Examining the Importance of Metadata in Content Creation Workflows

Having detailed content insights gives you a competitive edge to effectively run campaigns in places where audience visibility becomes more difficult.

Going forward, digital campaigns need rich content data to be successful. Without it, the measure of campaign and content effectiveness plummets. Being able to link which asset or media was part of a specific digital experience with the attributes of that content is essential.

The days are numbered for the old ways of tracking and measuring campaigns – that drum is beating till nausea. But that does not detract from its reality. Execution and measurement are shifting to cohorts and context, not individuals. With this change, you need to know what works for different segments. So when you find a winning campaign (combined with in-depth content), you can push that combination to other channels. And since almost everyone is a “walled garden,” having this information gives you a competitive edge to effectively run campaigns in places where audience visibility becomes more difficult.

What do we mean by content attributes?

Content attributes include all of the underlying information (or metadata) that describes particular content. Whether it’s a landing page, video, image, or other rich content, detailed descriptions are fundamental to being able to understand how that content has impacted consumers and has generated business results.

For example, if you’re running video ads, what specifically is in the video that makes it work? It can be all kinds of details like emotion, length, central message, purchase stage, placement, call to action, theme, musical style, featured products , etc. If you don’t categorize your content with this level of depth, you’re missing key opportunities for analysis and improvement.

Why doesn’t this happen with most content?

The success of content can depend on many factors – some within your control and some outside of it. If your content fails to find an audience, it may be due to a failure to implement and adhere to a process. Also consider the sheer volume of content produced by most organizations. Sending content has become the number one priority and getting all content metadata is an afterthought, so much so that many companies have tens to hundreds of thousands of pieces of content that are significantly under-optimized . In their rush to get it published, teams neglect to focus on the steps needed to describe the content in detail where it resides (usually a DAM or CMS).

This leaves organizations facing major cleanup initiatives to be able to understand content ROI. And that’s no easy task, especially with the major limitations of most content management systems, lack of governance and bulk editing being at the top of the list.

What should be done differently?

If you’re lucky, you actually have documentation defining the attributes required by each piece of content – and perhaps (if applicable) all of the data fields created and ready to be populated with metadata. If not, this is your first step: create your content taxonomy and data standards definitions.

If your documentation is in order but you still have tons of content metadata missing, you have a process problem. You may not have any rules in place that prevent content from being published without the required metadata. You may also have a communication gap between the people who create the content and those who define the processes. Do your content creators even know what the rules are? Sharing these rules, as well as adhering to them, requires a new workflow. But this workflow cannot depend on shared spreadsheets or other limited information sharing methods.

Instead, consider using a system that not only easily provides all the rules for required fields, data values, and naming conventions, but puts them in the hands of the people responsible for those critical content entries. .

Find out how Claravine can improve your content creation processes on claravine.com.


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Jenny T. Curlee