Content is the heart of your marketing strategy. From video and images to white papers, social media posts, infographics, and case studies, fresh content helps you continually connect with, entertain, and educate prospective customers.
Those thousands of assets tend to get lost in the shuffle, though. As your company evolves and the amount of content grows, some of your best content may end up hidden in a digital folder, stored in an email, or sent to the trash bin. Since 46% of respondents say repurposing content generates the best results and 65% agree it offers the best cost efficiency, keeping your assets front and center is vitally important.
To avoid this fate, you need a secure, searchable, and flexible place to store your data. For many users, this is a content hub.
Today we’ll go over everything you need to know about content hubs:
- How to build a content hub
- Knowing it’s time to implement a content hub
- The benefits of content hubs
- The challenges of building this important structure
- Best practices for using a content hub
What is a content hub?
A content hub is an aspect of a centralized digital platform that allows marketers to store, search for, categorize, share, and measure digital content. A content hub removes the data silos so that marketing teams make the best use of their available digital assets.
A successful content hub plays an important role in the content lifecycle, from upstream creative to downstream delivery and beyond.
- Work planning
- Asset creation
- Content management
- Asset delivery
- Performance Analysis
- Searchability and profile enrichment
In other words, a content hub is much more than a repository. It supports the creative process and enables downstream stakeholders (internal and external) to use those assets to their fullest potential. Aprimo DAM supports this through asset workflows, reviews and approvals, and connectors into creative tools.
Content hubs can contain any type of file your company produces and promotes, such as the following:
- Ecommerce campaigns
By establishing a centralized location for all your content collections, you now have a single source of truth. These systems provide stakeholders with the assets they want and need.
Speaking of need…
Do you need a content hub?
Many marketers don’t wonder whether they need a content hub until the asset portfolio gets out of hand. The better course is to start early—reap the organizational and operational benefits of a centralized contact hub as you grow. The earlier you implement a hub, the easier it is to use and organize your available assets.
Ask yourself some questions about your experience working with assets day to day:
- How often do you have to hunt for the right assets through multiple sources?
- Do you have to dig through emails looking for the correct version of assets?
- How do stakeholders get access to the content they need to do their jobs?
- When was the last time you had a data incident or lost assets due to an error?
- Does your company have a track record of using non-compliant files inadvertently?
- How does your team get its brand guidelines, and how often are they followed during content creation?
- How often do you end up with similar (but different) versions of the same asset in your content database?
- Do users have too much access to assets they don’t need or not enough access to those they do?
If these answers reveal struggles with maintaining, sharing, or delivering assets, it’s time to consider a software solution like a content hub to improve content operations and increase market speed.
Benefits of using a content hub
There are various benefits to implementing a content hub:
Enables dynamic search
Visibility is one of the biggest challenges in a growing content collection. Without a clear understanding of what assets are available to marketers and how best to leverage them, it’s impossible to get the maximum return on your asset holdings.
Implementing a content hub built on a modern digital asset management (DAM) platform allows stakeholders to find compliant and on-brand assets to use, re-purpose, and personalize. Users can search through data on a host of parameters:
- Release or embargo dates
- Specific topic or subtopics
- Organic traffic results
- SEO data
- File type
- Content experience (for instance, a social media post or landing page)
- File size
- Asset sentiment or tone
- License specifics
A searchable and well-organized DAM platform maximizes the return on your digital asset investment while reducing the effort it takes to produce compelling content, which is was we call ROE, or return on effort. It allows all internal and external stakeholders access to the correct content libraries for building compelling customer experiences. This access means they can build better campaigns to reach their target audience, put out compliant thought leadership, improve lead generation, and align with other business goals.
A content hub provides a method to systematize production and approval for assets in the development process. It allows multiple team members to work on a piece of content without creating redundant files or introducing non-compliant elements into a previously compliant piece. The result is high-quality content that enhances the user experience.
With well-controlled access and full visibility, creative staff are better able to work together to create and repurpose assets. A platform makes it easy to discuss, iterate, and approve assets and share those changes with the larger group automatically.
