This article is Part Four of a series on the needs of a content-centric marketing organization. Read the full series for more coverage.
Founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great and once regarded as the ancient world’s most supreme archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria now serves as a cautionary tale for historians and book lovers—and marketers.
When the library was sieged and burned to the ground in 48 B.C., thousands of volumes were lost forever. The destruction of this unparalleled collection of ancient wisdom has been long considered one of history’s greatest tragedies. Now, in present day, content-centric marketers are facing their own tragic loss when it comes to the misuse and mismanagement of their content libraries.
Research from SiriusDecisions found that 70 percent of content at B2B organizations goes unused. Considering how much time and money organizations dedicate to planning and creating each individual piece of content, this is a staggering waste of resources—on par to just letting all of that valuable knowledge get consumed in flames before it ever reaches its target audience.
Prevent your marketing team from repeating the mistakes of the past with a reliable, accessible, and inflammable digital asset manager that collects and organizes all of your content in a central, easily navigable location.
All great libraries house rooms of brilliant stories ready to inspire and inform curious readers, but without a logical organizational system all of that content would be left to gather dust. A digital asset manager (DAM) allows marketers to store and catalog all of their content, including images, infographics, articles, and videos.
Content marketing’s maturation from an experimental strategy to a core player in the greater marketing mix means that more people across the organization need access to content. Freelancers need access to high-quality stock images that align with your brand imagery, demand gen needs to find the perfect articles to include in their latest email campaign, and sales needs that 2017 case study for prospect outreach. Keeping a content inventory with a robust tagging system and intuitive search function allows everyone to find the right content to serve their goals without hours of digging through random Google Docs or haphazard Dropbox folders with vague titles like “marketing article rough draft 3.”
The best method to ensure that all of these materials remain visible and available as your content collection expands is by tagging and annotating assets with specific, relevant metadata—title, file type, keyword, source, etc.—so they can be located at a moment’s notice.
While it’s excellent that content is finally functioning as a major marketing pillar, it’s still wise for large companies to set some limitations on who can add to and edit your content inventory. There’s a reason why libraries have patrons sign up for a card before they start checking out books.
A permissions-based management set up keeps your inventory library from getting cluttered with error-filled or outdated materials and eliminates confusion and internal arguments over which version of a case study is the most accurate.
Unlike tools that allow all team members to make any changes to existing content items at any point, permission controls create a more formal workflow. It also protects confidential brand information by restricting the ability to access certain documents or implement changes to designated reviewers. With established accessibility conditions in place, your team can make sure everyone can reference the right materials without interrupting the content creation and collection process, avoiding stakeholder irritation when someone uploads a typo-laden one-pager.
Why waste time reinventing the wheel or rebuilding the pyramids? What’s old can be made new again.
The dominance of digital media has done away with the limits of print publishing and made it so all content is never truly finished. Technology now allows for the freedom to revise, edit, and upgrade works to keep up with our constantly evolving understanding of the user experience.
As Alexis Lloyd wrote in The New York Times in 2015, “Information should accumulate upon itself; documents should have ways of reacting to new reporting or information; and we should consider the consumption behavior of our users as one that takes place at all cadences, not simply as a daily update.”
Image attribution: Susan Yin
Like all that buried Egyptian treasure hidden beneath ancient rubble, most brands forget about their content upon publication, leaving its true potential unused in an idle corner of their website. A management system that allows you to keep track of your entire collection of previously published content makes performing regular content audits a much less strenuous task.
A comprehensive content audit will offer an illuminating look into all steps in the content marketing funnel, from identifying which topics you’ve previously covered to locating gaps in your current strategy and unearthing new insights out of content you’ve already created that can then be repurposed—maximizing potential resources and reestablishing your expertise around a specific subject area.
Just as a million different visitors can read the same story and leave with vastly unique perspectives, the value of each piece of content you create evolves and compounds over time. And while even the grandest physical libraries must fall one day, a modern digital asset manager will ensure that all your content is safely stored and ready to be consumed for centuries to come.
Read the full series for more on the needs of a content-centric marketing organization.
Featured image attribution: Cristina Gottardi