Digital Content Management Defined and Best Practices (2023)

Bill Gates’ famous assertion that “content is king” is an adage that, despite being easily agreed upon as true by customer-focused organizations, poses a difficult challenge to realize in practice.

Despite the importance of content creation, management, and promotion, enterprise operations still face content challenges. According to a 2019 survey from the Content Marketing Institute, content professionals in enterprise settings operate amongst “thousands of employees…across multiple brands, product lines, office locations, and functional silos”.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents cited department silos and the coordination of content efforts across departments and brands as the two greatest hurdles they face. This translates into a detriment for the business: only half of enterprise content professionals surveyed report delivering correctly timed, personalized content to the correct audience or crafting content based on the customer journey.

The data quality issues that cause poor content personalization and delivery often stem from an organization’s lack of an enterprise marketing taxonomy and, more specifically, a governed information layer. Read on to learn how applying governed metadata at key stages of your content lifecycle helps you avoid inconsistent brand experiences, time lags, and wasted budget for your business.

What is digital content management?

At its simplest, digital content management refers to the lifecycle of content across an organization. I won’t go into the details of each stage of content management but the efforts and processes to create, manage, distribute, publish, and retrieve digital assets can all generally be included in the definition. Much of what I’ll refer to here can be narrowed into web content management, which Gartner explains as a process to control content “over one or more online channels through the use of commercial, open-source or hosted management tools based on a core repository”. A couple of functions of content management are to aid personalization and content delivery.


There are many different roles involved in managing content including:

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  • Stakeholders
  • Contributors
  • Editors
  • Publishers
  • Site Administrators

Depending on the size of an organization, it may be a small group of people who fill these roles in the content cycle. In large enterprise companies, these roles are often filled by several teams and often agencies across the different brands, regions or channels.

Digital Content Management Systems

Enterprise companies that constantly create content rely on technology to create, manage, and store content. These two categories make up an incomplete list, but for this post include a Digital Content Management System (CMS) and a Digital Asset Management system (DAM). In e-commerce, a Product Information Management system (PIM) might also fall within this category to handle product details as opposed to content asset information. You can check out Gartner’s 2019 assessment of Web content management vendors for a detailed comparison of competitive content management solutions.

The 3 Most Popular CMSes

A CMS is primarily used to create, edit, and contextualize content for publication. Popular solutions include:

*Note: Drupal is technically a content management framework

Many CMS provide web hosting under the same brand, but these are two separate technologies. Web hosting for WordPress actually gets the content online, so its content can be discovered.

Popular Digital Assessment Management Systems (DAMs)

DAMs are used to store and organize content (with the intention of retrieving, repurposing, or managing access rights later). Popular solutions include:

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Why is metadata important to content management?

Metadata is the context for all your data. In the case of content, this applies to anything a user or customer might interact with. For example, this could include a URL, image, video, or any component of an experience you might create. When businesses prioritize the proper application of metadata in their management process, they unlock the full value of their content. Part of this is realized by making it easier for analysts to use data from the DAM and understand content ROI. Ultimately, it’s metadata that transforms a piece of content into an asset for the business.

While it’s more common to hear about digital experience metadata in the context of launching a campaign, this metadata plays an equally important role from the moment a piece of content is requested, through to the creation of a digital experience. An experience involves many elements, including products, creative, digital media assets, marketing channels, tactics, audiences, segments, offers, etc. Many enterprises lose out on the value of these content components by failing to consistently apply metadata – whether in their digital asset management (DAM) software, content management system (CMS) or elsewhere. For example, if the way you describe each experience is different, you can’t compare them. The impact on content management includes lack of asset utilization, confusing site navigation, and partial data for personalization (not to mention a huge headache for analyst teams attempting to dissect and derive meaning from context-less data).

Your information layer

Our friends and information architecture experts at Factor Firm talk about the big picture of metadata. A business’s information layer is the layer of metadata that sits between a companies’ tech stack and their experience layer (which includes all the elements that a customer interacts with).

