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Content Creators are taking control

In order to optimise a brand’s website and ensure focus is kept on the customer, content creators need to concentrate on their core role – their own creativity and developing a site’s style!

The daily and sometimes cumbersome mechanics of publishing and managing content can be a distraction from this goal. In essence, a quality Content Management...

The daily and sometimes cumbersome mechanics of publishing and managing content can be a distraction from this goal. In essence, a quality Content Management System (CMS) is an enabler – a system that provides greater control over the capabilities of multitasking and multisourcing information. It should give content creators the freedom to engage customers.

User experience should be easy

Enterprise technology is typically perceived as complex and difficult to use, often requiring in-depth training. Indeed, such complexity is sometimes seen as an asset – a demonstration that the solution has diverse functionality. However, technology should make life easier not more challenging – and this is especially true of content management.

Content creators know that the key to good copy is simplicity – it should be clear and easy to comprehend for anyone in a company’s potential customer base. This has a clear parallel in CMS – the technology should be easy to use by teams across the company – not just those working in IT. If content creators can’t upload, alter and reorder web assets with immediate effect, then audiences may miss out on important updates and offers. If content teams have to rely on IT for the more complicated tasks then such delays will be even more severe.

The situation is often complicated further by the fact that organisations, and especially those at enterprise level, typically use several content management systems. Recent research by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) has shown that 72 per cent of larger organisations have three or more content management systems, and as many as 25 per cent have five or more. Often enough, the different content or asset management systems are not integrated, meaning that different parts of a company are unable to republish or share content effectively, causing inconsistencies, duplicate content and work.

User experience drives customer experience

Usually the two most important sets of stakeholders for any company are its customers and its staff. The two are often more interlinked than many people think. For example, if they have a great working life, employees can make excellent brand ambassadors helping to create more customers. In a similar way, the experience of content creators is reflected in the content they produce and therefore the experiences of the customers themselves.

Bain & Company have reported that 80 per cent of businesses believe that they provide a great customer experience, but only 8 per cent of customers feel the same way. The speed and convenience of online interaction means that customers are more fickle and attention-starved than ever. They are regularly on the move and viewing content through mobile devices. This means that content has to be agile and constantly changing, placing even more demands on creators.

A well-designed CMS inspires better performance from content creators and developers which results in greater customer impact. This means offering a highly intuitive and efficient central editing environment; flexible workflows that support existing processes, but also make it easy to change to new practices that improve productivity and efficiency; and the ability to easily acquire, repurpose and publish content in many forms and languages, from multiple sources and with consistent branding.

A hugely important element here is allowing creators to view content in its final form – as if they were customers themselves. Editors should to be able to view content with one click and see how it is being displayed to a particular target group, at a particular point in time, on a particular device or based on the location. This quickly integrates the user experience with that of the customer and helps ensure the content is truly ready before it is published.

Putting creators first

‘Content is king’ is the cornerstone of modern marketing and engagement. However, content creators are sometimes an afterthought in CMS development. By putting creators at the forefront of content technology strategy, organisations are effectively putting their customers first. So when choosing a new CMS, companies should consider simplicity and intuitiveness – essentially anything that makes it easy to use for someone without a background in IT. Content creators should be able to spend their energies creating and not getting frustrated with complicated systems.

Tim Jenkins Country Sales Director, e-Spirit in the UK