Despite the usefulness and benefits of content modeling, most people try their best to ignore it, especially because of how complex and detailed it is. And if you want them to engage with a content model at all, you will have to do a little effort to get them on board.
Why content modeling?
A content model allows you to document the different content types present on your website. It not only breaks them down into their components but also describes them in much detail and maps how they are related to each other.
Content modeling is especially beneficial when it comes to working out how you can write and manage content, and finally present it on your website.
Whether you’re creating a new website or just refreshing and rebuilding your current one, you can benefit from content modeling. It can help with communication and make sure everyone - ranging from the UX design team to the technical team - is on the same page to streamline the way you put out content.
Obtaining Content Modeling Buy-in
To persuade anyone to turn to content modeling, you need to first highlight the issues they have with producing excellent content on time, and then outline how a content model can help solve those problems.
Here are some tips to obtain content modeling buy-in:
Assess your Current Content Structure with UX and Design teams
It’s best to create a content model before, or at most, alongside wireframes, which is why the very first teams you should approach are UX and design teams. To sell them on the idea, you should first assess the process for optimizing UX, including who is involved and their pain points.
Talk about the content challenges they face that are particularly related to design and user experience. For instance, you can remind them of the number of times they had to manipulate finished designs while making sure the front-end user experience isn’t spoiled.
Once they start to agree with these issues, you can present them with a content model and how it can solve their problems. Explain to them that a content model allows them to have up-front discussions so that they get a clear idea of the content and design some prototypes. Ultimately, this will help them make a memorable UX.
You can also highlight other benefits of content modeling for designers. For instance, it can help maintain a cohesive and consistent brand presentation across different channels. It can also ensure that the content flow makes sense to users.
Include the design and UX team in the testing and review phases, and incorporate their design-related recommendations to obtain buy-in.
Build a Case for Development and Content Teams
It's important to detail how content models make development & content teams more efficient. Here's how we see it.
Developers take the wireframes and prototypes and build the required features. And since they configure the CMS, content organization is of utmost importance to them. To obtain buy-in from developers, ask them how they organize their content and explain how content modeling can make building features more accessible.
Let them know that a content model can provide developers with extensive details about permissions, content reuse, and how to set up fields.
To obtain buy-in, you should give them the autonomy of suggesting more data types to improve content models so that they don’t need to make extensive updates in the future. Plus, involving them will prevent the development of the “wrong” content model.
Content teams are responsible for creating all the content for consumers. Selling the idea of content modeling to content writers will allow them to be involved in producing the prototype. This will ensure that the guidance and templates are feasible before it’s too late.
To obtain content modeling buy-in from the content team, evaluate their current content creation process and highlight the improvements that can be made with a content model. You should highlight that a content model provides a great content structure that can help them seamlessly create anything ranging from legal documents, web pages, and case studies to social media posts and other marketing materials.
Other benefits of content modeling for the content team include increased productivity, consistent content, reduced errors, and the ability to reuse content for personalization.
Present Content Modeling Use Cases
Another way to obtain content modeling buy-in is to present how content models can be used. Remember, content modeling allows information structuring, which in turn, makes it possible to reuse content across different channels. Plus, it can future-proof your content strategy; a content model can serve a range of current and future channels, including digital signage, point of sales, website, syndication, and app.
You should also provide examples where one content model is suitable for different instances. Take the example of cooking recipes. Normally, you would use a recipe as a rich text in a single field. But with a content model, you can structure it, add semantic meaning, and organize the content such that you can reuse it. For instance, you can separate the ingredients as a shape and recipes as structured documents that refer to ingredients. This way, you will have a content model that you can use for multiple use cases, such as:
Showing all the recipes containing a particular ingredient
Finding recipes with just organic ingredients
Finding recipes that can be ready within 30 minutes
Adding all the ingredients to a shopping cart for a certain recipe
Find your Content Modeling North Star
It’s impossible to obtain content modeling buy-in without examples. Content modeling examples can sell teams so make sure you are prepared. You should also discuss companies that use content modeling.
Highlight how the content modeling north star can capture the fundamental value that your product provides to your customers and help generate revenue, reflect customer value, and measure progress. It can help define the relationship between the product team and the customer problems. It can also indicate sustainable customer value and business results.
Give Stakeholders the Key to Decision-Making
You also need to take into account stakeholders and explain to them the opportunities that content modeling offers. By opting for content modeling buy-in, stakeholders get the chance to have a greater say when it comes to making decisions and talking about what they like and don’t like.
And once stakeholders are better able to voice their thoughts and ideas, teams achieve internal alignment. It also continuously improves decision-making, which ultimately translates to better customer satisfaction and improved business profits.
What to Do After Earning Content Modeling Buy-in
After earning buy-in, the next step is to ensure your team has the tools and technology to make it happen. It's typical for teams to choose a Jamstack modern frontend framework and a headless CMS solution for content modeling and begin building the content structure of their website.