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Chapter 1. Content: The lifeblood of an ... > Content: Where does it all come from...

Content: Where does it all come from?

Content: Where does it all come from? A typical organization has multiple content creation groups who design, create, manage, and distribute information. Virtually every department within an organization touches content in some way. For example, marketing and sales produces information designed to convince both prospects and existing customers to purchase their products and services. They create most of the customer-facing content for the Web, including a wide variety of sales and promotional collateral (newsletters, brochures, white papers) as well as other types of content, including press releases, annual reports, and content destined for use on social networks. Technical publications is another area where a great deal of customer content is created, managed, delivered, and stored. Technical publications departments create content that assists customers with using products and services, including guides, help, and other reference materials. They also contribute to online customer support centers. Customer service departments respond to requests for immediate assistance from prospects and customers alike. To help service representatives respond to inquiries, customer service departments typically produce and maintain frequently asked questions (FAQs) and problem-tracking databases, and will often contribute to a knowledge center that may be used by both internal and external customers. Learning groups assist customers in embracing new products and developing new skills through practical, task-oriented instruction. They produce products such as training (classroom, self-paced, virtual classroom), and a variety of eLearning materials (Web, mobile). Some organizations exist specifically to produce content. For instance, publishers produce trade books, textbooks and associated learning materials, magazines, and journals. Increasingly they’re challenged to produce digital versions of those products such as eBooks, enhanced eBooks, interactive web content, and apps. While these examples are not all inclusive and not necessarily representative of how all organizations are structured, they serve to illustrate the many possible variations and iterations of content churned into various information products, destined for an increasing array of devices, and consumed by many different audiences. A unified content strategy brings together the planning and design for all customer-facing content to ensure a seamless customer experience from first contact through purchase, usage, and support. Happy customers who are supported at every point in their content lifecycle are repeat customers. One of the biggest challenges in implementing a unified content strategy is identifying and breaking down the “silos,” which is where we’ll begin.

  

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