Filter helped the National Geographic Channel migrate and optimize a high volume of content using a new publishing platform.
Struggling with an unfamiliar CMS, the company needed help managing the tools and workflows surrounding their website redesign.
Filter built a team of professional freelancers to transfer and enhance existing content, create unique templates, and generate new content.
Our collaboration resulted in a dynamic new site along with improved workflows and easy-to-use mechanisms for tracking and reporting.
For decades, the National Geographic Channel has been one of the world’s most popular and respected sources for all things Earth. Its signature, striking visuals take audiences’ breath away – and, of course, its digital presence has to do the same. National Geographic's Digital Media Content team translates the channel’s hundreds of television shows into rich, immersive online experiences. For years the site had been organized and updated using a custom-built content management system; but when the Digital Media Content team determined the site was ready for an upgrade, they opted for a different platform. With an abundance of new features and capabilities, the new CMS was full of potential… but proved difficult to implement. Migrating such a large volume of content – using a complex and unfamiliar tool – was more than their internal team could fit into their busy schedules. To navigate this unmapped terrain, they would need the support and insight of an expert guide. That’s where Filter came in. National Geographic asked us to learn the ins and outs of their new CMS, and to use it to migrate thousands of content elements including articles, descriptions, captions, video clips, and still images. In addition, we’d be assisting in rendering templates for the new environment. Having assisted National Geographic with a previous site migration, we already had a foundational understanding of the company’s brand and content goals. We knew a team of professional freelancers was the solution National Geographic needed. With our intrepid crew of Filterati, we came, we saw, and we conquered – taming a wild workflow and facilitating a smooth and successful website redesign.
Our journey began with a trip to National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Filter team met with the company's Digital Media Content team as well the developer of the new CMS, kicking off a deep, technical dive into the new publishing platform. We developed a comprehensive understanding of the tool and the specific ways in which they needed to leverage it. This knowledge guided us as we designed a customized workflow within the CMS. We assembled a team of content publishing experts, each chosen for their attention to detail and their ability to quickly master new tools and techniques. Thoroughly trained and ready for the challenge, these digital artisans set about transferring and integrating approximately 3,000 pieces of content spanning over 80 National Geographic series. With our team handling a large portion of content migration and production tasks, in-house content managers could now spend more of their time on higher-level editorial work. The Filter team built the website in layers, setting up new templates for each series. To do so, we had to route disparate material via unique hub package components and place the corresponding images within specific programs – a much more complicated process than standard “drag and drop.” This hard work paid off, yielding a variety of different visual styles that showcase each program. Utilizing the project management software JIRA, the Filter team spent six months migrating and refining existing content. In addition, we created volumes of new content to complement what was already in place. We also provided National Geographic with enhanced workflows and easy-to-use mechanisms for tracking and reporting – all designed to support the long-term effectiveness of the company’s content production efforts.
The National Geographic Channel now boasts a stunning new website featuring countless pieces of expertly published, top-quality content. CMS optimization, efficient workflows, and faster time to market helped National Geographic meet its content goals and establish a strong strategy for the adventures yet to come.