Are you a left or proper mind?
If you’re comfy with numbers, logic, and reasoning, you’re a left mind.
If you’re inventive and depend on instinct to make selections, you’re a proper mind.
Mathematics? Left mind.
Art? Right mind.
In the world of selling:
Automation? Left mind.
Creative? Right mind.
In the realm of content material technique, automation entails issues like content material fashions and content material sorts. Noz Urbina, content material strategist and founder, Urbina Consulting, works with shoppers on the left-brained issues of automation like content material fashions and kinds.
Can left brains and proper brains work collectively to create success?
“When I talk about taxonomy, content models and content structures, I’m often considered to be king of the robots, like I’m coming in to kill your creativity and strangle you with standards and governance,” Noz says in his ContentTECH Summit presentation, Automation and Creative Aren’t Enemies: Structuring Great Marketing Content for Scalability and Personalization.
Right-brain creatives concern left-brain content material modelers will stifle their creativity, cap their ingenuity, and result in content material that’s boring, boring, and undifferentiated.
But it doesn’t should be that method – automation and creativity can work nicely in tandem and even create one thing magical, Noz says.
Creatives concern #content material fashions will result in boring content material. It doesn’t should be that method. @NozUrbina #ContentTECH Click To Tweet
What are content material sorts and fashions?
The time period “content type” is often utilized in its easiest sense to refer to finish advertising deliverables, like a weblog submit, white paper, e mail, brochure, and even normal codecs like video. But there’s rather more to the time period. First, let’s cowl the fundamentals.
What are content material sorts and fashions? Marcia Riefer Johnston shares the definitions detailed within the ebook The Language of Content Strategy:
- Content sort: Specification for a structured, standardized, reusable, and mutually unique type of info entry – Jonathon Colman
- Content mannequin: Formal illustration of structured content material as a group of content material sorts and their interrelationships – Cleve Gibbon
Content sorts relate to 1 one other inside a content material mannequin.
As Noz explains in Marcia’s article, content material sorts are helpful for each people and computer systems. Humans cherish familiarity and consistency.
For people, a information article features a headline, subhead, byline, date, location, and so forth. A product description features a product identify, mannequin quantity, brief description, picture(s), and so forth. These are examples of content material sorts we develop in our minds by day-to-day contact with quite a few content material items.
“The human brain likes structure and consistency. We like being able to learn a system of content. That makes us more positive about the content we consume, whether or not we’re aware of it,” Noz says.
For machines, organized and tagged content material is simpler to parse to extract which means and act on it in highly effective and clever methods. For instance, it could possibly be robotically formatting content material for a number of channels and delivering it to the proper individual when a pc detects a sure motion or sample.
Now, let’s deliver within the inventive facet. These two examples from Noz’s presentation present how automation (i.e., content material sorts and content material fashions) can work with inventive (i.e., the content material itself) to present readers a extra helpful content material expertise.
Improving content material usefulness for a financial institution weblog
Noz illustrates how a European financial institution missed the prospect to be extra related and useful to its viewers by lacking the chance to mix the left and proper mind of its weblog.
Over a number of years, the financial institution has printed a whole lot of weblog posts. Covering related subjects throughout a whole lot of weblog posts typically means an angle coated in a single article could possibly be helpful in others.
For instance, this text, Family Holiday Tips, doesn’t point out one other related submit, 7 Useful Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday. Yet, these suggestions, particularly the one that claims each member of the family wants a European Health Insurance Card, are completely suited to the household vacation suggestions submit.
Noz particulars one other missed alternative for the financial institution’s weblog. The submit, Managing Your Money Abroad, notes that some debit playing cards could cost for worldwide withdrawals. And but, the article doesn’t hyperlink to the financial institution’s FAQ web page, which incorporates the query (and reply): “What cash machines can I use in the UK and abroad and what are the charges?”
