6 min read

How to use Confluence to build a business marketing hub

Illustration of three people working on a large circular digital screen

Find out how Adaptavist used Confluence to build a brilliant marketing hub for the whole business.

Confluence has many brilliant business use cases, from product documentation through to creating company wikis. It’s flexible, accessible and easy to customise, making it an essential tool for organisations all over the world.

At Adaptavist, we recently built a dedicated marketing hub using Confluence and Content Formatting Macros. This Confluence space is not only a place for marketing team members to contribute work and collaborate virtually, but also a resource hub for colleagues around the business. It’s now one of the most visited pages across our instance - but how did we make it happen? Here’s how we used Confluence macros to build a visually impressive, user-friendly hub.

Screenshot of an internet page. There are profile pictures of people and a youtube video embedded.

Why did Adaptavist build a marketing hub in Confluence?

Before 2020, Adaptavist’s marketing functions were divided into product marketing and solutions marketing. Information was dispersed across various platforms and there was no one-stop-shop where all marketing materials lived. In 2020 Adaptavist expanded the marketing function, adding teams including partner marketing and experiential marketing, and brought everyone under one umbrella. This led to the decision to bring all relevant resources together in one marketing hub. 

With more team members than ever working remotely, it became even more important to facilitate collaboration and provide an up-to-date space for people to find marketing resources.

As Confluence was already Adaptavist’s source of all internal information, the mission was clear: consolidate existing marketing information, add more relevant details and develop a clear and cohesive Confluence space. We wanted it to reflect the unified team and provide a valuable resource for marketers and other team members.

Who is the marketing hub aimed at?

After speaking with stakeholders and understanding the requirements, it was established that the hub’s target audience would be everyone company-wide who wanted visibility of marketing activities, resources, stakeholders and teams. 

Sales and Customer Services teams are regular users of marketing materials, so it was important they could quickly access the information they needed. The space also needed to provide marketing team members with a platform to collaborate on, while other Adaptavist employees needed to be able to find relevant information. From HR to developers, every department had a reason to use the marketing hub.

To reflect this shared need, the hub had to be neutrally designed, with key resources presented first and a clear structure to help guide users around the space. At Adaptavist, people across the company frequently search for presentation templates, logos, colours and reports, so these assets were highlighted alongside information around best practices and strategies.

What steps were taken before building the hub?

We researched what other teams were doing in Confluence and took notes of what we wanted to replicate, such as having a lean, clear structure and using Content Formatting Macros to customise the space. Next came the content review, consolidation and removal phase of the project, which involved gathering all existing marketing resources in Confluence, updating relevant documents, removing irrelevant ones and identifying any gaps. 

This was one of the most time consuming parts of the process. Because Confluence allows you to build an endless number of pages and child pages, it can become disorganised and chaotic, making it challenging to clean up

Pro tip: To streamline the Confluence clean up process, liaise with your IT team to build a report on all the existing pages within your target spaces. You can then send this report to team members to help them quickly and easily review and remove outdated pages.

Which Confluence macros and tools were used?

When designing a Confluence page, there are many things you can do to customise the content and make it more appealing. A big part of this is Content Formatting Macros, which can do everything from creating more beautiful Confluence pages to structuring and organising information in user-friendly ways.

Note: Adaptavist’s marketing hub has been built on Confluence Server. Content Formatting Macros vary across hosting platforms.

Div

The Div macro is one of the most popular Content Formatting Macros for Server and Data Center. It’s been used in every part of the Marketing Hub to add custom features such as Adaptavist branded colours and stylised sections.

The existing Confluence tables were restrictive, whereas with Div we could use Adaptavist brand colours and stylise the content to create floating boxes.

Internet screenshot of a Confluence page with orange title dividers and blue hyperlinks
The Div macro was used to split marketing resources into three distinct, stylised sections, complete with the Adaptavist orange header. Note that the Div and Stylesheet macros are only available on Confluence Server and Data Center.

Expand and Buttons

We used the Expand macro to keep pages clean and tidy, reducing the number of links cluttering the page. By compartmentalising non-essential links into sections, we created a more streamlined space with only the most demanded information highlighted.

Screenshot showing a form with a badge icon and a list of macros
Behind the scenes: Here's how to set up the Expand and Button macros within Div to create tidy, clickable content links.

The Button macro was used throughout the hub to create visually engaging links, encouraging users to interact with the content and adding PNG icons to provide more context.

Blue and grey buttons with text on a white background
The Button macro can feature icons to draw the eye and explain what the button does. It makes content more engaging and interactive.
Screenshot of an internet screen with an orange title banner, icons and sections directing people to different pages
The Div and Button macros can work together to create visually appealing sections with brand colours and icons.

Horizontal Navigation Bar and Page Properties Report

Marketers and other stakeholders want to stay on top of paid campaigns being run across their product and service lines. We made this information accessible in the paid lead gen campaigns section of the hub, using a Horizontal Navigation Bar with tabs to separate out the different campaigns, webinars, events and Atlassian Community Events.

Confluence screen showing text and colour coded status bar for activities

The Page Properties Report macro pulls through specific fields from relevant Confluence pages, automatically displaying and updating them on your designated page or table. An example of this in the events section of the marketing hub. Here, users create a specific Confluence page with information about the event, highlighting the key data to be pulled through onto the homepage’s paid lead gen campaign section (below).

A typed form detailing an event
Specific fields on Confluence pages can be pulled through to be displayed on other pages, thanks to the Page Properties Report Macro.
Screenshot with orange title bar and details of an event

This synchronisation saves users from manually updating fields across multiple pages, helping to give a quick snapshot of the most important information in the most relevant place.

SmartDraw

We used the diagram tool SmartDraw to create the meet the team team section. With interactive links to employee profiles, it’s a more engaging and interactive way of presenting the team structure.

Screenshot of a company organisational chart, showing a map of profile photos and job titles

What Confluence best practices should people follow when building hubs?

  1. Establish ground rules
    Confluence is a reactive, flexible tool, so we recommend treating your space or hub as a constantly evolving collaborative platform. Teams and spaces grow quickly, so you should establish company-wide best practice such as rules around page labels, links and permissions.
  2. Highlight the key info
    Ensure the most-searched-for, relevant information is immediately accessible to users. In Adaptavist’s marketing hub, this was achieved by creating a series of quick links in each section to help people find what they’re looking for.
  3. Work in short sprints 
    This agile approach allowed us to collect regular feedback and constantly refine our work, consulting with stakeholders and gathering user feedback before delivering the final version. We recommend clearly communicating expectations and deadlines around user feedback - the earlier, the better.
  4. Never stop improving
    There are ongoing updates and improvements to further optimise the hub, including plans to develop an integrated team calendar which pulls in projects from different Jira instances. In line with Confluence best practice, we also undertake content gardening, where we archive or delete content that’s no longer relevant.

Create your own hub with Content Formatting Macros

The marketing hub is now one of the most used sections on Adaptavist’s Confluence space. If you’re looking to create a collaborative space your teams will love to work in, Content Formatting Macros can help. Click below for your free trial to start making your space better than ever.

Try now for FREE

Discover more at the Berlin ACE

Interested in hearing more about using Confluence as a marketing hub? Don’t miss Helena’s presentation at the Berlin Atlassian Community Event on June 7th. Register here to secure your spot.