Content management and knowledge management may seem like interchangeable terms and are often used as such. However, there are noticeable differences. Simply put, knowledge is more about gathering information and building a knowledge base and is more abstract. It is the know-how that resides in an organization. On the other hand, content in a business context is translating the know-how into output. For instance, content would include this blog that details content and knowledge management. Content is also the material covered in all help center articles. They serve a slightly different purpose and are a form of externalizing knowledge.

We hear the term content management everywhere in these customer-centric times. We live in an era that increasingly focuses on customer personalization and targeted marketing. Therefore, we must understand what content and knowledge management are and how to understand their roles in business, as each one impacts customer support and service. Let’s first discover all there is to know about content management and its importance to organizations.

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What is content management?

There is an increasing need to meet evolving customer needs through the internet. Content management involves the collection, retrieval, delivery, governance, and overall management in all formats. Content management covers the digital content lifecycle, and the management process depends on the company’s needs. Typically, companies use a system that includes the following:

  • Organizing the content by classification and creating categories.
  • Creating the content under different architectural categories and the storage is based on access, security, and delivery based on the company’s needs.
  • Designing the necessary rules to keep the workflow across various roles, staying true to the company’s policies.
  • Versioning or editing content into multiple versions and presentations of the content
  • Delivery, i.e., publishing the content for users, such as website visitors, or delivering the content through an intranet for the workforce.
  • Archiving or removing is the last stage of the content lifecycle when the content becomes obsolete.

The above seven stages of the content lifecycle follow the content governance established by the company. For instance, governance gives content creators clear guidelines and a structure. It outlines expected standards, assigns ownership, and controls access to the content, leading to a consistent user experience.

What is digital content management?

When we talk about digital content, we include social media, web, mobile, and enterprise content. Specific content management tools apply to the various forms of content.

  • Social media management tools help create a strategy with goals to define and analyze user engagement.
  • Web content management tools help create, manage, and display pages to visitors. It is an industry-specific way to manage website content without coding knowledge.
  • Mobile content management ensures secure access to company data on mobile phones and other mobile devices, including file sharing and storage.
  • Enterprise content management tools ensure effective data management. Its components streamline content access, minimize content management overheads, manage version control, governance, security, and more.

As mentioned above, content is the output, and a content management system manages these outputs in their different forms. And the enterprise content management system includes the workflow, i.e., it schedules deployments, automates demographic targeting, integrates approvals and alerts, and notifies as part of the management process. Furthermore, automation ensures that the content is deployed dynamically, i.e., in real time, responding to changes at the moment.

Now, we move on to knowledge management.

What is knowledge management?

knowledge management 1

Knowledge management also involves creating, managing, and distributing knowledge. While similar to content management, knowledge management also has a human component, as it is more than data. It requires understanding. It is how the data is gathered and organized before distributing it across the company. There are different types of knowledge, including

  • Subject matter expertise and institutional knowledge, like articles from a help center
  • Contextualized knowledge based on past customer experience and based on the information collected by a customer support team
  • Knowledge base created by the community managers about a product or service and specific to use cases

Enterprise knowledge management includes business processes, business-critical metrics, in-house expertise, and institutional knowledge.  As with content management, knowledge management comes in different forms. It can be a document management system storing documentation on processes and policies. Or knowledge management can be in the form of a knowledge base, a repository where the facts and relevant information reside in a centralized location.

Knowledge management systems follow a process of distributing knowledge with streamlined and simplified access to users, including workflow, multichannel access, tagging, collaboration tools, and mechanisms for knowledge dissemination. With a clearer understanding of content and knowledge management, we will look at some key differences between the two.

What are the key differences between content management vs. knowledge management?

Content authoring

A content management system (CMS) allows a specific set of individuals and teams to write and review content. Content management is one-dimensional and uses a ‘push’ strategy. On the other hand, knowledge management allows all employees, and even those outside of an organization, to make it a community that contributes their knowledge, experiences, and observations. You can add users and groups and assign them roles such as contributor, editor, administrator, or viewer. Knowledge management is more of an exchange process.

The focus area is different.

Writers in content management work on a focused area of interest. Knowledge management is more to do with content that addresses customer-related issues with research and solutions to solve customer issues.

Different use cases

Content management systems are used to build, design, and manage websites. The system’s features help create sites optimized for search engines. It aims to improve your marketing strategies so you can market your products and services and convert prospects into customers. On the other hand, knowledge management systems enable self-help with documentation, FAQs, user guides, etc. They capture, store, and publish information to help customers with their concerns.

