Are you still facing a Content Crisis?.

Content Logistics

The only good thing to come of the phrase ‘the new normal’ (and to my mind, somewhat thankfully), was that it so definitely cast a shadow over the phrase the ‘Content Crisis’. 2020 was having none of it! Marketing folk with their misuse of the word ‘crisis’. I digress… really what does this mean when we boil it down? It’s essentially buzzwords for your classic business silos and challenges in organising the right materials, but applied to the content world. 

Add to that the necessity… and an insatiable demand for content; daily content of various types across multiple channels must be delivered to ensure one maintains their TikTok and Instagram fame. Thus the challenge is the same… but on steroids as content is created and stored in a myriad of locations and formats and edited by various parties. 

It’s a logistical nightmare - resulting in a lack of clarity around what content is available, where it is stored and in what formats, leading to inefficiencies, impacts on consistency and risks to governance.

That’s just part of it, however, as marketing channels open up on the regular and content is being consumed by a global audience, therein lies the challenge of effective content planning, consistent messaging and timely dissemination.

The challenge of delivering content to multiple channels in a consistent manner is actually just part of the challenge. To further complicate matters our globally connected audience will consume content from various locations, across various devices and expect the same experience without a millisecond of ‘loading’ and pixel perfect delivery. They won’t notice when it’s right… but they will when it’s not. 

The landscape

Logistically we have multiple challenges around strategy, workflows, aggregation of assets and content dissemination. So what is the answer? A single source of truth, one globally accessible content repository that enables marketing teams to collaborate and manage the end-to-end content lifecycle in one place. A single location to unify the ideation, planning, production and sharing of content… may I introduce you to: Sitecore Content Hub™.

Let’s consider the broader landscape briefly – we have content repositories, in this example a CMS (Sitecore) and/or a DAM (Content Hub) and essentially what we are trying to do is deliver that content to multiple channels whilst maintaining some level of consistency and governance. 

By decoupling content from the code and leveraging a delivery layer it’s possible to provide a scalable graphical endpoint for various applications to pull and consume content from… a SaaS based delivery layer for content (e.g. Sitecore Experience Edge), and Voila… Content as a Service (CaaS) is born. We’re using the same content and delivering it to multiple channels, resulting in a consistent experience for your end consumer. Furthermore, with the correct service provider (with globally positioned CDNs) in place the issues around timely delivery of content is, ‘poof’ - gone!



Sitecore Content Hub™

There’s no denying it, the current climate is a challenge - but only if you let it be. Taking control of where and how your content is organised and accessed is the first step and made stunningly configurable to your unique business needs, with Sitecore Content Hub™.

In late 2018 Sitecore completed the acquisition of Stylelabs to enable their customers to streamline the entire content lifecycle, enabling the integration with Sitecore XM and improving content workstreams for enabling personalised, contextual experiences. We have since seen a number of new version releases bringing with them additional products to the Content Hub suite and more advanced technical solutions to solve challenges relating scale and speed of delivery, as discussed. 

Sitecore Content Hub™ offers a suite of 5 products that enable marketing teams to manage, plan and share content in an organised, governed and collaborative way:

Sitecore DAM™

The Sitecore DAM™ is… as you’d expect… a Digital Asset Management - a repository for all content types, allowing organisations to store all content types in a single location with customisable taxonomy and tagging, functionality to enable the creation, viewing and sharing of assets, and a highly powerful search enabled by AI for image sourcing and auto-tagging. 

  • Aggregate various content assets: photos, PDFs, video, layouts, artwork, source files, and more

  • Categorise content in a globally consistent way 

  • Rapidly search high volumes of material with the configurable and faceted search

  • Leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for automated content tagging and image sourcing for content reuse

  • Group assets into collections and share with various stakeholders easily - both internal and external

  • Metadata, security, and global distribution supported

  • Enables better control of your Digital Right Management (DRM) - apply rights as a search facet and manage usage rights within a single solution.

Sitecore CMP™

The Sitecore Content Marketing Platform supports the production cycle of content, enabling teams to collaboratively plan content strategies, identify gaps and prioritise the production of content for specific channels, audiences, campaigns etc. The CMP solution allows teams to create and track content strategies in a visual way, with customisable dual-pivot views and a campaign calendar to create, plan and track content needs.

