Managing content is getting more complicated by the day. Between cloud services, AI-based automation, the use of freelanced support, and even taking care of licensing agreements for content, managing the content for a business is more complicated than it’s ever been. Fortunately, there are ways to simplify things, and that’s where the content hub comes in.
What is a Content Hub?
A content hub is a combination of four primary components that are often distributed throughout a company, all centralized into one location so everyone can keep track of relevant resources and information.
Content Marketing Platform (CMP)
A content marketing platform centralizes the ideation, planning, creation, and use of content throughout your company. A well-made system can report things like whether you’re missing content for particular demographics or where you should allocate more resources.
In most cases, you won’t be creating every type of content asset natively within a content marketing platform. Still, they can help employees and freelancers with collaboration and workflow to guide the creation process, help assign resources, alert people when material needs approval, and so on.
Digital Asset Management (DAM)
A digital asset management system is essentially a fancy data storage system. It archives pictures, videos, logos, and other media assets that you can use, modify, or copy as needed. Proper digital asset management systems also keep track of rights management so you can ensure your content always follows any relevant licensing agreements.
Advanced systems may include support for metadata and content security. For example, it can help track how many times you’ve used certain types of content, so you know when to start changing things around.
Marketing Resource Management (MRM)
Marketing resource management systems help plan and measure your marketing operations. This includes scheduling operations, creative reviews, managing approval processes, and so on.
The difference between this and a content marketing platform is that this is useful mainly for marketers who are planning budgets and resources for campaigns, rather than day-to-day asset production.
Product Content Management (PCM)
Product content management covers information for specific products, including material that may not be shared with customers. This hub deals with product benefits, translations, commercial descriptions, and anything else that might be relevant to selling the product.
For example, a PCM system can track every site where you have particular descriptions of your product. If you need to change the product description, this system will help ensure uniformity.
Bringing Things Together
A content hub that only consists of the four components described above isn’t useful. This is because the hub can only show its real value when it enables something more than the sum of its parts. Otherwise, you might as well keep the systems separate.
Notably, a great content hub accounts for differences in companies, teams, and even individuals. For example, creative content makers often work more independently than focused marketing teams do. Content hubs can give users different interfaces to support the way they operate best, supporting your entire organization at every stage of the content marketing process.
The best coordination systems are a mixture of calendars and user feedback. Features that allow for commenting are particularly useful, especially if the system can notify those who most need to know about any particular subject.
Self-contained software is good, but with the spread of content marketing services, it’s no longer viable for all companies. The best content hubs support integration with other apps and software, allowing them to work more-or-less seamlessly to collect data and automate as many processes as possible.
This is particularly useful when employees are trained on specific apps and you don’t want to change this. With the right integration, everyone can use the systems they’re most familiar with, resulting in a functionally seamless experience for users.
However, as useful as this is, no content hub can guarantee compatibility with all software and fit all process use cases. While better hubs integrate with the most popular services, you may need to hire a competent programmer to bridge the systems. Thus, be sure to keep integration in mind and also a freelance developer hiring guide when deciding to find the most suitable candidate that will help you set up an effective content hub.
The Benefits For Content Managers
Now that we know what company-facing content hubs are, here are the main benefits for content managers.
Content hubs are particularly useful for managers because they provide an at-a-glance understanding of what’s going on with your content. That includes where it’s being used, who’s contributing to it, whether you’re upholding licensing agreements and other useful data.
Content hubs can also help improve your workflows by monitoring load and productivity between marketing teams and predicting future content needs far enough ahead of time to let you create content by the time you need it.
Content hubs can also display useful metrics about your content. For example, by tracking which types of content are used in specific campaigns, a content hub can determine which types of images, logos, or layouts are most effective for marketing to specific groups.
By analyzing performance over time, these metrics can also help your teams iterate on their marketing, branding, and try to improve things further. More importantly, testing can help reveal what aspects of your content tend to resonate with specific demographics.
For example, you may find that certain images work better in some layouts than others. It takes time to get useful data from content hubs, but it can provide outstanding returns on your investment once you do.
How Big Does A Company Need To Be To Benefit From A Content Hub?
This is the wrong question to ask. It’s not about how big your company is, but rather, it’s about how complex your content is. Big companies may have simple marketing, while small companies can have extraordinarily complex marketing.
While there’s no universal answer, content hubs usually start showing their real value when you have multiple teams working on your marketing.
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