Increasing ROI with Content Management: Three Ways to Save


By Greg McAvoy-Jensen09/29/2011 12:02 pm

Greg McAvoy-Jensen with Mt. Reba in the background
 

Using a content management system (CMS) for web content management brings a variety of efficiencies for cost savings and higher return on investment (ROI). This post is meant to help those already using a CMS to verify that they are making the most of it, and to help those considering a switch to a CMS to know what kind of savings they might expect.

#1. Save in the Editorial Process

A CMS will enable you to use workflows to automate your business processes. Here's an example of a simple workflow: Whenever a contributor finishes a new content for the website rather than posting it to the website directly, it first goes to an editor who may approve it or deny it (and send it back with comments). If approved, the content appears immediately on the site.

A CMS with a good workflow system will not require you to use its “standard” workflows, but rather allows creation of custom workflows that exactly match your existing business processes. The savings comes in time: everyone's content is easy to find as it's all in one place, the CMS handles the passing of the content through the editorial process (so contributors don't have to), and the consistency of the process reduces guessing and mistakes.

Similarly, a CMS makes project collaboration easier. Take translation for instance. : Once a contributor has created something in the CMS, translators can enter into a translation interface so they can see, field by field, the content in the original language and create copy in the new one. Or the CMS can integrate with translation automation assistance, like SDL Trados. Since the content starts and ends in the CMS, we you again save on time spent moving versions from one system to another, correcting errors, keeping things up-to-date, and communicating about status.

#2. Save by Sending Your Content Everywhere

Unless your organization is an intelligence agency, your content is probably meant to be shared. Your CMS should make this easy. In addition to allowing non-programmers to update your website, the CMS should allow re-use of content: in multiple locations and ways on the site, on other sites, via mobile apps, through RSS feeds, to social media, in print (e.g. exporting to Microsoft Word, PDF, Adobe InDesign, or Quark), via email (perhaps through your favorite email marketing provider), and much more. When all the content originates from one system delivery is more efficient and copying errors are eliminated.

#3. Save on IT

When you select an enterprise CMS, one which is a complete and extensible content management framework, it can serve as the hub of all your content activity. Multiple web properties can be managed from the same system, and as noted above content delivery can be provided through many channels. The savings here comes from reducing the number of software packages which must be supported. New IT infrastructure decisions may now be minor additions rather than major systems. And overall, your organization's time can be spent on communicating its message rather than getting systems to communicate.

Conclusion

A strong CMS can realize quick savings on all your web content marketing and communication activities through efficiencies in the editorial, distribution and IT support areas. Well deployed, it can produce an attractive return on your company's investment, freeing funds for other uses. In an upcoming blog we'll discuss how to best deploy for CMS success.

 

Helping web content managers extend their reach and be ready for tomorrow. The Granite Horizon blog by executive director Greg McAvoy-Jensen and guests.


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