Educating Your Content – a Practical Guide

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 6, 2016 12:35:00 PM / by James Hodgkinson

James Hodgkinson

The Webinfinity strategy for successful delivery of personalized content.

My company, Webinfinity, has developed a leading edge technology for the personalized delivery of any kind of content to any kind of consumer based on who they are and what they are trying to do. As we like to say right person, right content, right time. We always get two questions in relation to this and they always come in this order:

How do you do it?

To which the short answer is through intelligent tagging of content from ANY source. Read more on that here.

Then how do we do it?

(Isn’t it unrealistic it for us to tag our content properly given limited resources and no centralized approach?)

Here's how we answer the second question….

The bad news - there’s no silver bullet and high impact content delivery does involve some work.

The good news – with the right approach it’s more than realistic to achieve content delivery nirvana, regardless of volume.

This is based on addressing the challenge on a few different levels, starting with:

Tagging Strategy – Establishing Common Ground

One of the biggest reasons for failure in content education is lack of structure. Every internal system has a different way of understanding information and there is no commonality between fields in the CRM system and the meta-data in the digital asset library.

The first key step to success is to define a tagging strategy that is completely independent from any one platform or tool – a Switzerland of taxonomy if you will.

By establishing a neutral center for the understanding of ALL important business information it becomes possible to establish the common ground between the different information sources and how to translate from each point solution back to this center.

Getting this part right is the most important step of all.

Automation - feeding the machine

When you think about the mess that is your current content payload you could be forgiven for thinking it is a lost cause and there is no way to automatically classify your information. This is often far from the truth.

Every source of content will at least give you a basic starting point for meaningful tagging. For example assets held in even the weakest of Sharepoint implementations will give you a resource type, an author, a related topic, in content meta-data and hopefully more.

Or perhaps a CRM system like Salesforce – immediately this can provide you with tags for things like opportunity stage, competitors, industry, % to close etc.

Once you start to consider tagging as a translation from what you know about your content to how you would like users to consume it, it becomes easier than you might think to automate the tagging process.

Curation – building on the basics

So automation is great but if you have 20,000+ raw assets it’s unrealistic to expect that the sales rep looking to close a particular deal in a particular region with a particular customer is going to get exactly what they need by magic.

This is where curation comes in. Rather than worry about the quality of tagging on every piece of content you ever created it’s better to ‘opt in’ the content that’s important based on what you are trying to support in your ecosystem.

For example let’s take a new product launch where you want to make sure your employees and partners have immediate access to the marketing assets, training, experts and FAQ’s they need to maximize success.

This is when you need to do some work – find the assets you know that you are important and build on the basics. Add the tags that will ensure the relevancy of the asset is guaranteed.

You’ll be surprised at how small the sub-set of assets that are really important to your consumers really is. At any one time it’s likely only 2-3% of your total content library is important to the current needs of your user. The rest is just noise.

Self publishing – invested ownership

The final step in truly successful content education comes through devolution of publishing. By enabling many more users to take responsibility for niche content you ‘outsource’ the responsibility for creation and delivery to many more people who care more about the quality of tagging.

For example, the user publishing a pricing update for 20 partners they personally manage is going to invest much more time making sure the content is tagged correctly than the corporate marketing person blasting 20,000 email addresses.

Similarly someone who just spent three hours writing a blog is going to do the work to make sure it can be found.

So how does this all work in practice?

Let’s take a case study based on one of our customers – they have:

  • Automatically tagged content (approx. 10,000) coming (via API) from a product database in SAP
  • Automatically tagged documents (approx. 3,000) coming from an internal resource library
  • Around 500 rich content items individually created and curated natively via Webinfinity.
  • Approximately 100 curated landing pages and content collections designed to help users engage with important content.
  • Near term plans to add other automated integrations from their CRM system, community platforms etc. most of which will be fully automated.

Our philosophy was that if it’s possible for millions of people to create and tag content on consumer platforms like Amazon, eBay, Google etc. why can’t we do the same in a b2b context?

The answer is we absolutely can, we just need to challenge the old ways of thinking and embrace this new era of contextual content delivery.

Oh, and of course you need the right technology platform to manage all of this :).

Topics: Personalized Experience, Content

James Hodgkinson

Written by James Hodgkinson

As Founder & CEO of Webinfinity and now SVP of 360ecosystems, I have led the development and launch of a game-changing SaaS Ecosystem Engagement Management platform, also known as 360ecosystems!