Organizations of all types and sizes have focused in on content over the last several years. Changes in consumer demands and technology necessitate a change in the approach to the development, marketing, and management of content. Businesses that keep their finger on the pulse of emerging content management trends will keep pace with the fluctuating world of content. Innovative technologies will continue to affect how organizations manage content in 2019.
Content management systems (CMS) are a business solution that allows brands to not only control the look and feel of their website but also to create and publish dynamic content. These systems provide tools that help organizations manage their digital information with minimal technical knowledge. A CMS can automate the publishing process and add predefined functionality to a website. A powerful CMS creates an organized, updated site that offers users a seamless experience.
Easy customization options, quality improvement in effective content management and collaboration, and continuous content updates are some of the main forces propelling the growth of the content management market. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and an increasing demand for personalization are also driving changes and development in content management. Coming up, we’ll examine a handful of the trends that will continue to impact content management practices.
Growing Content Teams and Freelance Content
The days of marketing teams with a lone content expert are behind us. Organizations are recognizing the low-cost, high return combination afforded by persistent, high-quality content. They are now using content marketing to increase conversion opportunities, grow audience size, drive traffic to their sites, and more, requiring businesses to embrace expanded content teams.
Year to year, companies are planning more content efforts. Consequently, scaling and hiring skilled content writers, editors, and strategists have become a priority. Content experts will find the job market in 2019 and beyond to be a friendly landscape as organizations invest earnestly in content resources for their brand.
Businesses are also finding an increase in talented freelancers as flexibility becomes a more desirable component of today’s work environment. Often more cost efficient for brands with content-heavy websites, freelance contractors are using platforms like Upwork and Flexjobs to showcase their skills and connect with companies across markets. The high-demand need for content experts allows freelancers to have more control over their schedule, workload, and work location and provides companies with the flexibility to establish less permanent employment expenses.
The Incorporation of Artificial Intelligence
New forms of technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language are being integrated into every part of society. The upsurge of chatbots and voice search are not only becoming a part of everyday life. Chatbots not only benefit consumers by responding to their requests quickly and accurately, but they also benefit businesses by freeing up employees to engage in more meaningful customer interactions. In addition, these technologies are continuously advancing in their ability to meet our needs. For example, Amazon Echo has seen an increase in available skills from approximately 1,000 skills in late 2015 to more than 30,000 skills in 2018.
There are some practical applications for AI within CMS dealing mainly with how AI can improve the storage and accessibility of content. As the volume of content production increases, AI will prove especially useful in the collection, organization, and management of all the information being created. The recent collaboration between Google and Box is an example – images will be automatically tagged as they are uploaded and an image recognition tool will be able to store images according to the text and other information they contain in their coding.
The incorporation of AI technologies benefits content management systems in additional ways. The technological analysis of customer data takes the guesswork out of determining the kinds of content to upload. An AI-driven CMS will predict which content is most relevant for each customer as well as which channel will most effectively deliver the content. AI technologies will also provide insight into potential conversion rates of given content before it is published.
These rapidly developing technologies will not eliminate the need for humans, they will simply redefine the interactions between staff and technology. The expertise of writers, content strategy experts, and web developers will still be needed to make sure the AI and chatbots maintain the voice of the brand.
In order to deliver a more personalized experience, businesses will need to adapt the ways in which they interact with customers. An Accenture study on e-commerce found that 75% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that recognize them by name, are familiar with their purchase history, and can suggest relevant purchases based on that history. Consumers also want to have more control over the data companies are gathering in order to provide such service (see articles on GDPR and CCPA).
Companies such as Echo and Amazon have been offering personalized experiences for some time. This has created a customer expectation that all brands should provide individualized results based on consumer location, interests, and more. Social platforms like Instagram and Facebook are also utilizing personalization strategies to boost conversions.
