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Alexandra Barcelona
Director of Marketing

Structured Content is King

Nov 08, 2016

By: Alexandra Barcelona

Content is King Structured Content is King

We’ve all heard it, at least 100 times before: Content is King. While that may have been true a few years ago, there is a slight tweak that now needs to be made to that statement: Structured Content is King. Structured content is key to creating personalized, meaningful experiences for your customers and is vital when it comes to competing in today’s marketplace.

What is structured content?

Structured content means just that: structuring your content to follow certain rules and patterns to insure that each content type ‘looks’ the same. This means that all product descriptions have a title, description, image, etc. - whatever pattern your team decides they want to follow. Basically, you’re breaking your content into reusable, consistent chunks, which is important when it comes to displaying content on different devices and platforms.

Structured content and CaaS

Structured content is the key to success with CaaS (Content-as-a-Service). A CaaS solution, like dotCMS, means all content is manageable and accessible via REST APIs. It separates the content and presentation, creating a headless content repository. CaaS means single-sourced content can be created, searched, and reused by multiple external systems. In order to have a robust CaaS implementation that can truly deliver content to any display, it’s important to structure content items to follow the same pattern within each category.

Challenges with structured content

If structured content is so vital to success, why aren’t more companies doing it? Just like any project, structuring your content isn’t always easy, especially if you’re not going through a major redesign or replatform.

If you’re not redesigning or moving to a new platform, it usually means going back to old content and adjusting it to match the new structure your team has created. It also involves changing your content editors’ behavior in how they create and post content - meaning you’ll be breaking habits, which can take time.

Creating structured content also means getting your development and business teams to work in tandem, which can also pose a challenge in some organizations. It’s important, before embarking on a project to structure your content, that both teams realize they’ll be collaborating on this project and working together - to avoid conflict over ownership. You’ll need your development team to implement the structure and your business team to act as the voice of the user and how the content will be consumed.

Why is structured content so important?

Structured content is vital to a robust and optimized CaaS system, but why are companies going to CaaS anyway? A CaaS platform gives you a leg up when it comes to competing in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Structured content within a CaaS platform makes it easier for your business team to personalize content and engage customers (as well as improve security, remove design restrictions and more). By breaking content into chunks, you can deliver snippets - instead of entire PDFs - to customers on their smartwatches, improving their overall experience.

Structured content and CaaS, though they can take time to implement and get your team on board, is how you’ll take your content marketing efforts to the next level and be more competitive in the marketplace.

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