Earlier this year, I asked a question that has been bouncing around for a few years: just what in the world is Big Content?
In that post, I quoted a who’s who of thoughtful content practitioners taking a stab at what Big Content might mean. I also noted some specific challenges for enterprise brands and publishers that I felt should be addressed by anyone really wrapped up in the concept of Big Content.
My experience, if you’ll pardon how on-the-nose this is, is that most companies aren’t thinking big enough.
Big Content isn’t just about quality, quantity, structure (or lack thereof), the incorporation of technology and meta-data, or even a simple focus on “content first.” It’s not even limited to just Intelligent Content, with its multi-channel options.
Big Content is all of these things and more.
What is Big Content (already)?
Big Content is about using data and metadata about existing content to more efficiently build new content of a higher quality. It’s tying the scalable management of content across a large enterprise, to improved insight into how we can increase both the quality, and our effectiveness of creating content, over time.
Big Content means creation is informed by monitoring other content, tested, and arrives in the ideal format for channel, temporal, and audience needs. Ideation should no longer be just an art, but a blend with science as well. Using what has worked before as the basis of what to do next isn’t a new concept but this deep use of data and metadata to do so is paying off for the companies that see content analytics as a tool to improve, not just a tool to track.
Big Content means production of content that can be both multi-source and multi-destination.
Multi-source means that content can be mixed using branded assets, real-time news from third-parties, and blog posts, embedded videos, licensed material, and social updates so you can tune your output to suit what will be useful, interesting, and compelling for your audience.
Multi-destination (“Intelligent,” if you like) means keeping content out of silos and creating it in a way to allow for easy tailoring to different channels like social, newsletters, blogs, or apps.
Big Content means your content is organized and packaged for promotion, reuse, and repackaging. This means it is tracked effectively to guide future production.
Organizing your content through tagging leads back to your ideation/creation process since it helps you recirculate content that has worked well and surface content that may be useful again when the news cycle brings it back to prominence. This also naturally feeds into making multi-source content since your work is brought back for reuse as part of digests or roundup posts with a variety of curated posts about your industry combined with brand annotation.
To be clear, Big Content isn’t the same as more content, this is about the right content at the scale appropriate for your resources and goals.
Using Big Content
Big Content is a big idea but there is a way to implement it now with the right technology.
Big Content solutions are a second wave of content tools. They go beyond basic functionality around what you need to do in order to create content for your audiences and deliver on the hard part: making it easier to produce better content that is targeted, data-driven, and ready for the multitude of channels where your audiences can be found.
So, full disclosure, I joined the advisory board with the guys at PublishThis about a year ago – and their development of this kind of solution was a major reason why. If you’re still unclear – and I know it’s a complex challenge – about what I’m talking about here, do yourself a favor and ask them for an assessment of how your company might benefit from it.
If you’re coming to Content Marketing World in a couple of weeks (and I hope you are), the team at PublishThis is offering a Big Content Audit to those who visit them at Booth 22.
The Big Content Audit, which I had a small hand in helping them design, includes an overview of how you can apply the tenets of Big Content to your content strategy.
And, you can also hear about how companies like FOX Sports, Sage Software, Cox Media, SAP, Meredith Agrimedia, Sporting News, and others have used PublishThis to implement Big Content strategies and drive huge success.
Also, rumor has it that one lucky Big Content Audit participant will also receive an Apple Watch as a prize or, much much worse, a copy of some new book that I had a hand in writing and signed by yours truly.
So make sure you visit PublishThis at Booth 22 during Content Marketing World and let them show you how Big Content strategies can help you achieve your content marketing goals. You can even schedule a visit during Content Marketing World by clicking the button below.