Future-proof your content strategy: Overcoming challenges with the right CMS

The efficiency and impact of your content operation is only ever as good as the content management system (CMS) that supports it. How you structure your chosen CMS influences the types of experiences you can create and deliver. As customer expectations are at an all time high, this can make or break your organization.

What are the options?

Content structures are either fixed, selectively flexible, or flexible, depending on whether you use a page-orientated, modified page-orientated, or native headless CMS. Comparing these options is like comparing apples and oranges. They might appear to do the same job—deliver content experiences to your customers—but on closer inspection, you’ll see that their functions and features can have a huge impact on the success of your business long-term.

How do I choose?

To help you understand the difference and make the right decision, we’ve highlighted five content management challenges and summarized their best practice solutions.

The freedom to dictate your content structure and schema

Relying on fixed templates limits the diversity and flexibility of the content and experiences your organization can create. Many CMSs claim to include or support common features, but how they provide these capabilities can be radically different. 

With page-orientated and modified page-orientated CMS, content types are largely decided by the vendor—not your publishers—and the channels you can publish to are limited, as is your ability to connect different content items together. The entire process can be complex and difficult to understand.

Best practice solution:

One that enables publishers to define relationships between content pieces, structure content with a unified enterprise model, and ensure content is futureproofed and platform-independent.

Finding an authoring tool that supports your strategic content plan

If authors lack a single tool to create flexible, consistent, strategic content, your content strategy will suffer. Multiple authoring tools limit the ability to practice good content practices, connect different types of content together, and don’t allow for modular content creation. They also require more training.

Best practice solution:

Everyone uses a default authoring environment that supports the creation of a diverse range of structured modular content without the need for add-on tools or additional resources such as training, maintenance, or hosting.

Using APIs that are flexible enough to meet your content delivery needs

An API’s delivery flexibility varies from CMS to CMS and determines the types of content that can be retrieved and delivered, as well as the granularity of information that can be specified in a query. Some APIs are less agile, less precise, and less unified than others, and some require content to be filtered or transformed to be useful when delivered in the UI.

Best practice solution:

An API-first approach where the content that’s available is independent of how it is stored, managed, and processed in the CMS so that content can be easily delivered to any destination.

Integrating enhancements from different organizations

Customizing your setup to match your evolving business priorities relies on having access to a variety of tools and enhancements, but these integrations depend on the platform architecture. If you can’t swap out tools easily or integrate enhancements from different vendors, your CMS capabilities won’t match the growing needs of your business, and you won’t reap the benefits of new tools and functions.

Best practice solution:

Composable platforms allow a wide range of tools with open APIs to be integrated using a “low code” approach.

Providing a seamless and unified end-to-end experience for all employees

When teams use different authoring, management, and delivery systems, content operations can be glitchy and difficult to maintain or change. If a vendor has added or acquired authoring or delivery capabilities that weren’t originally part of their CMS, it can cause fragmented experiences, delays, and high maintenance costs.

Best practice solution:

A unified content platform where all content is managed in the same way and can be migrated to and exchanged with other systems easily, creating a unified experience for all employees.

Headless: A robust solution for future-proofed content management

The decisions you make about your content architecture have a big impact on the outcome of your content strategy. Stick with a traditional page-orientated CMS or an optional headless—and try to keep up with modifications and add-ons—and you risk a clunky, complex content operation. 

Increasingly, organizations are choosing a headless-native CMS because of its extensibility, flexibility, and capacity to adapt to future requirements. It’s the smartest choice for a modern, scalable solution that delivers the personalized experiences today’s buyers expect and that will serve your long-term business needs.

If you want to understand the capabilities of headless CMSs a bit more and compare them to other CMS solutions on the market, read our guide How to compare CMS options.

Additional resources

Talk with an expert

Start your journey with Kontent.ai. We’ll show you how to achieve an unparalleled return on your content.