In this video, we talk about Content Creation. What does your Content Creation Process look like? Do you have manual processes along with automated ones?
Note: The following is the transcription of the video produced by an automated transcription system.
Akshay Sura: All right, so today we're going to talk about content creation, and I know we've been both been in the CMS industry for a while. So what's your take on content creation Kamruz? What have you seen?
Kamruz Jaman: Oh, I've seen everything. What haven't I seen? Probably an easier way to talk about it, right? Like I've seen thing from people using word documents. That's a very common one, right? Word documents or excel on a shared drive and then passing that or SharePoint or something like that and passing that around for edits and approvals? I've seen emails flying around, people sending across discrete bits of emails and pushing that around. I then down to. Like on a on a on the CMS platform itself, if you if you're using a Sitecore, then you can create the content directly within Sitecore and then use set up custom workflows to set up the approvals and the gates for those and have some acceptance and rejections and suggestions for edits. Yes, is a big mix of how people are trying to create content and content creation process. Is a bit of a blocker, right for a lot of companies and getting that onto the final mediums that they that they want to push it out to.
Akshay Sura: Yeah, and depending on the team, it seems to be different, right? So like if there's a product team, they want to use Trello, there's the marketing team they want to use gather content or whatever the other system is. So it's like using different tools. But the end goal is content. And again, that's just one piece of the content. But that content can be used on a website, on a specification document for the product or a mobile app, or, you know, 100 different things. So it feels like content to authors or marketing professionals who are coming up with this Content, and they don't look at it from a component by component basis. They look at content as a whole like product launch, right?
Kamruz Jaman: This is a campaign, right? It's the entire campaign that they're thinking about is not just the website that that is the only piece of content that you need to generate for nowadays. It's the entire campaign process. I have a product launch, so I need some things on the website, but I also need to tie that in with a campaign that's going to go onto the social media, maybe into some print media or some CMSwire or newswire type, type of situation as well with press releases. And so there's lots of different places that content is going up to.
Akshay Sura: Yeah, and then we've seen tools like, you know, there's several products which call themselves content hubs, where from ideation, you create content and then get it up to a stage where you happy with the content. But then again, you're stuck at the point where now you have the content, you've brought everyone and their mother onto one system instead of all the disparate systems. You got all the content through the workflows, you got it in the final state. Now how do we get that content into the print for them to print the product specs, to put it with your product or do social to different socials? And all of these APIs are changing all the time, right? And that's the interesting part is how disconnected it's it seems, no matter what you use.
Kamruz Jaman: Yeah, absolutely, there seems to be always some custom integrations that you need to then go and do again, right, because you want to push it out to social, then maybe that product has something that will push it up to some Social accounts, or it'll be like, Hey, we're open so you can just go and build whatever you like. Ok, now I have to build another social integration. Or how do I get into from this content creation tool into my web tool right my CMS? Again, I need to create another integration, and then I need to think about, OK, well, content transformations again, right? The concept was like this, and now I need to get it into this other format that this other tool is expecting, expecting that content to be it. So it just seems to be pushing, pushing that bucket of content and the problem from one system to another system. And we have a we have a multiple systems. All of a sudden, you know, we have a content management system, which requires another system to manage the content in and we're like, well, what's my content management system doing if it's not to manage content and it's a bit of a, you know, what's going on here?
Akshay Sura: I mean, we've gone through this one of the one of our customers. We went through the entire gamut, right? So we did the customer interviews. And then the good thing was we had the leadership buy-in. So they are like, Yep, this is what we will use for content creation all the way until the content is actually approved. In this case, the customer wanted to have white papers. They actually sold their syndicated content, which is sold as learning material and things like that. But even then, we had to write quite a bit of customization to use these azure functions to push to different things like the social to push it to the syndicated content place. It wasn't easy, so it's a matter of getting the buy-in and getting everyone onto this system, from product teams to marketing teams. So what do you think is an ideal acceptable solution to you Kamruz?
Kamruz Jaman: I think it's one of these, again, it depends right on the business needs, so this particular customer obviously had a lot of white papers and learning materials that they were selling, so they had entire back office processes that needed to be followed and an entire huge teams that are based around this content creation. If it's if your organization is following something simpler where it's just, you know, we're mostly just focused on web content, then. Using some of these newer, headless SaaS based CMS is I think you can achieve a lot of what you can with these separate, separate content creation tools, right? The interfaces are super clean and these headless CMS is it's very focused on content entry as opposed to some of the traditional CMS is where it's about. Visual look and feel right. It's most of these are cleaner interfaces just for content entry. They have good workflow tools. They have good calendar functionality as well right to allow you to schedule when content will go out, when content to be created. So you're almost building this entire hub within the CMS and you could you can have that separated off with other organizations where there. Truly focused heavily on content and content is their main driver, what they are selling, then having these separate tools does help within the organization, right? Something which is focused and dedicated on their need.
