As the demand for diverse, fresh, relevant, and personalised content across all domains has increased, businesses and enterprises of all sizes have started to automate various stages of their content production workflow.
Content automation, apart from keeping overhead costs low, allows brands to deliver good content consistently and timely, keeping their audience engaged.
The backbone of content delivery — the Content Management System (CMS) — must not only be robust but also scalable. It should be capable of adapting to the dynamic nature of content consumption and the evolving technologies that drive content automation.
A CMS that lags in these aspects can become a bottleneck, hindering a business’s ability to compete and satisfy its audience’s demands.
In this article, let’s look at five aspects to ensure your CMS is equipped to handle the future of automated content delivery.
1. Cost Effectiveness
The adage “you need to spend money to make money” often holds because, with the right tools and the expertise of seasoned professionals, virtually any platform can be upgraded or fine-tuned to meet the growing needs of content automation.
However, it’s not just about the possibility of upgrading; it’s about the cost-effectiveness of such an endeavor.
Content production teams need to find a sustainable cost-to-benefit ratio while automating their processes on their enterprise CMS platform. This is where accurately identifying the factors that drive costs such as developer’s fees, specialized software subscription costs, and time required to train team members becomes essential to make the right moves.
Open-source CMS platforms, such as Drupal and WordPress, offer a compelling solution to the cost challenge. These platforms are known for their extensive libraries of plugins and modules, many of which are free or low-cost, that can extend functionality and automate content processes.
Some benefits of using open-source solutions | source
The open-source nature of these platforms also means that there’s a global community of developers continuously improving and creating new features, which can be leveraged at a fraction of the cost of proprietary solutions such as Sitecore.
2. Feature Extensibility
The capability for content automation often requires CMS platforms to extend beyond their core features to accommodate advanced tasks. Extensibility, therefore, becomes a key attribute of a future-ready CMS, allowing it to integrate seamlessly with a range of external tools and services that enhance its functionality.
Typically, this integration is achieved through APIs that connect the CMS to various content creation, management, and distribution tools.
For example, a CMS might integrate with an AI service that automatically generates content based on user behaviour or with a marketing automation tool that schedules and publishes content across multiple channels.
WordPress is particularly renowned for its vast plugin ecosystem, which allows for almost limitless extensibility. With plugins that cover everything from SEO to social media integration, WordPress makes it simple for businesses to add complex content automation features without the need for extensive custom development.
This ease of extending functionalities of CMS platforms is motivating various businesses and enterprises to migrate from Drupal to WordPress, even though the former is a robust open-source solution. This opens the doors to a wide range of user-friendly automation options, allowing non-technical team members to execute sophisticated strategies with ease.
3. Community Support
Incorporating content automation into your workflow is not a one-off task; it’s a journey of continuous learning and experimentation. A global community can offer insights, share best practices, and provide assistance when you encounter challenges.
For different CMS platforms, there are established communities you can rely on to build better content automation workflows.
In the case of WordPress, the Make WordPress Community and WordCamp Central are popular destinations for having discussions on anything related to the platform.
Similarly, Joomla’s Official Community and the Joomla Forum are great places for beginners to learn about that CMS.
Another popular open-source CMS solution, Drupal, has a community where you can find everything from documentation, ideas, and assistance to make the most out of your content automation workflow.
While these are some of the larger, more general communities, it’s beneficial to conduct your own research to find niche communities that align more closely with your specific content automation needs.
4. Ease of Adoption
A system that can be profitably embraced over time, without steep learning curves or disruptive overhauls, is one that will stand the test of evolving content needs.
However, content teams often face roadblocks when crafting a new automated content creation workflow. These can range from resistance to change within the team, to technical hurdles in integrating new tools with existing systems, to simply finding the time and resources to train staff on new processes.
To navigate these challenges, here are some best practices:
- Start Small and Scale Gradually: Begin with automating a single part of your content process. This allows your team to adjust and provides tangible examples of the benefits of automation.
- Involve Your Team Early: Include your content team in the decision-making process. Their buy-in is crucial for a smooth transition and long-term adoption.
- Choose User-Friendly Tools: Opt for CMS platforms and automation tools that are known for their user-friendly interfaces. The less technical the tool, the easier the adoption.
- Provide Adequate Training: Invest in comprehensive training sessions. Knowledgeable team members are more likely to embrace new systems.
- Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on the performance of your new automated workflows. Be prepared to tweak and optimise as you learn from real-world usage.
5. Data Security
When you enhance the capabilities of a CMS through automation, it often involves experimenting with new tools and techniques. While this is a necessary step towards innovation, it can inadvertently increase the vulnerability of both business and customer data.
As the complexity of your CMS grows with each added feature, so does the potential attack surface for malicious entities.
Protecting your platform and reputation during the upgrade of your content production process is paramount. Here are some best practices to help you maintain data security:
- Vet New Tools Rigorously: Before integrating any new tool or plugin, ensure it comes from a reputable source and has a track record of regular security updates and positive reviews.
- Access Control: Be stringent with access controls. Limit permissions to only those necessary for each role within your CMS, reducing the risk of internal breaches.
- Data Encryption: Implement data encryption both at rest and in transit. This ensures that even if data is intercepted, it remains unreadable to unauthorised parties.
- Backup Regularly: Maintain regular backups of your CMS data. In the event of a breach, you’ll be able to restore your system without significant data loss.
Preparing your CMS for content automation is a strategic investment in your digital infrastructure. It’s about building a system that grows with your needs and protects your assets, all while keeping you at the forefront of content innovation.
A CMS ready for the future is one that can be upgraded without breaking the bank, offers feature extensibility to integrate with the latest tools and services, comes with a diverse community, is easy to adopt even by non-technical staff, and prioritises the safety and security of your data.