For most complex systems there is a method to the madness that helps to organize vast amounts of data. However, when it comes to organizing your content marketing, you may find yourself swimming in a sea of information that has no form of classification. This is where a content marketing taxonomy comes in. Here, we explain what a content marketing taxonomy is, why it is so useful, and how you can build your own.
Content Marketing Taxonomy Explained
The term ‘content marketing taxonomy’ certainly is a mouthful and it can be tempting to brush it off as another jargon term. However, it is nothing of the sort. Breaking the terminology down, the word ‘taxonomy’ may take you back to your school days. It relates to a scheme of classification which is used in a variety of areas to organize data. A commonly used example of taxonomy is the Dewey Decimal system which is what is used in libraries to classify books into sets, and sometimes overlapping categories.
So, how does taxonomy relate to content marketing? Content marketing is essential in promoting any business or organization so it is likely that you will have a large bank of content on your website. Content marketing taxonomy relates to creating a scheme of classification, or a bank of information, that makes it easier to use your data and get the most out of your content.
On a simple level, creating a content marketing taxonomy means creating a system of classification for your content. This involves titles, categories, tags, and keywords that are attached to each piece of content.
Why is a content marketing taxonomy useful?
There are multiple benefits in creating and maintaining a content marketing taxonomy that go way beyond making your content easier to locate. For example, having a handle on what you have means you can have a much firmer grip on whether or not your content is aligned with your organizational goals and priorities. It can help you to identify gaps in your content, help you to become aware of areas that need updating, and help you to strategically plan for the next wave of content creation.
Equally, having a content marketing taxonomy helps to locate strengths in your content so that you can shout about those topic areas that you have a comprehensive catalog of information on. In this way, you can re-vamp and reorganize existing content so that it can be re-launched in a slightly different way, serving to capture new audiences or regain the interest of your existing client base. Providing great content is good but knowing what your best content is, is even better.
Building your own Content Marketing Taxonomy
In this next section, we go through some simple steps to get you started with building your own content marketing taxonomy.
1. Get the whole team on board
When setting up a content marketing taxonomy you need to have the whole team on board as a classification system only works when it is comprehensive and used by everyone. A good way to do this is to get your colleagues invested in a content marketing taxonomy. You can do this by highlighting how it will be beneficial to them and the company as a whole. Achieving their buy-in will also come from acknowledging that you need their knowledge and expertise in order to create a robust system that works for everyone.
2. Create your taxonomy system: Titles, Tags, and Categories
When creating a taxonomy system it is sometimes best to jump in at the deep end. As you’re likely to be dealing with a whole load of untagged and uncategorized existing content, it can be hard to know where to start. The majority of content marketing taxonomy systems work via a system of titles, categories, and tags. Here, we offer a closer breakdown of what each of these mean when creating a taxonomy:
– Titles: key phrases need to be included in your titles to ensure content can be found. In your taxonomy, you can outline how titles should be structured.
– Categories: these are broad areas that should be linked to the aims, objectives, and priorities of your organization. Getting your categories right can help to ensure your content aligns with your business plan.
– Tags: tags give you a broader remit than categories. They can cover all of the topics that a specific piece of content covers and usually consist of keywords and phrases. A piece of content can have multiple tags and it will help to group your posts by topic.
Looking at your existing content will help you to come up with a list of commonly used categories, tags, and keywords that can be used in your classification system. Having these as a starting point will be helpful. However, explain to colleagues that new codes can only be added as you create the taxonomy if you have an agreed protocol for doing this. Creating a support document for your colleagues is also a good idea. It should give examples of how each taxonomy can be used and how to apply them. This can be a working document that is shared with your colleagues to gain their feedback before settling for a final copy.
3. Apply the taxonomy to existing content
Once the taxonomy system has been agreed the next job is to apply this system to your existing content. Whilst this is a painstaking job, it only needs to be done once and will help to give you an oversight of how the system is working and if there need to be any tweaks or adaptations to the taxonomy. Make sure you keep your team updated as you go through this process with any changes that you decide to make.
4. Align it with your marketing strategy
As your content marketing taxonomy begins to be implemented and you have applied the taxonomy to existing content you will find that this audit of your content has highlighted both gaps and strengths. Having such a thorough oversight over your content will allow you to more closely align your output with your marketing strategy. It will also make it easier to commission work that fits in with the aims and objectives of your business.
5. Monitor the process
Once your content marketing taxonomy is being implemented it is wise to have regular check-ins with your colleagues. This ensures it is being used properly and allows you to iron out any teething problems. These regular check-ins will also help you to ensure that your tagging system stays relevant and that any changes are agreed upon as a team. Try to not change the structure of the taxonomy too frequently to ensure consistency in the classification of your content. An annual meeting to review whether the taxonomy is still aligned with strategic goals is also wise.
Implementing a content marketing taxonomy may seem like a daunting task, but the benefits of having your content organized and categorized are certainly worth it. With a content marketing taxonomy in place, you can help to align your outputs with your organizational goals. You can also become aware of areas that need re-vamping. Getting your team on board with implementing a taxonomy for your marketing content is a must as, for the system to work, it requires everyone to be using it.