Content is still “king,” and serves as the primary fuel for many marketing, brand storytelling, and demand gen initiatives. Today's publishers have more hungry mouths and minds to feed than ever—from social media and email campaigns, to the quest for better paid advertising and SEO link juice. Both the volume and variety of content continue to increase, and, like Big Data, velocity must also increase. But while content continues to be valuable, the duration of that value has not increased.
All of this means brands must publish a lot of content—and often. And to do so like a well-oiled machine, your content management system (CMS) must be well-designed to sustain this kind of volume.
The Need to Publish More Content, and Faster
The challenges of publishing content shift over time, but the one constant is the thirst for more. In every edition of the annual “Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends,” published by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, marketers say they’re going to create more content than the previous year.
More. Every year.
Content may be king in the marketing mix, but volume is king in the content marketing and publishing world. Effective content centers on customers and their pain points, while managing to inform and engage. It strives to attract rather than interrupt people, effectively driving engagement and natural interest.
Volume is now a key attribute of successful content publishing, as brands hustle to keep up with the perpetual thirst for more. And growth in high-volume content is likely to accelerate even further as more companies adopt high volume strategies, and increase the amount of short form, video, and long tail content.
A recent post by BuzzSumo points out that longer form content gets higher average shares but the top most shared content is made up of short form content. “In a world of content shock you will get less individual attention for your posts. This is simple math at one level, if content production outstrips growth in social sharing, we will see shares per article decrease on average. However, it does not mean content marketing is not a sustainable strategy. It is ultimately about return on investment. If you can lower content production and distribution costs and engage a small audience which converts you can still achieve a return on your investment.”
Publishing at High-Volume Starts with Your CMS
While increased content can lead to increased traffic and leads, it doesn’t necessarily result in a positive ROI. Content quality matters a great deal and producing and distributing this type of content simply and consistently can be difficult and costly without the right system in place.
In an article for Forbes, “3 Content Marketing Trends That Will Rule 2018,” contributor Brian Sutter points out that this perpetually increasing volume and velocity will require more widespread use of content management software, a fact that has been affirmed by our customers here at Brightspot. When seeking out a new CMS, it’s important to identify a solution that allows you to personalize and deliver content on all relevant consumption channels, while streamlining your publishing process and and alleviating burdens from IT.
The Power of Personalization
Consumers can’t possibly read all of the content they come across. They must be increasingly selective, which means prioritizing personalized content. Personalization has the power to make the relationship between customer and brand truly real-time and relevant. Brands are increasingly on the hook for personalizing customers’ experiences the way Amazon recommends purchases and Spotify recommends songs.
Personalization is impacting the offline world as well, with 65% of consumers saying they are more likely to shop at a retailer in-store or online that knows their purchase history (source). Experimentation platform developer Optimizely found that an individualized homepage led to a 1.5% increase in engagement, 113% increase in conversions to solutions page, and 117% increase in conversions on the account creation call to action.
Automatically including the first name of the recipient in an email blast was once cutting edge. These days, marketing and communications have moved so far past that basic level. Modern content management systems can now enable much more sophisticated personalization of content streams across any channel for more effective audience engagement. Brands can deliver personalized content by using diverse and comprehensive sets of information, including audience demographics and behaviors, location, and the devices they use to access the web. This makes it easy to segment your audience and automatically deliver content to the right person, at the right time, in the right context.
Effective CMS Publishing Workflows
This is how it went for a product marketing manager in the early 2000s:
- Submit website changes to the web development team
- Wait for the job to be slotted into the IT work schedule
- Once complete, review for errors
- If and when errors were discovered, or a team wanted additional changes, the process would begin all over again
Today, CMS tools are available to spare marketers from dealing with this level of inefficiency. But there’s still a large continuum between the struggles of the past and the highly effective CMS publishing systems of today that have the ability to fully empower your team. So, what exactly does a good publishing CMS need to do, and what does that all look like?
- Easy to Use: There’s simply no reason any contributor should ever again have to take multiple days out of the office to attend a training to learn to post on a CMS publishing system. Systems should be easy to use and intuitive, enabling users to get up to speed quickly. Additionally, these tools should be backed by a strong customer service team, complete with excellent documentation that can be referenced whenever questions inevitably arise.
- Empower Editors and Developers: An overloaded IT department results in bottleneck after bottleneck, inhibiting forward momentum. The phenomenon can occur when IT has complete control over all computing tools, compounded by ineffective applications and protocols. In efforts to move forward, employees are forced to simply work around that IT department. Look for CMS publishing tools where IT isn’t forced to manage things like server installation, provisioning licenses, or actually deploying your content updates. Free your content publishing team from a reliance on IT, while also removing unnecessary burdens from your IT team.
- Powerful & Future-Proof: Yes, you need to easily get your content published, and without barriers from IT. But you need more than mere publishing. Your team of authors and editors should be able to quickly deliver any multimedia content to any device, syndicate across partner channels, customize content per region, and much more. Look for robust functionality such as role-based users, advanced scheduling, content personalization, and easy integration with your various content channels, such as YouTube and Twitter.
Be wary of CMS publishing tools that were built exclusively for web delivery. They may be rigid, and still geared towards fulfilling that solitary purpose. Tools built for only one type of distribution could be tweaked, but the result could be a cobbled-together, Frankenstein-like monster that fails to effectively meet your myriad content distribution needs.
Why Architecture Matters to CMS Publishing
Companies need to publish quickly to keep audiences engaged—they need to be able to distribute their content everywhere and anywhere. One way to future-proof your digital presence is to opt for a decoupled or headless CMS. No matter which of these two styles of architecture you chose (learn more about the difference between headless and decoupled), both give you the ability to deliver content in its raw form to any frontend design, anywhere via web services and API’s. This makes distribution to many channels easier and ensures that no matter what new device or platform emerges your content will be ready. Find out if a headless CMS is right for your business here.
Brands must publish a lot of content, often. And this requires CMS publishing tools specifically designed to enable this perpetually increasing volume of content, at high velocity, and with great variety. Look for tools that transcend merely solving your basic needs today, but will evolve along with you and enhance your ability to innovate moving forward.