Uniform blog/How to build a content model with examples
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Uniform
Posted on Jan 17, 2023

3 min read

How to build a content model with examples

Content models, which visually represent all your content that’s live or in production, serve as a road map for content orchestration by marketers. Additionally, those models depict the relationships of content pieces so that teams can easily spot opportunities for reuse or repurposing and speed up the content strategy.
Below are examples of real-world content modeling. For more details on how to build content models, read What is content modeling?.

The procedure

Follow these steps to build an effective content model:
  1. Collaborate with stakeholders. Determine with all the teams concerned who is responsible for what content, how to present it, and how the content pieces relate to one another after going live.
  2. Choose a content-modeling strategy. Teams have two choices:
    • A top-down model, which focuses on content types, which in turn inform the smaller content attributes. 
    • A bottom-up approach, which flows the opposite way, from attributes up to types.
  3. Create a content map. In that map, list the content types and their attributes to clearly display all the asset connections. For a more complete map, draw lines to show the relationships among the content pieces, thus helping avoid duplicating content types and guaranteeing a single source of truth (SSoT).
  4. Implement a content model. Tell the stakeholders where all the model documents, which serve as an SSoT, reside on your company’s network. 

Example of a content model

Here are the three integral concepts for content models:
  • Content types
  • Content attributes
  • Content relationships
See below for a real example of a blog, which explains how those three concepts come together to form a content model. 

Content types

Content types are templates for the larger, “macro-level” content pieces. A blog’s content type would be a repeatable framework you could use for articles on your website. Other examples are YouTube videos, online courses, and eBooks.

Content attributes

Content attributes are fields that describe a content type. A blog post would contain these content attributes:
  • Title
  • Header image
  • A reference field to the authors*
  • SEO meta description
  • Body text
  • Sidebar menu
An author’s content model might have these attributes:
  • Name
  • Job title
  • Biography
*A reference field to an item is called a one-to-one relationship. In case of multiple authors, define a one-to-many relationship.

Content relationships

Relationships show how content pieces interact with one another. A blog, for example, is made up of articles written by authors. A relationship exists between each article and its authors, i.e., authors can write multiple articles, and articles can be written by any author. 

Proper use of content models

As is obvious from the above example, building a comprehensive and effective content model takes considerable time and planning, but the benefits outweigh that price. However, you’ll realize the true value and gains of all that effort only if you leverage your model properly. Here are a few guidelines:
  • Content authors and UX designers must keep in mind the benefits of headless content models. Anything you design for your digital presence should be platform agnostic, that is, capable of adapting to any platform. 
  • The developers who build content frameworks must think outside of what they’re coding. That is, adopt a big-picture view and consider how the designs affect non-IT stakeholders so as to render the production process more seamless and efficient.
  • Organizations must avoid polluting their content model with design cues. For today’s headless content format, a digital experience composition platform (DXCP) like Uniform can handle those cues much more effectively. 
Get a demo and discover the benefits of Uniform for content production. We’ll show you how to use our tools to catapult your production process into the modern headless age.
That’s the process of coordinating content creation and management across teams and stakeholders. Orchestration hinges on central, standardized workflows; data; and the production process, all of which are accessible by the entire team.