It’s unavoidable for us as marketers to move forward from 2020 without a new mindset. Most of us know by now that digital transformation is no longer a destination for brands but an ongoing journey, and successful brands are adopting technologies for “next normal” agility.

Forrester recently explained it as 2020 ended the “tactic treadmill”, making it impossible to fall back on last year’s tactics. The future is about adopting a new standard for planning.

As content creation tops the list of what B2B marketers expect their organizations will be investing in during 2021, the key is ensuring that your organization is set up for success when you ramp up your content marketing – not adding to any existing problems you might have with bottlenecks, silos, and disjointed customer experiences.

Implementing a content hub solution will enable your organization to power digital customer experiences with personalized content and be ready with the right tools to easily adapt to changes as they come. Here are key insights on how to make sure you’re choosing the right content hub for your business.

A content hub enables marketers to be conductors of content

So let’s be clear on what is a content hub, exactly? And why is it becoming increasingly important for organizations to implement a content hub in their technology stack?

In a poll of B2B companies in July 2020, 63% reported a low level of success in content marketing and attributed it to content creation challenges. For the marketers who reported high success, the top factor was the value their content provided to their audience.

A content hub is a centralized system that enables marketers to manage the entire end-to-end content lifecycle in a unified platform. A content hub provides your organization with a single source of truth for content development and storage, while also speeding time to market by eliminating organizational silos. A content hub also drives better content ROI through more efficient and transparent processes, and supports complex content strategies to power highly personalized digital customer experiences.

Think of your marketing organization like an orchestra, for a moment. Your departments within your organization are like the various instrument groups; everyone has specific parts to play, but you all have to work in sync to create effective content. A content hub enables organizations to work together so content creation is no longer an obstacle, empowering brands to optimize the value of their content.

What makes a content hub better than other content systems?

We’re all familiar with the array of content management systems (CMS) available to marketers. We also know that many systems only serve as a specialized step in the content management process, often making processes more complex and disconnected. Where does a content hub fit? And what makes for a good content hub solution?

Referencing the Sitecore Content Hub™, a content hub serves as a home base, enabling your teams to plan, create, collaborate, and store assets for distribution and re-purposing. It includes Digital Asset Management (DAM), Content Marketing Platform (CMP), Marketing Resource Management (MRM), and Product Content Management (PCM), alleviating the need to piece together multiple separate systems.

In addition the streamlining to content production process, what makes for a good content hub solution is its ability to power real-time, personalized digital experiences through easy integration with other platforms. Content is the essential part to your brand’s overall digital experience. But the content you serve up needs to provide that value to your audience. Content should be driven by your customer behavior data, and your content needs to be distributed at the right time and on the channel your customers prefer. A content hub should integrate with your experience platform and other downstream channels that consume and distribute content.

Choosing a content hub that’s right for your business

Implementing a content hub into your technology stack has organizational impacts beyond the technology, itself. Here are key questions to factor in when choosing a content hub for your organization:

  • Does your marketing organization operate in silos?
    Make sure your content hub will empower your marketing organization to work smarter, not harder. While it might be easy to add on another system to your existing technology stack, make sure it’s streamlining your operations and not creating another hoop to jump through. Take a broad view of what your content hub can solve for versus individual content process challenges.
  • Does your content exist in multiple systems across your organization?
    If your content creation teams are spending a lot of time switching from system to system, don’t have visibility to optimize content efforts, or take an excessive amount of time to find or deliver content, choose a content hub that is going to consolidate your disjointed content creation steps. The obvious benefit is streamlining the content supply chain. What you’re also going to see is that you’ll be better set up to leverage the full potential of your content. Having everything “under one roof” not only enables you to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for tasks such as auto tagging and delivering relevant content, but also makes it easier to find existing content for reuse or repurposing.
  • Does your content support your customer experience at scale?
    Content creation remains a challenge for many organizations because of the volume and velocity of content that is required to power highly personalized digital experiences – factoring in languages, channels, number of websites, etc. On top of that, the “set it and forget it” content approach will not stand the test of time in today’s digitally driven world. Be sure your content hub is empowering your organization to be agile across your digital experience by enabling you to quickly access and adapt based on evolving customer needs.

To go more in depth into how a content hub helps your organization take back control of your content lifecycle, download our full-length guide on “Making a case for a marketing content hub”.

Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find him on LinkedIn.