Strategies for Identifying Potential Content Reuse

Content reuse is the heart of a content management strategy. Content reuse can provide many of the benefits of using a CMS, including translation cost savings and savings in content creation time. Whether your content is in XML or still in unstructured Word documents, you can begin to identify where content is identical or very similar. Here are some tips to help you find your reuse potential:

Pick the writers’ brains.

This seems very simple, but this is probably one of the best sources of information. Since the writers create the content, they have probably identified places to copy and paste content they’ve written before to save them time in creating new content. Analyze their copy and paste habits: does it happen most often in procedures or in conceptual material? Start tracking this content for further analysis.


If your CMS has a powerful fuzzy search tool, use it to find similar content that could potentially be consolidated. Tools like the Vasont CMS have a normalization feature that is used by many content strategy managers to find and track similar chunks of content, determine a version that suits most situations, and update the content to that one preferred version.

Use automation tools.

There are conversion vendors such as Data Conversion Laboratory who provide content assessment services to find similar matches within your content. While these automated services will take some of your budget, they may be faster and more accurate than a manual process.

Recommended Further Reading: Writing Tips for Greater Content Reuse

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