Breaking Down Intelligent Content Marketing

So I am going to bet that the most overused phrase in digital marketing in 2015 will be "Intelligent Content." The reason I believe this is because people are already saying it when only barely having a grasp on what it actually means. Most people just quote Ann Rockley who says, "Intelligent content is structurally rich and semantically categorized and therefore automatically discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable, and adaptable." 

I will be the first to admit that after reading that definition I nodded my head saying "yeah, I need to do that." Then I thought, "what in the world is this talking about and how is it different from regular content that I'm already producing?"

I would like to redefine this statement so everyone can understand without doing further research. Intelligent content is producing content that dynamically fits any screen it's viewed on. It's easily discoverable through thought out tags and titles. It's production is known across company departments allowing it to potentially be reused and adapted to specific audiences. This in return yields a higher return on investment and costs the company less to produce.

If we unpack that a little further we can start to put this into action.

"dynamically fits any screen"
Websites today are mostly all dynamic which means that they resize automatically to fit whatever computer, tablet, or smartphone you are viewing it from. This is extremely important due to the massive amount of people in this world that use mobile devices to use the internet. Therefore the content that you produce to market your company online needs to also be able to adapt and resize with those screens. This can be a problem when you try to distribute your content in formats that are not friendly to adapting. Word documents, pdfs, and other static file formats don't play nice and should not be relied on for sole content distribution. 

Use some sort of blog or microblog to distribute content as your primary vehicle and use static file formats as a sort of carrot for those who signup for your newsletter or complete some other conversion goal.

"easily discoverable through thought out tags"
When tagging posts, whether it is on a blog or on Twitter, it needs to be searchable. Hashtags give you that power on social media and on many blog platforms. When you Tweet something, you always have to think ahead of what you are going to hashtag because you want to give it the best chance to be discovered. In a blog we should do the same thing. Usually their is a place at the bottom to add tags. Put down what your topic is in that tag, but also think about words that people could be searching for that maybe you didn't specifically mention. 

Also, when you finish your content, rewrite your title again. It will always be a better title after you write you blog/article/post.

"potentially be reused and adapted to specific audiences"
Many companies are terrible at communicating across departments. Accounting and sales often don't even like talking to the marketing department, but that could be true with any two departments. When departments are on the same page and know what each other is doing, it allows for creative cross-polination if you will. Content can be adapted into other departments and used to benefit more than just the marketing of the company.

An example of this could be a company who gives good advice in a blog post, but then Joe from IT realizes that that advice could be used on saving them money by using a different software/hardware item that he didn't know existed. Or what if your content is focused on marketing a project and your HR department decides to adapt it and use the same content to recruit. This leads me to the last point.

"higher return on investment and costs the company less"
Intelligent content costs your company less because it can be recyclable and target more than one specific audience. The return on investment is higher as a result and you don't have to put extra time into creating separate content for every aspect of your business. Time is money and therefore saves you money.

In conclusion, don't stress out about intelligent content. Just do a little more preplanning the next time you want to produce content, and share with the rest of the company what you are doing. You never know what form your content might take, and that is truly intelligent content marketing.


David Doughty
Multi-Media Storyteller