It’s amazing how the Web continues to reshape traditional marketing as our entire society shifts to becoming driven by the consumption of information flowing from the online world. If you’re in B2B marketing or sales, never has it been a higher priority than now for your business to be an active publisher online, garnering more and more highly-qualified inbound visitors. Thus, it flows naturally that it is absolutely vital to ensure that your internal content-creation teams have the ability to manage web content quickly and efficiently in order to create the best possible experience for customers and prospects online.
Enter the Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a platform that enables your non-technical staff to create and maintain content and imagery on your web pages. Typically, a CMS is replete with tools to assist in workflow management and easy-to-use add-on features that can be leveraged to grow your website with things like form builders, forum modules and blog functionality. WYSWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editors within the CMS make text entry for non-technical users very easy.
When Choosing a CMS Consider the Following Constituents:
1) Your Customer – Your CMS will give you the ability to quickly and easily adjust web content to satisfy your customer’s information needs and assist in the obtaining of corporate goals. Combined with a search engine marketing regime, you can quickly move to understand how your customers and prospects are interacting with your website – providing leveragable insights into how best to put your CMS to better and better use.
Afterall, you only 5 seconds to get a prospect’s attention – according to a recent study, customers on average determine in five seconds whether a website is useful and trustworthy or if they need to proceed on to an additional website.
2) Your content creation teams – Will they be able to accomplish their goals using out-of-the-box CMS functionality? Do they possess the requisite technical background? The needs B2B companies have for their CMS can vary dramatically – some companies will require partner portals, ecommerce, membership management and other database functionality while others will just need basic WYSWIG capabilities and some basic control over their site’s pagination. If you get this wrong, you’re – how can I say this gently – up the creek and in need of a paddle.
3) Your business – Are you ensuring that the you are choosing the CMS that offers the features and functionality that best line up with the critical business issues that you are facing today and in the foreseeable future? Is the CMS choice efficient, easy-to-use and cost effective, or will it present new challenges as you will need to increase staffing levels to properly leverage all of its functionality?
Additionally, is the CMS suitably focused on search engine optimization (SEO)? Some of the easy-to-use, open-source platforms like Joomla, Drupal and even WordPress will require some extra effort to get basic SEO functionality working correctly. Wakefly partners with two CMS options that provide great out-of-the-box SEO tools, Kentico and Sitecore]. The basic SEO functionality discussed above includes the ability to modify headers, title tags, meta data and alt tags for images.
Thus, when choosing a CMS, keep your customers, content-creation teams and actual business needs in mind. Don’t forget that the ability to do basic, in-house SEO work is a must as is the ability to maintain a compelling, vibrant user-experience for your customers and prospects. Don’t let yourself get sold into a CMS that doesn’t fit your needs.