Technical content has become an integral part of the B2B buying process. No longer just post-sale material, today’s buyers are searching for tutorials and technical details long before they even talk to a sales person. In fact, 45 percent of B2B buyers say they’re spending more time researching purchases, according to a recent DemandGen Report.
In addition, 79 percent say there are between one and six people involved in their purchasing process. This means your technical content has to be as impactful, discoverable, and consistent in messaging as your marketing content — and even live in harmony on the same pages of your website. However, in many organizations, technical writers and marketing authors never cross paths. They create and publish content in separate content management systems, running the risk that the customer experience for technical and marketing content won’t align.
"With more and more B2B buyers researching online before making purchase decisions, it’s not enough to make your technical or support content available online. It’s about offering the rich, seamless experience customers expect before and after purchase,” said Rohit Bansal, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe. “Organizations today need a solution that unifies their content strategy by bringing marketing and technical content onto the same platform and ensures that customers have a consistent experience pre- and post-sale."
Here’s how a component content management system (CCMS) can help you pull your content strategy together and speed customers through the buying journey.
What is a CCMS?
A component content management system is a CMS that manages content at the component level rather than the document level. Components can be images, tables or text, and can range from a single word to multiple pages of content. Because these components are stored in a single repository and can be reused within and across documents, a CCMS ensures that content is accurate and consistent no matter where it’s used.
Although designed to streamline technical communications, modern-day component content management systems take these basics a step further to help organizations manage content across other business functions. XML Documentation for Adobe Experience Manager is an example of a CCMS that allows both technical writers and business users to capture, create, publish, store and manage component-based content in a centralized location.
With a single source of content at the granular level, the system makes it easier to consolidate content formats through content ingestion frameworks, manage structured content, collaborate and review across the organization, and publish to multiple channels like web, mobile, PDF, Responsive HTML5, eBook format, chatbots, embedded help and others. In short, it’s a CCMS that helps you unify your content strategy.
This means customers get a more consistent experience across marketing, help and customer support content. And IT teams don’t have to waste resources managing multiple content management systems.
Modular Content Speeds Time to Market
The same content may be used in many different ways across an organization, and for external audiences. But if that content sits in silos, repurposing it becomes costly and inefficient.
Take product safety information, for example. Everyone from product management and regulatory teams to legal and translation teams work to provide safety information to customers. However, this typically means copying and pasting to fit their desired delivery format.
While training might use a portion of the information to create tutorials, support might use a different portion to produce a setup guide, and so on. With so much reorganization and rewriting from different business units, eventually the content drifts away from the main messaging. And without one source of truth, keeping up with the latest versions stored in scattered documents becomes a nightmare.
With the help of XML-based DITA standard, a component content management system supports content reuse by helping you build chunks of content and images, and storing that content in one repository, apart from its formatting. This means both technical writers and marketing authors can pull those chunks of content, arrange them in any way they like, and publish to any channel without reformatting every time, copying and pasting, or worrying about messy code. And they can reuse that content across technical and marketing web pages.
This also means that when someone updates a piece of content, it’s updated everywhere, so there’s no hunting for content to update every occurrence, or wondering about where the latest versions live.
A Single Platform Smooths the Customer Journey
With technical and marketing content on the same platform, you can easily deliver a more cohesive brand story to customers throughout the entire customer journey — all on the same site pages.
Here’s how it works for the team at Palo Alto Networks, an Adobe customer: Technical authors write content — both structured and unstructured—using the tools and format they’re most comfortable with. They then quickly convert that content to DITA and publish it to their CMS, Adobe Experience Manager Sites, so it sits alongside marketing and product information on their site. That means visitors have access to all of the right information in the moment they need it.
And because DITA makes it easy to classify and tag components, visitors to their site can search and find content easily, further improving the overall customer experience across the customer journey.
In addition to publishing rich technical content that is consistent with marketing content, organizations are using component content management systems to more efficiently manage their content, or as an end-to-end solution for creating and publishing technical documentation. With XML Documentation for Adobe Experience Manager, you can also migrate to structured content more easily, and consolidate legacy authoring tools or formats into a single structured authoring format for more streamlined content creation.
Modernize Your Content, Strengthen Customer Connections
The best customer experiences start with the best content. That’s why it’s important to treat your content just as you would any other valuable business asset. By using a single CMS to create, deliver and maintain both technical and marketing content, you can provide a unified customer experience, increase satisfaction and loyalty, and increase your ROI.
Learn more about how XML Documentation for Adobe Experience Manager — an enterprise-class CCMS — can help you unify your content strategy.