News & Views

Structured content: your brand’s editorial building blocks

Laptop, brochure, and mobile device each display the same structured content.

When companies think about their evergreen brand assets, they don’t usually include much editorial content. Sure, you have your brand editorial guidelines that set style and voice and maybe show a few examples to follow. But beyond a tagline and a company boilerplate, most brands don’t have a set of go-to editorial assets. But a resource like that can be a useful and valuable tool for your brand, both from a practical and a strategic standpoint.

At Thinkso, we make “structured content” part of our standard brand and messaging approach and process. It not only gives our clients a valuable library of high-quality editorial assets, it also gives them the opportunity to put their messaging strategy and editorial voice to work as they are creating it. Going through this process makes them think hard about what really needs to be said and how to say it, and provides them with a valuable, holistic view of their full messaging spectrum.

What is structured content, and how does it work?

On the practical side, structured content serves as your brand’s editorial library, comprising your evergreen key messages, process, solution and product descriptions, and boilerplate language. The idea is to write each chunk of content on a particular subject once and apply it across all of your media, channels, and audiences.

A structured content document contains all or your evergreen editorial, from the high-level elevator pitch and key messages, through detailed product and service descriptions, down to the nitty gritty disclaimers.

This does two important things. First, your structured content becomes an editorial “gold master” that ensures that your brand-critical messages and content are well crafted, consistent across the business, and used properly in your organization. Second, it eliminates the need — and, importantly, the temptation — to reinvent the wheel or create ad hoc material when you’re writing about company basics.

A practical tool — and long-term, strategic asset

The value of having this kind of disciplined, consistent, and practical resource is clear, but creating a structured content framework also has strategic benefits. It provides an end-to-end view of your message hierarchy, content needs, delivery channels, and audiences.

At Thinkso, we use structured content to produce our own marketing communications.

This global content perspective can be invaluable as your business, brand, and messaging evolves. Using a structured content approach, updating and refreshing your core editorial material becomes a coordinated global exercise, avoiding the kind of piecemeal updating and message creep that can dilute the impact and effectiveness of your brand messages.

And it’s not only for brand-level communications. You can use structured content frameworks for individual marketing projects and campaigns, branded product suites, and employee communications — wherever and whenever you need and want to establish a set of consistent and high-quality evergreen messages.