Not every content management system (CMS) is created equal. They all have different features and capabilities that make them great, but they may not work well for every business industry or type.
This is why it is important to know the features you need to be successful so you can reach your goals with ease. Ask yourself what features you need in order to reach your goals and then compare your CMS options.
If you aren't sure how the features fit into your set goals and objectives, we can help you with some common features and CMS requirements that many organizations use to reach their goals.
What Is a CMS?
A CMS is a software platform that helps users to build and manage their websites with ease. Most content management systems don’t require users to have extensive knowledge of coding, or any knowledge of coding at all.
With a CMS, businesses can create, edit, manage, and publish content in a simple intuitive interface.
Some popular CMS options include:
How Marketers Use a CMS
Marketing has changed over the past few years, and the right implementation of a CMS can give marketers a competitive edge that allows them to stay on top of the most up-to-date trends.
Here are some ways that marketers use a CMS:
They Create Omni-Channel Marketing Campaigns.
As mentioned above, marketing continues to change as media and technology changes.
Since there are many marketing channels and different audiences that inhabit each channel, there is now a need for content to be optimized for each unique channel. In other words, marketers shouldn't be trying to force all of their content to fit multiple channels.
Marketers use CMS software to make it easy to address the omni-channel experience for their prospective customers. This means that no matter where your customer reaches out, you can ensure they have a cohesive customer experience.
Essentially, it makes juggling all of your channels easier.
They Improve Team Collaboration and Workflows.
Most often, there are many different people that work on one marketing project or campaign. Editors, copywriters, designers, content managers, and programmers are all likely to be involved in any given project.
This is where a great CMS comes in handy. A CMS allows users to create seamless workflows and creates excellent opportunities for mostly conflict-free collaboration.
This helps marketers save time because it reduces the back-and-forth between team members.
They Achieve Brand Consistency.
Brand consistency is essential for businesses to have so your marketing messages and materials can flourish. CMS platforms bring all of your team members together and help them to stay on the same page, which is a great plus for your marketing strategy.
Without a CMS, your marketing messages and design can easily become disjointed and cause your audience to be confused about your purpose and offerings.
They Improve Customer Engagement.
Marketers seek to make connections with their audience. Each campaign a marketer creates and implements should have the basic goal of creating engagement.
Measuring engagement can be difficult without the proper tools to measure things like social media follows, comments, clicks, or conversion rates.
Many CMS platforms allow you to collect data from your marketing efforts to see if the tasks you're doing are improving customer engagement.
Better content management with a CMS helps to boost marketing, which ultimately helps increase customer engagement.
They Add and Edit Pages on Their Website.
Websites take constant work to make better. A CMS solution allows you to tweak pages whenever you need to so you can make sure your website is up to date with all of the newest trends.
You can also add pages when you need to based on customer feedback or create new lead magnets and conversion paths as your marketing efforts expand.
It's essential that your CMS is user friendly so your marketing team can make updates without relying on developers. This ensures you can make quick additions and content enhancements, so you can start seeing results in no time.
They Optimize Their Website for Search.
Search engine optimization (SEO) tools are typically available on good CMS platforms. Marketers need people to see the content they are producing and publishing, and the only way to do this is through SEO.
This means they must add elements like featured snippets, meta descriptions, alt text, and other items to their content so their content can be ranked high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.
Using a CMS can make optimizing your content simple, earning you more organic traffic fast.
They Create, Edit, and Update Content.
Blogging is made easy on CMS platforms since most of them allow you to add images, text, videos, and other items easily into a blog post.
Marketers can also upload promotional videos to their website with just a few clicks. The best CMS options make editing a piece of cake, which is why the user experience is one of the most important features to consider when you're shopping for the best fit.
10 Must-Have CMS Features
Your dream content management system probably doesn't exist, but we can help you choose a CMS with some of the best features.
