Why Content Engineering is the Future of Content Marketing

Why Content Engineering is the Future of Content Marketing

Last updated on August 13, 2017

We live in an age of content overload. Businesses keep producing more content because a majority of them believe that more content leads to more engagement.

And where our quality versus quantity mindset might suggest otherwise, the aforementioned statement does hold true in some cases.

The Washington Post for example publishes around 1,200 posts a day. That’s a lot of content to publish in a mere 24 hours, one would assume that the quality of their content would suffer because of the quantity, resulting in a decrease of visitors. However, the opposite is in fact true, as their visitors have grown 28% over the period of a year which has given them an advantage on the New York Times.

The number of online content is on the rise, and it has been for several years.

The growth in content can easily be seen by looking at the number of indexed pages in Google. The pages the search engine has indexed over 7 years from 2008 to 2014 has increased from 1 trillion to 30 trillion:

Chart showing how Google Indexes Trillions of web pages

In July 2016 almost 70 million posts were published on WordPress. Coming back to the quality over quantity mindset, which is also the most logical assumption one can make by looking at these statistics is that a lot of this content wasn’t of high quality, which is quite possibly true but not in every case.

Yes, the quantity of content is definitely increasing but so is the quality. Marketers are on the lookout for new mediums to engage their audiences through content. A long form blog post not working in your favor, how about trying an interactive infographic?

The future of content marketing belongs to marketers who not only create content that’s best suited for their target audience but adapt and personalize that content to serve customers on a variety of content platforms and technologies – this is where content engineering comes in.

A solid content marketing plan ensures that you create the right content in the right format for the right people, it puts the target audience at the core of content creation. Content engineering uses technology and structured processes to automate the distribution of the content created from the content marketing plan.

Content engineering enables marketers to save time on manually converting content into various formats to suit their target customers’ needs, it takes over this job and improves efficiency.

The job of a content engineer is to handle areas of content management that are largely forgotten by traditional marketing technology solutions. Content engineering takes care of the following areas of content marketing:

    1. Content Relationships: Ensure consistency and that content ties in well with specific user profiles.
    2. How is the content presented: Creating the right publishing template to create personalized content that works.
    3. Content Process: Determining what is the best way to convert and transform content so that it can be published across a number of platforms and devices.

A chart showing Content Distribution by Earned, Owned & Paid Media

Content engineering doesn’t view content as a static and finished piece, instead it finds ways to adapt and personalize the content to serve target audiences using content platforms, technologies and opportunities.

The content created today is confined in content blocks and is stuck to a single CMS, one webpage and one content format – it is limiting.

Content engineering transforms this limiting content into limitless opportunities by:

  • Increasing the value of content assets
  • Decreasing costs for publishing content assets
  • Improving digital maturity and customer experiences

Where content strategy encapsulates the who, what, why and where of content, content engineering organizes the shape, application and structure of content resulting in an optimal and personalized content experience for the user.

Scott Abel and Rachel Anne Bailie used a content engineering methodology to create a printed book, ebook, website and a deck of cards titled ‘The Language of Content Strategy’ all from a single source of content. Though the content exists in a variety of formats yet it is important to note that the content itself was only created once. There was no copying and pasting of content involved in the process, the goal was to use content engineering to publish content systematically on different platforms.

The result? The book and deck of cards were purchased by businesses in the bulk, and the authors managed to do this on a considerably small budget.

For larger enterprises that produce a hefty amount of content, content engineering will do wonders in saving time, cutting costs and influencing target audiences via the power of content.

How Content Engineering Helps Create Better Customer Experiences

The main goal of a content marketing campaign is to create better customer experiences through content – engaging visitors with a variety of content assets, building credibility and inspiring visitors to act.

Content engineering transforms content marketing by offering better customer experiences in the following ways:

Content Relevance

Creating relevant content for your target customers is an integral part of content marketing. Content engineering helps with content relevance by providing a systematic structure of which content assets are suited for which devices and applications for which audiences at particular stages in the marketing funnel.

Content engineering takes the details from buyer persona descriptions and customer journey maps to identify the right content structure for different funnel stages. While content strategy directs and informs the customers experience, content engineering automates the process through content structure, meta data, schema, taxonomy and CMS topology.

Content Agility

Content agility is extremely important because audiences crave personalized experiences which can’t be delivered with one-size-fits-all content.

Content engineering helps with content agility as it provides content strategists with templates for different types of content with clearly defined elements and structures.

Moreover, content engineering helps define data fields for buyer personas, which determine which type of content needs to be distributed through which channel – making the content distribution process automated and seamless.

Content engineering is all about developing scalable and proficient processes for producing, managing and distributing content, and this is what’s going to shape the future of content marketing campaigns for businesses.