In the last section
In the first part of this series, we learned what a content strategy is and how components can be incorporated to enhance all-things-content. Check back with part one to understand best practices for finding, reusing, and delivering content. If that hasn’t already persuaded you to re-evaluate the content strategy in your organization, this will.
Here is why you need a component content strategy:
The Risk of NOT having a content strategy
Thinking about your own company, how is content accessed or shared across departments? How does Sales manage and create their materials? What about Customer Training, or any other department for that matter? More often than not, the answer is that content critical materials are created within these departments independently of one another. The same content is written and rewritten, over and over again in each department isolated from other parts of the company. These divisions, also known as silos, trap content within their materials never to be utilized by anyone else. As Intelligent Content Expert, Ann Rockley states, “The content silo trap is like plaque in your arteries, inhibiting the blood flow to your vital organs”. You are literally killing your organization by storing content in silos and not allowing it to flow freely throughout.
As if that is not bad enough, Content Strategy Expert, Tom Erber, compares creating content without a strategy to building a house without plans. Think of the risk your company could be exposed to. You could:
- hinder productivity, due to the lack of guidance in content purpose and reuse.
- waste resources by rewriting what has already been written by the guy sitting next to you.
- increase the chaos of content organization by storing new (probably identical) content in unknown corners of the organization.
- dilute your brand messaging through variations in keywords or external-facing documents.
- add to the already high content costs through inefficient workflow, increased man hours, or repetitive translation.
Why a content strategy makes life easier
By implementing a content strategy, you can combat all the above risks. But with a component content strategy, you can enhance productivity. A component, defined in part one, is a chunk of content that is meant to be reused across any document. Using a component content strategy will increase production in the following areas:
Every component has its own life cycle. It must be written, edited, reviewed, and published. Incorporating a component content strategy allows you to understand how content is re-purposed, where the workflow can be streamlined by content reuse, and what bottlenecks can be avoided. This will help overcome operational challenges.
Having a global strategy today is the new business standard. Without a content strategy, your organization could be paying more for translation than you think. Integrating components into your global content strategy is a must. Think about the cost to translate a document: the average cost for translation is $0.25 per word. Multiply this for a document that has 500 pages with 200 words per page and you get 500 x 200 x 0.25 = $25,000—yikes!
But let’s say components are part of your content strategy. If you have to modify translated material and retranslate it, instead of sending the entire document, you can send only the components that have been changed. The savings adds up pretty fast.
To learn more about the cost of localization, read the incredible whitepaper, Lost in Translation, by Susie Winn.
By now, we understand that a content strategy will reduce your risks, improve your operations, and assist in localization. But what about the overall benefits for the company?
The absolute best part about creating a content strategy for your organization is that it unifies the company around a content vision and enables them to find the true value of their content. What this means is that everyone is on the same page. Yes, collaborating to define a content strategy should be managed by a core team, but the adoption of the strategy is by everyone. Once the strategy is defined, understood, and adopted, the implementation comes naturally.
If the first part didn’t motivate you to start designing your content strategy, then hopefully this second part did. Like Tom Erber says, you can’t build a house without plans. Nor should you build an enterprise without a component content strategy.
In the part three, learn how to get your company united when we discuss implementing a content strategy with Author-it’s relational database.
Watch this video now about Component Content Strategy, featuring industry expert, Tom Erber.