Here are 10 CMS features that are a must-have for every marketing team:
1. Social Media Integration
Organic traffic is only one way you can leverage traffic on your site. A good way to drive referral traffic to your site is to use social media to your advantage by having a CMS that allows you to integrate social capabilities.
Here are some questions you can consider regarding your CMS:
- Can you add social media sharing buttons to your posts or pages?
- Are social media analytics included in your CMS dashboard?
- Can you schedule and publish posts on social media from your CMS?
These are just a few features that your CMS can have that helps you to hit your social media and blog traffic goals.
2. 24/7 Security
Protecting your content is an absolute must so you can keep your website data and your customer’s data secure. Great CMS security helps to maintain your brand reputation and your customers’ information.
Built-in CMS security features and threat monitoring should be one of your top concerns when choosing a CMS.
Many open-source CMS platforms don’t have typical customer support teams to help their users. Instead, they have extensive resources and a large community of users that can help you in community forums.
This helps you to resolve issues by yourself, which is fine, but you may not always be able to take the time to sort through information or to wait for an answer in a support forum.
Live support can be valuable to you when you need immediate help with something, so make sure you look for a CMS with quick access to customer support.
4. Built-in SEO Tools
If you want to improve your chances of outranking your competitors, you need a CMS with built-in SEO tools.
Check to make sure the platform you choose is SEO friendly. Find out if they use proper HTML markup, a responsive web design, SEO-friendly permalinks, and then check out any advanced SEO capabilities they have.
For instance, HubSpot CMS Hub provides users with SEO recommendations as they create content.
5. Responsive Themes
Take a look at the selection of themes your CMS offers. Themes help you to establish a consistent brand look throughout the pages on your website.
For example, if you run an ecommerce site, make sure your CMS host has buildable free or paid themes that include:
- Content sections that are customizable
- Grid layouts
- Drop down navigation menus
You also want to ensure the content published on your site theme appears correctly on every device your users choose to access your site from.
6. Intuitive Dashboard
A large part of every CMS platform is the dashboard. This is where you go to manage your content production tasks, such as tracking user activity, monitoring threats, installing modules, and analyzing performance data.
The CMS dashboard should be easy to use so you can handle your tasks and access important data with a few clicks.
7. Performance Reporting
In addition to seeing performance data on your dashboard, you should also be able to generate performance reports.
This gives you a comprehensive view of how your webpages are performing, which ones are seeing the most traffic, and which pages are generating the most form submissions.
This gives you the information you need to continue developing your marketing strategies so you know which areas to focus on the most.
8. Landing Page Creation and Management
Creating new landing pages should be easy. Make sure your CMS lets you drag and drop different modules, text, and other elements to make editing and creating your landing pages as simple as can be.
It’s also best to choose a CMS that doesn’t require coding for you to change things like color or font.
9. Personalized CTAs
Calls to action are an essential part of a lead generating website. You need to guide your site visitors to get in contact with you or to purchase your products or services.
The best CTAs are ones that you can customize, so you can align them with your brand identity and style.
Your CMS should let you build your CTAs however you want with a wide range of colors, text, and image options.
10. Content Staging
Once you finish your site, it is unlikely it will stay the same. This means that as time passes, you may need to make big changes to your website for one reason or another.
The changes you make and test out should not go live automatically just in case you aren’t firm on the changes you want to make. Your CMS should allow you to test out your new content changes to make sure they improve your users’ experience before they become permanent changes to the site.
That is why you should search for a CMS that lets you preview and stage content. For instance, the CMS Hub comes with a staging environment so you can get a feel for what your site will look like with the changes.
You may have discovered CMS features you didn't know you needed that were mentioned on this list, or you may have realized that you don't need every single one of these features. That's alright. Your CMS and its features should be selected according to your business needs.
But we can tell you that having a great platform that has built-in SEO tools, a user-friendly dashboard, and advanced security measures, along with other key features, can help you to grow a website that truly engages your visitors and helps you reach your conversion goals.