The rise of content marketing has elevated it to regal status amongst marketers with many hailing, ‘Content is King, Context is Queen’.
Content marketing is a crucial part of building brand awareness, improves your visibility in search rankings, and connects with your customers. In addition, the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) latest B2B Content Marketing 2018 report , 65% of respondents saw their content marketing success increasing during the last year.
The challenge comes in organizing all the aspects of content marketing:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Digital campaigns
- Case studies
- Influencer marketing
As content marketing strategies mature, there is a greater need to plan, implement and measure content marketing campaigns. This brings out the question of whether your business needs a content marketing platform.
There is a confusion between a marketing automation platform, a content management system and a content marketing platform. The latter does not necessarily involve the features of marketing automation or CMS, but it should meet these four key areas of content:
The idea of a content marketing platform is to organize all these into one tool that helps marketers plan their content marketing strategy and see more successful results.
A content marketing strategy requires thorough planning, aligning it with a company’s wider goals. Not all companies are able to document their strategy yet, which brings out the need to organize everything a strategy includes in one platform.
Content marketing can be the key to awareness, consideration, and conversion for a business. The strategy can activate all the opportunities through the right planning.
A content marketing platform should be able to provide marketers with an overview of their strategy, including:
- Customer journeys
- Content planning
This way, it becomes easier to analyze the existing content, discover content gaps and plan the next steps for the content strategy.
A content marketing platform can streamline your content production, making it easier to keep an organized calendar. Content planning can involve the management of your created content and the curation from interesting sources, along with the actual calendar that keeps you accountable towards your KPIs.
Moreover, you can also use a content marketing platform to assign tasks to other team members, keeping an overview of the content needs, managing freelancers and additional deadlines.
It can also help you develop a consistent content supply chain by mixing blog posts, social posts, videos, case studies, and whitepapers, among others.
It’s easy to feel lost among all the channels that can be involved in a sharing process. Thus, a content marketing platform can facilitate the process of content distribution, aiming to help your team save time while amplifying their content. It also becomes easier to divide the amplification of the content into relevant campaigns, seeing better results by focusing on the right channels.
If the focus of the distribution is mainly on social networks, it may be easy to confuse a content marketing platform with a social scheduling tool.
Why should you invest in a content marketing platform then?
The difference is that a content marketing platform offers an overview of your content strategy, following your content through all the stages. Although its distribution is critical, a focus on the sharing and scheduling is only one part of a successful strategy.
A content marketing platform can blend the amplification with the set strategy, making it easier to spot new business opportunities. The team collaboration helps you save time in the creation and the promotion of content, while the measurement can focus on the wider business objectives, going beyond the social KPIs.
According to CMI’s latest report  in B2B Marketing, only 35% of content marketers are able to measure ROI. This means that the rest are either unsure or unable to tell if their content marketing efforts are successful.
The problem derives from the complex definition of content marketing and the channels it includes. Another reason could be that the goals are not aligned with the company’s objectives, ending up measuring the wrong KPIs, which makes finding ROI challenging.
A content marketing platform can help marketers organize their KPIs, monitoring the performance of all their efforts, even in real time. This makes it easier to monitor all the new contacts and the stage of the funnel that they are in.
Awareness, engagement and lead generation become easier when you have already set your targets, while a data-driven approach to content marketing can also help you establish your future needs. The right platform gives you a complete overview of your content marketing strategy, focusing on the right data to discover the impact of your work towards the business goals.
Practical benefits of a content marketing platform
There are three key ways that you can benefit from using a content marketing platform:
From the planning to the implementation, the right software can help a team save time while increasing effectiveness. It can also potentially help a company save money, by reducing the number if tools used for similar tasks, offering a holistic overview of the marketing efforts.
2. Team collaboration
Content marketing needs cooperation with marketing, sales and product teams. It can also require collaboration, which the right platform can improve by:
- improving transparency among departments
- enhancing communication on campaigns
- facilitating the task assignments
- providing an overview of bigger content plans
This way, anyone at the company can understand how content marketing works, enabling marketers to justify their work and provide the required insights for each campaign.
3. Measuring impact
Measuring the ROI of content marketing can become an abstract concept to define and measure content marketing, but there are many software solutions that offer data-driven insights.
An analysis of the content funnel and the impact it has towards existing and potential customers can be critical for the planning of the future budget or a company’s goals. It’s useful for marketers to be able to measure the impact of content marketing in the set KPIs and how each piece of content drives awareness, leads and revenue.
Factors to consider before investing in a content marketing platform
It’s good to consider that there are three factors that can delay your content success:
- Time: As with any new tool, the initial period requires an additional dedication to it. From the testing phase to the customization, it is important to spend an additional amount of time to find the best way it can support your business.
- Training: It’s not just about dedicating your time, but also learning the best ways to use the platform. This depends on your initial expectations and your KPIs, but you may also discover additional features that can improve your strategy even more. By the time you know how to use the platform, there may also be a time of team training, helping other colleagues learn the platform. For example, a sales professional may be focused on the content’s impact, while a content writer may spend more time on content production and the relevant features.
- Budget: Every team has a different budget for content marketing and that’s a key factor to keep in mind when researching for the right solution.
Content may be king, but there is an oversaturation of it in today’s digital world, where everyone is essentially a publisher. For marketers, the right platform can optimize their content, while also improving organization, efficiency and most importantly, measurement.