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Technical Writing
  I  
October 20, 2023
  I  
xx min read

Structured Content Authoring: The Definitive Guide

Are you spending countless hours crafting new pieces of content from scratch? Do you ever wish you could just press a magic button and have fresh, high-quality content appear? Well, we might not have a magic button, but we do have the next best thing: structured content authoring.

Structured content authoring allows you to create flexible, reusable pieces of content that can be used over and over again, in different contexts and across different platforms. It gives you a library of content at your fingertips, ready to be used whenever and wherever you need it.

And, with less time spent on content creation, you can spend more time on strategy, innovation, and other high-value tasks that can really move the needle for your organization.

If you’re ready to start working smarter, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’re diving into structured content authoring, and showing you how it can transform your content operations. 

Quick Takeaways

  • Structured content authoring helps organizations create content that is organized, consistent, flexible, reusable, and easy to manage. 
  • Structured content authoring is particularly beneficial for organizations that produce technical documentation, training manuals, and FAQs. 
  • If a CMS is used to manage content, structured content authoring can make the process more efficient and user-friendly.
  • Structured content authoring enables the creation of reusable content components, saving time, reducing the risk of errors, and ensuring consistency and compliance. 

What Is Structured Content Authoring, Anyway?

Structured content authoring is about creating content in a way that's organized and consistent. 

Imagine you're building a Lego tower. Each block (or in this case, piece of content) is designed to fit perfectly with the others. You can swap them, move them around, or use them in a different tower altogether. That's the beauty of structured content–it's:

  • Flexible
  • Reusable
  • Easy to manage
graphic shows example of structured content authoring
Image Source

Structured content authoring offers organizations a smarter way of working, especially when you're dealing with content across different platforms and channels.

The best part is that it can be used by everyone involved in the content creation process. Whether you're a writer, editor, designer, or content manager, understanding and using structured content authoring can make your life a whole lot easier.

The Benefits of Structured Content Authoring

Structured content authoring is a powerful approach that can streamline your content operations, save time, and ensure your content is always top-notch. Here are some specific benefits of using structured content:

  • Enhanced efficiency. With structured content, you're creating pieces that can be used again and again, in different contexts and across different platforms. This means less time spent creating new content from scratch and more time spent on refining and improving your existing content.
  • Consistency. When you're managing content across multiple platforms, maintaining a consistent voice and style can be a challenge. Structured content authoring helps you keep everything on-brand and consistent, no matter where it's published.
  • Localization and translation. If your organization operates in multiple regions or languages, structured content is a lifesaver. It enables you to translate specific components instead of the whole document, saving you time and money.
  • Improved content management. With structured content and a modern CCMS, your content operations platform can easily track, manage, and organize your content pieces.

Structured Content Authoring in Action

You may be wondering whether or not structured content authoring is right for you and your organization. Below, we’ve included specific use-cases where structured content is especially useful. 

1. Technical Documentation

Structured content authoring is especially helpful for organizations that produce a lot of technical documentation, like: 

  • User manuals
  • Product specs
  • Help guides

Each piece of modular content can be easily updated, reused, and rearranged. That means no more sifting through pages of text to find and update one tiny piece of information.

2. Content Management Systems (CMS)

If you're using a CMS to manage your content, structured content authoring can make your process more effective. It allows you to easily categorize, search, and manage your content, making your CMS more efficient and user-friendly.

3. Documentation Portal

If you distribute content to your users through a documentation portal, structured content can help you personalize your content for different audiences. This gives you the ability to provide users with exactly the information they need. 

4. Product Catalogs

If your organization sells products, structured content authoring can help you manage your product catalogs. You can create reusable:

  • Product descriptions
  • Specifications
  • Images
icon graphic shows how structured content can be used to create product documentation

This can make it easier to update your product information and ensure consistency across all your products.

5. Customer Support Content

From FAQs to troubleshooting guides, structured content authoring can help you create clear, consistent, and easily updatable customer support content. This will help improve customer service and reduce the workload on your support team.

6. E-Learning and Training Materials

Structured content is ideal for creating e-learning and training materials. It allows you to create modular lessons that can be easily updated, customized, and rearranged to suit different learning paths.

7. Knowledge Bases and FAQs

icon graphic shows how structured content can be used to create knowledge bases and FAQs

Structured content authoring is a great tool for creating knowledge bases and FAQs. You can create reusable answers to common questions, which can save you time and ensure a consistent customer experience.

8. Legal and Compliance Documents

Structured content authoring can also be used for legal and compliance documents. You can create reusable clauses, terms, definitions, and more. This can save you time, reduce the risk of errors, and ensure compliance with legal standards.

Switch to Structured Content Today with Heretto

From technical documentation to customer support content, structured content authoring is a versatile tool that can streamline your content operations.

Remember, structured content authoring is all about creating flexible, reusable, and easy-to-manage content. So, whether you're a writer, editor, or content manager, structured content can help you create better materials, more efficiently. 

Ready to make the switch to structured content authoring? Heretto CCMS can make your organization’s content creation efficient and effective. Get started today by booking a demo, or learn more about Heretto.

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