LavaCon 2018, beating its own attendance record from LavaCon 2017, focused on “Creating Content Experience Ecosystems.” As content professionals, we have to continue to transform our methods for both companies and consumers to experience value realization from our content.

The tactics to achieve value realization can be tied to three major strategies with corresponding action items.

1. Rethink Responsive

Responsive web design, complemented by mobile-first design, has been an important stepping stone to the foundation of device-agnostic content delivery. However, the previous connotation of responsive design is no longer sufficient. Our content has to work on any platform or any device, even the ones we don’t know about yet!

Conversational user interfaces and voice-only devices are only the beginning of new content delivery mechanisms. As Karen Mcgrane highlighted during her opening keynote, we cannot make any assumptions about how our users connect to our content. This includes device, resolution, bandwidth, delivery mechanism, etc. Rob Hanna continued the focus on content revolution by explicitly stating we need to learn how to write effectively for both people AND bots.

ACTION ITEM: Truly separate your content from format.

Separation of content from format requires more than global CSS. It means implementing an omnichannel metadata strategy and generating flexible, structured microcontent. Outputs will take shape via content curation from any source to deliver the exact information that customers need in any given moment.

2. Agile Authoring

Dedicated, single-channel content writers are becoming antiquated. Today, content is demand-driven and dynamically generated. Agile methodologies improve more than just software development.
Bonnie Chase, Product Owner at MindTouch, highlighted four collaborative content strategies to create high-quality content at a more efficient and cost-effective rate.

Approaches like doc sprints, involving super-users, and Knowledge Center Service (KCS) are transforming how customer-facing content gets created.

ACTION ITEM: Try new methods for content creation.

Consider how you can re-engineer traditional authoring workflows to more efficiently incorporate existing resources with approaches like agile Knowledge Management. Above all, realize that your users don’t care where your content comes from, so remove/span/hide your silos when it comes to content experience.

3. Content Conversions

Content is an asset with more ROI potential than many other business functions, because it can deliver recurring value for something created once (if structured and reused effectively). To make content ROI a reality, you must:

  1. Measure content as an asset.
  2. Communicate the value.

ACTION ITEM: Connect content to business objectives.

Know your business objectives and conversions! Executives need high-level KPIs that are relevant to their goals. Tie all effort and assets back to revenue-based business objectives, or risk working hard for the wrong outcome.

Connection to business objectives is also essential for omnichannel alignment and buy-in from the new folks you’ll be working with to pull this off.

Collaboration 4.0

Others in your organization need to know what you’re doing and why. We’ve learned how Content 4.0 approaches this new critical stage of content; continued progress cannot happen without multidisciplinary collaboration.

Content itself cannot be assumed to be words on a digital page, or even necessarily words at all. Content is whatever information our users need via the format or platform they prefer. Therefore, content professionals need to align with other disciplines to curate the content experience that customers need.

Data-driven content optimization is more likely to impact products or services than your knowledge base homepage. Professional services, user experience design, customer success, development, training, data scientists—collaboration with all of these functions and more is the mechanism for ongoing content value realization.

Additional categories: Customer Experience, Featured Posts, Knowledge Management