Today, we live in a multichannel world where there are more ways to share content online and offline. You have likely seen a campaign printed on the side of a bus that you later saw in the sidebar of a website, recognisable due to the consistency of the advertisements and messaging. Perhaps the ad even mentioned the name of your city.
For a team to achieve this level of consistency and personalisation, they need full visibility of all content over online and offline channels. Yet, these systems are often disconnected from the content operations mechanics and require manual coordination between the marketing team, third-party providers and digital content creators.
Headless content delivery is one solution to this persistent problem. So, how does it work? And why is it a game-changer for scaling personalised content?
What prevents personalisation at scale?
Traditional approaches to content management generate various problems for organisations, largely due to the manual work involved in managing, creating and distributing content. These tasks can include email exchanges, version tracking, and using content creation tools that are not integrated with digital distribution channels. Issues arise when, despite careful content planning and channel consideration, the execution system creates disconnects and inefficiencies.
Marketing teams usually pass on their work to digital teams after content curation. It's up to the digital team to assemble and publish the content on websites, apps, email marketing platforms, or e-commerce sites. This task requires multiple touchpoints and systems that are detached from the content creation process.
Such a process only becomes more difficult as the number of distribution systems and channels increases, with specific adjustments required for each piece of content depending on where it’s published. Any market, supply chain, technical information, warranty, or legislative changes often necessitate an offline process to update all touchpoints, meaning that a company cannot respond promptly to any changes. As such, it also becomes very difficult to apply personalisation to all these pieces of content.
What is headless content delivery?
Unlike traditional systems where content creation and delivery exist on one platform, headless systems separate these. In the headless content delivery framework, content creation and management processes stay separate from the content delivery layer. Content is stored centrally and delivered dynamically at scale across various channels, including websites, mobile apps, digital signage and more.
The content becomes accessible and retrievable on any device or platform via APIs. The 'head', or the user interface, is eliminated – which is why we called it 'headless'. As such, digital teams can repurpose content for multiple platforms without editing an entire web page or duplicating content for personalisation.
How does an omnichannel content platform drive headless content delivery?
Let's look at a specific omnichannel content marketing platform: Sitecore Content Hub. This platform does not treat content as blocks or whole pages; it stores content in modular pieces at the component level, making it easier for teams to manage content changes.
Sitecore Content Hub functions as a master content management system, allowing content to be centrally created, localised and controlled. This level of modularisation makes it easier for teams to enhance customer and employee experiences across various applications, including internal customer systems, support platforms, and knowledge bases.
While a traditional CMS primarily covers authoring, publishing, and content management, Sitecore Content Hub manages all aspects of content, including planning, approvals, personalisation, dynamic renditions and a CDN mechanism for developers to query the content as needed. Separating the content platform from the delivery layer offers greater freedom in both areas, enabling delivery at scale. Content is housed and managed within Content Hub, with workflows for approval and publishing processes. This content gets published to a page where it's cached and ready for distribution. The content team can also implement any changes or updates to the content without needing a digital platform team to make these changes to each separate distribution channel. Updates are delivered in real time, removing delays and time to market.
How headless content delivery enables personalisation at scale
Now that we understand how omnichannel content platforms drive headless delivery, here is how it enables personalisation at scale:
Manages all content from a central location
Centralising content storage allows for efficient management, curation, multi-channel usage, and localisation for regional changes or compliance requirements. A centralised approach enables teams to easily tailor content for different audiences, enhancing the customer experience across various channels. For example, in a region like the Asia-Pacific, where you have multiple languages, centralised content makes it easy to adapt content to suit varying regions and personalise it for different languages, cities and cultures.
Enhances workflows between teams
Many companies have multiple content engines integrated with their CMS, which makes content personalisation complex. One of the significant advantages of headless content delivery is the improvement it brings to team workflows by centralising content management. With content stored in one central location, it becomes much easier for teams to manage and personalise content. For example, anyone can search for the assets they need with filters such as topic, channel or point of sale.
Enables greater control over the customer experience
Finally, headless content delivery enables you to personalise content for individual customers. Content typically comprises numerous modularised components that, along with functional data, enable you to generate unique customer experiences. For example, you can gather data about your customers and use this to present individuals with unique suggestions and offers. When you have a Customer Data Platform (CDP) in place for personalisation with appropriately stored and tagged content, personalisation at scale becomes easier to implement and adapt over time.
Right now, too many teams waste time manually updating systems and content without a method for personalising it. To personalise content effectively, your organisation needs the tools to break it down and deliver it modularly. But more than that, you need to reimagine the processes involved and reduce the steps required to deliver content (the true definition of ‘doing more with less’).
Your business needs a system for headless content delivery to achieve personalisation at scale. When supported by an omnichannel content platform, you can reduce the number of tedious tasks and focus on distributing personalised content to your customers.
Why choose Creative Folks to solve your content delivery challenges?
We have been helping our customers manage content for over twenty-two years and have a combined experience of 100+ years transforming content management and delivery processes. We have implemented omnichannel content platforms, like Sitecore Content Hub, for our customers and have delivered solutions aligned with their content and organisational strategies. We will work with you to build the solutions needed to address your content management needs and reduce the amount of manual work involved with your business. Please visit our Sitecore Content Hub page to get started.
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