5 Reasons Why Headless CMS Is What Marketers Need Today
As the demand for a multipurpose content solution rises, more marketers than ever are jumping on the headless CMS bandwagon. However, this is one marketing trend that demonstrably lives up to the hype and aims to remedy several problems that plague content creators within the workflow, presentation, and delivery.
If you’re not up to speed on the latest CMS for marketers, we’re here to help. In this article, we’re going to instruct you on how to define a headless CMS, how it compares to the traditional model and the pros and cons of deploying this technology for use by your marketing team.
What is a CMS?
A CMS, also known as a Content Management System, is software that allows you to write, read, and edit website content without the need for coding and web development knowledge. Before we had CMS solutions, all websites needed to be developed and styled by implementing HTML and CSS code within a text editor. This would become particularly cumbersome for marketers that simply want to create and add content to a website without interacting with the code and accidentally breaking features on the website.
If you work in business or marketing, you are almost certainly already using a traditional CMS. The most popular example of this is WordPress, which allows users to create beautiful websites quickly by selecting a pre-built template as a starting point. You can then use the intuitive tools within the software to add text, images, video, and optimize your SEO data for search engines.
You get to take advantage of the simplified tools, while the software automatically implements the HTML and CSS for you. Your team can quickly add content in the backend and the CMS readies that content for front-end presentation on the website only.
What is a Headless CMS System?
A headless CMS system is software that allows you to create and deliver your content to any platform or device utilizing API, Application Programming Interface. This allows your team to rapidly repurpose your content for iOS, Android, eCommerce solutions, and more in addition to just your website.
The content repository, or the backend, is where your CMS allows you to create and ready content for publishing. The head, or the frontend, is where that content is displayed on the world wide web. With traditional CMS systems, the body is inextricably tied to the head, which happens to be your website. A headless CMS severs the head along with the typical restrictions and allows developers to utilize API for rapid content presentation across numerous platforms.
With a headless CMS, all of your content can be published to your website, eCommerce centers, Android applications, and iOS applications from the same backend. Examples of this include popular shopping websites like Amazon. With their customized, headless eCommerce solution, they can repurpose the same content to buyers whether they are shopping from a desktop computer or the Amazon mobile app without the need for additional systems. The buyer can also seamlessly add an item to their cart when browsing on a pc and seamlessly resume the checkout process from the mobile app at a later time. If your brand aims to provide this level of multipurpose functionality to its customers, then a headless CMS provides the tools you need.
What is a Decoupled CMS System?
A decoupled CMS sometimes referred to as Hybrid CMS, is a content repository that decouples the body from the head, or the front-end delivery system. While this sounds similar to the headless CMS, the decoupled CMS still has its unique front-end for presentation built into its overall systems. This is compared to the open, API-first technology that a headless system utilizes.
Decoupled CMS systems are appearing as the need for multichannel marketing solutions becomes undeniable. You’ll still have access to the typical head, meaning pre-built templates and tools, but these are not necessary for creating and distributing your content online. The headless system does not feature front-end presentation or preview options.
5 Headless CMS Advantages Over a Traditional CMS
There are several advantages of using headless CMS’, but the main advantage is its flexibility in website design. Front-end developers can easily extract required data from the CMS and use it the way they want. So, instead of going ahead with the restrictions associated with traditional CMS, businesses prefer to use a headless CMS to design more extensive and unique websites. Here are some of the advantages of using a headless CMS:-
1. Reuse Content Across Channels for Rapid Scaling
While it can be confusing and difficult to absorb the technical jargon surrounding a CMS, the advantages of using a headless CMS are a little less so.
The primary benefit of utilizing a headless CMS is that it removes the restrictions that content creators and developers face when utilizing a traditional CMS. Because your content is not limited to website presentation, you can use the backend repository to create material for multiple channels all at once.
Previously, you would need to start fresh and create brand-new content for each new marketing channel. This was because your original website content would be bound to the website code. Headless CMS systems are different because they place API first. In other words, you only need to create content once and can rapidly present it across every other platform or device a customer might be using to explore your brand.
Your ability to reduce the amount of time and effort required to create omnichannel content also allows your brand to scale with greater ease. Instead of relying on a static system, your entire marketing team suddenly becomes more agile and can meet every customer wherever they are on their customer journey. You can ensure that your content is seamless and uniform regardless of the device or platform being used to interact with your brand.
