The What, Why, and Who of Content Marketing Software
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is part of a series of posts from Jesse Noyes, Sr. Director of Content Marketing at Kapost who will be sharing his expertise around content marketing and platforms to better help our audience navigate this very important area of marketing.
There’s a pair of stats that defines the current state of the content marketing industry: Only 44% of B2B marketers and 39% of B2C marketers have a documented content strategy.
In other words: everyone is doing it, but few know why or who is responsible for content marketing within their organizations.
This lack of consistent strategy will only widen the gap between leaders and followers. And as that gap widens, catching up gets harder.
Many businesses are turning to content marketing software to help organize the process. But to get the most out of that investment, you need to first understand the what, why, and who of content marketing software.
What Is Content Marketing Software?
Put simply, content marketing software is a centralized platform for planning, producing, publishing, and analyzing content and campaigns.
Platforms vary by provider, but the most sophisticated solutions offer features for generating ideas and collaborating on campaigns. These features might include:
Real-time editorial calendars, which automatically update as deadlines for submitting and publishing content are set or change.
Templated (but customizable) workflows where tasks and approvals can be set and notifications sent out so organizations don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every asset or campaign.
Integrations with other marketing solutions including marketing automation providers, Google docs, WordPress, CRM systems, social media sites, and more. This allows users to gather content within a centralized platform, as well as schedule and distribute to several different publishing channels.
The ability to set buyer personas so users can target every asset and campaign according to their most valuable prospects, leads, and customers.
Analytics for tracking content performance and spotlighting gaps among specific buyers and sales stages.
Qualities vary by vendor. But at a minimum you should expect threeâ€”if not allâ€”of these features.
Why Invest in Content Marketing Software?
Lack of process and analysis drags down well-intentioned marketing teams. Colleagues get buried in multiple versions of multiple docs. Different regions and departments have no idea what’s on the calendar for next week, let alone next quarter. Projects are waylaid because of missing approvals. Scattered reporting means no one really knows what worked.
Content marketing software can play a vital role in tackling many of these issues. Features like customizable workflows, editorial calendars, robust integrations with other marketing solutions, and centralized analytics free up marketers to focus on creating quality content and provide visibility across the organization.
It’s not a cure-all. Teams need to organize around their specific processes and goals. But the software provides a central platform for bringing key stakeholders together.
Who Benefits Most from Content Marketing Software?
The types of companies adopting content marketing software range in size and industry, from high-growth startups to large-scale enterprises.
But, generally, the organizations that get the most value from a dedicated platform have a mix of these three qualities: 1. some level of technological proficiency; 2. multiple collaborators, internal and external, producing content; 3. a dedication to crafting content that addresses buyer concerns first.
Technological proficiency doesn’t mean your marketing team needs to be stocked with programmers. But the software’s value is more clearly felt when integrated with other sales and marketing systemsâ€”Salesforce.com, Marketo, and Eloqua to name a fewâ€”as well as the distribution points for content (Drupal, WordPress, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.).
Organizations with multiple collaborators working on content will also see a big impact from having a central system, particularly when those collaborators are spread across teams and regions. The scheduling and workflow features help organize the process of developing content, notifying the necessary stakeholders, getting content in front of the right buyers, and then measuring the results.
Finally, and probably most importantly, organizations that are committed to creating content that addresses buyer concerns over pushing product will benefit most from content marketing software. The content types that can be created and distributed extend beyond whitepapers and emails. Blogs, eBooks, presentations, webinars, and infographics are dedicated asset types among the best vendors.
Those types of content are best suited for companies investing time and resources into assets that help solve buyers’ problems, rather than focusing on churning out even more “collateral.”
That’s not to say content marketing software isn’t useful for creating product-driven materials. It is. But the maximum return on investment will be experienced by organizations that fully embrace the tenets of content marketing: earn the buyer’s trust, keep them engaged, and, only then, talk products and services.
If you’re thinking about investing in content marketing software, consider the what, why, and whoâ€”and how each of these elements apply to your own organization. If you’re ready to put content at the center of your marketing, then you might be ready for a platform to organize the process.
Jesse Noyes is the Senior Director of Content Marketing for Kapost. In this role, he’s charged with producing and overseeing the company’s content marketing strategy and delivering high-value educational experiences for the industry. Jesse is the former Managing Editor at Eloqua (now owned by Oracle), where he ran the company’s award-winning blog and produced plenty of other stuff. You can follow Jesse on Twitter at @noyesjesse if you’re interested in content marketing and dogs.