The Secrets of Sitecore Content Hub: Part 2 Content Hub Blog Series

Welcome to the second of our three-part blog series focused on meeting and managing the never-ending demand for content. In our first installment, we introduced Sitecore’s Content Hub and its multifaceted suite of tools that improve ROI on content investments.

The beauty and the challenge of Content Hub is that it encompasses many interrelated capabilities that can be mixed and matched to optimize an infinite number of content operations scenarios. It can do so much that some of Horizontal’s clients have struggled to wrap their heads around where and how to get started. So here, we’ll focus on the art of the possible: laying out a real-world use case to get you thinking about ways Content Hub can benefit your own content operations. But know that Content Hub’s capabilities can be mixed and remixed to address a wide variety of needs, so when you’re ready we’ll be happy to set up time to learn more about your current situation and brainstorm options for transforming your own content strategy and operations.

About the client

Our example client is a research and data company. Content is all they sell, and they deliver it primarily via digital screens. So, their web presence is about more than just marketing and lead generation; it’s the main vehicle for presenting their products.

When Horizontal arrived on the scene, we saw two challenges:

  1. The company delivered their content in “channels.” Think of cable TV: you have a news channel and a sports channel and a movie channel... and you watch whatever’s on those channels at a given moment. That’s how the company’s business model worked: You purchased packages of channels and you got whatever was being delivered. If you subscribed to Channel A but not B, you might not even be aware of content in Channel B that could be relevant to you. And even if you found out about it, you wouldn’t have access to it unless you added a subscription to Channel B.
  2. The internal teams who planned and created that content were also aligned in channels, or really silos. There were teams for various medical specialties, others focused on hospital/clinic operations, others on medical marketing, and so on. They were all creating their own content, with little connectivity between them. If team A decided to create a “case study” on a given topic, they had an idea in their minds of what kind of content should go into a case study and how the content should be laid out, etc. Team B might also produce something that they called a “case study,” but it might not look anything like Team A’s. Furthermore, Team A didn’t have any line of sight into what Team B was creating, so there was no way to share content or assets that might result in more efficiency and/or better quality content for their respective audiences.

Our solution: help the company move from a “cable TV” model to an “Apple TV” model. Instead of subscribing to packages of channels, give clients the flexibility to browse and purchase individual pieces of content. Or collections of content related to a specific topic or keyword. Or collections targeted at specific roles, like a nursing supervisor or a cardiologist or a chief marketing officer.

To deliver that vision, we needed to also rethink the way the internal research teams did their work. And that’s where Content Hub comes in.

Horizontal is an experience-forward firm, meaning we put people and their experiences at the center of everything we do. We needed to create that AppleTV-like experience for subscribers and prospects, using personalization and testing to proactively surface content and topics of interest to each individual audience member. But we also needed to create efficient and collaborative experiences for the client’s own research and marketing teams who plan, design, create, publish and optimize that endless avalanche of content. Content Hub is the... well, it’s the “hub...” for both.

Let’s go back to that case study example above. As we mentioned, any team could create any kind of content of any depth and label it a “case study.” Today, a “case study” is a specific content entity, comprised of specific but modular components. Researchers have a default structure against which they build out their story, with plug-and-play options to add visuals, data, or other supporting elements. Once they’ve filled in the structure, they can choose to present the case study in the form of a web page. And as a downloadable PDF. And as a PowerPoint that could be presented at a conference.

Better yet, their colleagues on other teams have line of sight into that content. They may have assets of their own to contribute, or they may choose to borrow pieces of the content to use in their own work. Each team’s content calendar and work plan are readily available, and since the content is fully modular the teams can readily exchange ideas and look for opportunities to make other teams’ content available to a wider audience. Meanwhile, the marketing organization has full visibility into what the product teams are creating and can align their own tactics accordingly.

All the above, representing Content Hub’s DAM, MRM and CMP capabilities coming together as one, drives down the time and cost required to plan, create, and publish new content. It increases visibility into content performance. And it provides the structure and taxonomy necessary to deliver highly targeted, highly individualized experiences that make the client relevant to its incredibly diverse audiences. “Transformative” is a buzzword that gets tossed around too frequently, but this is a case where it truly means something.

We’d love to tell you more about this use case and others. If you’re interested in hearing more, drop us a line.