You may have heard CMS be referred to in a number of contexts; you may even have a content management system for a production aspect of your business. When it comes to marketing, it refers to the host on which you publish your promotional content. You could possibly also have been doing some research into what makes for a good system in particular, or what your peers may be using. If you’re wondering how to select the best CMS, then here are a few pointers you need to know.
What are your business demands?
Before you decide what type of content you’ll be publishing on the platform, it’s worth considering what your specific business needs are. If you’re a small company with no real IT department, and just a CEO with a few colleagues for support, you will want the best CMS system that gives you a high standard of publication but also doesn’t drain your resources by being incredibly complicated. Equally, if you do have an IT department, you want to make sure that your team is aligned with the uses of your CMS system, as not bringing them up-to-date on its use can be a barrier to success.
After this, it’s wise to inform your marketing team – as above all, the content will be being used to bring in visitors and revenue. If your marketing and sales teams aren’t fully briefed on how they will be using the new system, then you will be hindering your progress with your CMS.
What are the different types of host?
While functionality may take priority over anything else, it’s good to know what the different types of CMS host are because this too may be a crucial factor in deciding what platform to choose. Here’s a short guide between the different types of host you will come across:
- Cloud-hosted: As the name implies, this is likely to use a web host, or it may require you to download specific software. What it does mean, however, is that you do not directly manage the server space the CMS is installed on.
- On-premise: Similarly, you will have to buy a license to use the provider’s CMS and download the software (or perhaps use a web host.) A lot of the back-end of management will fall on your hands, such as adding infrastructure and security.
- SaaS: This abbreviation is short for ‘Software as a Service’ solution, and is in a similar vein to large software companies (Microsoft, Google) that provide a content management service. The CMS company manages upgrades and the technical details, and there is not usually as much of a financial commitment as with on-premise and cloud-based systems.
Trust the big hosts
If you have a web developer on your team, or if you’re considering building your own version, it’s natural to want to be self-sufficient when it comes to publishing and displaying your online content. However, it’s advised that you do not do this. Running a successful content management system comes with years of knowledge in the industry, which means that to do this effectively, you’d essentially be learning how to become a CMS developer, not a company that’s looking to publish relevant and interesting content for marketing purposes.
Don’t forget digital marketing strategies
If you’re using a CMS to create digital marketing-friendly content, then you will want to choose a system that is equipped to make the most of the techniques involved. For example, discovering the best CMS for SEO will help you to ensure that all your research into link building and the best keywords will not be put to waste. A platform such as WordPress, for example, will allow you to edit URLs to make them more search-friendly, as well as other helpful factors such as picture captions.
A useful dashboard
As you continue to publish online content, you will want to ensure that you can track and monitor how well it’s performing A comprehensive dashboard should allow you to gain some insight about what type of person is viewing your content and where. This will help you know whether your online publications could do with a bit of work, or whether you’re on the right track to finding your target audience. As mentioned earlier, a dashboard should meet your business’ needs and perform the correct functionality. It’s also back-end of your website, and so it’s essential to take time to understand the dashboard’s full uses and capabilities.
When you purchase your licence, you may notice that your CMS provider will advertise add-on features that it will present as useful to your marketing strategy. However, it is wise to get some information on what these are, and how they are helpful before you purchase. It’s said that ‘over-purchasing’ is a big problem in the CMS world because business owners buy packages that seem important, but are in fact of no use to their marketing needs. If you see a bolt-on feature to your website but are not 100% sure if it’s genuinely of use to you, then consult the provider or your IT team to find out what it really is, and if you can actually make use of it.
Do you have more than one website?
If you are the parent company of a few websites, or you have several clients with different website needs, then a CMS that excels at managing multiple websites is something to consider. A competent CMS system should enable you to migrate from one platform to another easily and manage each site with ease. Choosing a platform that doesn’t have this capability could make life more difficult for you and your businesses.
What makes for the perfect content management system, or the best CMS, will ultimately come down to your business’ unique and specific needs. If you have multiple websites and want to keep track of each site’s individual progress, then you will need to choose a CMS with a detailed efficiently-designed dashboard. If this seems intimidating, but you have IT resourced to help, it’s important that they are informed about what you’re using it for, and how they can help.