Digital Content Management Defined and Best Practices (2)

Elements in the information layer

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Similarly to the content professionals surveyed, this information is also scattered across systems, processes, and teams. Unifying an organization’s information assets allows the business to align around one voice and a common vocabulary. This will become especially critical as leading brands move to optimize their content, leverage AI, information science and predictive content management. Companies that do not neglect their information layer resolve many of the content management issues reported by enterprises, create operational efficiency, improve content strategy and search, and allow the business to analyze performance in real-time.

Governing your content metadata

You may be thinking ‘we already tag and use metadata in our content management process’ or ‘my organization already has a defined taxonomy’, and that would make sense. We work with a lot of organizations that have started to tap into this process.

Unfortunately, a lot of information is lost in translation when you try to manage content across a complicated enterprise without governance in place. For example, digital marketing and content teams (who may not even be in the same country) can tag or personalize content but may leave out data because they’re siloed from content strategists, whose priority and expertise may be the brand voice. Many organizations believe that it’s easy enough to standardize and run ETL processes at the end of a campaign, but in reality, data is lost and time is wasted in content cycles and back-end data retrieval.

While it may seem simple to let each team provide the metadata for their content, there are a few key elements to governing your content metadata:

  1. Centrally define a taxonomy for content (across the organization)
  2. Introduce a standard, enforced process for tagging and creating content.
  3. Engage a solution to automatically validate pages, marketing tags, and data readiness. This step is overlooked more often, but it’s a step you can’t go back and solve after an experience goes live.
  4. Manage the data formats and data flow across your marketing ecosystem from a central location

Governance around tagging

Digital Content Management Defined and Best Practices (3)

To provide context to governing content metadata, I’ll provide an example of a customer who applied this process earlier in the year.

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Content creation workflow with governance applied

This fortune 50 tech manufacturing company invests billions of dollars into their marketing engine, including a complex stack of marketing tech. Initially, they were losing money and work hours because of the inconsistency of information across their complex teams and systems.

Initially, they mapped their taxonomies and the systems they were implemented in and built a common vocabulary that defined terms and core concepts. In this case, they chose our solution to centrally define and share this enterprise marketing taxonomy.

Usually, teams without governance would publish content and apply tags, title, description, search keywords, other custom fields, and metadata without an authoritative system to control business logic around it. Valuable metadata was being created (or not) by people separated from the group who knows the most about the content and its context.

Now, when a new piece of content is created, each author goes through the process of entering the content details into Claravine based on the defined taxonomy. Once the data is successfully entered, a new workflow is triggered for the content publishing team to leverage the metadata. Finally, once the content is reviewed and validated, the page is pushed live through their content management system. Ultimately, their ability to apply governed metadata save time and money by decreasing launch time and approval cycle length and connecting data appropriately into analytics systems.


Ultimately, an enterprise content management process needs to meet the demands of the complex enterprise system (accounting for its employees, business function and tech stack). By making everyone create a taxonomy in a centralized environment, you ensure that the full scope of metadata is there and nothing is missing during the content creation process, misspelled, misunderstood by outsourced units, and ultimately unused or unfindable. Adding an additional layer of governance to your content management process will streamline content creation, facilitate seamless communication between remote teams, and allow you to get the most value out of your content.

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What is the meaning of digital content management? ›

Digital content management (DCM) is a set of processes allowing businesses to streamline digital content production, allocation and distribution. Think of DCM as a superhero librarian managing and protecting your digital capital.

What are three 3 different content management systems? ›

There are three broad types of CMS software: open source, proprietary and Software-as-a-Service CMS, including cloud-based solutions.

What is the five example of content management system or CMS? ›

Examples of content management systems: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Squarespace, Wix, Ghost.

