Tips for Customizing Generic Content

Think of the many everyday situations where having access to customized content would be more advantageous than relying on generic content. For instance, if you buy a car with a GPS but no MP3 player, you may want the documentation to include instructions for operating the GPS but not include the instructions for operating the MP3 player. Or if you have a Macintosh computer, you may want your antivirus software documentation to include only the Macintosh instructions—not the Windows instructions.

What are the benefits of customizing content in a CMS for business use?

Organizations that sell a product that has variables for each client or for different situations may have a need to produce customized documentation. This will make life easier for your customers, which can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and retention. Customizing content in a CMS also benefits your staff. A content management system has several ways to help writers accomplish this in an automated way while maintaining a high level of content reuse. Here are a few helpful tips for customizing content in a CMS for business use:

Make your words flexible.

You may have certain blocks of texts that are applicable to some, but not all the products or services you offer. Use entities within text components to alter the text for a specific application. Entities provide a way to reuse a component, such as a paragraph, while customizing it for a specific product or client. For example, if a paragraph is applicable to three different products, use an entity to substitute the appropriate product name within the paragraph for the corresponding manual when it is published.

Pick and choose the right components.

There may be times when much of the content—text or graphics—in a manual is reused in other manuals, but in certain cases, additional content is needed for a specific manual. Use attributes to identify when a component should be used. For example, if an attribute called vendor has a value of “Mac,” then that component would only be published in software documentation that pertains to Macintosh computers. Customizing content in a CMS with the use of attributes allow content to be used based on certain conditions.

Branch out.

Are you currently using a “one-size-fits-all” manual or brochure for all of your products? Customizing content in a CMS makes it easy to branch out and develop product/application-specific publications. Use a generic manual as the base content for your customizations. Create revisions of that manual and tweak the necessary content for each application. By branching out from the generic manual, the content stays linked to the original version, and any changes made to the original version can be incorporated into the revisions automatically.

Contact us to learn more about customizing content in a CMS.

Vasont Systems can help you create customized content that will allow you to provide better service to your customers and make your staff more efficient and productive. We provide effective content management solutions for companies in industries such as healthcare, financial, publishing, technology, manufacturing, and government and defense. Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy.