Cope is a content strategy bureau based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Started in January 2015, the agency is the first of its kind in Denmark, delivering content services to their portfolio of clients that include the danish television broadcaster TV2 and the humanitarian NGO DanChurchAid. We spoke to one of the founders, Ask Hybel, to find out how they have been using GatherContent and the impact it has had on their agency.
The main areas of success that Cope have experienced with GatherContent are:
We dug a little deeper and Ask told us how significant GatherContent has become in order for them to plan content earlier in projects in order to make the content migration process at the end smooth and stress-free.
Cope understand the importance of getting content right and have embedded this into their process. Working with Cope, their clients know that content is considered from the very beginning and also long after the site is launched. This is the experience of a client of Cope’s that sells internet lines and security products.
The product descriptions are the key element of content for the client because they are needed and used across multiple teams within the organisation, including sales, marketing and the web team.
Before working with Cope on their new site, the client would write all product descriptions in Word documents and email them back and forth. It was chaotic and confusing. When the descriptions were eventually published on the website and teams started to use them, each team ended up creating different versions of the same product descriptions so there was a lack of consistency about how the organisation talked about what they offered. This was a big problem, but one that Cope has been able to solve with their content strategy and by introducing GatherContent.
Cope took time with the client to identify what overarching content types they used across several departments. This content mapping resulted in an overview of the existing content across the organisation. The content was then categorised in one of two ways, core and contextual.
Core content, such as the product descriptions, is content that is reusable across different channels. It can never be managed, stored or edited in the publication system of any single channel, it must be planned and created in GatherContent.
Contextual content is content that is used to frame the core content. It is able to live in a publication channel so it can be produced directly on the channel it is being published to.
“When we started using GatherContent we thought the integration would be the killer feature. It is fantastic but just as important is being able to inform content creators about the strategic position of content whilst they create it, that’s where the real strength is for us.”
Using GatherContent as the content hub that sales, marketing, communications and other departments can access is vital for the core/contextual model to succeed. A well defined and agreed process is also essential.
Cope designed a process with a workflow designer in GatherContent to make sure senior management approved new product descriptions. Once approved, those descriptions became mandatory for sales and marketing to use. Any product descriptions created outside of GatherContent or that hadn’t been approved via the workflow were not permitted.
Full use was made of tabs too. Different tabs were created for different channels, such as social accounts, and content was added here before being published to that respective channel. This allowed Cope to remind the client of the purpose of the content as they created it. Everything produced was tied back to the content strategy.
Adding guidelines ensured all content created was informed. Cope took the strategic brief (a PDF) supplied by an external communications agency, turned the brief into help text within GatherContent and then the client would create the content with reminders of strategic choices at the correct point in time.
Once the content had been created in GatherContent by the client and passed through the workflow, it was ready to be published straight to the CMS via the GatherContent API.
When the senior manager marks an item as approved, a job on the server listens to that and automatically imports the approved content into the Neos CMS. New pages are built in the CMS via this integration and those pages are populated with the content. The product name becomes the page title in the CMS.
The import is used only for the core content. Once in the CMS, someone client side will then choose the right image for the product, write a new headline and complete any staging tasks before it is published to the site. Core content cannot be edited in the CMS but is drawn directly from GatherContent.
This approach has been adopted because both Cope and the client feel strongly about the need to tailor the UX for each channel, but still take full advantage of the core content coming directly out of GatherContent. There is no duplication of tasks. This process was agreed upon collaboratively between the content strategist at Cope and their development team.
“The dilemma for us was that we needed to keep several channels up-to-date and also tailor the UX to make the channel experiences match the tone of voice of the different platforms, all at the same time. Having some content that can be reused as core assets and other content that can only be used for framing, solved that puzzle.”
Now that the client are producing descriptions centrally, the sales department must only use the content from GatherContent. This ensures a consistent approach to how they talk about their products.
If the client needs to add new products or needs to amend an existing product description, even if one word, this is all completed via the original workflow in GatherContent. By moving all ongoing content production to GatherContent, content creators are forced into an environment where they’ll be reminded that content will go to different places across different channels. The guidelines reinforce the strategy and provide context.
This approach also makes sense for the client because of their need to tailor some content for different channels and not just reuse content across all platforms.
Using tabs in GatherContent helps manage this process. The first tab in the project contains the core, or base, content. Then tabs are created for the different channels and platforms such as Product Sheet (PDF), Sales (contracts), Testimonials (multi-channel) and metadata.
GatherContent has allowed Cope to work with their client on centralising content production. They have ensured that they have a consistent approach to their core product description content, no matter who is or where they are talking about them.
Rob is Content Strategist at GatherContent. He is a journalism graduate and has previously worked as Studio Manager and Head of Content for a design agency and as an Audience Research Executive for the BBC. He’s a published author and regular contributor to industry publications including Net Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 24 Ways, WebTuts+, UX Matters , UX Booth and Content Marketing Institute. On occasion Rob speaks about content strategy at leading industry events.
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