6 must-have CMS features for leading automotive publications

6 must-have CMS features for leading automotive publications

With constant innovation, shifting government regulations and cut throat business strategies, few industries are as dynamic as the automotive industry. As a result, consumers and industry insiders are seeking the best of the best online resources on the subjects of automotive and dealership news. The Auto Gearshift Study 2017 by Google-Kantar TNS surveyed consumers who were interested in buying a car in India and found that 89% of all car purchases in India were digitally influenced—up 14% from 2018. This sharp shift to digital has made it crucial for websites to choose a great content management system (CMS) that can effectively power their digital content managing and content marketing strategies.

Here are 6 essential CMS elements for automotive industry publications:

1. Multi-site support and streamlined workflow

Nowadays, every publication distributes content through multiple channels. Publishers have to manage a plethora of blogs, intranets, social media channels and a number of micro sites in addition to their primary website. A CMS that can handle multiple publications is the need of the hour. By allowing publishers to replicate analogous content across various websites and channels from a single point, a CMS with multi-site support makes their work swifter and easier.

Your CMS should have the ability to universally power your database of widgets and manage content across various websites from one installation. Having all your websites on a single platform means your entire team can develop and manage content from a single interface. This approach simplifies the editorial workflow by allowing extensive and smooth collaboration which helps you publish content with a minimal lag time.

2. User-friendly interface and easy administration

Content managers need to oversee a number of processes such as ideation, content creation, approvals, editing, publishing, and promotion. A simple, collaborative platform where managers can track the status of all content processes in a single dashboard is a key feature of an efficient CMS. With role-specific access and edit permissions, a good CMS ensures easy and controlled collaboration. Your CMS should also be intuitive, with all elements very easy to find and straightforward to manage. It should enable non-technical people to make changes and update the content of the website easily.

3. Flexibility of design

A good CMS should have the capability to adapt to any type of content or media in the format that your team is looking to publish. It should provide publishers the option to choose/ change / modify front-end layout in order to suit and match their branding specifications. CMS platforms that offer a flexible architecture which allows for design freedom that helps you come up with your own signature style. This helps differentiate your brand from your competitors.


Whether it is a review of the latest electric car or a listicle of ‘Top 5 Luxury Cars in 2019’, your CMS should help you publish your content without any glitches or delays. As with any other product-driven industry, in the automotive industry, visual storytelling trumps written content. Your CMS should be equipped to handle high-quality images, video, and other media efficiently without compromising on the page load speed of your site. Over the past year, usage of online video in the car category research and buying phase has doubled.

One of India’s leading automotive publications, Autocar India posts video reviews of cars and bikes on their website as studies have found that 79% of all car buyers who watched online video took action (went for a test drive, downloaded a brochure, visited a showroom, etc.) afterwards. In evo India's long term reports of bikes, they post high-resolution images of the automobile being reviewed to provide better clarity to their readers.

Features like live blogs can be used to cover significant industry events. For instance, updates from India Bike Week can be shared on your site as soon as they happen so that your readers get the latest news from the event.

4. Easy integration of marketing solutions

In today’s digital marketing scenario, a CMS must be capable of integrating third-party apps that enhance the functionality of the CMS. Measuring the performance of your published content and managing your content marketing strategies are essential to the success of your publication. As a result, your CMS should sport integrations with solutions for SEO, analytics, marketing automation, social media, CRM and ERP. For example, Google Analytics integration with a CMS allows content marketers to track key performance metrics which give them insight into reader behavior. This will help publishers to gauge instantly how well their content marketing strategies are working towards improving their rankings and engagement.

5. Speed and Scalability

If your site doesn't load quickly enough, users will not stick around. Page load speed is not only an important ranking factor, but it's integral to user experience. Your CMS should be conducive for faster page load and content render speed. As 56% of internet traffic is generated from mobiles, AMP integration for your CMS would ensure the delivery of fast and light-weight mobile-optimized web content at scale. The CMS that you choose should have the ability to scale with your organization as you grow and change over time. It should not crash if there’s a sudden increase in your traffic.

EVO India Lighthouse Score - Desktop
EVO India Lighthouse Score - DesktopPageSpeed Insights

6. Support for Subscriptions

Top auto industry executives, like vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and franchised dealers, are consumers of automobile publications for industry-related information.

As a result, publications are experimenting with various revenue models in order to monetize. The ideal CMS allows for integration with ad systems and various subscription and membership systems. A lot of publications have multiple magazines and sections within their primary site. Your CMS must be equipped with functionalities that allow you to set different subscription plans for each magazine. The Automotive News, a Detroit-based website is one of the world's leading sources of automotive news. A section of their website called ‘the Automotive News Data Center’ is the industry's primary source of automotive sales, production, inventory and incentive data. Subscriptions to the Data Center are sold separately from standard Automotive News subscriptions.

While choosing the perfect CMS for your publication can be a complex process, your next CMS should definitely have these cutting-edge features to make your website and its administration faster.