Changing the narrative through content velocity

By John Lewington

Posted on 11-24-2020

If there’s one thing that the offices of public affairs, strategic communications, and marketing professionals learned from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s that content velocity – the ability to create, manage, and publish digital content to the right constituents as quickly as possible – and telling stories through a diverse mix of digital media platforms, devices, and offline channels is key in the digital, real-time environment we live in today.

People are interacting with organizations via email, mobile apps, online video, websites, social media, and more. They navigate a complex and non-linear journey on their way to content and information. With the need for organizations to communicate across state and local, national, and even internationally, knowing where and how prospective customers consume, share, and make decisions based on digital content is crucial to establishing an effective and efficient social media and digital content strategy.

All too often, organizations are unable to create enough content to keep pace with public engagement and awareness, and business or mission demand.

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Content creators struggle to create, find and repurpose the right content, for the right context, at the right time. These challenges have only been exacerbated by the pandemic, especially now that most of the workforce may be distributed and working remotely. The top 3 content velocity challenges organizations face are: (1) Resource constraints, limited expertise, and siloed departments may make it hard to effectively deliver content experiences based on data; (2) inefficient content controls, creation, and workflow processes that bottleneck publishing to the web, social, and other channels; and an (3) inability to track experience impact because your organization does not have the data necessary to gauge content performance.

Addressing these challenges lies at the heart of most organizations’ digital and social objectives. Companies need to update content workflows to use the benefits of Digital Asset Management (DAM) technology, making them simpler and more efficient. They also must use analytics to show what methods are most effective and attributable to social, based on a particular geolocation, audience segment, or other demographic or other market variables. And finally, they must access capabilities from a centralized platform to visualize, socialize, collaborate, and share graphics across teams.

The web is still at the heart of most digital strategies

Web analytics is just as important as it has always been. However, digital communications have evolved into a complex dance of channels and interactions, while many organizations are still looking at web metrics the way they did 10 years ago. Reporting visits and measuring page views is not enough anymore. To really take advantage of the power of the web, you need to measure customer pathing, traffic sources, content effectiveness, and video engagement. You need to know more than just who is coming to your site. You need to know why. You need to know the best page or product to show them, what they’re looking for and how one interaction will impact all the rest.

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Because the web is central to most digital experiences, web analytics plays an important role in answering these questions. But to really know all this, web analytics cannot live in a silo. Real insight comes from putting web data together with all other channel data and understanding them together.

An organization’s web analytics should seamlessly integrate with the analytics in its social media management platform, providing better insight into the performance of social campaigns, across multiple channels. The flow of data must be bi-directional, which means that the social media management platform both receives metrics from web analytics and sends social data back. A good industry to benchmark is media and entertainment, as news organizations are not only competing with other news organizations worldwide, but also with news aggregation sites, infotainment brands, social media, and other industries that continue to disrupt traditional news media.

An opportunity for the public sector

Social media management platforms empower public sector organizations to respond to media, strategically manage public communications, better enable the dissemination of public information (especially in times of crisis and natural disaster), while engaging constituents that are more and more frequently, online and on social media. For example, organizations now can evaluate the location, time, participants, and impact of conversations through trend analysis (followers, fans, tweets, posts, hashtag use, etc.); time-specific analysis by conversation/topic can be accomplished as well.

In addition, time-specific insight addressing topics (such as when is the most effective time to post) and analysis of what type of content (i.e. video/text/images) will be most successful at a specific time is supported. Organizations can better understand who, where, when, and how their content is being consumed, so that they can focus on their organization’s business journey and rapid content generation.

One of the quickest ways to drive content velocity for an integrated digital strategy is to ensure all users involved in the content creation and dissemination process can easily find necessary content, track the conversations tied to that content, and how its versions have changed over time. An enterprise-grade repository, such as Adobe Experience Manager Assets, can streamlines asset search, eliminate dark assets that can’t be found, supercharge asset re-use, and increase return on investment. Experience Manager can be the bedrock of a dynamic content engine that drives content velocity.