What is content management explain in brief with example? ›

Content management (CM) is a set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. When stored and accessed via computers, this information may be more specifically referred to as digital content, or simply as content.

What makes a good digital content manager? ›

Yes, content managers have to be organized, detail-oriented, creative, and they have to have a good understanding of marketing, SEO, and speak, read, and write good English. However, seeing the big picture is most important. In order to do this job well, you have to be able to see into the future.

What is digital content in simple words? ›

Digital content is data that is produced and supplied in a digital form - for example, computer system software, films, downloaded music or mobile phone application software (an app).

What are the key components of a content management system? ›

The major components of a CMS are the data repository, user interface, workflow scheme, editorial tools, and output utilities.

What is the most widely used content management system? ›

1. is our number one choice for the best CMS platform. It's the world's most popular CMS software, and it powers around 43% of all websites on the internet.

What are the key features of a content management system? ›

9 CMS features you need
  • Creating and editing content. ...
  • Workflows, reporting, and content organization. ...
  • User and role-based administration. ...
  • Security. ...
  • Multichannel scalability. ...
  • Multilingual content capabilities. ...
  • Flexibility, scalability, and performance. ...
  • Personalization and analytics.

What are 4 functions of CMS? ›

The key functions of most CMS applications include:
  • storing.
  • indexing.
  • search and retrieval.
  • format management.
  • revision control.
  • access control.
  • publishing.
  • reporting.

Why is content management important? ›

The main benefit of a content management system is that it that allows non-technical people to publish content. This dramatically cuts the cost of maintaining a website. You may still employ the services of a web developer to design and set up a site.

What are content management strategies? ›

A content management strategy is a structured plan to create, publish, and govern your organization's content and data. A content management strategy is critical to organizational survival, as it underpins effective information management, which is vital to surviving and thriving in the digital age we're living in now.

What is content management skills? ›

Content managers build a company's content strategy, create targeted and relevant content, and distribute marketing communications to audiences online. They are organized, well-versed in fostering a brand voice, and often know their way around a blog post.

What is the goal of a content management systems? ›

A content management system is for creating, managing, and optimizing your customers' digital experience. More specifically, a CMS is a software application that allows users to collaborate in the creation, editing, and production of digital content: web pages, blog posts, etc.

How do you make the best digital content? ›

How to Create a Digital Content Strategy
  1. Assess What You Have. These days, brands and businesses are creating digital content for just about every website, mobile app, and social media account they manage. ...
  2. Set Goals & KPIs. ...
  3. Establish A System. ...
  4. Perform a Gap Analysis. ...
  5. Know Your Distribution Channels.
Feb 5, 2021

What is the role of a digital content manager? ›

As a Digital Content Manager, you'll be responsible for creating, improving and maintaining a range of content to help an organisation achieve its goals. It will be your duty to create high quality, sharable content to raise brand awareness, monitor web traffic and other metrics to identify best practices.

What are digital content strategies? ›

What is a digital content strategy? A digital content strategy describes how a company produces high-quality content for their target audiences and personas in a repeatable way that produces consistent experiences throughout the buyer journey and across digital channels.

What are the 4 types of content? ›

There are four content categories used in content creation and marketing—attraction, authority, affinity, and action. It's important to note that the four content categories are not mutually exclusive, and a single piece of content will often fit in multiple categories.

Why is digital content so important? ›

Digital content is important because it captures the attention of your audience and proves you can deliver value to their life. But there's one more catch–90% of content never gets seen by anyone online at all. That's because it doesn't show up high enough in search engine results pages.

How many phases are there in content management? ›

The five phases of content lifecycle management are planning, producing, marketing, assessing and maintaining.

Which of the following are benefits of using a content management system? ›

9 Benefits of a Content Management System
  • Usability. ...
  • Seamless content collaboration. ...
  • Rapid content production. ...
  • Omnichannel delivery. ...
  • Built-in SEO. ...
  • Robust analytics. ...
  • Easy integrations, plug-ins, and add-ons. ...
  • Centralized content.
Oct 3, 2022

Which language is best suited for content management system? ›

Organizations leverage a variety of programming languages to build content management systems. Among the most popular are C#, Java, PHP and Python.

