Reuse. Content management is all about reuse. What does that mean? The idea is to use existing content multiple times rather than write new content each time. In a way, it’s like recycling plastic bags…you can use a bag once and then use another similar bag once and so on until you have a garbage can full of barely used bags. Or, you can use one bag over and over again to conserve resources. Content reuse follows the same principle: store and use one piece of content over and over again rather than wasting time writing new, similar content. But why is content reuse so important? What benefits does it provide?
Cut down on creation.
When given writing assignments, writers often work in silos. They immediately begin to create new content for their assignment, but never coordinate similar content with other writers. Instead of reinventing new content for each assignment, use a content management system as a repository to consolidate and share existing content. Hours of writing time will be saved and editorial cycles will be shortened.
Keep messages in sync.
As the content base grows, it becomes more difficult to keep key messages consistent across all publications. If writers reinvent a message each time a publication is created or updated, chances are the message will be slightly different in each document. These conflicting messages can confuse the consumers and cause an increase in phone calls to the customer support department. To maintain consistent messaging in all publications, use a content management system to create, approve, and reuse one polished message in all documents.
Reduce revision efforts.
Most people using word processing software to create documents have experienced the copy-and-paste syndrome. It’s a quick way to duplicate content to other documents. But when it’s time to update that content, hours are spent searching for all of the duplicated content and manually updating each instance. This method poses two problems: there’s no guarantee that every instance was found and revised, and there’s a good chance that errors could creep in when the revision is retyped manually each time. To save time when revising content, use a content management system to reuse content rather than duplicate it. Then, update the content one time and all reuse instances will be updated automatically and accurately.
Trim translation costs.
Reuse doesn’t just apply to English content. When content is translated into multiple languages, the translations can be stored in the content management system. Now, when the English content is reused, the translations for that content will be reused too. Therefore, the English content will not be sent for translation more than once. Using a content management system to store and reuse translations will result in big savings—thousands or even millions—in translation costs.
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