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As organizations look to leverage authentic, user-generated content (UGC) to help tell their unique stories, curating content from major social networks in a DAM is becoming a defining capability for many organizations’ content strategy. Adobe’s content research found 81 percent of respondents considered a product that was endorsed by family member or someone they were related to or a friend. Organizations that blend professional assets with the more authentic user-generated stories paint a more complete picture for constituents and deliver it in creative ways through an integrated digital strategy. For example, the marketing team at Tourism Australia relies on user generated content from social media to appeal to travelers by showcasing photos of real people visiting the region.

“Our followers and industry in Australia send us hundreds of photos every day via tagging @australia or by using #SeeAustralia,” said Jesse Desjardins, head of social at Tourism Australia, in an interview with Skift. The results have been astounding. In an analysis from last year by Skift, of the 200 most popular travel photos on Instagram, 197 of them came from Tourism Australia.

Organizations that have changed the narrative through content velocity

NCMEC: For more than 34 years, the has been working to find missing children and reunite them with their families. In the beginning, that meant a call center, flyers and posters, and milk cartons. Today, the organization uses advanced digital technologies, including a host of Adobe products, to disseminate information to the public, work with law enforcement on forensic image analysis, and produce educational materials.

Launching its website on AEM combined with their social campaign (@MissingKids @AMBERAlert), NCMEC improved engagement with visitors, whether they want to support families, donate money, or volunteer. With insights from Adobe Analytics, the organization engineered a 218 percent increase in traffic to its fundraising pages and increased web donations by 40 percent. It also expanded public awareness, boosting page views by 48 percent and reducing bounce rates by 88 percent.

Marines.com: Less than ten years ago, it could take the Marine Corps several days for lead delivery. The choice to serve involves commitment, positive willingness to serve, the families want to know and interact with people and their experiences. How could the Marines, with their wealth of information about the diversity of potential recruits, use data and analytics to connect relevant content with prospects and deliver qualified leads as quickly as possible? Adobe helped launch the new site content which has compelling imagery, videos, inviting / interactive content which can tell stories much quicker and more effectively for a more digital-experience, social media driven audience (@USMarineCorps). Now users spend 24 percent more time on each page, bounce rates are significantly down, and mobile visits increased 22 percent year-over-year, which has increased mobile requests for more information by 25 percent.

Sydney Opera House: From being the most Instagrammed spot in Australia (@SydOperaHouse #ComeOnIn) to the exceptional performances its stages each year, the Opera House believes that customers should experience a little magic at every one of its customer touchpoints, including digital ones. What is Sydney Opera House doing differently? For customers, much of the important work has gone on in the digital equivalent of backstage. By using Adobe Analytics, the Opera House team developed a deep understanding what their customers want, when they want it, and how they want it to content and experiences that resonate with their patrons. The team also eliminated many siloed and disconnected marketing platforms and tools, replacing them with a more joined-up approach delivered through AEM. The modernized website allowed them to maximize their digital channels, leading to more than $2 million in ticket sales in 24 hours, 150 percent increase in online donation, and saved about 1000 hours of work per year on email campaigns that delivered the highest email open rate.

Adobe’s Commitment

COVID-19 is changing everything about life and work as we know it, and Adobe is committed to assisting customers with the COVID-19 pandemic by helping organizations with an integrated digital and social strategy. We’re helping organizations, especially those in the public sector, to build, find, and repurpose the right content, with the right context, at the right time through synergies with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Asset Link, Adobe Experience Manager – Sites (our website content management) and Adobe Experience Manager – Assets (our digital asset management tool), as well as Adobe Analytics and various third-party social media management platforms. Supporting these solutions is Adobe Sensei, which is our artificial intelligence and machine learning framework that powers intelligent features in our technology that dramatically improve digital experiences.

Topics: Content Management, Customer Stories, Social, Travel & Hospitality, Government, Information Technology, Marketing, Content Velocity, Experience Cloud, no-interlinks, Content management for government, Digital government

Products: Experience Manager, Analytics,