It’s almost a misnomer to describe any particular aspect of a customer journey today as “digital,” since nearly every interaction can be tied to a digital experience. A weekend trip to a home improvement store for a new bathroom lighting fixture probably started with a visit to the company’s website. There, the customer might have read articles about the best types of lighting fixtures, watched a YouTube video on DIY installation or browsed the product selection.
Relevant content lies at the heart of this nonlinear journey. Regardless of industry, customers want the ability to access information when and where they want. B2B customers are no exception and expect their path to purchase to be as on-demand and seamless as it is in the consumer world.1
The road forward is omnichannel, and the vehicle is headless content infrastructure
As customers dictate when, where and how they want to access information, business leaders need to find the right tools to help them keep pace. Headless CMSes are the vehicle of choice on the road to providing seamless, omnichannel content. Those who continue to rely on traditional CMSes to manage their digital portfolio will find themselves struggling to keep up.
That’s because legacy CMSes were designed to build and support one-dimensional websites using a webpage-oriented framework that combines content with channel-specific code. This creates two challenges for digital leaders who want to expand their digital content portfolios:
- Because content and code are combined in the CMS, a new CMS is typically required in order to deploy content on each additional digital channel.
- Content elements are lumped together into rigid templates. Elements can’t be pulled apart and reused, and design changes require a developer.
Both of these challenges inhibit the ability to quickly and easily repurpose content across digital channels and to create new layouts and digital applications without migrating content.
Headless CMSes solve the first problem by separating content from code, empowering digital teams to use APIs to deliver content from a content hub to any digital endpoint. But this still leaves the problem of how to organize content for use and reuse across channels, and that’s where content infrastructure comes into play.
What is content infrastructure?
Like with any headless CMS, content infrastructure decouples the content and presentation layers. However, it’s also much more than a headless content management system. Content infrastructure is a structured approach to organizing content so it can be easily managed and reused across any digital platform. The benefit of headless CMS is flexibility, and the added benefits of content infrastructure are extensibility and adaptability, empowering digital teams to apply software development best practices to content.
Content infrastructure begins with a content model custom-built for each use case, so content creators aren’t stuck with the preprogrammed models offered by traditional CMSes. The content model breaks down content into individual components, such as a blog post headline or a call-to-action button. Users can define how each element relates to others, and in doing so, create a flexible model that can fit any digital container.
Legacy CMS vs. content infrastructure
Let’s look at four different omnichannel content strategy needs and how a legacy CMS performs against content infrastructure.
- Legacy CMS: Traditional content management systems operate sequentially and require handoffs between the development, design and content teams when swapping out content or developing new digital properties.
- Content infrastructure: Enables simultaneous collaboration, cutting the slow-to-market waterfall approach to development in favor of an agile framework where teams can work in parallel. This offers a competitive advantage for enterprises that need to rapidly spin up new software, landing pages and microsites.
Check out the Trunk Club (Nordstrom) case study to see how they overcame the content bottleneck and optimized engineering-to-editor workflows with content infrastructure.
Customizing and publishing content across multiple channels
- Legacy CMS: When content is created and published on a traditional CMS, it is created for a single-use scenario, and each new digital property usually requires a new CMS. Repurposing content often means manually formatting each individual piece of content and element for each channel.
- Content infrastructure: Content is organized on the backend to offer flexibility on the front end. Everything is located in one central hub, and editors can create and edit content in one place and then push the edits out to wherever the content is used. It is also formatted for presentation via APIs so that the same content can be optimized on different channels without the manual work.
To learn more about building speed-oriented architecture, watch the TUI Nordic case study video.
Building new products and digital experiences
- Legacy CMS: A traditional CMS is built for a single use case, such as a website, an app, etc. As an organization expands its digital portfolio, it is forced to keep adding and customizing CMSes to meet its needs. This leads to content bottlenecks, as workflows and workarounds become so complex that only a few people in the organization can make changes and publish content.
- Content infrastructure: As a headless CMS, content infrastructure is built to serve any digital use case. What’s more, it offers an editorial interface that empowers users to quickly learn how to create, preview and publish on their own. Building digital products to address different audiences and purposes across many digital channels is a quick and painless process.
Read this Xoom case study to learn more about using content infrastructure to increase content quality and accelerate deployment time.
Creating a high-output content pipeline
- Legacy CMS: Modern customers move nimbly from browser to app to digital TV and touchscreen interface. But legacy CMSes fail to provide the same nimble experience on the backend. Complicated workflows, disconnected systems and the manual work required to copy, paste and synchronize content across channels is not sustainable or scalable.
- Content Infrastructure: Content infrastructure builds the foundation for scalable content operations. Unifying content into a single hub streamlines workflows, and separating the content and the code means your content is reusable across all platforms (no cut and paste required). This frees up resources and accelerates speed to market.
Learn how TELUS used streamlined content infrastructure to quadruple their speed to market.
Content infrastructure empowers digital leaders to put content first in their digital strategy. You can focus on creating the content and experiences customers want, regardless of where they start their journey. It enables companies to streamline their operations, expand into new channels faster and provide a seamless experience for customers.
1 Adobe Blog, “Your B2B Customers are also B2C Consumers”, November 2018