categorization is the only logical first step.

The reason why strategic content management is so complex is that it relies on multiple other processes. We’ve already mentioned how it’s affected by the ECM, yet, it can also be organized through the WCMS (web content management system). Fortunately, there are many useful tools here, and they can all be used to publish your content.

Some content has a limited life span and, eventually, needs to be removed. This is the crucial step that ends the entire process, which is why your decision-making needs to be both data-based and on-spot.

Minimize Business Disruption

Business disruptions cause downtime, which can significantly affect the efficiency of your business in the long turn. In order to minimize this, you need to proceed in four steps. These are:

  • Planning your implementation
  • Communicating your expectations
  • Testing regularly
  • Training your staff

Keep in mind that content management strategy will affect your entire staff’s workflow unless you’re running a one-person operation. This is why it is paramount that you get them all on board before you proceed. This way, you’re also investing in the long-term reliability of your organization.

Also, bringing your employees on board with your goals, providing them with training, and really listening to their feedback is a way to invest in them.

Needless to say, this is one of the most reliable ways to invest in greater employee retention. As you can see, even this can be achieved through a great content management strategy.

Following Proper Practices

Finally, it’s vital that you learn how to follow standards and practices that are considered optimal within the confines of your own strategy. Strategy and planning are incredibly important, but without the proper execution, they’ll always fall short.

You need to customize your content management strategy to fit your business and not the other way around. If it doesn’t support your workflow, it simply will not work.

In the end, one of the most important things is that you have a risk and compliance strategy. This is a sort of contingency plan. Losing protected information is a risk that any content management system will face.

You need to evaluate the risks, do all that you can to minimize them, and have a plan if things go wrong. No, this is not being pessimistic or expecting the worst – it’s all about preparing for this unfortunate eventuality.

In Conclusion

Information existing in this content is useful to your business, partners, and customers.

This is why its management makes life easier for everyone and, overall, increases your business efficiency. It is also why adopting the right tools and practices is such a high priority.