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You could have Ernest Hemingway author a blog post for your organization, and it could still stink.

Not that the content would be the issue. It's how you structure and deliver it.

Ann Rockley's been championing the idea of "intelligent content" and has run a conference in its name. 

Rockley, the president of The Rockley Group, author and online content delivery expert, told CMSWire marketers simply spend too much with content -- in the wrong places, and in the wrong ways.

"Marketers create good content," Rockley said, "but they spend an inordinate amount of time manually crafting different pieces of content for different channels and different audiences. They craft it for the Web, they craft it for mobile, they craft it for Facebook, they craft it for Twitter. They craft it for one vertical industry, they craft it for another. The content is all good but they spend way too much time hand-crafting it."

Questions to Consider

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Content marketing is, of course, hot. HubSpot's been championing the concept of inbound marketing, that marketers do not need to rely on email blasts and sending messages hoping something sticks. Instead, lure them to you with great content, so they get to you on an inbound track.

When crafting content, Rockley said marketers should stand back and look at their content requirements holistically and ask themselves: 

Who is our audience? Do you have one or many? How are they different? How are they the same?

"The same becomes the 'core' of your content and the variations could be different examples, stories, testimonials," Rockley said.

What do they need to know? Back to the core, what does everybody need to know? How are we going to reach them (channel)? Web, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. What do we need to reach them in these channels? How can we create a set of really good content that can be parsed out based on audience or channel? 

"Marketers who create intelligent content, can do more with less," Rockley said. "They get to spend their time on the part of the content that really matters: really well executed and thought out content."

Content Struggles

What struggles does Rockley see marketers having when it comes to producing great content? Expending too much energy, for starters.

"There is probably a common core of content and variations for each audience or channel," she said. "For example, you could create a story that uses a short version for Facebook and a long version for the web. You could use a quote from the story to create a tweet, or a teaser."

Don’t create lots of different pieces of content. Rather, design one piece of content where different pieces of it can be automatically extracted.

"Create once, use many," said Rockley, whose industry conference was acquired by the Content Marketing Institute. "Spend your time putting your effort into really great content, not recreating it over and over again."

What are marketers who are doing this well accomplishing?

They're moving, Rockley said, "very quickly from traditional ways of communicating with their audience, to really pinpointing content to specific audience needs, and they are doing it relatively easily because they have added a great deal of flexibility to their content."

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 Title image by Christopher.Michel