Incorporating the science facet of content material would enable the financial institution to make its weblog content material extra helpful to readers. As Noz explains, fairly than simply utilizing the top-level phrases “article” and “FAQ,” the financial institution ought to construct content material articles utilizing meaningfully labeled, structured parts – the constructing blocks of bigger content material sorts. A content material web page may have these smaller content material sorts from high to backside:
- Best observe
- Reference details
- Related articles
Noz typically quotes Jenny Hooks who says that Cisco calls this a system of “micro and macro content types.” Macro being the deliverable sorts everyone knows (e.g., article, weblog submit, white paper, brochure) and micro content material sorts being the smaller ones (e.g., overview, function description, name to motion, specification desk) that can be utilized to construct macro sorts.
Build articles utilizing structured parts to raised join it to different related #content material. @nozurbina #ContentTECH Click To Tweet
In this reconfigured mannequin, the household vacation suggestions submit would come with the merchandise about every member of the family needing an EHIC card as a reference reality. And, if new info across the suggestions comes up, one other reference reality could possibly be created and included in the identical submit, and even be achieved robotically. In the Managing Your Money Abroad submit, the FAQ hyperlink would floor within the related-articles part and a hyperlink inserted instantly beneath the part that mentions financial institution machines.
Creating a extra helpful recipe website
In the following instance, Noz profiles the recipe website of a meals model. One web page covers various kinds of pepper vegetation. On the proper facet is an announcement on Santa Maria’s Spices’ accountable manufacturing:
While this assertion is helpful on the general website, it’s not contextual on a web page about peppers.
Though the model has a content material administration system, Noz says its checklist of content material sorts from which to choose for this field was very lengthy and flat, referred to as solely “right column boxes.” It had no construction or group. It’s probably the accountability assertion was chosen randomly from that checklist.
At the underside of the peppers web page, the associated content material – labeled “spicy favorites” – options many articles which have little to do with peppers or spicy meals (e.g., creamy carbonara and breaded fish with mashed potatoes):
Noz says the corporate understood the fundamentals of the content material sort idea (e.g., present associated recipe content material), however the execution wasn’t helpful to the customer. If you’re studying about peppers, what dishes have peppers in them? And what dishes pair nicely with the dishes made with these peppers?
He likens the error to purchasing a flat display TV on Amazon solely to be served the following day with advertisements for flat display TVs as an alternative of extra related content material about TV equipment or set up companies.
Noz is working with this shopper to take a extra strategic method, utilizing a reconfigurable mannequin (constructed on content material sorts) like he shared for the European financial institution.
Connecting the content material dots
You could have already got linked the dots. As Noz explains, structuring content material by way of smaller, extra particular content material sorts and utilizing significant (i.e., semantic) tagging to embed intelligence and which means makes it manageable, reusable, and automation-ready:
Types & tags embed which means to make #content material reusable & automation-ready. @nozurbina #ContentTECH Click To Tweet
Now content material is staged and accessible for personalization and omnichannel output. Automation used doesn’t restrict or cap creativity.
“There’s no reason that the words inside here are any less creative. There’s no reason you should write worse because I’ve asked you to label your blocks and put a little bit of metadata on them,” says Noz.
Bringing collectively left and proper mind
The mind is a becoming analogy. While you would possibly see your self as left or proper mind. Neither facet works in isolation. Content advertising needs to be all mind too. The left mind (automation) works with the proper mind (creativity) to create higher and extra helpful content material.
In a previous job at a software program firm, I created a brand new part of the web site utilizing a reconfigurable mannequin just like what Noz covers in his presentation. Not solely did that make content material parts reusable throughout completely different elements of the location, it was additionally staged and accessible for use past the web site – apps, kiosks, good audio system, and wherever else customers might want it. In addition, it was prepared to be used in personalised experiences.
How are you serious about making your content material prepared for personalization and omnichannel output? Share your ideas within the feedback.
Here’s an excerpt from Noz’s speak:
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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute