Structured and Unstructured Content Types: The Quick Guide

Structured and Unstructured Content Types: The Quick Guide

Structured and unstructured data is often a technical conversation. However, these terms apply to content types as well. Most content is unstructured, which may be a shocker. We think of all the purposeful formatting and structuring of our content. Because it doesn’t fit into a column or row, it’s unstructured.

So, what do enterprise content teams need to know about structured and unstructured content? Keep reading to learn why it matters!

Structured content refers to content in a database that has units of table, row, column, and words. The type of data is only text, inclusive of letters, numbers, punctuation, and other font-generated characters. The source of structured content includes that from business systems (e.g., CRMs and other software), either through automation or human entry.

To retrieve structured content, you would use field-limited searching. Its purpose is typically for reports or automation triggers. An example would be searching for properties based on filters on real estate websites. All the content around these properties has structure, as it’s part of a database.

Unstructured data is not easily translatable to databases. Its units are files, paragraphs, sentences, tables, words, and graphic elements. There are more data types within unstructured, such as text and its formatting and positioning, as well as graphic elements and their positioning.

The source of this content is human production, not automation. It’s everything you create as a content team. To find unstructured data files, you can use metadata searches (more on this later!). Its objective is to be viewable and interpretable by humans.

Watch the video below for a short intro to structured and unstructured content.

As noted, the content you produce doesn’t have standardization and won’t easily flow into those roles and columns of databases. As a result, it can be hard to search, which can impact your ability to locate, update, or repurpose it, all of which are important in content marketing.

The amount of content you create and its innate attribute of being unstructured require you to be aware of several things.

As a primer to better management of your content, regardless of its structure, you’ll want to remember these takeaways.

Next, we’ll dive deeper into metadata management.

With a robust metadata management strategy and a system to support it, managing unstructured content is simpler. Here’s a primer on how that works.

Metadata is data that provides context or information about other data. It’s not a reflection of the actual content but a way to classify, discover, and identify.

With lots of assets, effectively organizing them is difficult. Metadata eliminates this, which is essential for content operations.

Metadata tags describe digital assets, improving findability and usability. It’s essential for unstructured data because it:

Your content production velocity will likely only increase as the demand for it rises. That means more unstructured data. Having a metadata management strategy and the technology to support it enables greater efficiency and productivity.

So, what can you do with metadata management of unstructured content?

When you use metadata to manage unstructured content types, you can expect these benefits:

So, where does all this activity take place? You’ll be able to manage unstructured content and its metadata most effectively with a content marketing platform.

The Divvy platform includes a library to store all your assets, tagging architecture, and other metadata management capabilities. The design of this framework is for content marketers, so it fits your workflows and needs. Other solutions won’t have this custom feel.

You can view these features and more by starting a free trial today.

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