Are You Ready for a Multisite Digital World?
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unnamed1/154240269
Content Management and related tools have long been about much more than just content management. You might find yourself strategising around managing not just your content, but also the
- customer experience
- visibility and flow across different channels
- multiple domains
- and much more
In this post, I’d like to spend some time discussing multiple domains, or multiple sites. Traditionally, companies have used a single domain for their digital presence. The exception to this rule are multiple product sites where you choose to have one site per product - or acquisitions where you buy another business with its own web presence. For whatever reason, you choose to, either for a limited time or forever, to maintain multiple sites.
Not only do you want to or need to manage those sites, you also want to make your internal processes as efficient as possible since no one can afford to waste valuable resources on editing the same page, in multiple places, possibly on multiple servers. Or worse, having to deal with each project having a different user interface, a different publishing process and a different backed by a different system.
This wouldn’t be a big deal if, in 2013, ICANN hadn’t started releasing multiple generic top level domains - to help consumers find the content they are looking for, and to help businesses protect their trademarks.
While there are a number of consumer-geared generic domains being released such as .software, .finance or .repair, there are also business specific ones such as .mango or .zara.
You might think that simply registering those domains and redirecting them to your current site is enough. In that case, you might be missing out on a big opportunity to engage your customers more and better, to provide a better segmentation of incoming traffic and, on the whole, to provide a better experience to your customers.
TL;DR: They Matter
Why? In a nutshell, business specific domains will force all enterprises to redefine their digital strategy. Their digital presence can no longer be confined to one simple domain - multisite is becoming a necessity.
Similar to customers liking your product on social media, thereby indicating their interest in and affection for your brand, you know that when prospects entered your business specific domain in their browser, they’re looking for your brand. They like you, they want your product, they are already engaged, so you can let them dive deeper into your brand experience. You then know what those visitors are looking for, so you can use that information.
In the very least this is yet another segmentation clue that you can translate into business benefits, to get happy customers and beat your competition. How you would use such information largely depends on your business. The crux of the story is that the visitor is giving you extra clues about what they are looking for, and it’s up to you to use that information.
Prepare for future endeavours...now
Soon, marketing and customer relationship experts in your company will be coming to your IT teams, demanding solutions that allow them to manage those multiple sites. They won’t just want to manage multiple sites - they’ll also want to be able do it efficiently, and share content between them, and use a unified publishing workflow, and reuse all digital media that is already available throughout the company, and hook into various other systems that you have available internally.
Don’t wait until they start asking - evaluate systems that are already on the market now to stay ahead of the game, so you’ll have a solution ready when they come asking for it. I happen to know of a pretty decent one. Feel free to have a look: http://www.magnolia-cms.com/