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
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
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.
Take a deeper dive into modern website strategy with this whitepaper.
#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
#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.
1 Vala Afshar, Salesforce Report, “New Research Uncovers Big Shifts in Customer Expectations and Trust”, June 2018