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Structured Content Management Is a Marketer's Best Friend

5 minute read
Jake Athey avatar
Marketers need to create experiences that seamlessly reflect a consumer's interactions across all channels.

For years, marketers have been tasked with creating strategies to break through the noise in today’s information-overloaded world. As a result, new channels and mediums of communication have risen, and nearly every marketer knows content is king in creating a stellar customer experience.

Consumer behavior continues to change, and new digital innovations proliferate; for example, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) today and concepts such as Web3 and the metaverse that are more forward-looking. Customers are engaging with brands and businesses beyond traditional audio and visual content. Meaning, marketers will need to create experiences that seamlessly reflect a consumer's interactions across all channels.

So how can you ensure you’re prepared to deliver innovative customer experiences and stay ahead of evolving customer expectations? The answer is getting your content and customer data to interact with, update, and trigger personalized events in real time across all channels. And, for this, structured content management is key. This means structuring all forms of content so that it’s cataloged, described, defined and protected in a way that it can be reused, repurposed and reimagined.

Content Is Only as Good as Data on Which It Relies

Today’s marketers are not only working with images, they’re also managing videos, infographics, 360º photography, and so much more in order to nurture consumer interest and engagement. But while your teams surely have the knowledge, skills and creative talent to deliver the experience customers desire, they often lack the robust tools and technology to manage all this content.

A digital asset management (DAM) system is the best solution for storing, organizing, and managing a comprehensive content library. With one central location, both internal teams and external partners can quickly access the assets they need. Search tools powered by asset metadata make it easy to find the most current version of any file.

And with the system’s analytics tools, you can understand who is using which assets — and then use this data to inform budget and strategy decisions. As the central source of truth for all of your assets, a DAM system streamlines workflows, controls who can access which files, and encourages repurposing and reuse. Without these tools, marketers run the risk of a content strategy that doesn’t maximize their best-performing content.

Related Article: The Blind Spot of DAM Vendor Selection

A Marketer’s Need for Speed

Consumers continue to achieve record spending online, and now more than ever, a successful customer experience requires brands and marketers to prioritize winning on the “digital shelf.” In other words, every channel that promotes or sells your products online must consistently be stocked with high-quality, relevant and personalized content. Remaining competitive and winning on the digital shelf requires a flexible, scalable content solution that allows you to rapidly and constantly deploy content across these channels.

From mobile apps and digital signage to smartwatches, smart TVs and technologies not yet available — there is an expanding number of platforms across an omnichannel experience. And since no single content management system (CMS) can adequately render assets for such a wide variety of channels, many digital teams are choosing to use a headless CMS to deliver content to any front-end experience more effectively.

While a traditional CMS stores everything from site content and images to site code, the content is tied in with other site elements and can’t be reused. Instead, it has to be created from scratch each time — and marketers have realized that such systems are inefficient in supporting their need to execute with agility.  

Learning Opportunities

A headless CMS enables marketers to create content through an editor, which then stores the content in an API-enabled standalone database. This allows content to be created once and then reused repeatedly as needed across a host of applications and touch points, exponentially reducing the time it takes to deliver content.

Related Article: Content Teams: Beware the Headless CMS

Innovating With or Without IT

Historically, businesses have needed to have teams of developers available to support marketers by designing digital experiences, typically using JavaScript frameworks such as React or Vue. But this approach makes marketers reliant on developers and IT to write code and deploy applications. This process can be slow and expensive, which limits the flexibility and freedom marketers have to deliver amazing customer experiences and react quickly to changing market conditions.

Now, marketers who want greater control over creating digital experiences are embracing low-code or no-code development using tools that don’t require programming skills. They’re also favoring headless content management systems, which allow them to deploy content across platforms or channels quickly and consistently. With more control over the digital content serving as the lifeblood to these experiences, marketers can flex their creative muscles to engage customer segments in targeted and personalized ways.

The Future of Innovative Digital Experiences

The digital landscape will only continue to change, but building a structured content strategy doesn’t have to be elusive. Interest in headless content management systems and low-code, no-code tools is taking off due largely to the growing array of channels, touch points and interfaces upon which digital experiences need to be presented.

Together, these two trends mean marketers can be freed up from managing content to being more hands-on in customer experience creation. By perpetually analyzing your existing content assets, leveraging useful tools like a DAM solution, and adopting a hybrid approach to delivering customer experiences, marketers can ensure they are ready to support any number of new and emerging digital channels.

About the author

Jake Athey

Jake Athey is VP of marketing and customer experience at Widen, where he helps organizations realize their maximum marketing potential by communicating the value of Digital Asset Management (DAM) as part of core brand and marketing channel strategies. An integral member of the content strategy team, he oversees and manages all of the moving parts of content strategy, brand consistency, sales and more.

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