Whether it’s school classes, work processes, or technological advancement, everything evolves. To get to or stay at the top of your business field, you always need to innovate and keep up with the current needs and trends.The content model is no exception. Because of that, it’s important to take a couple of steps to ensure that the content model is still beneficial in the future and you don't need to redo the whole thing again.
They can focus on related elements only. If they’re writing, they can see the main content only. If they’re filling in metadata, they see metadata only. Don’t force users to scroll under the main content that has a different length in each content item.
Let people in a given role in the project focus on relevant elements only. With content groups, you can set different permissions to different parts of content items so that unauthorized people don’t change what they shouldn’t.
2. Crumble content into smaller pieces
In coffee, the smallest assembly pieces are coffee grounds. In insurance, they can be insurance parameters. In content modeling, the smallest reusable pieces are chunks. Chunks are another content type that holds a piece of content that’s reused in multiple places.
If you re-use content or you find an embedded set of elements with a strong intent (for example, CTAs, tasks, steps, diagrams, infographics, or quotes), chunk it.
However, try to keep 2–3 levels of content nesting (for chunks and content items) at most. More levels lead to losing the context when going through a content item.
3. Verify your content model responds to your needs
Once you create the first iteration of your model, take a step back and check if the content model addresses your requirements. Both re-platforming and new implementations usually come with a checklist of pain points or requirements. Double-check if the new model is addressing them.Use a spreadsheet to list:
Internal and external stakeholder needs
Support of the customer journeys
Then, map your content types (or even content items) to them. This way you can keep track of how, for example, your metadata is able to help you to support your customer journeys. Remove everything non-essential.
4. Ensure your content model won’t become a burden
As needs change over time, it’s important to schedule yearly content audits and reviews of the content model. Audits prevent content to ROT (to become redundant, outdated, and full of trivial content), which is essential so that you don’t need to repeat the whole process from the beginning, and the model still brings you the biggest value possible.We recommend creating some sort of a reminder. For example, a recurring calendar event to that part of the year when you can devote some time to the revision.
With all these suggestions, you can keep on refining the content model over and over again without having to redo the whole content model preparation from scratch.The content model that you have now is:
Extendable – via content type snippets and elaborated content types
Flexible – you can reuse important content types as components or linked items
Essential – containing little to no embedded formatting and layout information
Creating a content model is one thing, and people participating during the modeling phase will always have a very deep insight into what works how. With more content creators, though, you need to make the process of writing easy also for them:
Because first and foremost, you need to make sure that content creators, whatever position they hold, enjoy working with your content model.
Make your model author friendly
Content is created by authors and the model should allow them to easily craft content from the get-go. Complex and detailed structures may be in the requirements briefs but it might cause more harm than good by implementing everything to the dot.