4 Ways to Scale Digital Content

When Andrew Carnegie began funding the construction of libraries in 1899, the steel magnate stipulated that the communities getting his grants had to have a plan to maintain, staff, and grow their library. The systems that house life sciences content also need such a plan, particularly as companies move into a digital content management strategy.

Properly planned, content can scale like any other aspect of a company, whether established or start-up, to meet increased product demand or compliance requirements. A well-planned content operation can also withstand changes when production needs to be scaled back. There are four key elements to that planning: library, standards, resources, and delivery.

Setting up libraries, assets

Life sciences content is generally organized into document, reference, claims, and graphics libraries. In a DAM system, you can create such libraries and monitor the medical, legal, and regulatory approval for every element in them so that your marketing team can re-use these assets at any time, and on any platform.

Highly modular, a DAM can also specify which blocks of content must be paired with which others to be used properly. This approach makes it possible to create more approved content quickly and sets up a scalable path for all content, with workflows that match the requirements of the life sciences industry. A DAM can also provide insight on which content is performing best, metrics that can jumpstart the growth of future programs, and refocus existing efforts.

If you have existing content, you can use it to populate your DAM libraries, making sure that all existing reviews, approvals and permissions carry over to the new system. If this information is not already embedded in the content, or if you are just starting out, you can set up a trackable workflow for all necessary checks, particularly if you are using a DAM developed specifically for life sciences.

Structuring standards, metadata, and taxonomy

Beyond approvals and workflows, a DAM can track other aspects of the data around your content if you establish the standards for doing so. This can range from keywords and naming conventions for a disease or treatment to photo rights. Knowing that an image can be used only in print collateral can spare you from a fine if you use it online, a growing vulnerability as field reps make more digital calls.

To make sure your content can scale, you’ll need to establish standards for metadata and taxonomy–and make sure they are maintained. Sophisticated DAMs can automate file naming and keywording, which will speed up the gathering of materials for a new campaign down the road, whether by internal staff or your agency of record. It can also alert you to assets that might be expiring when you are most likely to need them. Regularly maintaining these standards can also spare you from costly, time-consuming remediation later.

Step into scaling

  • Select one functional area (Claims, References, etc.)
  • Assess it for completeness
  • Think about how it could grow
  • Set KPIs to measure its scaling
  • Ask for help when you need it

And while librarians study a wide range of specialties to earn their degrees, life sciences content stewards can face a dizzying array of distinct terminology and regimented content production processes that go well beyond traditional training.

As you are scaling your resources, consider the skill sets for your content staff. Will you need someone to clean up keywording or a part of your claim’s library? Will you have enough staff if there is a surge in work after an FDA approval or if someone goes out on leave or vacation? Or if there is an FDA approval while your chief content steward is away? A scalable content system must anticipate this and more. While you can use an agency for temporary help, some DAM system vendors also have trained personnel available on demand. Your company can select someone with expertise in one area and set a budget for the additional work.

Getting going on growth

Some companies may choose to scale their content systems with internal resources and staff. Others may decide that it is more appropriate to contract with an outside service, particularly one that is well-versed in the platform on which their content system is built. The end goal remains the same: To save time and money while getting more content to market faster.

Veeva Business Consulting can help your company structure a scalable content library and identify trained contract personnel to manage aspects of its growth.

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