What is Dynamic Content ?

Dynamic Content combines content management, production and delivery, all in one place. Our planning and scheduling features make it easy to get the content you want, delivered to whatever channels you choose and scheduled to be deployed whenever you specify. Together with advanced content production features, that allow you to create content once and deliver it anywhere, Dynamic Content gives you the tools to make your entire content management, creation and delivery process more efficient.

In this section we'll introduce you to the content planning and production features of Dynamic Content and provide more information about the key concepts.

Content planning

  • Manage your content calendar, production schedule and content delivery, all from one place and with an easy to use, intuitive user interface
  • Stay in control of your content creation requirements with a single view of all your projects
  • Plan and schedule everything from regular seasonal campaigns to sales, web site refreshes and "pop up" promotions
  • Schedule each "drop" of content for delivery to one channel or multiple channels simultaneously
  • Preview what your website or app will look like at any point in the future

A typical content planning calendar will revolve around a series of large projects, some of them of seasonal such as Christmas, Black Friday or Valentine's Day, some organisation specific such as big sales and website refreshes, and many smaller projects like flash sales or promotions for new product ranges. Some of these projects will be scheduled many months in advance, while some may require you to respond quickly, such as to take advantage of a hot new product category.

For each of these projects you'll usually have several 'drops' of content, delivered at different times throughout the projects and to different channels. A sale promotion might have some teaser content delivered to a website, while a free shipping offer might be targeted at a mobile app, perhaps with some additional content presented to customers via in-store kiosks. Alternatively you might choose to deliver all content to all channels simultaneously.

Before Dynamic Content, content planners would have to use a disparate set of tools to manage their content calendar, determine their content production schedule and keep track of exactly what content was scheduled to go live in each channel at what date. Dynamic Content provides a combined solution to all these requirements, introducing the concepts of events and editions to contain the content and schedule for your campaigns, combined with advanced production features to ensure that your content is delivered to the channels you choose when you want it.

For more detail on the key planning concepts in Dynamic Content take a look at the planning concepts page or expand the section below.

Planning concepts

Dynamic Content lets you plan and schedule your content in an easy to use planning calendar, using the concepts of events and editions. While the events and editions represent when you want content to be published, you specify the content itself and where it should be delivered using slots.

On this page we'll explain these concepts in more detail.

On this page

  • Events. The top level grouping for projects such as campaigns
  • Editions. The individual "drops" of content
  • Slots. Used to specify where content gets delivered to

Events and editions

Events are the top level organisational grouping representing a particular project or campaign. You might create an event to represent Valentine's Day or the January sales, for example. Events have a start and end date that covers all the activity for the entire project, which might be from a teaser campaign to a "last few days remaining" promotion.

Within events you'll create one or more editions. These represent your 'drops' of content and bring together the content itself, with the date it is scheduled to go live and where it should be delivered to. You can create an edition as far in advance as you'd like and start populating it with content, and it can be scheduled to go live up to 100 days ahead. When an edition is scheduled, it means that the content contained within it will be published to our Content Delivery Network (CDN) on the edition's start date. Your customers can then view the content on your website, app or any other channel you support.

Events and editions are created in the planning calendar, within the planning view of the Dynamic Content app. There can be many events on your timeline, so we also provide the option of viewing the events as a list.

Events and editions in the planning view

Slots

While editions link together the content with when it should be delivered, you use slots to specify where the content should be delivered to. Slots are very flexible and represent areas of your website, app, kiosk or other channel. A slot can be anything from one area of your website to an entire page.

Example

Let's consider an example.

You're planning a content drop for one part of a sales promotion. This particular set of content is focused on women's fashion. When you set up the edition to plan this content you would decide:

  • Which areas of your website (and other channels) you want to create new content for
  • What content is required
  • When this content should be scheduled to go live- this will be the edition start date

Next you would:

  • Create the edition. In this case it might be called something like "women's fashion Spring sale edition"
  • Add the slots to the edition corresponding to where you want the new content to be delivered

Once the content producers have completed their brief and you've reviewed the content, you'll populate the slots with the content and schedule it for publication. At the edition start date, the content will go live.

Delivering your content

The image below shows an edition containing two simple slots, each containing one item of content, a banner and a carousel. Once the edition is live, the content will be published to these slots. In the example below, the content is published simultaneously to a mobile app and to a website. The same slots contain the same content, but represent different areas of the page when shown on the web and an app. A standard carousel is shown on the website, while on the mobile device this content is rendered as a grid.

Of course this simple example is just one way that you can choose to configure your slots and when you start the implementation of a Dynamic Content project, we'll help you choose the method to match your requirements.

Content delivered to slots

This page provided an overview of the concepts of the planning features of Dynamic Content. To get started with the app and create your own events and editions see the planning and publishing user guide.

To start creating content go to the production user guide and if you're a developer visit the integrations section for more details about creating content types and slots.

