I’d like to be able to claim that I coined the phrase “Content Engineering.” I can’t. I do find myself using it a lot lately though. I don’t know where I first saw it or I would give credit where it is due.
Curious by nature, I googled it the other day and was surprised by the number of results. Wikipedia defines content engineering as “a term applied to an engineering specialty dealing with the issues around the use of content in computer-facilitated environments.” Not exactly consistent with how I’m using the term. Another listing (Brockmann & Company) defines it as the discipline of developing content that greatly improves the rankings of the target site and thereby returns a higher result. Still a fairly technical, application based definition. The best one I found was from Content Marketing Institute which defined the term in an article titled “A New Breed? 7 Roles of the Content Marketing “Engineer” which defines the content engineer as “a marketer who creates and optimizes the many forms of content required to engage social customers, based on the data presented by available analysis tools.” Since the query returned a result of about 1,020,000,000, I stopped there. I’m not that curious, but none of what I did review matched my current interpretation.
So how do I define it? Content Engineering is a strategic collaborative approach to marketing content creation that considers the goals of the message, the channels and media options available for publishing and distribution. Content is designed to fulfill a varied set of communication requirements and objectives, audience targets, media choices, scope, calls to action, scalability and potential delivery mechanisms. It is an orchestrated process that occurs over time. Minimal waste, no duplication of effort, not one and done but a content opera which is measured for effectiveness and refinement.
Content marketing is relatively new and evolving. I’ll probably be curious enough to return to my definition soon to see if it still fits. I’m sure it will likewise evolve.