The website is no longer the sole arena of your brand’s digital experiences. We’ve transcended that and now a customer’s interaction with your brand is fragmented across multiple different channels - from the tiny smartwatch on their wrist to giant digital displays, from their mobile application to their in-flight screens. So your content needs to be on all these channels as well.
But short of hiring numerous content writers and editors to write and reformat content for all these different channels, how do you play this game? The answer is Content as a Service.
Drupal has already proved its mettle when it comes to managing a huge volume of content at the backend. And now Drupal is channeling it’s decoupled capabilities to deliver a streamlined platform for CaaS - the Acquia Content Cloud.
What is Acquia Content Cloud
Acquia Content Cloud is a platform that allows content creators to write, edit, and review content independent of the channel where it will be published. The content created here can be pushed to multiple different channels simultaneously or at different times, and will be automatically formatted to best fit the channel.
In essence, Acquia Content Cloud enables headless content creation and management for delivering multichannel digital experiences.
Though built on Drupal 8.7, the Content Cloud is a CaaS solution that can be used irrespective of whether you website and other display applications run on Drupal. You also do not have to worry about setting up Drupal (or upgrading to a new version of Drupal) to be able to fully leverage Acquia Content Cloud. Because it’s being made available as a software, you will have everything you need enabled out of the box.
Why use Acquia Content Cloud?
The whole challenge with delivering a multichannel digital experience is the fact that different channels have different ways of consuming and displaying content. And that can lead to some significant challenges:
Tedious Content Reformatting
Publishing content on different channels means copying and pasting the same content into the editing platforms for each of these channels.
Let’s say you are a news outlet publishing a particular article. Your content team will upload it on the website with a headline, byline, images, text etc, on the CMS. TO send out the same news in an email newsletter, your team will have to go into your emailing platform and enter the headline and maybe some text, depending upon the design and structure of your email. To showcase the same image on the large digital displays you have in the office lobby, the team has to log into a different interface, reenter the content, maybe the headline, the byline and the image this time.
All of this is just your team repeating the same bunch of things in different display system backends. Time they could have spent is getting more stories out. This repetition also creates room for more errors and confusion at the last updated versions, and even more work when there are real-time developments in a story.
Difficult Authoring Interfaces
While your CMS maybe editor-friendly (it likely is, if it’s on Drupal) but not all your display channels are easy to use at the backend. The more complex they are, the more time you content team spends on publishing content on them. The lack of efficiency can quickly get in the way of effective and impactful digital experience.
When you are reformatting content and separately publishing on each platform, your content begins to exist in silos. There is no one single place where you can view all content, or check on exactly which display channels a particular content piece has been published on. You can also not track revisions, or know if a particular content has been updates on all the display channels it was published on.
Basically, what you have is a whole lot of confusion and very limited visibility into your content.
The Acquia Content Cloud eliminates these problems by being a centralized platform for content creation and editing, which can then push it out to different channels. Here, you can enter all your content into a well structured template, where it can be stored, managed, approved and revised. Different channels can consume this content via APIs, and display it as needed, with no need for reformatting.
How does the Acquia Content Cloud work?
With Acquia Content Cloud, the content team can create each content piece to include complete information and different media formats without worrying about how it would look when displayed on a particular channel.
The solution is designed on the concept of flexible or atomic content. The platform breaks down any content piece into different smaller parts, with each being entered in a different field.
For example, you have your headline, by line, summary, rich media, and body text entered into different fields. All of these are now reusable components that can be picked up on the basis of which display channel we want to push the content to.
So for the website, all the components of the content piece get pushed out. For the digital banner, only the headline, byline, and image component get pulled for display. All other channels similarly pull in the component they require to most effectively display that piece of content.
The general content publishing workflow on the Acquia Content Cloud platform goes something like this:
- The content writer starts with creating a project. Choosing the type of content they are creating - blog/promotional/case study etc, and choosing the different channels where they want the content to be displayed
- Next, they create a complete content piece by filling out the different fields, including rich media like videos, gifs, animations and more
- They can schedule a publish time, to the piece to be available on all channels simultaneously
- The platform send review notification to the editor, who can review the content, make changes, or trigger a revision workflow if needed
- All changes happen on the base version of the content, making it easier to track changes and keep all channel updated
- Once okayed, the content is pulled to different applications via APIs. Multiple API formats like GraphQL, JSON etc are supported
- Once published, content writers and editors can also go in to make display changes to any channel if needed
And that’s it. That all your content team has to do to ensure content is displayed well across multiple channels. You create your content once and publish everywhere. You content team is free to do actual content creation, rather than copy-paste to different channels. And your marketing team can rest assured that every brand interaction, on every channel, in optimized, updated, and immediate.
Acquia Content Cloud is currently available for private beta testing and you can sign up for it to test it out yourself.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to decoupled Drupal solutions to enable advanced digital experiences at your enterprise, Srijan’s experts Drupal teams can help. We are also Acquia implementation partners, helping brands leverage Acquia’s suite to personalization, customer journey orchestration, digital asset management and cloud hosting offerings.
Tell a bit about your project and let's explore how our Drupal experts can help.