A manual argues for digital content’s centrality to a business’s survival.
According to Jones (Does Your Content Work?, 2014, etc.), the disruption wrought by the race to remake commerce digitally has elevated the status of content: “With the rise of digital, I’m convinced we have entered a new business era: the content era. We’re living in a time in which content is both essential for business survival and a potential business advantage.” There’s no way around making content a “core competency,” and shortcuts, like “SEO snake oil,” to avoid putting in the extra effort to support the move won’t work, she asserts. In this second edition of her guide, the author furnishes an impressively encyclopedic account of what it takes to create a successful content operation that begins with an analytically deep audit of one’s capabilities and includes the formulation of a grand vision, or “North Star,” that can function as both a “guiding light” and an abiding source of inspiration. With consistent lucidity, Jones breaks down the fundamental elements of sound content strategy: a “content intelligence system” that effectively assists readers to “embrace the data” and a model of “content operations maturity” that helps “sustain and even scale your implementation.” In addition, she predicts that the future belongs to small and midsize businesses that can nimbly avoid the burdens of entangled bureaucracy, systematize their content with the assistance of artificial intelligence automation, and forge more personal connections with their users. A helpful appendix includes the insights of notable “content geniuses” as well as a presentation of the tools discussed in the book. The author is the head of content at MailChimp, and her expertise is evident on every page. She aims to create a “long-lasting reference but also a useful, cohesive read,” a goal she has certainly accomplished. This work should serve as the authoritative single-volume guide for anyone with a professional interest in the creation and management of digital content. Finally, this second edition is less a sequel than a fully reworked version, with an additional focus put on making the case for the significance of content management to any digital enterprise.
An accessible, remarkably comprehensive resource for those looking to master the terrain of digital content.