  • Drive efficiencies and effectiveness off the content planning, creation and collaboration across teams

  • Ideate, plan, create, collaborate and distribute content (including to Sitecore XM) in one place 

  • Better align your content stakeholders and work streams to supercharge content production

  • Make the most of your content usage and multi-channel syndication to target audiences

  • Enable global visibility and governance of content production

Sitecore MRM™

Sitecore Marketing Resource Management enables teams to define and create the end-to-end processes around the planning, production and publishing of content. Teams can plan and collaborate on complex, multi-layer content campaigns and production. Allowing teams to plan campaigns with the marketing calendar and utilise metadata to support complex marketing schedules that are across multiple brands, markets and channels. Sitecore MRM enables organisations to manage and track content projects via workflows and report on the status and budgets. 

  • Where it all comes together by enabling complex, multi-brand content campaigns to be planned in a collaborative way

  • Content project management for effective outcomes

  • Track and review content performance, budgets & timelines

To complete these and round out the set of 5, in version 3.4 Sitecore released an additional set of products; 

Sitecore PCM™

The Product Content Management centralises product data, and its management and maintenance in one place. Subsequently consistent product data is shared with product feeds to Ecommerce websites, ERP systems and so on, in an automated fashion. Furthermore products can be associated with content and campaigns to support productised content strategies.

  • View, manage and maintain the accuracy of your consumer facing product content, in one place

  • Integrate product data with marketing content and campaign activity

  • Quickly view the usage of product data and assets - how and where they are being used across the various channels

  • Integrates with downstream systems to enable accurate product data across channels

Sitecore Web-to-Print™

Anyone out there remember PXM?! Yeah, so, much like PXM this product is aimed enabling your digitals assets to be utilised for print collateral. Web-to-Print enables teams to create personalised print collateral using assets from within the DAM in combination with customisable templates. In other words, targeted, less wasteful print media assets.

  • Create customisable templates for print material

  • Deliver consistent print material across the organisation, at scale by enabling ‘self-serve’

  • Access to the assets stored in the Sitecore DAM™ ensures brand consistency

  • Automated variant production enables scalability for product/brand variants

  • Ensure brand guidelines and compliance requirements are maintained

Sitecore Content Hub™ version 4.0

Sitecore Content Hub™ version 4.0 was released on 9th February 2021 and with it came new functionality that focuses on the delivery part of the puzzle:

  • Headless content delivery, supported by two new methods - as we touched on earlier: 

    • Content as a Service (CaaS) functionality - by enhancing the platform with a schema publishing engine and a data publisher so that content can be moved to the edge more rapidly. 

    • Sitecore Experience Edge™ - the Sitecore solution to a content delivery layer, which is highly scalable and speeds up the delivery of content to multiple channels by bringing it from Content Hub to the edge, where the content is cached for rapid consumption.

  • Improved content variation management

  • Improvements to the functionality enabling the collaboration and sharing of content across both internal and external stakeholders

  • Improved and new integrations with third-party tools to support the syndication of product content and product data integrations with Sitecore’s partner ProductsUp

Integrations

The Sitecore Content Hub offers a variety of integrations to enable marketing teams to aggregate content from various sources and share content in a scalable way with stakeholders, 3rd parties and other marketing channels. 

  • Adobe Creative Cloud - a tight integration allowing designers to draw assets from Content Hub into InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator and then package the upend drop back into Content Hub once finalised. 

  • Social channels - and integration with Twitter allows teams to create content and post directly to Twitter within Content Hub.

  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud - Sitecore Connect™. 

Other integration points include:

  • Sitecore Connect™ enables the seamless integrations for content utilised within campaigns

    • Sitecore Connect™ for Sitecore DAM™

      • Sitecore Experience Manager

      • Sitecore Experience Platform

      • Sitecore Experience Commerce

    • Sitecore Connect™ for Creative Cloud™

      • Adobe InDesign

      • Adobe Illustrator

      • Adobe Photoshop

    • Sitecore Connect™ for Salesforce Marketing Cloud

  • Generic connectors

    • Drupal

    • WordPress

    • YouTube

  • APIs and SDKs

    • Social channels such as Twitter via Open API

      • Ability to also draw social engagement metrics back into Sitecore Content Hub

    • REST API

    • Web Client SDK

    • JavaScript SDK

    • Google Cloud Natural Language API

If delivering a unified and compelling content experience for your customers has become a logistical nightmare for you, we’d be delighted to help you solve your (cough cough) ‘content crisis’.

want to speak to one of our experts?

Natalie Waite
Natalie Waite
Head of Digital Experience


Natalie Waite

Natalie Waite

30 Mar 2021 - 10 minute read
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