Unlocking your brand’s Content Intelligence
Unless you’ve been in some sort of off-the-grid commune, you can’t fail to have heard about Big Data and all the big challenges that come with it. Maybe you’ve even managed to get your head around it and what it means for your business. But have you thought about what it means to your content strategy? Because I can guarantee that one thing you do have in more abundant quantities than you might have realised, is content.
I see your Big Data, and I raise you Big Content
Most organisations struggle with content. Understanding it, creating and collating everything they have, keeping track of it, having an appropriate governance for archiving it. It’s scattered all over the place, hidden in files, posted on blogs and wikis, in manuals, FAQs, business proposals… This content is your business knowledge, it represents the human intelligence within your organisation. And its potential is huge.
Sure, there are Content Strategists to help with that, but it’s not the solution for everyone. Any Strategist worth their fee will get elbow-deep in your organisation and content before even thinking about putting mouse to content calendar and recommending a costly 12-month plan to create content, share the life out of it and promise to reconvene and assess the impact next year.
Conventional wisdom might lead you to believe that the challenge is one of volume. Forget conventional wisdom! The biggest challenge is in finding what you need, when you need it, collating it and increasing the potential of what you’ve already created. That’s not to say that volume isn’t part of it - of course it is. Every minute, we send 204 million emails and transit a total of 640,000 GB of data.*
A content evolution
Content Strategy has evolved. Technology is the biggest friend anyone in charge of content commissioning and strategy could have. To me, Content Strategy has always been a connector. It connects design and UX with development and tech, finding the customer positives in each, and finding ways to exploit them and build a story that resonates with a brand’s target audience.
So, what’s the answer?
It’s a marriage of human intelligence, insight and smart use of technology. The key to unlocking the power of your brand’s content, whether owned, bought or shared is Content Intelligence.
Most organisations don’t have the time or resources needed to generate the levels of new content to engage on an ongoing basis, and even if they do, they shouldn’t. Analytics can tell us far more about what people want, than putting stuff out there on a whim and hoping it hits the right spot.
Brands recognise the potential value in content marketing, but few realise a measurable return on it, without the investment being significant to begin with. Then there’s the consistent blockers that can limit its effectiveness:
- Lack of time 69%
- Producing enough content 55%
- Producing the kind of content that engages 47%
Content Intelligence is where the smart money is
Content Intelligence by its very nature, helps overcome the biggest barriers in any content professional’s job. But more than that, it can realise tangible value across an entire organisation, as well as in unlocking the content itself, getting it to market at the most relevant time and place.
In a recent survey of information professionals from 300 large organisations across the US and Europe*, 89% of respondents indicated the ability to gain insight into their content as critical to the commercial advantage and competitive edge of the enterprise. 71% cited the fragmentation, dispersion and variety of formats as the main barrier to extracting value from the content. 56% said that inconsistency and ineffective categorisation prevents them from finding the information they need, quickly and effectively.
*Source: MindMetre Research
Finding (or searching for) needed content is annoying enough, but what happens when people just can’t find the information they need? It has to be recreated, which means time and money, as well as often watered-down results and inconsistencies in the way your business is conducted and your brand represented.
Content Intelligence lets you focus limited resources on what works
Content should be customer-not brand-focused. It should answer a question along a buyer’s journey. Content Intelligence is about taking stock of all the content you have within your organisation, and at how and where it could be working harder for you.
It’s a combination of semantic technology and information intelligence that allows a business to combine, tag, analyse and exploit the potential of the content it owns, to deliver increased value to a brand, its employees and its customers.
Content Intelligence changes the question from ‘What do we think?’ to ‘What do we know?’
Some would say you can’t put a value on that, but that’s the beauty of it- through smart use of technology, for perhaps the first time ever in your content marketing history, you can.
Of course, the degrees to which you embrace it and the value you can achieve from adopting a Content Intelligent approach are varied. At its most simple, it starts with what you already have: collating, housing and surfacing all of your content in one place that anyone can access quickly and efficiently, tapping into your own website and business analytics to tag and categorise a variety of formats intelligently.
Taking it a step further, you can start to build in more tools and tie in with your wider strategies across social and CRM, looking outside your own organisation at what your competitors are doing.
Tools for your Intelligence arsenal
There are a number of easy-to-use tools that can help you gain valuable insight into what’s connecting with people and how and where you can reach the type of people that will amplify your own content. Tools let you search for most-shared content by type and topic across all networks — your own, your competitors’ and in general. You can quickly and easily begin to analyse social shares to give you:
- Insight into the content formats most shared
- Headlines that get interaction
- The most popular networks — in general, and for your industry and audience
- Content type — most shared, interacted with, read, etc.
- Topics people engage with.
Armed with this information, you can rapidly and cost-effectively start to experiment and track-split headlines, test content formats. This in turn, can help you with audience segmentation, identifying key influencers and amplifiers; what do they share, which formats, from which sources, who do they follow, what do they comment on?
Some real life opportunities you can unlock in your business
Content Intelligence can enable you to leverage information about customers to increase revenue. For example, analysing call centre interactions, CRM entries and maintenance histories can identify the likely point of churn, allowing you to target customers for early intervention.
Analysing social media comments and product reviews can better equip you to drive secondary sales, by recommending products that you know people will like. It can also inform your buying policy.
Imagine you’re a bank in a region with a high percentage of expats who are hugely vocal on forums about their experiences and frustrations with the service provided by their own country banks in their new location. To add to their difficulties, they lack knowledge about the administrative process to open and run an account in your market. The opportunity: large volumes of people seeking information, that as yet is not being provided by any credible competitor. The solution: targeted editorial on your own website, shared across social media channels, connecting to amplifiers on the blogs and forums where unhappy expats are most vocal. Taking it a step further, a new product strategy; a packaged account opening and targeted expat bank account. The result: a new client base and massive ROI on your content investment.
Content Intelligence helps brands reach, engage and connect more
Brands need to earn attraction, not buy it. Just take a moment to think about all of the many different content formats and producers you already have in your organisation. Website, product sales collateral, FAQs, technical documents, call centre scripts and interactions, customer feedback. All of that customer insight is just waiting for a smart solution to unlock it and make it more relevant to more people.
It’s simply not affordable, or even possible to manually categorise the vast sources of content within most organisation manually. Take what you know you have, and multiply that by at least three (paid, owned and earned) and that’s a whole lot of human intelligence that could be a useable, accessible source of knowledge and insight.
Build on what you have
You don’t have to do it alone. At Brilliant Basics, we get to ‘real’ fast. Sure, we have the skills to generate content for you all year round and earn a tidy fee. But would we? No. We’re driven by a desire to make life simply better. Content Intelligence is just one of the ways we do this as part of your Content Strategy, and integrating with your infrastructure and systems. It’s about working smarter, doing more and adding value at every touchpoint. It improves your work-force productivity, it increases the ROI on the content you already have and plan to create in the future and-used in the right way-it can identify significant new business opportunities.
Talk to us about how we can unlock the potential of your content and your business. Ask us about a Content Intelligence Insight session, where we can start to help you and your content-empowered people to start to think about the power of what you already have and how you could be using it in a smarter way.