2. Your Web Developers Have More Freedom for Creativity
Many people like small business owners understand the need for a strong website but do not have the knowledge or ability to develop something on their own. This CMS simplifies the process and allows you to build something great without those skills. However, that same ease-of-use comes with proprietary development restrictions that will prevent you from exploring new ways to improve your content.
The headless CMS system removes the shackles restraining your web development team. They can develop with any type of platform or integration in mind. After they are finished with their project, they simply connect their code to the new channel via a webhook, which uses an HTTP request to call for the information from the repository.
Being able to program for any type of channel gives you the ultimate freedom to explore your options when it comes to business marketing. The downside is that a headless CMS system expects that you and your team fully understand how to create and implement your own code as the traditional assistive tools will not be available. This makes it more ideal for those who know to make all of the moving parts work in harmony.
3. A Headless CMS Will Future Proof Your Business
That same freedom of development discussed above is what will ensure that your brand is future-proof. New platforms and technologies are being developed all the time, which allow marketers to better create engaging content and connect with new audiences. Because the headless CMS system works through an API, you’ll be able to hook into any new platform with ease.
What’s more, is that content created in a headless CMS requires minimal to no changes to implement within new channels. Your creations will remain evergreen and save you time and money in the long term.
4. Improved Workflows Among Teams
Because a headless CMS system removes the confines and restrictions you might typically face, it allows for greater collaboration between the various departments of your marketing team. It no longer takes additional effort to recreate, modify, or repurpose content, but instead allows teams to explore new opportunities to strategize and deploy high-quality content to greater effect.
Furthermore, these teams will be able to work within the same system. This makes it much easier for your experts to view, interact with, and collaborate on new projects. Your creative materials are no longer confined to separate repositories with unique restrictions but can be rapidly shared and modified by whoever is interacting with them.
5. Your Content is Better Secured and Protected
Because the repository and the publishing platform are separated, your content is better secured and protected than ever. When these two items are connected, it means that when something negatively impacts one side, it is guaranteed to have an impact on the other. For example, if your CMS application is experiencing technical difficulties, it will have no impact on how your content is presented through connected web applications.
Likewise, utilizing a headless CMS means that your company is the only point of access for the original content source. This means that you have full authority and control to implement any security procedures and protocols necessary to protect your data. This is compared to relying on an external CMS system that sets its own requirements as to what protocols may or may not be set in place to put your content online.
Which CMS Should My Company Use?
While the benefits of utilizing a headless CMS are abundant, it may not be what your company needs right now. You also may not have the proper resources to truly take advantage of what a headless CMS offers over the monolithic, standard model.
You may want to stick with the standard CMS system if:
- You’re a small brand that utilizes a small website with basic features offered by a template
- You don’t have the resources necessary to leverage the benefits of a headless CMS
- You’d rather utilize a selection of pre-built templates
- You want to have access to community support within the platform
However, you’ll want to switch to the headless CMS system if:
- You need to repurpose content across multiple channels in addition to your website
- You need to deliver content to multiple platforms including your website, iOS, and Android from the same backend
- You have plans to start scaling your brand and your content creation efforts
- You want to give your developers more freedom in how they choose to present content
- You want more control over the security of your content
Remember, there is also an in-between with the decoupled CMS if you find yourself unsure of which solution best aligns with your marketing plans. If you plan for your website to be the core focus of your efforts but want to explore some additional API offerings, you can look into systems now offered by WordPress or Drupal.
Conclusion – Headless CMS for Marketers is the Way of the Future
With the growing demand for solutions that can ease the process of multichannel marketing, the headless CMS is the clear winner for creating and distributing your content. The impact is so apparent that sites like WordPress that previously offered a monolithic CMS now offered a decoupled solution that allows users to integrate with new APIs.
Instead of restricting yourself to the rules of your website, developers will be able to write and create code that can rapidly be repurposed to other existing platforms. It also future-proofs your content creation efforts by providing the open solution you need to integrate with future tools that are yet to exist or yet to be fully realized. This allows your brand to be agile and rapidly scale to accommodate new technologies as they become available and necessary for a successful marketing strategy.
It’s also an effective way to ensure that the various arms of your marketing efforts promote brand consistency across the board. Because you can push your content to multiple sources from one repository, your teams will be able to better coordinate, communicate, and develop strategies. It’s that much easier to ensure your marketing efforts single harmoniously without sacrificing quality on any channel.
If you’re ready to grow your brand and want to prepare your business for an all-encompassing digital future, it might be time to start exploring headless CMS options for your content creation and content delivery needs.