5 reasons to make the plunge to structurally rich content

If you’re thinking of restructuring your approach to content, we’ve got some good news: you don’t need any special tools to make your content more intelligent and structurally rich. It begins with some research and consideration, but after a bit of legwork you’ll have content that’s more discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable.

What is structurally rich content?

First, let’s define the broader category to which structurally rich content applies: intelligent content. While most of the digital content we interact with today uses some form of data and automation to function and optimize its performance, intelligent content takes that a step further. With format-free component authoring and rich metadata systems, intelligent content offers an extremely high degree of organization and malleability.

It’s these rich structural traits that make content intelligent. As Ann Rockley, an early authority on content management and expert in the field, says, “It’s structure that enables automation, and it’s strategic automation that makes content intelligent.” Without structure, she says, “it’s almost impossible to automate the content assembly and delivery processes.”

This requires adhering to a specific content model, with predetermined organizational patterns supported by metadata tags and all formatting removed from source files.

Structure rich content

Who uses structurally rich content?

Structurally rich content serves a wide variety of purposes across many industries, including the creation of:

  • Technical documentation
  • Marketing content
  • eLearning courses
  • Training courses
  • Customer-support documents
  • Knowledge bases

Thanks to the high level of flexibility of structured content, companies can reuse content assets across departments with relative ease, regardless of media content type.

For instance, say you want to develop new training videos for employees in your sales department. These videos need to explain a bunch of new product features, but you don’t have time to generate this instructional content from scratch. Well, you’re in luck! With structurally rich content, all of your previously created content is instantly searchable and reusable, so you can quickly pull relevant sections (from technical documentation, marketing materials, etc.) and drop them into your videos.

The 5 biggest benefits of using structurally rich content

​​There are many benefits of using structurally rich content, including:

1. It makes content flexible.

As mentioned in our training videos example, content that includes rich structural information can be reused endlessly and easily. Say goodbye to single-use content that costs a bundle, then never sees the light of day again.

2. It can match the style of different delivery channels.

Modern users and employees expect to interact with content on the platform of their choosing, whether it’s desktop or mobile. Structured content makes it possible to automate formatting rules for different outputs.

3. It reduces costs.

The price tag on content generation falls dramatically once it becomes easier to reuse existing assets and automate formatting tasks.

4. It enables greater consistency and improved workflow.

Traditional writers might balk at the idea of following a specific pattern in their creative process, but content authors benefit enormously from structurally rich frameworks, which reduce error rates and help keep content within a brand-led style.

5. It increases efficiency.

In today’s highly competitive attention economy, it’s important for brands to put out new content fairly often. But it would be inefficient, if not impossible, to handcraft original content for every web page and slice of content.

By breaking content down into its most basic format and structure, writers can deploy the same information in a wide range of circumstances, increasing efficiency enough to keep up with user demand.

Why use Author-it for structurally rich content?

Author-it is an end-to-end SaaS Component Content Authoring Management and Publishing platform that specializes in intelligent and structurally rich content. The platform combines new and imported assets – from collaborators, technical and non-technical writers, subject matter experts and instructional designers – then organizes it all into easy-to-use components.

Within the Author-it platform, content managers can organize, reuse, translate and localize all of their assets from one place, with enterprise-grade security included.

This all-in-one approach to content management improves:

  • Speed of updates and delivery
  • Efficiency of translation and localization
  • Clarity and consistency of voice
  • Compliance and liability controls
  • Efficiency of reviews and approvals

To learn more about how Author-it can help your organization implement a more effective content management strategy, contact Author-it’s team of experts or request a demo.

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