Akshay Sura: Yeah, but the one good thing we saw with this process is that it took out a lot of the manual processes in place, especially with the company we were talking about. So it was nice to get out of that. Oh, you know, this part of the company only does it in word doc. This part of the company only uses gather content that way, bringing everyone on. At least it's seamless. It's in one central location, even if you can't really automatically pushed to the website or the mobile app, at least you have it. Oh, let me go. Get the latest copy on Product X or service Y And they're able to get that.
Kamruz Jaman: Yeah, you can write those sync tools, right? You can always right there sync tools to get that content across. I think one of the important parts of that conversation we had was they had no idea whether blockers were or their content, right? So somebody would make a change. Somebody would request an approval. It sat somewhere and somebody queue But nobody really knew because it was, you know, a bunch of emails or whatever that was flying around or. So now you could you could actually streamline that and you could actually you have some metrics as to where is the content being slow? And that's not to that's not to go and finger point right to people and say why? Why are you so slow? You can actually highlight some important organizational data and like, you know, you know, the start, we're understaffed here, we're overworked over here, or the processes still are not quite right. So we need to provide better training to those to those people in this site. So there's a lot of information that's unlocked all of a sudden because you have that data now available to us to, you know, where is where is our processes is taking long, how can they be improved and how can that streamline the business further?
Akshay Sura: Yeah. And then for web only and we've talked about this before for web only kind of companies who mainly want to push to the web channel. We still have kind of like a divide, right? So I think I like using the data entry mode in a CMS because it's faster. I feel like I have more control. And what's interesting is for a lot of the guys or gals we've talked, talked to are marketing professionals legal, they tend to go half and half. Some of them like the visual way of entering content onto a website, some of them like the data entry way of entering content into the website. I wonder what makes them pick either, or it just is still interesting to me to think about that.
Kamruz Jaman: Yeah, yeah. I've worked at some like highly technical companies before where they just want to enter technical information and they're like, I just want the raw interface because I have highly technical information that I want to enter, and it's always in this specific format because it's a spec sheet or something like that, right? That's all they want. They want to go in and put their information in and out that they're not there like I don't really care what the. pretty frontend really looks like it's very technical info, whereas others are like, no, I really like the visual aspect and it's, you know, it's this highly marketing focused and the visual aspect of it is sometimes a bit more important than the content itself, right? So you do get a mix and I think whatever service you pick, it's nice to have the options to have both.
Akshay Sura: Yeah. No, absolutely. And in headless spaces, there's quite a few options and hopefully we can do like a like a.
Kamruz Jaman: It's not. It hasn't been a lot of options, right? It's something that's new. And some of the vendors are adding this thing. That's one of the things that when we started looking at headless CMS's was like, you know, I'm used to having this highly visual editor and composing pages, right? Not just. The stack, but we're composing pages with components and various data sources for those components. And that's something that wasn't there in those headless CMS space and most of the headless CMS space, right? It was very static templated pages, so it's nice to see that evolution come out.
Akshay Sura: Well, yeah, when we started, it was nothing. And then you got. Some kind of a compose, and I think right now there's like no visual editor, partial visual editor where you are just dropping components, but you don't know how what it looks like something like web spotlight from Kontent where you can actually put on components, add, remove and add stuff, StackBit it. I think we looked at Stack Bit to spoke with the founders of StackBit as well, so they do really well. So hopefully we'll get better.
Kamruz Jaman: Contentful has a compose component coming out as well, right? Which is in the works. So I think more and more of these vendors will do it. Prismic has slices. I think it is slices. That's another editor. So there's more and more of these coming. So there'll be more like full fledged CMS’s traditional CMS because I think I think the one thing that I spoke to you about on this was. If all of these vendors are coming out with these pieces is do you maintain? Like independent of the independents, the right? Or are they giving you hooks into closely, tie their code base into your solution? And then all of a sudden you're kind of back into having this very technology solution focused solution rather than it being agnostic like, that's one of the good things about composable DXP, right? And the headless CMS's, is it's very agnostic and it's easy to just flip one out and put another one in. I don't think that happens very often, but from a vendor point of view like us, it allows us to have this very flexible code base that we can reuse across multiple technology stacks.
Akshay Sura: Yeah. So I mean, to that point, the I guess the independent way of thinking of it is the commerce, the compose, which was released by uniform, right? It's agnostic of what your back end CMS is for that matter. But at the same, I think it still has a lot, a lot a way to evolve to make it visual, but that keep you agnostic of a specific vendor. True. Yeah. Yeah. All right, so hope we'll do another one about visually editing pages for your marketers coming soon. Thank you so much for joining today.
Kamruz Jaman: Thanks everyone.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with me. @akshaysura13 on Twitter or on Slack.
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