Your CMS Should Break Company Silos, Not Build Them

Victoria Burt

Modern enterprises are under tremendous pressure to deliver content experiences that impress their customers and keep them returning. That content must be published across multiple channels and personalized to meet customer needs.

Businesses need the right content strategy and collaboration between multiple departments to accomplish this. According to Gartner, “embracing collaborative work provides benefits like business growth, boosted productivity and cost reductions.”

However, a significant challenge in achieving this feat is the emergence of content silos. These silos isolate content assets and departments and restrict the ability of businesses to provide customers with what they’re looking for. A CMS plays a crucial role in content governance throughout the organization, which, when done right, should prevent content silos from forming. Yet some CMSs can actually be responsible for creating dreaded content silos that ruin the customer experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the opportunity cost of content silos and highlight how you can break down these silos with a hybrid CMS.

What Are Content Silos?

Content silos are when content assets are isolated from people searching for them. They form when companies leverage multiple technologies to create, store, collaborate on, and publish content. 

For example, think of a company using Google Docs to write content and multiple Dropbox and Google Drive accounts to store images and videos. They also use Sharepoint to share documents and WordPress to publish it all, alongside an ERP, a PIM, and a CRM, as well as a separate email marketing solution as the cherry on top of the convoluted cake.

Multiple content sources and repositories are a recipe for communication breakdowns, inefficiency, and so much more. One of the primary reasons that content silos form is the explosion of martech tools that isolate various content assets from each other. With the freedom to choose their technology, many enterprises simply adopt new software solutions without considering how they might fit together. 

Most enterprises have hundreds of different technologies “working” together. In fact, the average enterprise uses 364 SaaS applications. As a result, it’s almost impossible to truly manage every asset or piece of content across its entire lifecycle this way, resulting instead in silos that harm the customer experience. 

The Opportunity Cost of Content Silos

Brands that struggle with content silos end up suffering in a number of different ways:

Poor Content Reuse

Silos lead to lost or inaccessible content, rework, and misaligned messaging or branding. Not to mention a slower time to market simply because it takes longer to piece together landing pages, websites, and digital experiences. 

Disjointed Collaboration

More martech solutions are not always better and can lead to problems when collaborating is necessary. There is a point of diminishing returns and then another point of increased loss.

The most effective way to keep content and communication flowing across departments and channels is to bring balance to your tech stack. 

Lack of Personalization

Your personalization strategy takes a huge hit when your content is siloed, lost, or difficult to manage. If all team members don’t enjoy equal access to all content and assets, how can they ever hope to apply personalization rules consistently or effectively?

Incoherent Messaging 

Inconsistent messaging and branding soon creep in if multiple teams use different content sources for various landing pages or websites, resulting in a stark lack of continuity. 

Increasing Costs

Numerous platforms mean numerous bills, and with so much rework going on, your expenses are compounded by the inefficiency of your employees. 

4 Steps Towards A Seamless and Centralized Content Governance Strategy

In order to remove content silos, you need to create a proper content governance strategy. Here are the steps to building that strategy.

Adopt a Hybrid CMS

A hybrid content management system is an essential foundation for a centralized content governance strategy. By blending the content authoring capabilities of a traditional CMS and the content delivery flexibility and freedom of a headless CMS, brands are empowered to create the personalized content experiences customers demand. 

Additionally, a hybrid CMS can act as a centralized content hub that unifies your content assets and the other tools within your technology stack. If your company is using multiple CMSs across various business units, consolidate them into a single hybrid CMS with strong multi-tenant and multi-site capabilities that is built to scale. 

Focus on MACH Technologies

When considering new tools to integrate into your tech stack, focus on those that include MACH capabilities: microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native and headless- characteristics that a hybrid content management system already exhibits. 

However, when the other tools in your tech stack also follow MACH principles, it allows you to easily integrate them as well as swap and remove tools that are no longer serving you, allowing you to decrease SaaS sprawl and eliminate content silos. 

Leverage Pre-Approved Content Blocks

Pre-approved content blocks essentially refer to boilerplate content in your CMS, ready for marketers to use and reuse across channels. With no need to go through long approval processes each time, this keeps branding and messaging aligned and allows businesses to go to market faster with new campaigns. 

Build Out Your Content Lifecycle

Build out your content lifecycle and map the technologies you need for each phase, aiming for efficiency and functionality rather than mapping one technology to each step. This will increase complexity and lead to potential silos. 

A typical content lifecycle includes: Ideation > planning > authoring > collaborating > categorizing > approving > publishing > promoting > measuring > repurposing > retiring. 

By mapping all your content assets this way and identifying which stage they are at within your hybrid CMS content hub, you can focus on only the core technologies you need and keep better track of your content assets. 

How Junior Achievement Built a Centralized Content Hub for 200+ Regional Websites Using dotCMS

Silos can ruin collaboration efforts and turn what should be straightforward processes into long and drawn-out battles. However, with the help of a hybrid CMS and centralized content governance, it’s possible to eliminate content silos for good.

dotCMS is a hybrid CMS that can deliver content-driven applications at scale. You can manage your content assets in a centralized content hub and then deliver them to any channel where your customers need them. 

With dotCMS, companies can leverage the drag-and-drop and visual editing features that marketers grew accustomed to with a traditional CMS. They can also benefit from the freedom their developers have to choose any framework to build frontend experiences as they would with a headless CMS. 

Plus, dotCMS offers the security and scalability of the cloud and can grow with you as your organization grows so that you can manage global experiences without worrying about content silos forming down the road.

Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organization that serves over 10 million students and relies on nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide, needed to manage its network of international sites more efficiently. By migrating to dotCMS, they could draw on dotCMS’ multi-tenant capabilities and create a centralized system for managing over 200 region-specific sites. 

Learn more about how Junior Achievement leveraged dotCMS by reading their case study.

Image Credit: Will Francis
Victoria Burt
Director of Product Marketing
February 28, 2023

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