If you’re a marketer, you may have found yourself wondering what the recent headless CMS hype is all about, and why you should care. Is this new emerging trend that is taking over the CMS world any good for marketers? Isn’t it only for developers? And what actually is a headless CMS?
Radka UhlirovaPublished on May 3, 2017
Making Head or Tail of Headless CMS
The traditional content management systems were built for rendering content as websites. However, the new era of virtual reality, bots, digital assistants, and Internet of Things devices has created the need for displaying content on any device. Today, marketers need new tools that help them deliver highly personalized digital experience across channels. And that is where headless CMS comes in handy.
Separating Code and Presentation for Omni-channel Experiences
The headless CMS architecture makes this possible by separating the head from the CMS body. And when you move the headless CMS into the Cloud, it allows you to manage all your content in a single cloud-based content hub and publish it anywhere.
Instead of creating a new web page, you can take the elements of your page, such as title, description, and images, and approach them as structured content that can be used on your website, mobile app, or digital assistant.
In this way, your content becomes independent of its presentation, and marketers can focus on creating the content, while developers ensure publishing the content in each channel.
Break Silos and Produce Consistent Content
It is quite common that companies have several teams responsible for their websites, social media, and online stores. These teams often operate in silos and produce inconsistent content to promote the same service or product.
With headless CMS, you can take advantage of the reusable content and deliver a consistent message across all channels. At the same time, you will save precious time and resources, as you won’t need to spend many hours rewriting and copying content for each channel.
Headless CMS Helps You Start with Content, Not Technology
If you want to deliver successful digital projects in the multichannel era, you need to think beyond the website and focus on creating content that can be published across many channels and displayed on various devices. And yes, it might change the way your team works.
With the content-first approach, marketers don’t need to wait for developers to prepare templates. A headless CMS enables you to prepare most of the content before any code is written. As Andy Thompson, CTO at Get Started, presented in his great case study, when building a website with Kentico Cloud headless CMS, the roles in a team were able to work simultaneously and more independently. This approach also makes it easier to outsource front-end development, as the developers don’t need to be familiar with your headless CMS.
Cloud-first Headless CMS Gives You a Head Start
Many companies are stuck with an on-premise CMS that doesn’t allow them to get all the benefits of the Cloud. The cloud-first headless CMS was built for the Cloud from the outset and combines the best of headless architecture and a true Software as a Service model.
When running a headless CMS as Software as a Service (SaaS), the CMS vendor takes over the responsibility for the underlying infrastructure, database, storage, upgrades, hotfixes, performance, security, backups, and maintenance. This model gives marketers the opportunity to focus fully on content creation and shorten their time to market.
Pure Headless CMS Might Not Work for Everybody
There is no point hiding that a headless CMS requires a different approach to content and its presentation. Most importantly, the content is created independently of its presentation. In the pure headless world, there’s no concept of sitemaps or page layouts, as these are specific to a website, but may look very different in a mobile app.
The pure headless CMS might not work for everybody. However, headless products are still developing, and one of the options for making life easier for marketers is the head-optional approach. This model keeps the “head” for specific channels, which enables marketers to control the presentation in a specific channel to a certain degree.
Stay tuned for more product announcements from Kentico Cloud later this year, and you will learn how we will be empowering marketers. The head-optional model will allow marketers to create and manage landing pages on their own, without having to turn to developers. Naturally, you will still be able to publish the content from one place to multiple channels.
Think Digital Experience, Not Just Content Management
Publishing the same content for all your customers is no longer enough. You need to personalize their experience, and a CMS should help you with that.
The problem is that analytics, optimization, and personalization features are quite limited in a typical headless CMS solution. Therefore, you may need to combine your headless CMS with third-party tools such as Google Analytics and Google Optimize.
Unlike other headless CMS products, the vision of Kentico Cloud is much broader. It aspires to become a digital experience platform and provide personalized digital experiences across all channels. In contrast to traditional web analytics tools, Kentico Cloud tracks individual visitors and builds a complete picture of their activities. You can use the collected data to identify customer segments and provide them with a personalized experience.
Ready to Lose Your Head?
All in all, headless CMS is not only for developers. On the contrary, it gives marketers a great opportunity to create and manage reusable content that can be published across multiple channels and displayed on any device. Using a cloud-first headless CMS makes you more agile, breaks organizational silos, and shortens your time to market. Moreover, it gives you a head start over competitors, helps you reach new markets, and makes a difference in delivering the best experience to your customers.
If you want to learn more about headless CMS from a marketer’s point of view, check out this blog post by Candace R. Mitchell from BitWizards.