Content production

  • Create once, publish anywhere: we separate the content from the presentation. This makes it easy to deliver the same content to many channels
  • Developers define the structure of the content, content producers use our tools to create as many variations of that content as they choose
  • Your developers can concentrate on your websites and apps, the content producers use our app to create great content
  • Advanced content preview features help you ensure your content looks the way you want before its scheduled to be published
  • Integrated with content planning to make it easy to schedule the content you want, to be published where and when you want it

The way content is structured and authored in Dynamic Content is in contrast to what might be called legacy Content Management Systems (CMS). In Dynamic Content, the content is separate to the way it is presented, making it easier to deliver the same content to many channels, for a process we term "create once, publish anywhere". By separating the content from the code used to display it, the content becomes more flexible, and easier to update and maintain.

Content is structured using content types, the templates that describe the way content is organised. Once the developer has created these content types, the content producers use the Dynamic Content production tools to create as many variations of this content as they choose, adding images, text and video to ensure the content has the maximum impact. Developers can then concentrate on developing your apps and websites and making sure your content looks good on all your channels, while the content producers focus on adding the actual content.

Content will usually be created as part of a project, and that's where Dynamic Content combines the content production with planning. The planning features allow you to keep track of your schedules and content creation requirements. When the content for a particular project has been created, it can be made available for review and then added to a project to be scheduled for delivery across all your channels. We've included features that make it easier to review content before it's published, from previewing individual pieces of content to your entire website.

For more detail on the key planning concepts in Dynamic Content take a look at the content authoring concepts page or expand the section below.

Production concepts

On this page we'll explain the key concepts of content authoring and production in more detail, from designing content to creating and publishing it.

Old world vs Dynamic Content

The Amplience approach to content authoring can be looked upon as the old legacy CMS approach vs the new world of Dynamic Content.

In what we’ll call the “old world” approach, to create some content for your website you’d usually need a developer to hand-craft some HTML and styling and embed the content within it. They’d have to repeat this process to create or update a piece of content. The developer resource would be better used on other parts of your project.

Because developers would need to create templates to define the way that each piece of content is displayed and repeat this process every time, it’s also a slow process and prone to error.

And because the content is embedded in the HTML, it’s more difficult to review and update and crucially it’s more difficult to re-use content in different page layouts, for example. You’ll end up with several copies of the same content, each out of sync with the other and without a ‘single source of truth’.

The old world approach: content is intermingled with the code

Another drawback of this approach is that your content is static and it’s very difficult to dynamically deliver content, to configure pages personalised for a particular user’s shopping habits, for example.

The new world approach

The Dynamic Content approach is to separate the content from the presentation. Your developers will create content types that define how content is structured and this is completely separate from the way it’s presented.

Content is separated from the way it is presented

This allows content to be rendered responsively and adaptively to any platform and makes it easy for your business users to create and update content without needing any developer time.

Because the content is separated from the presentation it’s less prone to errors, easier to review and you can re-use the content in many different places. The content is dynamic, so you can change the content once and the updated content is delivered to wherever it’s being consumed.

Content types

Let’s look in more detail about how a content type is created. The example below shows a simple banner. In the “old world” approach to creating the banner, your creative team would design this using a tool such as photoshop and your developers would create the HTML and CSS and embed the content for each time a banner is used.

Example banner

To create a content type in Dynamic Content, you’d break this banner down into its component parts:

  • a background image
  • headline text
  • a subheading
  • call to action text
  • call to action URL

These component parts would be used to create a content type, you can think of this as a re-usable template for the banner. This template can then be used as many times as you want to create content, without any additional development.

For each content type your front end developers will write the rendering code and style sheets so that the content is responsive and looks great on any channel you support. This rendering code will also be used to provide a preview of the content within Dynamic Content, allowing your reviewers to be sure each content item meets their requirements before it goes live.

Creating and publishing content

Once content types are deployed, your users can start using them to create content. This is done from the production section of the Dynamic Content app. To create a new piece of content, the user just chooses the type of content to add and fills in the content editing form as shown below, adding images and video from their own media repository. The content editing form also applies your business rules, such as the maximum and minimum length of the copy text, defined as part of the content type.

Creating and editing content

Notice that a preview of the content is displayed, allowing reviewers to see exactly how it will appear when it goes live and at a range of device sizes. Once everyone is happy with the content it can be made available to whichever projects it was created for. In the case of this piece of banner content, it was created to be used as part of a sales promotion. To make it available to be scheduled for publication, the user would:

  • Associate it with the content drop for the big sale promotion. This would make the content available in the planning view. To do this the content is saved to an edition. This process is explained in much more detail in the planning user guide.
  • In the planning view, the user can then choose where the content should be delivered to. This banner might be intended for the home page, so it would be added to a slot that represents this location.

The image below shows the banner item added to a slot representing the home page.

Adding content to a slot

  • When the edition containing the content for the big sales promotion goes live, the banner content will be published and available to be displayed on the home page.

Content items can also be published directly from the Content Library. See the publishing content page for more details.

To find out more about events, editions and slots see the planning concepts page.

If you're a developer and want find out more about creating content types and consuming content, see the integration section.

To get started creating and editing content, go to the production user guide.

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