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7 Tips for Creating Adaptive Content

Posted by on April 3, 2015

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I recently returned from a week in San Francisco, where I attended the Intelligent Content Conference hosted by Content Marketing World. The City by the Bay didn’t disappoint, and neither did the conference’s intelligent-content-graphic-2numerous workshops, keynotes, and breakout sessions that focused on how to write, manage, and deliver intelligent content.

One of the highlights was the workshop titled “Writing Adaptive, Reusable Content” led by Noz Urbina, co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits and founder and content strategist for Urbina Consulting.

The workshop gave attendees–mostly content writers, editors, and marketers–an overview of how to create content that is readable by both humans and machines. This type of intelligent content is semantically categorized, structurally rich, and provides rules for its use.

Simply, this content has adaptability built in, which means it’s more dynamic, more personalized, and therefore more valuable.

How to Create Reusable, Adaptive Content

  1. Make your content format-agnostic: Make it interchangeable for print, web, mobile, wearable devices, augmented reality, and formats of the future.
  2. Remove soft dependencies: Take out references to ideas, terms, people, places, things, formats, etc. that create dependencies, as well as words and phrases such as “above/below,” “previous/next,” “as mentioned,” and “click/tap here.”
  3. Think about content in various contexts: Formats, deliverables, lifecycle stages, audiences, audience scenarios (time, place, mood), regulatory approval.
  4. Reduce inconsistency: Create content with consistent language, style, and voice.
  5. Chunk your content: Make it modular and think of the modular components as an asset bank you can pull from for different scenarios.
  6. Apply semantic metadata: Define and describe your modular components, so you can easily find them and deploy them.
  7. Structurally model your content: Define your types of content and their component structures so machines like Google can pull out chunks needed.

The Takeaway

Noz Urbina said it best:

“The goal is to deliver the right content, in the right format, in the right language, at the right time. The more we can make our content adaptive, the more we can realistically deliver tailored, high-value content without running out of budget, resources, or time.”

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