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What is a CMS and what can it do for my business?

Time, money and effort, the three major business breakers. How can a business stay on top? More importantly, how can your business stay on top? Enter content management..

Businesses are continuously managing information that needs to find its way from the decision maker to the end consumer. The internet is unquestionably the most efficient medium today to deliver this content to consumers and not only can potential customers view relevant information by simply visiting a website, but newsletters and other important information can be delivered to the user via email.

While this is great, unfortunately many business and marketing professionals lack the technical knowledge to deploy a fully functional web presence, intranet or portal, and many challenges present themselves when tackling this task. First, the creative and technical skills required to design and develop the solution need to be sourced. Then, not only does the solution have to be implemented, it also has to be maintained on a regular basis to ensure that you gain maximum benefit from your potential customers, visitors and employees.

As all content needs to go through one point before becoming available to the world (or the intranet), a bottle-neck eventually occurs, causing content authors to become disenfranchised and inevitably blocking the flow of information.

  • It is important to remember that if a user enjoys their experience on your website, their perception of your brand and corporate image is strengthened and the probability of the user becoming a customer is heightened.

What is needed is a system that can be utilized directly by content creators to generate and format content and make it available on the website.

Enter the Content Management System

The concept of the Content Management System, or CMS, was formulated to solve problems such as this. A CMS is an application or system that empowers businesses to perform what would otherwise be complex and time-consuming tasks relating to media and content updating. An example of this would be the company director who logs into the Web Content Management System (WCMS) to add a news article or press release to the company website.

An accurately integrated CMS strategy can transform your company website into a powerful business asset, in more ways than one.

You no longer need to pay expensive technical staff to update your website:

Managing your website and updating content shouldn't be difficult. Nobody wants to go through the process of contacting the webmaster every time they need a website update, forwarding the information, waiting for the changes to be typed, inserted and eventually uploaded. Most importantly, paying for this service each time becomes too costly for many smaller organisations.

A Content Management System empowers you to shape your own website without expensive and time-consuming site re-development and changes.

Save yourself a lot of time:

You want your website updated and you want it now. Business today is about precision and timeliness and a CMS allows you to edit and add to your website much quicker than by any other means. By comparison, adding a full news piece to your website via a Content Management System takes less than a minute, compared to the typical day or two process when relying on a third-party.

Motivate your staff to keep the website current:

Because content creators and employees are empowered to manipulate the website directly, they become responsible for their portion of content. This has the effect of motivating staff to become more involved in company operations and play an active role in helping shape the businesses' image.

You will be able to consistently give your users a positive perception and strengthen your brand:

Your website visitors have expectations. They expect up-to-date content. Delivering any less than this will project an image of carelessness towards your business. Implementing a complete CMS Strategy throughout your company will ensure that your content is current, while the WCMS makes sure that all the pages in your website maintain a consistent and professional look-and-feel.

Improve quality of content by use of an approval process:

Content quality is crucial; content should optimally go through an approval process before becoming available on the end consumer. This will ensure that the user�s perception of your company is not damaged because of a spelling or grammatical error. A Content Management System will help process your content through the correct channels before it is available to the public.

Workflow is an important aspect of any CMS. Workflow enables a user to add content to the website, although in a 'waiting approval' state, and does not display live on the site. An editor or someone in charge later reviews and edits the content and once happy, sets it to 'live' on the web site.

Can I honestly benefit from implementing a Content Management strategy for my business?

Financially, because the content creator is empowered to make changes to the website without the need for expensive technical staff, a WCMS system will reduce the total cost of maintaining the website. The investment in a Content Management Strategy does however take a lot of careful planning, but proper implementation of the strategy or solution will definitely pay off in the long run.

A well designed website, coupled with consistent up-to-date content will increase the likelihood of website users becoming sales leads, and if that is not enough, a WCMS system will save your business an immense amount of time as updates can be effective immediately.

Finally, and most likely the best advice for someone looking to implement a content management solution, is to work with a CMS provider that you trust and who knows the industry well. Many unreliable systems attempt to pass as total content management solutions and invariably end up costing the end user a ridiculous amount of time, money and effort - the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve: saving time, making money and reducing effort.

Article By: Andrew Kinnear

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