An organization’s thought leadership – blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and other informative content demonstrating industry and subject matter expertise – typically spreads across several website categories separate from product and services pages. Culling that thought leadership content for infographics, comparison charts, checklists, and other visually expressive assets, and identifying and tagging insightful snippets, provides an opportunity to enhance the user journey on product and services pages with contextually relevant content.
Imagine each product and service page having a small but conspicuous space where content authors are challenged to place a contextually relevant illustration or video, captioned for perspective, or a call-out snippet that grabs attention and moves a user to scroll or link for more content. If creative and relevant, the additional content will further engage site visitors and inspire their confidence that you are providing information and solutions to guide their research and decision-making.
In a previous post, “Organize the Organization for Thought Leadership,” I summarized four steps for shaping a site-wide content strategy to maximize thought leadership content. The four steps span content assessment, content guidelines, CMS optimization, and content governance and prepare an organization to multipurpose its thought leadership assets. For starters, it is quite likely that your organization already has plenty of assets to draw from for contextually relevant content to insert at points or pages in the user journey. You can begin there to evolve a content-authoring process where each piece of content is structured for multiple uses.
Strategic thought leadership for page-level, contextually relevant content is encompassed within four interrelated activities:
A content model describes formats for the types of contextually relevant, structured content, so that components can be developed and applied to a page layout. The content model can apply to existing or new pages, including pages dynamically assembled based on the user’s profile and behaviors. Ideally, the content model should have few and repeatable components for ease of use and management.
Multipurpose Content Authoring
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Consider the purpose of each new piece of content, where it will reside on the site, and what information it provides that is especially valuable to support a product or service. Develop a modular approach in which key snippets can be repurposed with engaging headlines or annotations that brief the user and that may entice them to scroll or link to the larger article.
Taxonomy and Tagging
Tag and index modules of content for easy association with a product or service for any webpage. Snippets can be delivered to the page to reside in the component defined in the content model.
Your CMS or an API is crucial for turning strategy into action, using the taxonomy and tagging to deliver contextually relevant content into the component defined by the content model and onto the page where the user will find it and be delighted with the depth of relevant information your organization provides.
Once you begin delivering page-level, contextually relevant content, analytics will indicate the types of assets and presentations you employ that users find most appealing. That valuable data will help you determine the content best suited for your product and services pages. In turn, you will gain insights about assets that might make your whitepapers, blog posts, and other thought leadership content more engaging and better servicing your users.