Know your Web Content Management System
Today, we have a mammoth amount of data of content on the internet - in the order of terabytes and gigabytes. The other day, I was searching for a continental restaurant in a popular website, and I was amazed to see that the content is presented in so many ways! They have screenshot images from the menu, price list, and pictures of the food items, ambience, as well as user ratings and user reviews! Most of this content comes from the users itself - yet the content is so well managed! Amazing! This intrigued my thought more and more on this topic, and it was mind blowing when I thought about how the companies today use their websites to share information with their customers. Take the social media sites, for example - they would have photos, comments, likes, articles, albums, replies, profiles, PDF uploads and so many things! It all depends how that gigantic content is managed, the UI and how users are comfortable with the interface! How quick one can navigate, how 'light' are the pages, how quick upload/download takes place and how relevant or updated is the content ...
The show is not only concentrated in these sectors today! Even companies like automotives, retail, banks, pharmaceuticals, and high-tech manufacturers are in the fight to present their customers an interactive and informative website where they can search, compare, select and buy their preferred products. The web content generally comes in the form of articles, posters, videos, brochures, PDF uploads (POV, White Paper), blogs etc. Each multinational company has to manage today thousands of documents online, promote them through necessary channels, upload them via some Web Content Management System (xCMS) and delete/remove them when the content is obsolete.
The obvious question that arises is how the organizations are managing this content through a web content management system? What is it? Going by Wikipedia, "A content management system (Web Content Management System) is a bundled or stand-alone application to create, deploy, manage and store content on Web pages. Web content includes text and embedded graphics, photos, video, audio, and code (e.g., for applications) that displays content or interacts with the user". Let us explore further.
To maintain the xCMS, the primary role in the backstage team is that of a Content Strategist. He will be responsible for authoring, uploading, editing and deleting content as relevant. He works closely with the CMS Administrator who is the authority for giving access and controls to users based on functionalities. For example, the CMS Admin will give edit rights of the highest order to Content Strategist, approval rights to the Content Approvers, and restricted edit rights or only view rights to the Users as appropriate. The Content Approvers are generally the business heads or the marketing heads of the different units in the organization who would give permissions to publish content based on the marketing and promotion strategy of their online content. The Users are third party members, who are able to edit (provide feedback etc.) or only view depending on how interactive the website is for its customers.
From a business consulting perspective, it is very important to define roles in managing the web content for a successful promotional campaign and enjoy great digital customer experience. It is more so important, however, to define the process and schema of activities within the xCMS to meet the expectations of today's digital customers. Key considerations are to be kept in mind:
- One of the key activities within xCMS is 'Authoring Content' - the content in any form (html page, PDF, audio, video etc.) need to be authored and converted into the specific format before publishing. Authoring is the process to manage the content support, content form, type, dimensions, style, attached content (images, posters), tracking, versioning, etc.
- 'Publishing Content' should be aimed for the right web page, scheduled date and time, and provides the Content Strategist preview and notifications or alerts regarding unfitted image, duplicate names, content expiration, accessibility etc.
- For multinationals with heavy website content, it is very important to categorize the webpages and landing pages according to its product or service offerings into several pages depending upon target customers to foster navigability. 'Segmentation & Targeting' becomes very important in xCMS to define rules of promotion during digital campaigns, target appropriate content on the right channel etc.
- The 'Workflow Management' within the organization for publishing content becomes very important for IP related protocols and timely go-to-market. All the activities within the CMS schema is effectively managed and run by a suitable workflow design. It enables the team for automatic notifications for approvals, quicker routing of approvals, specific escalations, quick review and specific modifications based on comments, view and expedite content status in workflows.
- 'User Management' is also very important for a targeted content to be effective and creating the right UI according to user segments. Setting the right authentication rules, rights management, security audit and tracking, admin management becomes very important for running xCMS effectively and ensure filtered content and adhere to IP rules.
- A successful xCMS must not only ensure perfect content aimed at the right customers, but needs to gauge its success with best-in-class digital reporting. 'Analytics Support' becomes necessary for the firms to extract site view reports, do predictive analysis and forecast website traffic, track prospects and customers and manage dashboards for key decision making.
Thus, a good xCMS business plan must have the following schema in place for effectively managing content and enabling a world-class digital customer experience.
In a recent consulting experience at a cable TV provider, we had a vision of how we can achieve a successful xCMS implementation by identifying the key personas and laying out the right schema of activities according to the requirements. Did you have a similar experience or viewpoint on Web Content Management System? It would be great to listen to your thoughts as well!