Why Future-Proofing Your Content Makes Good Business Sense

1 - Why Future-Proofing Your Content Makes Good Business Sense
2 - The Importance of Converting Your Content
3 - Is Your Content Ready for Conversion?
4 - Have a Conversion Strategy
5 - Building a Conversion Strategy
6 - Step 1: Analyze
7 - Step 2: Optimize
8 - Step 3: Automate
9 - Step 4: QA Review
10 - Future Content Should Be Searchable and Accessible
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Why Future-Proofing Your Content Makes Good Business Sense

You may not realize it, but your business content is very valuable. Content equates to assets that can drive key business objectives such as user and/or customer growth, brand awareness and even revenue—if formatted correctly.  In one way or another, you pay for the creation of your content. Whether you outsource its creation to external vendors or you create it internally, you are spending time, money and resources to do it. So why not get a good ROI? To do this, your content should be optimized so it's accessible, searchable and findable. This eWEEK slide show uses industry information from Mark Gross, president of Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), to explain how and why you should transform your content to a structured digital format. Gross is an authority on XML implementation and document conversion.

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The Importance of Converting Your Content

Transforming content from print or other unstructured formats (PDF) to a structured digital format (XML) is an important first step to optimizing it for today's consumer habits and technology. The goal of doing this is simple: future-proofing your content.

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Is Your Content Ready for Conversion?

More than ever people are consuming content in different ways using various technologies. From smartphones and tablets to desktop computers and TV screens, the way in which content is being delivered, displayed and seen is evolving. The question then must be: Is your content ready for all this? Surprisingly, most still say it is not.

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Have a Conversion Strategy

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory; tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. This holds true when applied to business and specifically to the benefits of having a strategy for your content. Don't just jump in and start converting your content without having a clear goal and strategy for doing so.

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Building a Conversion Strategy

The more time you spend planning up front, the better off you will be later. Ultimately, this saves time and money. In the next slides, we'll show you four basic steps to begin building your content conversion strategy.

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Step 1: Analyze

Take an inventory of what content you have, then decide on its reusability. You should identify the most important content that should be converted and then ask yourself, How might this content be used?

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Step 2: Optimize

We've all heard the saying, "garbage in, garbage out." This certainly applies to content conversion projects. Clean up your content before you convert it. There are many ways to accomplish this, but a good first step is to eliminate redundancies.

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Step 3: Automate

Reducing human error will go a long way to ensuring a successful content conversion project. When you automate conversion processes, you cut out the number of people who have to touch the content, thereby greatly reducing the number of manual errors that are introduced.

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Step 4: QA Review

Even with a well-planned and -executed conversion, a thorough quality check is essential for validating the success of the conversion. Much of this quality check can be automated, which saves time and reduces headaches related to manually checking each item.

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Future Content Should Be Searchable and Accessible

After you have followed a smart content conversion strategy and obtained your most valuable content in a structured digital format, the sky's the limit. Converting your content makes it work for you well into the future.