AI is at the nucleus of the personalization trend. To deliver what a user needs based on key factors such as location or past online history, businesses will need to collect higher levels of consumer data including search keywords, on-site browsing data, and explicit, personal information. The AI-driven CMS are able to quickly and efficiently collect, organize, and analyze the mass of information to subsequently provide users with relevant content to match their preferences.
It should be noted that particular industries may not be well suited for such personalized experiences. Healthcare related business and providers are on a slippery slope when it comes to the types of data they may collect and use. Regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPPA) fiercely protect patient data.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
A user-friendly CMS allows companies to maximize their users’ digital experience without stressing out about the technology behind the ability to deliver content to multiple platforms beyond the company website. A CMS is not only cost-efficient but also provide the ability to edit content remotely or on-the-go which is becoming more of an expectation with the globally expanding business world and utilization of freelance employees. There are several options of types of CMS: cloud-based, open-source, and headless.
A major trend over the last year, the use of cloud-based CMS will continue to grow. Cloud-based CMS save time and resources through a language-neutral development approach. As the name of the CMS suggests, they are also accessible from everywhere versus being installed on a network-only solution.
Open-source CMS do not require a license. Some examples of popular open-source CMS are Squarespace, WordPress, or Joomla. These CMS often rely on users for the creation of plugins and other adaptive functionality. This helps keep costs low and makes the CMS options more appealing for smaller, low-budget businesses. The growth of open-source platforms has slowed down in the last year, most likely due to the growth of newer content infrastructure systems such as headless CMS.
Wikipedia defines headless CMS as, “a back-end only content management system (CMS) built from the ground up as a content repository that makes content accessible via a RESTful API for display on any device.” These CMS feature powerful digital asset management and taxonomy capabilities and facilitate personalization options across multiple channels and destinations.
People are increasingly crafting and consuming content via mobile devices. Many companies consider headless CMS the perfect option as it allows them to distribute content on all things digital from desktops to smartwatches. In order to be competitive and see maximum conversion rates, brands need to deliver content not just via their website or blog but across multiple channels, especially on mobile devices. Due to the fact that headless CMS provide separate environments for content management and content delivery, they are an excellent option. They provide the flexibility of pulling content from one source and publishing it on multiple platforms.
Choosing the best content management system for your organization is an important decision as it can transform how you use content to deliver meaningful customer experiences. There is no single best CMS – it has to support your digital marketing efforts and different businesses have different needs. Here are a few examples of the more popular CMS options:
Squarespace offers amazing simplicity and allows users with minimal technical knowledge to launch a website with minimal effort. It is a hosted platform and subsequently allows you to scale-up when needed and handle multitudes of requests.
Hubspot offers easy editing, a variety of marketing features, built-in SEO, responsive design, and more. It is a comprehensive all-in-one platform.
Wordpress is an easy to use platform with open-source flexibility. The millions of plugins offered allow you to add to your website almost anything you can come up with. While not an all-in-one marketing platform, there are integrations available for it on a number of marketing automation platforms.
Don’t be afraid to grow your content team or invest in freelance writers to create the volumes of content that are necessary to increase your conversion rates throughout the buyer’s funnel.
Educate yourself regarding AI and the varies areas into which AI technology is being incorporated. Invest and integrate when it makes sense and will help your organization.
Respond to consumer demands for personalization. Utilize technologies to best distribute the time and effort of your organization.
Research CMS options and choose the one that works best for your brand. Don’t skimp on the training to ensure you get as much out of the investment as possible.
We’ve only uncovered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content management, trends in the field, and system options. The content industry is continuously shifting and new technologies will bring out new trends and changes on a regular basis. That being said, content creation and sharing will continue to be an integral part of businesses across industries.
Keep an eye on the latest trends in your area to understand how new CMS features can help your team create, organize, and store content. A CMS only provides a positive return on your investment when it makes it easier for your developers and marketers to handle content and offers consumers a higher-quality user experience.
Wondering how you can up your content game? Need more information or guidance on which CMS might work best for your business? Let us help you figure out those next steps! Contact the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing for a free consultation.