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Content management systems explained

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Most people who work on content in any capacity will know what a content management system (CMS) is; however, CMS has become a broad term with a bigger purpose, and many people might not fully understand the extent to what these systems are capable of today, what a modern CMS looks like, or how to choose the right one. We’ve developed a handy primer on what CMS offerings provide, how they need to evolve to help businesses digitally transform, and why Brightspot is the right partner for a CMS solution.

As the name suggests, a CMS is a system that manages content. More specifically, it’s a software application that allows users to collaborate on the creation, editing and production of digital content, such as web pages and blog posts. One of the key benefits of a content management system is that it makes it easy for any team member to share content without needing heavy support from IT. Content creators can use the CMS as a single control panel to define and select the building blocks for many actions, such as writing text or inserting pictures. In fact, a CMS has so many capabilities that it can run an entire website, though it can also be added onto an existing web system.

Content management systems are important to most organizations, and the market is only growing. However, since this technology is so critical and ingrained into existing business operations today, getting it right is paramount. Analyst firm IDC says that a modern CMS is the heart of a brand’s digital experience platform, but warns that it can also be the weak link. Meanwhile, a Content Marketing Institute survey offers clues to the pain points that organizations experience with their CMS, reporting that only 16% of the respondents feel that they have the right technology for content management and are using its full potential.

All of this points to a clear gap in understanding the extent of CMS solutions today, what a modern solution should look like integrated within the business, and how to choose the best CMS based on your organization’s unique needs and challenges.

Content management systems needs and features are evolving

There’s a wide variety of content management system offerings, but not all of them have adapted to our multi-device, user-centric world. Older CMS systems lead to many challenges, such as less ability to customize and adapt to new needs, more reliance on IT and design teams, and increased cost and time spent.

As people spend more time on a variety of screens, brands know that they have to deliver content across digital touchpoints, including web and mobile. The content also has to reach audiences around the globe in multiple languages. Beyond the endpoint, CMS systems are often held back by their lack of integration. As technology advancements such as AI and personalization proliferate, digital leads want to connect these capabilities with their CMS to streamline operations. A CMS that can easily integrate with other technology will enable—not restrict—their future innovations and offerings.

Discover some of the most powerful Brightspot CMS features

Intuitive and designed for the work, including rich-text editing, embeds, plus collaboration features that make teamwork work.
A robust set of tools to manage sites, content, users and permissions, workflows, languages and analytics.
Keyword-driven and comprehensive, filterable search and taxonomy features make folders a thing of the past.

Brightspot’s modern content management system meets customer needs

A significant percentage of the world's websites run on a handful of low-code, low-cost CMS platforms like WordPress that offer a number of quick out-of-the-box templates and tools. Yet, despite CMS proliferation, digital, editorial and marketing teams are often not getting what they need. In a 2019 survey, 42% of companies indicated that they don’t have the right technology to manage their content. Brightspot has sought to stand out by building a Content Business Platform that moves businesses forward, and doesn’t make publishing and digital teams compromise.

Brightspot provides the CMS technology for major media organizations and consumer brands, and its solution contains elements that you should look for when choosing a CMS:

  • When switching to Brightspot, you can replatform and launch quickly, in as little as 90 days. Many CMS systems take over a year to implement, and in that time your needs could change. 
  • Brightspot provides strong core functionality with the ability to extend. If you need a particular new feature at any point, you can easily add it. 
  • Being able to manage and edit assets is a key part of the content process. With Brightspot, much of this can be done within the CMS. Brightspot also has a strong search function that makes it easy to find any content or asset without limitations.
  • Brightspot’s CMS makes it easy to publish to any channel, with out-of-the-box support for mobile, OTT video, podcasts, Facebook, Apple News and AMP.
  • Permissions and workflows make defining ownership and status of various tasks more efficient in the CMS. 

Content management systems are a key part of brands’ technology stack, yet it can be challenging for buyers to know how to choose the right one that will also evolve with changing customer needs. In the end, true flexibility that allows you to build how you want to build, integrate with existing systems so you’re not starting from scratch and define your own workflows for how your business likes to work is key. Brightspot has created a CMS that does just this for organizations and publishers to go above and beyond today as they adapt for the future.

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