How to Use Crafter CMS: A Simple Guide for Marketers

“How can Crafter CMS help me achieve my marketing goals?” is a question I receive often. And if you’re like any digital marketer, you want a web content management system that is easy to use and can easily engage site visitors. A platform that you can update without involving the IT department, but advanced enough to allow you to create and modify digital content on your own.

Crafter CMS provides marketers with a platform to create and manage engaging websites, mobile applications, and multi-channel digital experiences, all through a modern suite of tools available both on-premise and in the cloud.

So, how do you make quick edits? And what does this mean for your marketing strategy? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

How to Use Crafter CMS

Ready to get started? We’ll walk you through a few basic steps for leveraging Crafter CMS and fill you in on some neat features along the way.

1) Log into Crafter CMS from any connected device.

login-screen
2) Click on the Preview link and we will update an event on our website together.

Below you will notice Crafter CMS lists all your websites in one location, and if you look closely at each site you will see the following links: Preview >> Dashboard >> Live site.

The Preview link allows you to view the live website and get access to your editing tools. Crafter’s Dashboard will reveal any activity or changes made and who made them, along with a complete set of modern editing tools. You see below we actually manage three different websites here at Crafter Software.

preview-page
3) Select Edit at the top of your screen

Here we have access to your editing tools located on the left and top of the page with a live view of our website. We will update our main website, http://craftersoftware.com.

homepage
Next we show how to update the Events page on our site that has a listing of events, along with the content and metadata associated with each event.

4) Click the + sign next to Events

Events
A dropdown template will appear, where you can easily insert the title, date and link for your event. Select Save and Close at the bottom when you are finished.

Want to publish the event? Simply navigate back to the top of the page and click on Approve & Publish; Crafter allows you to either publish now or schedule it for a future date and time.

Pro Tip: You can add personalization at any time to your digital experiences by simply pressing on the wrench at the top of the page and selecting a persona to whom you can personalize the content and experience.

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Let’s now add a press release to the website.

5) First, we navigate to the press releases by locating the About section and clicking on News in the website view. Once there, we select Edit at the top of the page.

news

6) Let’s tap the HTML to edit

Here we can edit two different ways, either by a WYSIWYG editor (as shown below) or through an HTML editor.

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7) Edit your HTML in the source editor

We have added new HTML in green to show a new press release we want to publish. We edit the HTML code and once we are happy with it, we select Update and then click on Save and Close at the bottom.

html-coding
Result: A new press release for September 2016 and the preview view gives us a view of how it will look and function on our website.

final-pr

Happy with the press release edits? Now we can navigate to the top of the page and select Approve and Publish and select the time we would like the news to go live to our targeted audiences.

Congratulations you have learned how easy it is to update content, personalize experiences for particular site visitors and better engage your customers using Crafter CMS.

Are you experimenting with different ways to engage your targeted audiences? Want to learn how Crafter CMS platform can help your marketing efforts? Share your thoughts in the comments below or email us at info@craftersoftware.com.

 

The Power of Great Content APIs

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From Amazon and Twitter to Expedia and YouTube, large companies recognize the value of providing Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) to their systems and continue to invest big bucks in them.  These well-established APIs grant third parties controlled access to their functionality and content, which is essentially like allowing you into a candy shop filled with lollipops and candy bars (content and functionality) and giving you the key (API) to enjoy them anytime you want.

API Facts

Before explaining the value of API, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of these popular systems. The following are a few facts and figures to illustrate just how important APIs are and why so many companies are choosing to use them.

1. APIs allow businesses to build new platforms on scalable and accessible content much faster.

2. Once a maturing API becomes a core capability within a business, numerous opportunities begin to present themselves. Essentially, when it comes to API, it’s okay to start small, while thinking about the bigger picture.

3. Within the first 13 months, Netflix’s API usage grew 37x and currently boasts 33% of the US evening internet traffic.

4. Surprisingly, when building APIs, large teams are not required. Rather, small, flexible and dexterous development teams can equally create large returns on investment.  Simply put, APIs require vision, clear leadership and a story that resonates with stakeholders.

The Value of APIs

As you can easily see, APIs have a distinct value for large and small companies alike. The value of APIs begins with internal consumption use case, rather than the more commonly known public open APIs to attract others from outside. Beefing up the content accessible within your own organization will show benefits very quickly. Consider how easy your projects would be if you could access a system that gave you various kinds of content while using any possible dimension (language, profile, context, user, location, you name it!). The ability to have one simple yet standard and reliable option that gave you access to information would be pretty spectacular, wouldn’t it? The question then becomes, what value are you willing to place on that? The answer is priceless.

The capability to communicate and grant access to the controlled consumption of content both internally and externally within an enterprise is significant to the point that businesses are discovering they almost can’t function without APIs. With APIs as the programmatic stage for content, everything “backstage” is the outcome of the efforts invested in the “service providers” to make that content accessible. Meanwhile, the front stage or “service consumers” are able to focus their efforts on putting the content to the most effective use.

Linking it All Together

A robust content API delivers a definite separation of concerns between those backstage diligently working to structure and develop content, than from those at the front stage chomping at the bit to gain access to the content so they can creatively do amazing things with it.  Needless to say, APIs benefit both service providers and consumers with endless prospects for advancement on either side of the API.

The ultimate goal is to move beyond simply separating the content to effectively moving it so it can be utilized everywhere it needs to be. The benefits are endless and big brands are already seeing the profits. Your business can enjoy the same.

It’s important to keep in mind that APIs are going to get a lot more popular, but APIs require a solid infrastructure.  It’s a programmatic interface to your content.  So if you’re creating a content API, be sure to design a content model from the start that conveys the required level of structure and meaning.

Questions about where to start? Email info@craftersoftware.com and our experts will happily assist.