Contrary to digital myth, content management systems cannot solve every problem related to digital content.
That’s because having a content management system is not enough. There are broader issues to identify and resolve.
Having said that, there are so many website owners and managers that don’t even like their CMS as it’s more of a hindrance than a help. Often this is because of unrealistic expectations of what the system is capable of or the difficulty in carrying out certain tasks.
What we’re going to look at today are some of the common issues that content management systems are unable to solve.
The issue: poor copy
The truth is that writing good copy is difficult. Not everyone can do it. And even for writers who excel at print copy, writing for the web is another beast.
Digital copy includes different layouts, attention span, and the attachment to SEO strategies. There is an art and science to writing good digital copy.
The solution: have a content structure
In a word: get an editor. Having an editor means content providers no longer have to take on the task of thinking about and writing copy. The editor is tasked with taking copy and re-writing it to make it fit for the web. Building out from this, produce a core template for content creators to aid them in their focus. Such a template should provoke answers to questions such as “who is our audience?”, “what is the purpose of this content?”, and “what is the call to action?”
The issue: lack of community
Modern content management systems come equipped with great community-building tools. Tools like forums, comments, and blogs – all integrated across social media. Yet like the economy in general, technology alone cannot run things. You need people power. Said another way, you can build community with technology, yet technology cannot build a community – at least not yet!
Many companies implement community features yet are soon disappointed in the response. And thereafter, many simply remove these features in a cloud of frustration and lost hope.
The solution: build relationships rather than functionality
Online communities are all about relationships and less about technology. If you are determined to build a community around your website, then the key ingredient is regular engagement with users.
This means a company’s people constantly talking to and with its customers as well as the broader consumer environment, constantly asking and answering questions, and building loyalty by getting to know their customers, and being honest and transparent.
The issue: content in one language
This issue is tied to businesses that operate in multiple countries or in multilingual regions. There are companies where language capabilities are factored into which CMS to buy because they aspire to expand. One problem is that lots of sites simply fail to implement multilingual support.
The truth is that creating and maintaining a multilingual website is hard work. You need to know what content to translate, who is going to translate it, and then a long-term translation strategy.
The solution: develop a long-term strategy
Your chances of success in anything in life get a boost when step one is to develop a long-term strategy. Yet for those businesses that are not currently operating in a region of more than one language, it’s probably not worth investing in language support capabilities.
For those that do operate in multilingual regions, you need to be serious about the language support that you are providing – or neglecting. Invest your resources in developing long-term strategies in how you’re going to translate digital content.
The issue: lack of CTA clarity
Beyond marketers, few employees are thinking about calls to action – what you want users to do next, how you want them to respond. The problem is that even writers may be too into the content and messaging that the CTA is neglected or overlooked by other sections, such as the contact button.
The solution: guide the user to action
Go through your CTA strategy and pinpoint the exact calls to action that you want, from each page to each product. This way, you’re leaving no doubt for the user when it comes to encouraging their next step.
There should be no page where the user is unable to figure out what to do next. Allow your content architecture to do the talking to your users to guide them where you want them to go.
Issue: a lack of personality
Plenty (if not most) websites lack a true personality or powerful brand voice. Scrolling through websites can either make you feel bored or fill you with marketing… nonsense.
The reason for this is because a lot of digital content is written by people who are more interested in feeding them plain facts or too pushy in selling something. Engagement is neglected.
The solution: inject personality
Step one is to define who you are as a company. What defines you? What characteristics are you wanting to display? Next up is creating a content style guide filled with tone, key phrases, and examples, before distributing it across all content creators and editors.
Then once the style guide is established, ensure that everyone adheres and refers to it as often as possible. Of course, content creators can and should stray occasionally, because content should never be rigidly fixed, but keep it sparingly.