What is Content as a Service (CaaS)?

Everything you need to know about cloud based managed content, content distribution, and benefits of CaaS - explained in less than 10 minutes.

What is Content as a Service (CaaS)?

Key Takeaways

  • Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) manages structured content into feeds that other applications and platforms can easily consume.

  • Content is delivered rapidly in a format that platforms can consume, such as HTML or JSON, without the need for a specific human-compatible rendering in between.

  • Content is delivered via an API within defined content models.

  • Content can be easily queried to be delivered and displayed on multiple platforms with granular control.

  • Rather than using onsite infrastructure, content is hosted in the cloud, and usually can be distributed globally at scale, securely.

  • With CaaS, users gather all their content in a single "Content Repository", whether it be text, sound, video, etc. All content can then be managed and categorized in one place, and then distributed across all platforms and devices as required.

  • In the IoT era, CaaS enables teams to accelerate their content delivery across devices, platforms, channels, and regions, with better workflow management.

  • CaaS enables teams to enjoy greater content personalisation, availability, flexibility, and measurability into how and where their content is delivered.

Breaking down content as a service

Content as a Service (CaaS), also going by Managed Content as a Service (MCaas), is a cloud computing service model, where delivery of content is on demand through web services and APIs via the cloud. All content (text, audio, video, ratings, etc.) is hosted centrally, and can be distributed globally across multiple devices and platforms, customised and on demand.

The key differentiator between "Content Management" and "Content as a Service" as we know it, is the intention of having content stored in a raw format meant for machines to consume rather than humans. For example, when creating blog posts in a Headless CMS, the content isn't stored as a "post", but rather in a raw format such as HTML or JSON, and delivered via API to multiple devices that render it as defined.

Since CaaS is not meant for direct human consumption but for other platforms to consume and render as required, there are no limitations for the amount of platforms and devices that can display content that is delivered in this way.

As CaaS is cloud based - all content is consolidated into a single "content repository", where editors and developers can create, edit, manage, categorize, and modify content whenever needed.

In the case of CaaS, the CMS becomes a "content provider", in contrast to the monolith legacy systems where the CMS was a "all-in-one software" that handled content management, output, display, and infrastructure.

Benefits of content as a service

There are multiple benefits to embracing the CaaS model through a Headless CMS like GraphCMS.

Personalization

CaaS allows teams to dynamically handle their content, allowing it to be flexible and personalised as required. On a simple level, teams can dictate custom rules to direct specific content to specific devices, platforms, and channels. On a more complex scale, teams can hook in their Headless CMS to several CDPs and personalization tools to deliver specific content to specific subsets of audiences, allowing for exceptional flexibility and granularity in marketing campaigns.

Multiple Models

CaaS enables teams to manage all their content from a single repository and distribute whatever content they want, wherever and whenever they want it to be rendered.

Omni-channel delivery

As new channels and devices come to market regularly, CaaS enables teams to be better prepared for delivering their content to these platforms. As content is delivered via API, their campaigns can be future-ready. CaaS enables them to run campaigns across any platform in the IoT era - whether a website and app, or smart-fridge, smartwatch, or a car.

Native content management

As content is delivered in a raw format, it can be rendered natively on any platform. CaaS strips away the restriction on teams of displaying content on mobile as "mobile websites" or condensed versions of their website. CaaS allows teams to deliver native content to websites, apps, PWAs, SPAs, and any other proprietary formats.

Data-driven content

CaaS allows content to be analysed as data. As every delivered content piece is API driven, marketers have an unprecedented insight into granular analytics by looking at API connections. This allows for greater detail in AB testing since every piece of content can be analysed.

Scalability and Security with content as a service

In theory, CaaS enables content to scale globally without restriction. A reputable cloud-based CaaS provider would allow content to be distributed and cached globally, allowing better performance on rendering the content at the front end. Similarly, a reputable provider would follow best practices on encryption and security to ensure that the repository is secured from external attacks. As there is no physical risk as in the case of on-site servers managing content, CaaS enables teams to focus on building their products and having their content readily available (and secure) whenever needed.

Use Cases for Content as a Service

Depending on business needs, CaaS has a variety of use-cases for different teams:

Apps and Mobile CMS

CaaS enables developers and app publishers to dynamically update the content on apps without submitting every new build to the app store for review. Similarly, marketing teams have better control on pushing promotions and campaigns into mobile environments on the fly.

Omni-channel distribution

A singular content repo allows teams to deploy content to multiple channels instantly rather than maintaining different databases per platform. A Headless CMS also allows teams to manage localised content within one database for different locales, making it easier to scale distribution globally.

Integrations and extensions

Headless CMS that empower teams to use CaaS allow seamless connections to any MarTech stack or other software needed to delivery, measure, optimize, and improve content. Either via native integrations or through a combination of webhooks, a Headless CMS allows content teams to run better campaigns and analyse results.

Better UI and UX flexibility

Since a CaaS CMS is platform agnostic and doesn't tie the front end to the back end, teams are free to design and build any visual experience they can imagine.

Native IoT content

A CaaS CMS allows for granular control on the distribution of structured data via API. Since the content is delivered in structured feeds, any platform can consume them in the format they were meant to be. Rather than pushing hacky solutions of modified web pages to a watch or pushing plain text updates to a coffee machine, content teams can deploy better content to IoT platforms from the same content repo.

AI and Bots

Structured content is much easier to consume for chat bots, automated conversations, or other AI powered tools since they are directly connected via API. Especially when NLP (Natural Language Processing) comes into play, robots can rapidly consume and distribute the right content.

Future-proof content

Content delivered via API can be easily consumed by devices. With new platforms and channels coming to market regularly, this allows teams to create content for any new technology without having to worry about their CMS being able to push content to upcoming tools and platforms.

Multi-market localisation

A single content repo can be maintained and localised for multiple locales. Content can be created for all these locales together, and delivered accordingly, making internationalised content easier for content teams to manage and edit as required.


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