5 tips for building an omnichannel content strategy

Learn key insights to developing a scalable digital content strategy

Developing a solid content model and deploying great, multifunctional content are vital components of a successful omnichannel digital strategy. But even the most sophisticated content strategy can fall short without the right tools. To execute an omnichannel content strategy well, you need an API-first headless CMS that can deliver content to multiple channels and a new approach to content modeling that organizes content for use across those channels.

Consumers want to interact with brands that surprise and delight them on every platform. This goes for B2B customers as well. More than 80% of business purchasers surveyed by Salesforce want consumer-level customer experience, and more than two-thirds of respondents say that they have switched vendors to get it. With 61% of B2B transactions now starting online, investing in better technology and personalization presents a huge opportunity for B2B business owners too.1

Content is a highly effective way to do that – but only if it’s done right.

How an API-first headless CMS streamlines omnichannel content

Modern CMSes use APIs to deliver content to multiple channels from one content hub. Instead of copying the same content into CMSes for a website, an app and an event microsite, you can enter content into one content hub and use APIs to control how it is presented on each digital platform. This requires a content model that is organized around the new ways you can use and deliver content.

A content model is a content organization system that classifies types of content and how they relate. In traditional CMSes, content is organized by pages (e.g. landing page, blog entry, etc.) which works well for a single channel such as a website, but limits usability across channels.

Some headless CMSes rely on this same rigid page-oriented content model. To get the most out of a headless CMS, businesses need to look for solutions that support a more flexible content model designed for omnichannel delivery.

Here are five tips for developing a highly effective content model

#1: Change your mindset from tactical to strategic. Forget what you know about traditional CMSes that restrict your modeling to predefined content types, and stop thinking of content in terms of individual projects. Modern websites, apps, etc. need to constantly change to continue delighting your audience. They should be treated like software products, supported by focus, resources, and long-term strategy. The content you develop needs to be flexible and constantly evolving not locked into rigid page formats. The new approach to content modeling is about organizing content types, not page types.

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#2: Focus on reusable content. The traditional approach to content modeling is to think of content in its final form with all elements (content, author, date,location, meta data, etc.) included in one rigid template. Essentially a “blob” of content elements stuck together. A more flexible approach is to organize and characterize each individual piece of content. These “chunks” of content can be combined with other elements over and over to create unique layouts without recreating content.

Learn more about taking your blobs of content and identifying reusable chunks for your content model.

#3: Define your business priorities. Is your focus on speed, reusability, ease of use for editors, the flexibility to create innovative layouts, streamlining workflows? There isn't one right content model, but there are trade-offs and these will influence the decisions you make. For example, more granular content types can make your content model more flexible, but this also impacts the editorial experience.

#4: Assemble cross-functional teams. When you adopt an omnichannel content model, different teams will be impacted in different ways. It’s important to assemble a cross- functional team before you begin the journey to help develop the new model and also define future roles and permissions within that model. When every member of each team has a clear understanding of their role within the new content ecosystem, individuals and teams become empowered to work autonomously side by side.

Learn how to empower teams with transparent roles and permissions.

#5: Choose the right content technology partner. Your CMS should adapt to how you work and be flexible enough to support a content model that fits your needs. The tool should adjust to help you meet your business strategy goals, NOT the other way around. See how the British Museum used a flexible CMS to power their diverse digital portfolio while customizing the editorial interface to the needs of each team.

Contentful is the premier API-first, cloud-native content management solution that allows backend developers and front-end editors to work simultaneously. Schedule a demo to explore how our solutions can help you deliver your digital pipeline — faster.


References:

1 Vala Afshar, Salesforce Report, “New Research Uncovers Big Shifts in Customer Expectations and Trust”, June 2018

Curious to learn more?

Read our whitepaper, Content operations for editorial teams