Content Management Strategies - Part 1: Creating an Effective CMS Structure

by Adam Luckeroth, on Apr 1, 2015 12:20:24 PM

This post is the first of a two-part series covering content management strategy for marketing and sales. In part one, we’ll discover how to create a CMS structure that works for your organization. In part two, we’ll discuss how to implement the structure that you’ve created.

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Choosing a content management system requires a lot of thinking up front. All too often organizations get caught up in the excitement of a new system, choose hastily and postpone strategy and planning until they reach the implementation stage. If you don’t set yourself up to succeed with a solid plan, you’re essentially gambling with the budget you’ve managed to win for the project.

A lot of time and effort go into creating effective sales and marketing materials, but even the world’s greatest content is worthless if not managed properly. Proper use of a good content management system can prevent problems by providing only the most current and up-to-date versions of content while archiving or removing outdated materials in a well-organized and easy to use fashion.

At this point, you may be wondering how you would decide what you need in a CMS, and how you’ll identify which ones meet your needs. The following five steps outline the essentials for creating an effective CMS that works for you, your marketing & sales teams, and the organization as a whole.

Rally the Troops

Content creation is just one aspect of a successful content strategy. You need to consider where the content will reside, how it will be distributed, who owns it, and how it can be tracked. That’s why it’s important to start by outlining a content management system (CMS) structure that works for all affected parties. To implement a CMS for marketing and sales requires a concerted group effort. In order to effectively manage content, you need a whole lot more than the IT department. Sales, marketing and IT need to work together to create a system that works and that everyone can easily use.

Set Goals

An important step in creating a well-structured CMS is to know why it is being implemented in the first place. This is especially true in organizations that are currently using a CMS that is not satisfactory. To avoid going all-in on a sub-par CMS, figure out what problems you’re looking to solve. Setting clear objectives up front will help you along every step of the way -- from getting buy-in across the organization to the implementation and maintenance of the new system. However, just because a new CMS is in the works, that doesn’t mean you should forget about the old one. Take the time to talk through positive and negative aspects of the old system. Your team needs to know what worked and what didn’t in the last CMS to avoid mistakes and redundancies.

Choose Content

Now you have clear objectives and a good idea of the kind of functionality you’re after. It’s time to understand what content you have available, how it can be used, how it should be organized, and who needs to own it. With mobile sales apps like Modus, the end user is likely a salesperson in the field. The content will be organized by marketing or sales leaders according to the needs of the salesperson and their clients. Representatives from all user groups should have a hand in setting up the initial organization of assets.

Pick Your Platform

Once you know what you want your CMS to do, and how you want to set it up, the logical next step is researching your options. At Modus, we’re biased toward mobile-first and user-friendly CMS solutions. Frankly, the uptick of investment in mobile technology by organizations across verticals makes implementing a CMS that isn’t mobile appear short sighted.

When evaluating a CMS, make sure to check for the objectives and the desired functionality that you deemed important in the previous steps. Some platforms like Modus, offer a free trial to give you a feel how the system functions for the content admin/manager and the end user.

Get Started!

Once you’ve created your ideal CMS structure, and found the right partner for the job, the next step is implementation. While it may seem like a daunting process, configuration, updates and maintenance can be quick and painless with the right solution. In our next post, part two of the content management strategies series we’ll cover the basics of CMS implementation.

What questions or ideas do you have about creating an effective CMS for marketing and sales? We want to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us at @modusengagement.

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Topics:cmsContent Management

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