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If you are a marketer or designer and you are looking to create content for a brand, asking these questions will help you make the right technology choice! About handling visual content Can I add interactivity to my content? Slideshows, video backgrounds, animations, full-screen layouts...? What are the limitations? Why it matters: You want to add some level of interactivity on the page to enhance your design and increase engagement, and knowing the technology’s limitations upfront will save you time creating an execution strategy. How mobile-friendly is the platform? Is it a ‘responsive’ experience or just a sized-down version of the desktop? Why it matters: Mobile is becoming ever-more important. Making your content available in a mobile-optimized format will make sure that you get you good traffic from mobile. How well does the platform handle different screen sizes and ‘modern’ design? Is the content easily readable on all devices and do fonts scale with the screen size? Why it matters: Your content should look good on all devices: mobile, tablet and desktop. Scaling fonts and full-screen layouts are necessary elements of a modern layout. Questions about being a lightweight and agile solution How easy is it to get started with the system? Is there an installation, or is the solution cloud-based? Why it matters: Cloud-based solutions offer you a faster deployment since they require no installation and you do not need to rely on IT to get started. How easy is it to create content? And build new, custom layouts? Why it matters: Creating new content and new layouts is the core of the system. Now, any vendor is going to tell you it is easy and fast. So ask for some numbers: how many days or how much would it cost to build a magazine or a lookbook? Would you commit to that in a quote? Avoid at all costs systems that require development to create new layouts or changes in headers, footers or wherever. How easy is it to update content? Are changes instantly visible? Why it matters: Whether it is updates, corrections and additions - you will want to see those go live immediately. And instant availability is great for when there is a rush job. What is the Total Cost of Ownership? Why it matters: You want to know ALL the costs. That includes licensing, training etc. How can I manage and optimize my SEO settings and meta data for pages and images? Why it matters: You want to be able to easily see, manage and update the SEO meta tags for your content, including your images - this will save you time. Can I build call-to-actions and forms in your platform? Why it matters: You will want to add call-to-actions in your content, whether you are selling products, building email lists, or for any goal you want to accomplish. Being able to build these within the platform is faster (not having to load another external service) and will keep your design consistent. How will your system grow with my business? Why it matters: A platform that can scale and grow with you as your needs grow is a better strategic choice for the future. Make sure to ask about high-performance clients and their metrics. Questions about being a ‘modern’ marketing solution How fast do your pages load? What mechanisms are in place for faster loading? Why it matters: Users and Google are adamant about loading speed and getting your content quickly in front of your reader. Fast-loading pages have lower bounce rates and increase SEO results. How easy is it to share content on social media? Can I customize the sharing settings? Does the platform offer tools to share images on social? Why it matters: You want to be able to add custom social sharing buttons that deliver good-looking results on all social media platforms, including images. Do you offer in-platform analytics for traffic and for conversions? Do you integrate with external analytics tools? Why it matters: It is very practical to have an ‘executive’ overview of your content’s performance within your creation platform - and being able to monitor its success by seeing how the goals and call-to-actions perform is an important part of measuring the ROI of your content. Which other tools in my marketing stack do you integrate with? Why it matters: Whether it is with your email solution or marketing automation platform, check where you can hook up and connect your future content. And lastly: Ask for a live example from a medium-sized customer, not one of the in-house produced showcases or larger budget ones. Why it matters: You will want to check for yourself how the content looks on mobile, how fast it loads, etc. and see what you can achieve with a moderate budget (even if you have a large budget, this is good to know). I hope you found this list helpful! Do you think there’s an important question missing? Please let me know: bart@readz.com. Or if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me! Very best regards, Bart Bart De Pelsmaeker CEO | Readz
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15 Questions Marketers and Designers Need To Ask eCommerce CMS Vendors
By Bart De Pelsmaeker
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