Reading List: CMI Blog Posts since Intelligent Content Conference 2016

What has happened on the CMI blog related to intelligent content and content strategy since Intelligent Content Conference 2016? What content strategy and intelligent content learnings can marketers apply? Let’s take a look:

Brand Guidelines to the Rescue for Clear, Consistent Stories [Example]  

by Natalya MinkovskyScreen Shot 2016-05-05 at 1.25.57 PM

Branding is much more than a swoosh, swirl, or other visual fingerprint. Discover how Cleveland Clinic elevated its branding to new heights with a robust guide to support the complex requirements of a content-powered brand.

Says Datascribe Digital Marketing in the comments on this blog post:

“Brand identity is the most important thing to describe our business in front of our customers. A handful of information about brand guide. Apart from logo design, web design there are many factors for branding, you have served a clear tips of how to work on brand and content stories that are educating. Great work!”

A Take on 3 Confusing Terms: Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Content Marketing Strategy  

by Melanie Seibert

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Do you know the differences among “content marketing,” “content strategy,” and “content marketing strategy”? Stop using the terms interchangeably. Let’s explain the differences and similarities, and share why you need to care.

Reader Ronell Smith adds, “I hope this post serves as the de facto document of record for this discussion. I too often see content marketing/content strategy/content marketing strategy used as if they are a part of a singular branch on the tree. No! No! And No!

Where this really causes us problems is in how businesses come to see, think and about and produce content: They overemphasize the doing part, leaving the seeing and thinking part on the shelf.”

Getting Started With Structured Content  

by Natalya Minkovsky

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Managing your content development and reuse on a case-by-case basis makes sense when you publish a few hundred assets a year. Scale it to thousands, and the process gets seriously gummed up. Let structured content come to your rescue.

I particularly like this comment from ICC speaker Cleve Gibbon:

“Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get started with structured content. No model survives first contact with real content. So go ahead and break your models. Test them by running various scenarios using real content. Inspect, then adapt your models because that’s design. This kind of model design is best done early and often.”

Go Beyond Analytics to Give Customers the Content They Crave

by Melissa Eggleston

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Numerous metrics tell what is happening on your site, but they don’t tell you why it’s happening. Numbers leave out context. Focus on the people behind the numbers to get the full story. Learn how to use qualitative research.

Says Carrie Heffner, a MailChimp researcher, “We have to understand our customers and their context to make things easier for them. For example, it’s hard to know how to group the content for a help site without knowing the mental model of the people served.”

How Kindness Makes Your Content More Successful  

by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

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When we write for people whose identities and situations aren’t average, we create experiences that work better for everyone. Kindness is a good strategy for your content – for your users and for your business.

The ending of this blog post is so simple and poignant:

“It’s easy to be kind to people when they’re standing in front of you and you know what they’re going through. It’s harder to bring that same kindness to people you can’t see – to all those faceless users who might, someday, be reading your content. The more we bring real life into our processes and mindsets, the closer we’ll get.”

The DAM Truth: All You Need to Know about Digital Asset Management

by Jill Talvensaari

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Storage-and-sharing devices like Google Drive are insufficient if you have volumes of content and multiple teams. Digital asset management systems enable efficient content delivery to different audiences across different channels.

Reader Jay Shemenski added his real-life experience and validated the article saying, “We introduced a DAM at Harvard Medical School this past year and it has increased our visual storytelling capabilities 10-fold. I’m a huge advocate for them and feel they’re often overlooked. Thanks for the post and keeping this on people’s minds.”

We hope you have a chance to read these articles and make your own content marketing more strategic and intelligent. Let us know in the comments how you’ve implemented some of these ideas, or what you’re working on that we might be able to write a blog post on to help you! 

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