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What is "Intelligent Content"?

Marketing Siavash Moazzami-Vahid Siavash Moazzami-Vahid
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Intelligent content is used to describe multi-purposed, adaptable, and streamlined content which has a profoundly different approach from its traditional counterpart. As a general rule, it includes moving away from tedious micro-managing that requires individual human input, into a data-driven and automated form of content creation that takes advantage of the recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, while incorporating individualized human perspective.

An automated content creation process, delivering customized intelligent content to a user.

Content which is meant to be used for multiple purposes and in different formats. Intelligent content is heavily structured and can be automated through artificial intelligence.

A Strategy

Intelligent content is not only a type of content, but the term is often used to describe the whole strategy that leads to the creation of a specific kind of structured content. The strategy relies on creating modular bits of content that can be used in different contexts, and can be modified easily if needed.

If you look at content the same way as basically any other product, you will notice that in many ways content is still in its “artisanal” stage. Each product is made specifically for a single case from the bottom up by an individual, and the process requires manual input in every stage. While this approach has its merits, in many cases it simply doesn’t pay off. Just imagine if we made cars one by one, each a product of a single person. You can already see the problems:

  • Huge drain on the resources
  • Inevitable inconsistencies in products
  • Standards and quality control are harder to implement
  • Big scale changes require immense effort
  • Communications can be confusing when dealing with many creators
  • In great number of outputs, uninspired copying is inevitable

So how would you go around these problems when dealing with content? Some believe that the answer is in making your content “intelligent”.

Intelligent content is made to be worked on by humans and machines at the same time. Any content can be considered intelligent or smart if it meets these criteria:

1. Data-driven Structure: Content must be supported with metadata so it can be processed by machines. Most of us already do this to our personal content by “tagging” our photos or documents. On a bigger scale, content which is supported by metadata can be easily archived, structured, and searched. This allows the machines (and people) to quickly access and retrieve any content when necessary.

2. Modular: Instead of creating full-fledged and finished single pieces of content every time, smaller blocks of content are created which can be stacked on top of each other to form different finished products. These blocks can be used outside of their original context and be applied to many different situations.

3. Flexible: Because of their highly structured nature (points 1 and 2), they can be easily accessed and edited later to adapt to their new contexts. Imagine the blocks of intelligent content as made of playdough instead of rigid plastic: not only you can stack them however you want, but you can also smooth out the edges and form each block individually to a different shape.

Intelligent Content created by artificial intelligence is delivered to the users, no matter what device they use.

So in short, intelligent content is highly structured in a way that is both beneficial to humans and machines. It treats content as flexible smaller blocks tagged with metadata that can be reconfigured and reused in many different appropriate places with ease.

What are the Benefits of Intelligent Content?

Intelligent content can potentially affect many different aspects of a project. If implemented at the right place (take a look at the next section to see if it applies to your case) it can dramatically reduce the burden on your resources, increase the overall quality, and help you in offering a more personalized content. Some of the key benefits of intelligent content are:

  • Multichannel publication: The structured nature of intelligent content in addition to its flexibility, allows for a simultaneous publication of content in multiple formats on different channels.

  • Optimized search: The metadata embedded in the content makes it very simple to look for even the smallest fragments in different contexts based on your needs.

  • Resource saving: Since the bulk of the operation is carried out by AI, the need for human input is considerably reduced and content creators can instead focus on creating original material to be used by the AI. Subsequently, costs will reduce as the need for handcrafting every single element will disappear.

  • Quality assurance and consistency: Since repetitive tasks are done by the AI, and the same quality applies to every bit of content, there is a guaranteed consistency of tone and standards that is almost impossible when done by individuals, especially when dealing with greater amounts of content in multiple formats.

  • Personalization: Without exception, intelligent content can deliver the preferred content of specific target audiences in a specific time frame, be it immediately or scheduled (with the help of its optimized search).

  • Format independence: You can have your content be adapted to any format that you would need at the time, and repurpose it in a different format later. This is optimal when you want to publish your content in multiple channels, or take parts from multiple content sources and publish the result as new content in a new format!
  • Uninterrupted communication: Uncluttered workflow of the content team makes communications within the team and also with other teams considerably smoother.

Traditional Content Vs. Intelligent Content

Traditional Content Intelligent Content
Each item must be handcrafted Streamlined production
Inevitable inconsistencies due to production methods Consistent and unified form and substance in all channels
Requires considerable resources Cost saving due to automation
Manual transformation of content to different channels Automated and immediate transformation and publication of content in multiple channels
Inevitable copy-pasted content where volume is high Flexible and reconfigurable content blocks allowing customized reusability
Personalization requires extensive individual research Personalized and targeted content through structured data
Intelligent Content can be delivered to websites, mobile apps, eCommerce platforms, and all other smart devices.

Who is it for?

Just like any other strategy,you should see if intelligent content fits your needs, expectations, and general plans.

Every project or company which is on the heavier side of content creation will definitely benefit from making the jump to intelligent content. Perhaps first and foremost are the e-commerce companies where not only a huge amount of content is created constantly and is meant to be published in multiple channels, but personalizing the content also has the utmost importance.

Different kinds of media companies (both creation and distribution) whose product is essentially content are already moving towards an intelligent approach, and so are companies which need to access and retrieve content on a regular basis such as financial firms.

The question that should be answered is how important the issue of content creation is to the company or the project. If content plays a central role, or if publication in multiple platforms is a priority, it makes sense to switch to the approach which prioritizes content quality and omnichannel delivery.

How does it Relate to Content Marketing?

Offering a personalized experience through content is what companies strive for. The current emphasis on storytelling and brand identity are obvious indicators of this new approach.

Likewise as access to the internet on multiple devices is becoming more common than ever, the need for simultaneous publication of content in different platforms is turning from a novelty to a necessity.

Intelligent content can be implemented to facilitate both of these needs. Through precise and consistent structuring of data, coupled with an automated publication process, it can deliver highly personalized content to specific target groups. Its independence from format and modular nature encourages omnichannel publication with considerably less effort compared to the traditional approach.

Making the Move to Intelligent Content

If you believe that intelligent content is the way forward for you, then you should start by redefining your content strategy. There are many ways to do so, but a couple of central issues are shared between them:

  • Organization: A new strategy requires adjustments in your current vision. These adjustments include contextual issues such as defining new goals and changing priorities, but also include administrative changes in your marketing and content team. As your team would be relieved of many time consuming tasks, their talents should be reoriented towards more creative avenues.

  • Technology: Intelligent content is not a technology on its own, but a strategy. In order to be able to implement the new strategy, you probably have to change to the appropriate technology when it comes to your content management system. The consensus is that a “headless CMS” is the way to go, due to its compatibility with modular content and omnichannel publication, plus its independence from presentational formats.

  • (re-)Structure: After making the appropriate changes in your organization and technology, the content itself must be structured intelligently, supplemented with metadata. Additionally, your team’s structure may also change depending on your new content roadmap.

The result will be an efficient streamlined content creation process, which not only prioritizes personalization and omnichannel publication, but does so while being considerably more convenient.

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