Nowadays, every business needs a website, an ecommerce store, or a blog. To do this, you need to manage and control your site’s content, design, and functionality on a regular basis. However, doing this manually requires hardcore coding knowledge and technical expertise, for which not all SMBs have the budget or the staff.
Content management software can help you keep your site organized and up to date by allowing you to structure, plan, and publish fresh content dynamically without touching any underlying code.
Such platforms often integrate well with customer relationship management (CRM) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, marketing software, and social media platforms to capture leads and organize them, publish posts, and drive more conversions.
We have created this buyers guide to help you understand content management software with all the essential information you need to choose the right tool.
Here's what we'll cover:
What is content management software?
Content management software are solutions used to author, organize, and store digital content for a business. It allows users to collaborate in the creation, editing, and production of web pages and blog posts without the need for specialized technical knowledge, such as coding.
The system can also help store all of your web content in one place, assist in creating dynamic web pages, and allow for quick and easy business updates to be made, making a website as effective and secure as possible.
There are two different types of content management software solutions, which are as follows:
- Enterprise content management (ECM) software: ECM systems are designed to manage all of the processes within the content life cycle, from creation and collaboration, revision and review to publication and archiving, and even promotion.
- Web content management software (WCMS): Such software provides an organization with a way to manage digital information on a website through creating and maintaining content without prior knowledge of web programming or other technical knowledge.
Content publishing window in WordPress Software (Source)
Common features of content management software
Most content management software tools have the following features in common:
||Share drafts and documents with teammates to review during each phase of content creation and management. This allows multiple users to work on the same file from different locations at the same time.
|Content publishing options
||Publish content digitally by grouping, structuring, and delivering content to the organization’s website.
||Capture, track, and store documents such as blog articles, PDFs, word processing files, and digital images of paper-based content. The benefits of document management include document security, access control, centralized storage, and streamlined search and retrieval.
||Give or restrict access to users, such as writers, designers, editors, and publishers, to protect both sensitive information and file ownership.
||Create, save, and format the look of your content in accordance with your company branding guidelines or use the already saved templates within the software to make it look more attractive for readers.
||Create digital forms that can be shared and accessed online.
|Full text search
||Search text to find specific words or phrases from content, such as PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, and blog articles stored within the software.
||Track revisions and updates to collaterals and drafts, and navigate between versions of the same documentation.
||Create and visually represent multiple tasks and projects going on at once with different people responsible for carrying them through the cycle. This helps you to keep track of all the projects going on at one time.
What type of buyer are you?
Before purchasing a content management system, you should determine which buyer category you're in so you can choose the right tool. The majority of buyers fall into the following categories:
- Small to midsize businesses (less than 500 employees): Buyers ranging from individuals to midsize businesses have a restricted team size and budget to maintain software applications. They need a content management software to organize, manage, and present digital information in their websites, blogs, or online stores. Whether they use a CMS for their website or for document management within the organization, opting for a solution that has an easy-to-use interface would be beneficial for such buyers. Due to budget constraints, they can opt for a free and open source content management system that has basic features such as collaboration tools, content publishing options, document management, and workflow management. This can help users communicate with employees and customers and achieve strategic goals such as increasing online sales.
- Large enterprises (more than 500 employees): Bigger enterprises generally store a huge volume of content, including employee information, marketing assets, media files, and blogs, compared to small businesses. They need a content management software solution that can help them manage and store these large volumes of content, capture any file type from any location, and provide easy access of files to all necessary stakeholders in the organization. A fully-featured CMS tool with built-in SEO tools would be beneficial for such buyers. They can look for a tool with enterprise content management software, such as archiving and retention, scanning and capture, and record management capabilities. These tools should also integrate with existing customer relationship management (CRM) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, web analytics program, and marketing software. Integrations with these types of systems can help businesses with rapid shifts of information to provide a personalized experience and relationship with customers.
Benefits of content management software
- Ease of use: It is difficult to use a software if you need to figure out how it works through trial and error. Content management software systems are typically user-friendly, as they do not require any technical knowledge to use them. Such platforms allow you to create content for your website and delegate tasks to web developers without any hassle.
- Improved collaboration and sharing: As your business grows, you will need to create more content, and it will be difficult for you to track if you do it alone. Content management software makes it easier for multiple users to collaborate on a single piece of content. The built-in collaboration tools allow your team to create content and collaborate together. For example, writers can write the blog post, graphic designers can create and insert images, editors can copy edit and check for brand consistency, and finally, the publishers can publish the blog post on the website. Additionally, you can define user roles and permissions according to the access that they need to the piece of content, so that no one can accidentally change anything they shouldn’t.
- Improved security: Online security has become a major priority for businesses—especially those who have a website. CMS platforms come with built-in security features such as advanced authentication, user access permission, firewalls and protection against malware, and backup functionalities. This will help you protect your site from cyberattacks such as unwanted traffic, denial of service bots, and malware attacks.
Key considerations when purchasing content management software
- Organization’s need: Content management software are unique in terms of pricing and features. Price can vary depending on the number of users, content types, and whether you need advanced technical functionalities. It is essential to assess your needs before making a purchase as many vendors provide free and open source software that you can consider, depending on what your business needs the software to do.
A large organization that creates a good volume of content and frequently updates them, should opt for a commercial content management system. Such software with advanced features of enterprise content management, ecommerce functionality, and advanced security will be better able to handle the demands of a large organization. But if you are an individual with your own business or work for a small business with limited technical expertise and content to manage, look for a free and open source CMS platform with basic features such as archiving, deletion, landing page creation, and version management.
- Mobile access: It is important for the software you choose to be accessible through a mobile device. Employees nowadays work with multiple devices such as tablets and smartphones, whether at the office or at home. You want a content management system that supports use on smartphones, tablets, or laptops so you can create and manage content, build landing pages, approve, and publish posts on the go. Look for platforms with dedicated mobile apps or mobile access while evaluating CMS tools.
Market trend to understand:
Here’s a market trend to keep in mind when selecting a CMS tool for your business:
- Growing adoption of intelligent content services: As companies continue to automate their processes and software functionality in order to reduce costs and time associated with certain workflows, the rise of intelligent content services will revolutionize the way businesses manage and create content. Intelligent content services leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning capabilities to search and identify information, handle high-volume repetitive tasks, image classification, and smart content analysis and categorization. Putting this technology into their CMS solutions, vendors can not only help users provide better experiences for consumers and marketers but help in securing content by detecting abnormal behavior such as unusually large document downloads or a suspicious login from unfamiliar locations in real time.
Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.