With the emergence of headless content management systems (CMSs) and with many digital experience platforms (DXPs) further embracing MVC development methodologies, content modeling and structured content are getting a lot of attention. The decoupling of the presentation of content from the management of content has several benefits, however, you most often hear how it helps front-end developers choose the best tools and marketers reuse content across channels. Typically, absent from this conversation is how it delivers sizeable advantages to IT organizations from a budget, procurement, and flexibility standpoint
Two reasons why this might be:
- Content modeling and structured content are new concepts for many, and the main selling point thus far has been multi-channel marketing.
- The biggest proponents of the approach are usually platform providers, and their focus will always be getting you to move to them, not switching away.
Once you structure your content, you can take it anywhere.
Content migrations are usually the most expensive and unpleasant parts of any website rebuild or re-platform because most websites are an amalgamation of unstructured or poorly structured content. However, once your content is structured, all future migrations can be a straight-forward database- or API-driven content copy of the fields.
The good news is that you do not have to wait until your next migration to start structuring your content. You can implement new content types in your existing system alongside your current content. The most common approach we see here is to pick a few simple types start with (press releases, basic pages, events) and start creating new items using the new types while updating templates to work with both sets of content. This allows you to stop creating content that will be problematic for your next migration or redesign while starting to transition the content teams to a different approach slowly. As you and they gain confidence, more content types can be transitioned, and you explore migrating your existing content items.
Structured content reduces platform migration costs because it largely eliminates the content migration hurdle. This allows organizations and leaders to move forward without having to see the future.
- Because you can move, you can’t be locked in.
- Because needs will change, you can make the right decision for “now.”
- Because you can load your content anywhere, you can make meaningful comparisons.
Structured content models are a boon to marketers and developers, while also a money-saving, flexibility-creating opportunity for the entire IT organization.
If you want to talk strategies about how to start structuring content on your current website now, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com – I love talking content strategies.