Content as Infrastructure: It's Time To Build Around Your Content

Will Ezell

If a company is moving forward, it’s using content as fuel.

The modern enterprise uses content to drive marketing campaigns, close sales and for internal communications. Without content, there is no experience for the customer, or the employee. 

That’s great news if you have your content management under control — and terrible news if you don’t.

As we move deeper into the IoT era, the demand from both customers and employees for content across devices and channels is growing rapidly. Before long, managing and delivering content for just your website and mobile application will do nothing but provide a primitive experience to the contemporary consumer.

The solution isn’t to continually repurpose content for each device manually. The solution is to understand your content and place it within an architecture that can support your brand’s growth anywhere and everywhere — without duplicating tasks.

The Content Spectrum is Wide — And Getting Wider 

First things first, let’s define what we mean by content. Here are just a few common example of how a brand uses content for growth and sustainability:

External Content: 

  • Content Marketing
  • Outbound Marketing
  • Website and landing page copy
  • Product and service information
  • Terms and conditions
  • Sales assets

Internal Content:

  • Staff training documents
  • Company policies
  • Staff newsletters
  • Employment Contracts
  • Shared knowledge and content found on company intranets and portals

As you can see, content already plays an integral role in your brand. It’s the lifeblood of your internal and external procedures. The only problem is, your content is fragmented across different platforms and applications from your legacy CMS to your in-house CRM and bolted-on newsletter app.

The bad news? The content spectrum is widening faster than your internal IT team can build cobbled-together solutions.

Consumers are expecting brands to deliver content and experiences through devices like the Amazon Echo, digital signage and smartwatches — but it doesn’t stop there.

Unbeknownst to most consumers, Single Page Applications (SPAs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are becoming the standard for content consumption on the web. Most consumers, as mentioned, aren’t aware of what these terms entail — but they definitely know that the end result is desirable.

If you’re unfamiliar with SPAs, you only need to check out Facebook or LinkedIn to see one in action. Like “normal” websites, SPAs are accessed via a web browser, but they have the ability to deliver more dynamic user experiences, the type you might expect from a native mobile application for example.

SPAs greatly reduce the number of page refreshes needed to serve up the desired user interactions by leveraging AJAX, which allows the site to exchange information with back-end servers and load data into the application without executing a full page refresh.

PWAs are also similar to SPAs, but make use of “service workers” which makes it possible for the application to deliver an app-like experience via the web browser, even when the user is offline.

Sounds great, right? Well it is — but it’s most likely that your current tech stack isn’t built to help you thrive in this widening spectrum of content consumption.

Here at dotCMS, our customers are experiencing the solution.

Content as Infrastructure: It’s Time to Put Content First

A traditional CMS is designed to manage content for web pages and applications, coupling content with a front-end delivery layer (think templates and themes). This model eradicates flexibility in the vast majority of cases, forcing brands to deliver content rigidly. With some adjustments and API support, you may have been able to deliver that content elsewhere — but never without difficulty.

In the IoT era, your content needs to support every area of your business across channels. Plus, your content needs to move into emerging markets before your competitors can react. In other words, the traditional method of content management has become redundant. 

Instead, dotCMS customers are having success by leveraging our platform as the infrastructure that binds, manages and delivers their content wherever it needs to be. This is done thanks to dotCMS’s headless content management capabilities, which allows customers to leverage the platform’s RESTful APIs and best-of-breed integrations to headlessly deliver content to various IoT devices along with more traditional websites, applications, progressive web apps (PWAs), and single page applications (SPAs).

Let’s take in an example of Content as Infrastructure in action: 

Gettysburg College recently deployed dotCMS to facilitate its own Content as Infrastructure approach. With a headless CMS at the core of the Gettysburg College content strategy, the college was able to quickly launch and manage a slew of Amazon Alexa Skills for their students and faculty.

But it’s not just content management that’s important here, as dotCMS is far more than just a content database. There is also a need for simple integration with best-of-breed technologies and components such as CRM, marketing automation and payment gateways. Even these components need access to some form of content, and that’s where dotCMS comes in.

For a growing number of dotCMS customers, dotCMS play the role of a centralized content stack which can deliver personalized content to all individual components and systems. In a way, dotCMS provides a sort off “glue-code” haven where you easily bind content to different components without rewriting or impacting your broader environment.

That’s why we feel Content as Infrastructure goes a step further than Content as a Service — it’s not just about delivering content, it’s about truly making it the backbone of your operations both internally and externally.

It’s Time to Build Around Your Content

Our Content as Infrastructure approach puts content as the core, helping ambitious brands to plan, manage, and deliver content to an ever-changing ecosystem of apps, devices and system.

With the rising popularity of IoT devices, headless content management is a necessity — but even that isn’t enough by itself.

An ambitious enterprise needs an infrastructure that not only delivers content headlessly, but helps funnel that content between payment gateways, CRMs, email marketing tools and every piece of technology in between.

In short, an enterprise needs to make content their infrastructure — and that’s exactly what dotCMS does.

Will Ezell
Chief Technology Officer
June 24, 2018

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