a light shines on a laptop, a laptop cover and other various tools.

10 Technology Components of Intelligent Content Programs

6 minute read
Dom Nicastro avatar
There is a lot that goes into intelligent content so we asked practitioners and experts to share the tech necessary to build these types of programs.

B2B marketers in their content marketing programs want to create brand awareness (86%), educate audiences (79%) and build credibility/trust (75%), according to research findings released this week by the Content Marketing Institute. But not as many of those marketers reported success measuring things like building subscribed audiences (45%), generating sales/revenue (53%) and building loyalty with existing clients/customers (63%).

The point? Getting the most out of content remains a challenge for marketers. One tactic that could help is leveraging intelligent content. In the past year we’ve covered the challenges holding back intelligent content programs, how to put intelligent content to work, what intelligent content is at its core and the differences between Web Content Management (WCM) systems and Content Marketing Platforms.

While WCM and CMP will be two main tools helping make the most of intelligent content strategies, today we’re going to explore those and other tools marketers have in their arsenal that play a part in intelligent content programs. Machine learning supports intelligent use of content in many of these systems. 

Content Marketing Technology

Content Marketing Platforms provide marketers with the tools to convert their content strategy into data-driven workflows that create engaging and accountable content assets at scale, according to Henry Bruce, president of The Rock Annand Group (Editor’s note: Bruce interviewed with CMSWire when he was at his prior role: SVP of marketing at Contently, a content marketing platform)

“Leveraging technology like artificial intelligence enables marketers to ensure brand governance for all content teams and all asset creators to streamline production timelines and optimize performance,” Bruce added.

Here are some examples of content marketing platforms.

Related Article: 7 Challenges Holding Back Your Intelligent Content Programs

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation helps deliver content to targeted audiences and enables marketers to create narratives that nurture audiences, Bruce said. “Campaigns,” he added, “tee up relevant problem themes and solutions to guide audiences through the buyer’s journey and optimize revenue marketing programs.” More marketing automation solutions are becoming intelligent to support content programs.

Here are some examples of marketing automation platforms

Authoring Tools

Bruce said he finds authoring tools interesting in terms of intelligent content. “For many people, it isn’t the mechanics of authoring that’s difficult — not to underplay the importance of a solid lead paragraph, well-written articles and compelling conclusion,” Bruce said. “It’s authoring content that engages the audience, performs well on the web via SEO and realizes the brand promise. Mastering those while focusing on quality is difficult. Standard writing tools and features suffice, but a great authoring tool will make sure that writers are creating content that’s fit-for-purpose before the first edit.” 

Noz Urbina of Urbina Consulting, founder of the OmnichannelX conference, shared the following content authoring tools examples: FontoXML, Syncro Soft and XMetaL.

Here is another resource for authoring tools

Related Article: Putting Intelligent Content to Work

Digital Asset Management

A system of digital assets allows content creators to use the same images, in-house-created art and infographics, video, and audio clips across stories, according to Bruce. As most images and videos require unique permissions for each printing, a Digital Asset Management system (DAM) will ensure that these assets are re-downloaded fully upon each new embed, working according to intellectual property law.

Here are some examples of DAM solutions.

Taxonomy Management Systems 

These tools can play a factor in your intelligent content programs with solutions for metadata, search and analytics. Urbina cited SmartLogic’s Semaphore, Semantic Web Company and PoolParty as some examples.

Learning Opportunities

Content Analytics

Uploading any form of intelligent content without following up to analyze its rate of distribution, engagement time and how likely its audience is to share is a “colossal waste of time,” Bruce said. Even the most basic analytics — clicks, minutes spent on site, redirect rates, traffic sources — elevate a Content Marketing Platform immensely.

Here are some examples of content analytics tools.

Email Marketing

Though much ado has been made about contemporary forms of content — video, podcasts, AR and VR — nothing beats a well-written, rigidly-scheduled email marketing campaign, Bruce said. “Marketing emails are often sent to an audience that has previously proven itself engaged with a topic,” he said. And there are no shortages of examples of machine learning capabilities that support intelligent email campaigns.

Here are some examples of email marketing tools

Related Article: What Is Intelligent Content and How Can It Help Marketers?

Social Media Marketing

Just like editorial content, social-optimized content should not exist without an overarching intelligent strategy, according to Bruce. “The lexicon is different, the allotted word-count is different and social media users are in search of content to inspire, distract or captivate them,” he said. “They are less likely to engage with, say, a jargon-heavy white-paper if it appears on Twitter or Instagram vs. a marketing email newsletter they signed up for. Social media content is snackable as opposed to exhaustive, and every piece needs a compelling visual.”

Here are some examples of social media marketing platforms

Web Content Management Systems

And, naturally, at the core of managing and publishing content is traditional content management systems, such as Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, Episerver, etc. Forrester sees this piece of content technology as the backbone of digital experiences. And some are seeing a future where Content Marketing Platforms and Web Content Management systems will be hard to distinguish

Here are some examples of WCM platforms.

Component Content Management Systems

Urbina told CMSWire that Component Content Management Systems (CCMS) also come into play. The technology manages content at the component level and includes a single topic, concept or asset. Urbina cited Vasont, SDL Tridion/Tridion Docs, Adobe XML Documentation Add-on, easyDITA, Bluestream Xdocs and IXIASOFT as examples of CCMS. 

As Always, It Comes Down to Strategy

No matter the tools that you use for your intelligent content program, it comes down to knowing your customers’ needs, according to Robert Rose, chief strategy advisor for the Content Marketing Institute. “You have to stop thinking of content marketing as the thing that’s only worth investing in if it creates a lead or an opportunity,” Rose said in the CMI report on content marketing released this week. “Instead, think about how to amaze your audiences. Treat your audiences as customers because that is the way you can lean into data acquisition and personalize your experiences.”