As a marketer, I understand the importance of having a system that promotes ease and efficiency when it comes to implementing marketing processes. At B2B Technologies, we upgraded from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 for our content management system and have seen great improvements in executing marketing initiatives. Everything from posting new blog entries to updating pages on the public website is now easier than ever. With a user-friendly interface and the familiar Office ribbon, learning how to use SharePoint 2013 was simple and we were up and running in no time.
Having used SharePoint 2013 for about 6 months now, there are 5 key features that I feel have seen great improvements from 2010 and are making my job easier.
When we implemented SharePoint 2013 at B2B, we also went through a complete company rebranding. Our logo changed, our colors changed and our brand identity was defined. With all of these new changes came the complete redesign of our website. Using SharePoint 2013, our developers were able to take the design given to us by the creative agency and convert it to a useable SharePoint master page and content page templates. For us “non-coder” marketers, we can now go into each page and easily edit the content while still maintaining the consistency of our branding. Everything was set up by our developers so that our marketing team could work with content editors, drop downs and forms instead of difficult code.
The familiar Office ribbon inside of the SharePoint page editor
Updating Blog Posts and Press Releases
A big part of our marketing strategy is content creation, so it is important that we are easily able to add new pieces to our website. Our blog posts and press releases can be easily uploaded to our website by filling out a form with all of the relevant information and then publishing it. It’s as simple as that.
The blog entry form to enter in all of the post content
Another useful feature in SharePoint 2013 is the ability to create drafts of blog posts or press releases that do not get published right away. This is extremely helpful for a draft that needs to be reviewed, but is not ready for public viewing. Instead of having to email an attachment with the draft back and forth multiple times, the draft just sits in the folder until the appropriate person reviews it and publishes it. SharePoint allows you to create permissions where only certain people have that ability to publish content; allowing for an easier, more automated way to manage these processes.
The approval status indicates whether the post is published or in draft form
Our SharePoint developers also implemented a customized workflow that automatically adds our newest press release, blog post and/or newsletter to the “Latest News” section of our website; allowing us to always have the most updated content available right from our homepage and throughout the site for easy reference.
B2B's latest news is automatically updated with a custom workflow
We all know how important SEO is to gain visibility in the ever-expanding digital space and appear in relevant searches throughout multiple networks. This is why I was so excited when I saw the SEO input features that are available in SharePoint 2013. Every time you add or update a page, you have the option to input SEO information such as page title, keywords and a page description in easy to manage forms. By constantly adding and updating this information on the pages in your website, you can ensure that your website remains SEO friendly and maintains visibility in search rankings.
Add, edit and update SEO content for each page on your website
Public Website Management
By using SharePoint 2013 as our content management system, we are easily able to manage our public website. We can add, remove and update pages using the familiar Office ribbon and form entry; making the process quick, simple to learn and easy to execute.
Add a page with the pre-built layout and page styles
Everything on the back-end of the site is housed in smaller sub-sites, libraries and folders; keeping your information organized and accessible to the appropriate internal users.
All subsites, pages, documents and images for each site are in one easily accessible location
With SharePoint’s permissions capabilities, your IT department can designate certain permissions to certain types of users, whether those are content writers, graphic designers or management; giving you the peace of mind that your website will maintain a high level of professionalism and accuracy.
SharePoint has always been known for document storage, and the 2013 version continues to offer this capability. Users can upload documents into specific site folders and libraries to keep everything organized and accessible. For marketing purposes, we upload white papers, guides and other content that we then make available for public download; allowing us to keep all of our public documents in one place that is easy to access and helps us with SEO rankings.
Easily add documents with the familiar document upload form
This is also a great place to store images used on specific pages, blog posts, press releases and other content for quick and easy access.
Store images for each site in one location for quick access
Overall, SharePoint 2013 has been a huge asset to our marketing department due to its ease of use and robust capabilities. We can now do our jobs more efficiently since we are using a tool that is easy to learn and master.
We are hosting a webinar that will demonstrate how we use each of these features and will discuss the benefits SharePoint 2013 can bring to your marketing department on Tuesday, August 20th from 1:00 – 2:00 P.M. EDT.
To register, please click here.