A content hub gives your internal and external stakeholders a single source for retrieving needed assets. A robust DAM with brand portal capabilities lets you distribute completed assets and relevant content sets to stakeholders who need them. Delivery is permission-controlled and encrypted to maintain the security of your important data.
What are the challenges of not having a content hub?
Sometimes, organizations paste together an asset management solution without the benefit of integrated and purpose-built systems. However, home-grown solutions can’t offer the customization, safety, and ease of distribution possible with a best-in-class solution.
When using an in-house solution, companies often face similar challenges:
Traditional asset management methods lack dynamic search capability. Without a way to search for assets by type, project, license specifics, or other parameters, marketing teams have no visibility into their content holdings. This results in lower ROI and ROE, as well as an increase in duplicate or outdated files remaining in the repository.
Emailing files and storing data on personal devices leads to the risk of data loss or unauthorized access. Using the security features of a DAM to secure your content hub ensures that only authorized users have access to specific files. It also enables encrypted delivery of content to your internal and external users.
Storage on decentralized devices reduces access to valuable assets and repurposed content. A centralized repository eliminates this issue, making it easy for everyone to find the needed files. It also ensures only compliant and properly licensed content makes it into your marketing materials.
Without a centralized repository and communication framework, your content operations rely on the manual movement of in-flight assets and approvals. This results in the familiar ritual of sending emails back and forth to co-edit assets and distributing “final final” copies to stakeholders. While it’s a common approach, it increases risk and lowers productivity and asset value. Automation greatly reduces the need for manual tasks and the potential for errors.
Creating a single piece of content is a time-consuming process. Producing new content for your content marketing strategy, search engine results, social media platforms, and other channels individually is far too time-intensive. It lacks optimization and speed of new content production.
Best practices for a content hub
When considering a content hub, content marketing platform, DAM solution, or other technology-enabled tracking, it’s important to follow best practices to see the best results.
To capture the most value from your repository, you must be able to retrieve assets based on any needed parameter. Metadata and proper categorization allow users to find the best-fit assets and content sets for their purpose by using a rich profile of metadata to expand and contextualize the results.
Be sure to select a provider that enables flexible search and fast retrieval for every file type your company uses.
Fully integrate your solution
Siloes are the most significant obstacle to maximizing your content operations. This is why over half of respondents to a recent Pedalix survey cited integration capabilities as one of the most valuable features of marketing automation software. Integrating your solution with an ecosystem of tools enhances the security and performance of great content.
Select a tool with a wide range of integrations to improve metrics and enhance data visibility across your organization. You also create a more user-friendly experience for stakeholders who want to engage with the data from content operations through familiar platforms or apps.
Use dynamic permissions
Stakeholders require access to specific assets to perform their jobs well. Too much access results in the misuse of assets. Too little access impacts their ability to deliver results.
Using a content management system with flexible and role-based permissions allows asset librarians to curate the right access to the right users without creating unnecessary roadblocks. It increases data governance and compliance with brand and license requirements.
Enable Digital Rights Management (DRM)
As your repository grows, the chance of inadvertently using unlicensed assets grows. Digital rights management ensures every asset has clear parameters for use, modification, embargo, destruction, and more. It ensures that only approved assets appear in localized marketing, avoiding contract breaches and potential fines.
Find a software solution that integrates with DRM tools to ensure the best outcomes for your content.
Track performance metrics
A content hub maximizes your returns on investment and marketing efforts. By incorporating metadata and performance data back into your asset management stack, you successfully harness metrics and trends data. With this data, you drive future decision-making. This data feedback reveals your best-performing assets and identifies opportunities to further improve your content production.
Get the DAM that empowers the 360-degree content cycle
Aprimo is more than a place to park your assets. The Aprimo DAM offers marketers and other stakeholders the technology and tools to create compliant content faster:
- Dynamic search enhanced with metadata and rich profiles for each asset
- Communication and workflow tools to keep everyone on the same page
- Collaboration and version control to ensure continuity when modifying assets
- Analytics and reporting tools to demonstrate your ROI and value creation
To see what the platform can do for you, start a free trial of Aprimo DAM today.