Content as Data: Understanding How Developers Think About Your Content

Content as data: Understanding how developers think about your content
Digital content reaches people in many ways. If you’re a content specialist, it’s likely you’ll need to work with a developer somewhere down the line to ensure your message reaches your target audience. Understanding how developers view content can help ensure that your vision becomes a reality. “Content” is a near-catchall category, comprising an array of media types across multiple platforms. This can include blogs, pictures, social media posts, and so much more. While this view of content isn’t inaccurate, developers tend to see things differently.

Developers Think of Content as Some Form of Data

What’s the difference between content and data? As content specialists, we may think of “content” from the perspective of how it’s experienced by end users. For developers, “content as data” means zero-in on the information that makes up the content. Whether that information spans an entire website or a single post, data—and the HTML, CSS, or other code that determines the appearance of it—is what gives content its shape and color. The efficient organization of this data is a developer’s main task. If we think about building content experiences like building a house, the developers would be the construction crew, focusing on the responsible sourcing, incorporation, and functionality of materials. Applying this scaled-back perspective to the content-building process allows developers to cut through the noise. They approach the process by asking, “on what channel or platform will the content exist? What information do I need to create the template?” and, most importantly, “what are the problems that need to be solved?” As “solution architects,” developers work with content strategists to answer these questions before laying the foundation for digital strategies that anticipate and mitigate each issue. While developers and creative teams work together to publish content, the way each discipline approaches the project is different.

Why Does it Matter?

Content is not what it used to be. Gone are the days where content was unique to the channel in which it was published. As technology evolved, content followed suit, and so did the way in which consumers interact with it. Modern content is adaptable and kinetic, able to flow across a variety of interfaces while functioning properly. The standard for today’s content even incorporates machine readability to cater to individuals with disabilities. This intelligent plasticity must be worked into the very blueprints of content, a responsibility that rests primarily on the shoulders of developers. What happens when content fails to live up to these standards? The consumers notice. Interacting with content is the basis of the customer experience. As such, content has the power to make or break a business. The integrity of that digital connection with consumers needs to be upheld at all costs. With the right developers backing your project, a positive customer experience can be built directly into the foundation of the content. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve your content strategy.
Allison Iwaszkiewicz

Allison Iwaszkiewicz

Senior Associate Copywriter