How do you identify a content management system? ›

8 Ways to Detect Website CMS
  1. Perform a Website Analysis. ...
  2. View the Source Code of the Web Page and File Paths. ...
  3. Detect and Fix Broken Images. ...
  4. Check the Info In the Website Footer. ...
  5. Analyze Link Structure. ...
  6. Review Admin Login URL. ...
  7. Find Service Pages In the robots. ...
  8. Check HTTP Headers and Browser Extensions.

What are the two parts of CMS? ›

A CMS is made up of two core parts: a content management application (CMA) and content delivery application (CDA).

What is the best content strategy? ›

A good content strategy considers a KPI, and then works towards reaching it. It is a roadmap that plans out the exact steps that need to be taken in order to reach that goal. But of course, even with all the best planning and execution, sometimes, content campaigns don't meet their KPIs.

What are the 3 components of content strategy? ›

Keep reading to learn more about the three must-have components—a framework, a strategy, and great content—and how you can make them work for you.

What are content skills examples? ›

Job content skills are those skills specific to a job or occupation. A secretary is skilled in typing, word processing, answering telephones, company correspondence, and filing.

What is the role of digital content? ›

A digital content producer writes, develops, edits, and publishes content and copy for a variety of digital platforms, including websites, blogs, videos, email marketing campaigns, advertising campaigns, social media posts, infographics, whitepapers, and more.

What is the role of content management? ›

A Content Manager is a professional who has a unique role in developing the company's brand and establishing its online presence. This job entails overseeing marketing strategies that engage customers and ensuring they are happy with what the company's products or services offer them.

What is digital content management salary? ›

Digital Content Manager salary in India ranges between ₹ 2.2 Lakhs to ₹ 22.3 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 6.7 Lakhs.

Why content management is important in digital marketing? ›

Digital content management governance can help determine priorities, provide detailed standards, assign ownership for content and provide access control. This helps to create a consistent user experience, minimize content bloat and create internal controls.

What tools do content managers use? ›

Here's a list of 10 tools for content management teams:
  • Hubspot CMS Hub. Hubspot CMS Hub allows content managers to create websites using customizable templates or original designs. ...
  • Wix. ...
  • Squarespace. ...
  • Wordpress. ...
  • Drupal. ...
  • Optimizely. ...
  • Contentful. ...
  • Asana.
Feb 3, 2023

What are two types of digital content? ›

Types of digital content
  • Video – Types of video content include home videos, music videos, TV shows, and movies. ...
  • Audio – Music is the most common form of audio. ...
  • Images – Photo and image sharing is another example of digital content.

How can we make digital content effective? ›

Six steps to create a digital content strategy
  1. Identify and align on high-level goals. ...
  2. Conduct a content audit. ...
  3. Streamline content operations. ...
  4. Match your infrastructure to your priorities. ...
  5. Align team structure and roles with your digital content strategy. ...
  6. Measure results and evolve your strategy.
Jul 26, 2022

Is content management easy? ›

It's actually surprisingly simple. And hosts like Kinsta can even help install the content management system for you (WordPress, in this case), so you can jump straight into building your site without any technical setup.

What is the highest paying digital job? ›

Highest-paying remote digital marketing jobs:
  1. Chief Growth Officer. The average salary range for a Chief Growth Officer is $218,000-$360,000. ...
  2. VP of Digital Marketing. ...
  3. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) ...
  4. BI Analytics Manager. ...
  5. Digital Strategist. ...
  6. Digital Project Manager. ...
  7. Digital Producer. ...
  8. Social Media Manager (SMM)

Are content managers in demand? ›

Content management is an interdisciplinary job with rapid growth in demand.


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