For all these differences, the two systems have one thing in common – they rely on metadata. Content is descriptive and pushes information out, and knowledge is up-to-date and accessible to the employees in an organization, especially the customer support teams. Additionally, the content is granular with specific information. Knowledge is broadly applicable and garners better understanding once accessed by the customer.

Why is content management important?


In a world where content is everywhere, having a sound content management system is more important than ever. As discussed above, content management is creating, editing, and managing digital content. A robust CMS is essential for businesses and organizations of all sizes, as it can help them save time and money and ensure that their content is accurate and up-to-date.

There are many content management systems, from simple document management systems to complex enterprise content management systems. Whatever the system you choose, there are several advantages to using a content management system.

Benefits of a content management system

Managing your organization’s content with a robust CMS offers several benefits, enhancing your content management.

  • Streamline your authoring process and help authors to create and publish content more efficiently. This feature can streamline the authoring process by providing tools that allow authors to manage their content, such as templates, workflow tools, and content management features.
  • Ensure consistency in the look and feel of your website. You can create a style guide that outlines the specific colors, fonts, and all design elements for the website. This style guide will be a reference for CMS developers and designers when creating new content or making changes to existing content. You can create templates for the different pages on the website to ensure that all of the pages have a consistent layout and design. You can also use the CMS to control the website’s appearance by setting the default colors and fonts for the website and creating rules for how different types of content should be displayed.
  • Reduce website maintenance costs by automating many tasks associated with maintaining a website. For example, a CMS can automatically generate website navigation menus based on the website’s structure, publish new or updated content, and manage website security. In addition, a CMS can provide a central repository for all website content, making it easier for website administrators to find and update content.
  • Integrate your website with business applications, including customer relationship and asset management systems, making it easy to manage website content from within those applications. You save time and improve efficiency by managing all content in one place. In addition, a CMS offers tools to automatically generate or update content on your website based on changes made to your other business applications. It keeps your website up-to-date and accurate and easily maintains consistent branding across your applications.
  • Use dynamic marketing to improve sales or user satisfaction by tailoring content to the individual user. You can do this by using cookies to track user behavior and deliver content relevant to their interests. Dynamic marketing also helps upsell products or services by showing users content related to what they are already interested in.
  • Optimize your content for search engines or mobile use. A CMS helps you create a responsive design that can adjust to different screen sizes that can be accessed from mobile devices. It has features that help you improve your website’s search engine ranking, such as adding keyword-rich titles and descriptions to your pages or creating redirects to point search engines to the correct pages on your site.

Content management and knowledge management impact CX

Technology and automation help ensure that the knowledge is centralized and its use streamlined. The updated knowledge base is reflected across multiple pieces of content, and content management is more efficient and is the basis for all your customer support self-service portals. These knowledge repositories enhance customer experience, working as a result of turning knowledge into content optimization.

Managing content and knowledge are essential to success in the customer experience (CX) world. After all, CX is about delivering great customer experiences, which means having the correct information readily available to everyone who needs it. In the context of CX, content includes any information that’s used to support the customer experience, such as product descriptions, FAQs, how-to guides, and customer testimonials. Knowledge management is closely related to content management, but it’s more focused on ensuring people have access to the correct information. In other words, it’s about ensuring that your team has the knowledge they need to deliver great customer experiences. When it comes to CX, both content management and knowledge management are critical. Here’s why:

  • Content management ensures that the correct information is readily available. Your team needs to have quick and easy access to the relevant information. By storing and organizing your content in a central location, you can ensure that everyone on your team can find the information they need when they need it. Knowledge management ensures that your team has the right knowledge. By ensuring that your team has access to the right information, you can make sure that they have the knowledge they need to deliver great customer experiences.
  • Content management and knowledge management improve team collaboration. When information is stored in a central location, and everyone on your team has access to it, it’s easier for team members to collaborate, leading to better customer experiences.
  • Content management and knowledge management improve the quality of your content. You have a centralized dashboard accessible to everyone on your team and have access to their feedback. That feedback can help you improve the quality of your content, making your content accurate, consistent, and helpful.

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Content and knowledge management are vital elements of a superior customer experience. They both have the potential to deliver better CX and help businesses connect more meaningfully with their customers. Additionally, they ensure that your agents have access to all the information they need and work collaboratively across multiple channels, keeping customer satisfaction at the forefront.