May 25, 2023

Take back control of your content with a CCMS

image shows content writer working

Whatever kind of documentation you’re producing, whether it’s product guides, online help, training materials, or something completely different, a reliable stream of quality content is essential to building your brand’s reputation. However, the constant challenge of maintaining consistent and accurate content can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll explore how using a CCMS can transform your content management process from chaos to control, increasing efficiency, and streamlining collaboration between content creators. You’ll also learn how you can free up time to create content for your customers that’s both effective and engaging.

What’s a CCMS and what advantages does it give me as a technical communicator?

A CCMS (component content management system) is software that enables you to create, manage, assemble, and publish content components. These can include text, images, and other multimedia elements. Breaking content down into modular components, enables you to easily reuse and repurpose content across different documents and publications, and reduces the total amount of content you need to create and manage.

One of the biggest advantages of a CCMS is that it streamlines the content creation process. You can create content once and reuse it across multiple publications, saving time and reducing the risk of updates being missed that can happen when you have multiple versions of the same content. You can focus on creating high-quality content without worrying about duplication or inconsistencies. And with the increasing volume of content being produced, a CCMS provides a powerful solution to streamlining the content creation process.
Measuring success

Measuring the success of a CCMS ‌involves tracking several key metrics for technical communication. These include:

  • Time saved
  • Content reusability
  • Cost-effective localization

Time Saved

Here’s a common scenario. The people involved in the process of creating documentation are using a patchwork of tools and reviews are handled by sending documents back and forth using email. Wouldn’t it be better if there was a solution that could do it all?

Let’s say you have 15 people working on a project. The most practical solution is a cloud-based, single-sourcing platform where everyone can work in the same place.

But you also need a platform where all contributors can maintain the same styles without having to go in and change settings for every user. This is especially true in enterprise organizations when you need to handle large, complex documentation, such as release notes, administrator guides, user guides, tutorials, and product documentation.

If you want to calculate how much time can be saved by a CCMS, simply monitor the time it currently takes you to create and publish content, including any review and approval processes. This will help you identify areas where you can improve efficiency and streamline the content creation process.

Content reusability

A CCMS enables you to reuse existing content instead of creating it from the start every time. With content reuse features, work is done in a shorter amount of time, enabling you to get more done.

For example, let’s say you’re writing product specifications, describing features, and functions. Much of the product documentation will be the same, except for some small differences. In a CCMS, all you need to do is build a comprehensive taxonomy in your documentation and tag the unique features. And if something needs to be updated, you can make sure that all the relevant content is updated.

Cost-effective localization

Typically, the most expensive part of the document creation process is localization. For that reason, this is often a low priority. But studies show that users are more likely to engage with content in their own language. And even if you’re not translating, you still need to deal with regional laws. .

There are many languages, dialects, and regulations across the world, and it’s important for products to be able to adapt to each of those markets. In the past, localization has been a challenge, especially when dealing with technical documentation. But with a CCMS, localization becomes a much smoother and efficient process.

A CCMS enables technical writers to easily manage and organize content variations specific to different languages, regions, or target audiences. By applying content modules and implementing translation workflows within the CCMS, the tedious task of manually translating and updating content for each locale is greatly simplified. In addition, you ensure consistent messaging, accurate terminology, and a seamless user experience across all international markets. But crucially, it ensures that you’re not paying to re-translate content that has already been translated.

Working together with contributors

Now let’s take a look at how working in a CCMS can improve collaboration among content creators:

Single Sourcing: A CCMS provides a single source for all of your content assets, making it easier for technical writers and content creators to access, search, and reuse content. This promotes a more organized process and better technical communication. It also keeps everyone aligned on project goals and deadlines. This creates a smoother development process and fosters a more efficient workflow.

Search: If you have good documentation that’s searchable, customers are less likely to open tickets and your support team will be less busy. The idea is to publish great content, but make it discoverable for your end users and reduce support tickets.

It’s not only the customers that benefit, but the documentation teams as well. A CCMS gives teams the ability to quickly find the answers they need and stay up-to-date with any changes to the product. Having good documentation benefits both the documentation team and the customers, improving customer satisfaction levels and helping speed up the development process.

Customization: A CCMS can be customized to fit the specific needs of your organization, for example, through separating content and layout. Typically, a company needs to use different styles for various publications. With a CCMS, it’s easy to do this in one place—with style sheets. With content and layout separated, you only need to change content in a few places across multiple platforms. And with this model, you can focus on content without layout getting in the way.

Fastest growing CCMS

To summarize, a CCMS acts as a guiding force in taming the chaos of content management and establishing a solid foundation for success. By adopting a CCMS, you can experience the benefits of streamlined collaboration, increased efficiency, and improved content quality. From creating product documentation to instructional content and beyond, the reliability and consistency provided by a CCMS empowers you to build a strong brand and engage your audience effectively. With more time freed up from manual tasks, you can focus on crafting content that resonates with your readers.

So take back control of your content management journey, leave behind the chaos and embrace a future of efficiency, collaboration, and content excellence.