Many of us like to rank and rate everyday things – food, clothes, even people. Some companies make a living out of it, including Fitch Ratings, one of the leading credit rating businesses in the world.
Its expertise lies in collecting and publishing complex research as well as rating actions in multiple forms such as video, image, and text.
This equals a lot of content. And it reached a point where it needed a bit of help when it came to its organization in addition to its presentation.
Fitch Ratings went about modernizing its own website so that it could improve the experience for internal and end users, who are spread across 30 countries.
It decided to replatform its website to Contentful, the headless, API-first content management system.
At the outset of its digital transformation, Fitch Ratings chiseled out how it wanted its future to look. Also, certain aspects simply had to go.
Its content marketing was subpar, with high levels of dropped newsletter opt-ins and also product offers and editorial offers would get mixed up. Another pain was the – lack of – speed in publishing content, emanating from its rigid interface and slow system that was baked into its legacy content management system.
These issues caused disruption to all teams over at Fitch Rating, but most of all software developers and marketeers – they’re the ones on the frontlines of content creation.
“We live in a very media-driven world,” said Peter Jones. “We produce top-quality videos, webinars, podcasts, interactive content, and knew we’d need a more robust, flexible platform to support that.
“We needed a structure that was contextual and interest-driven.”
The new Contentful platform has greater capabilities, such as better analytics.
“All of this needed to be wrapped up in an atomic user interface,” said John Sutherby, head of tech at the agency that worked with Fitch Ratings. “We needed to make it completely component-driven, so Fitch could reuse bits of functionality as they required and of course make it sociable.”
John added that “Contentful really is a core component of the solution. We can have a clear model of the content structure that’s divorced from the presentation and allows us to reuse that content as necessary.”
The ideal CMS platform
One concern that they had was that it held an extensive library of already published content, which made for migration complexities.
But that played into the strengths of Contentful, because the platform’s API-focused, cloud-based nature can keep migration time down.
The new Fitch Ratings website was specifically designed to provide smooth integration and the ability to accommodate increased content loads.
Marketers can publish content straight on the platform through tagged output channels and information blocks.
“There’s a seamless transition between our marketing, research and editorial content,” said Param Rengaiah, director of web platforms at Fitch Ratings. “This really helps us curate our content and put it in front of the right audience at the right time.”
“You can really dial down the components and then build on them as you find new needs for your pages and page templates. It’s wonderful having the ability to enrich designs and test out the UI and UX to ensure they work together properly,” added John.
“Elasticsearch is also a major component – we used it to index content along with a GRphQL server. Customers coming to the website need to find content fast.”
“And especially the one thing I hear from users of the Contentful web app is that it’s always up-to-date,” he added. “You get new features rolled out every time Contentful releases something new.”
Rolling out success
Not long after relaunching their website on Contentful, Fitch Ratings started to record positive results.
For example, its SEO got a boost of 130% while its data analytics became more accurate. Also, it saw a spike in its newsletter sign-ups. “We’re seeing increased engagement on the site,” said Peter. “The frequency of returning visitors is rising and the whole web experience is more enjoyable.”
They can take Contentful into the future and utilize it to expand in further projects. “Contentful offers a solid foundation that we can build our future projects on,” added Jones. “It’s a very scalable platform with a lot of flexibility regarding different output channels.”