How to choose the right content marketing platform

31st October 2017
Author: Etienne Clergue
Posted in: Content tips & advice

The benefits of choosing the right content marketing platform

Writing good content is always a good start to successful content marketing, but choosing the right tools is also critical.

Click to read How to choose the right content marketing platform

What is a CMP, and why do you need one

The benefits

A content marketing platform is a hub for planning, creating, publishing, distributing and analysing content. It’s a software solution that helps marketers drive awareness, leads and ultimately revenue. And it should work with all content formats, including video, audio, HTML, etc.

Content marketers are through necessity becoming a digitally savvy breed and are increasingly used to adding tech solutions upon tech solutions to their marketing stack yet only 30% of leading marketers feel they are effective at measuring content marketing’s impact on the bottom of the funnel.

You only have to glance at Scott Brinker’s infamous martech landscape to see just how many content marketing tech solutions there are out there – it kind of hurts the eyes. And’s what more it’s being added to on a continual basis.

Growth of the marketing technology landscape over 7 years

However successfully accruing data and insight from so many different sources is fast becoming a job in its own right.

The ability to purchase a one stop shop content marketing platform that does absolutely everything that is required would surely be a dream come true. But the reality is that no such wonder tool exists (yet).

Content marketers subsequently need to think carefully about which platform they intend to predominantly use and then how they will go about collating and incorporating additional data from other tools if required.

Ask what is the reason for selecting a CMP:

  • what goals do you want it to help achieve
  • how easy will it be to implement
  • what specific features will be needed

And one of the most important things a good content marketing platform will offer is granular and real time analytics that allows for detailed measurement of how content is performing.

Furthermore they also need to take into consideration not only the needs of each and every member of their own team but those of any other teams within the business that will have a use for them.

We’re constantly hearing how content marketers struggle with limited budget and resources, timeliness, creating enough quality content, distribution of content across multiple channels and being able to effectively measure the effectiveness of their content efforts.

The good news is that a good content marketing platform should be able to help ease many such restrictions imposed on marketers right from strategy, through to production, distribution and analytics.

“70% of content marketing leaders are increasing investment in marketing technology.” Curata

Criteria – Some pointers to help your decision

Initial considerations

Ease of Use

With many B2B marketers citing lack of resources, skill-sets and time as considerable obstacles when it comes to content creation, it would seem that ease of use is a top priority when it comes to choosing a content marketing software solution.

It is becoming more and more important for content creators to generate quality content at speed and in an agile manner.

Having complete control over the creation process from writing to digitally formatting to publishing and finally analysing is essential for today’s marketer.

“The marketing software market is expected to grow to more than $32.3 billion in 2018. It will be one of the fastest-growing areas in high tech, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% (IDC)”

With time being of the essence identify platforms that require little or no training. And where some degree of training is required ensure that this is included with the package and that ongoing support from a super switched on team is ongoing.

Look for content marketing software platforms that offer intuitive creation features such as easy to use templates, simple text editing, drag and drop features, easy embedment of rich media such as videos, audio, images etc.

And does it allow for real-time amendments? Essential to ensuring optimum performance. Being able to obtain feedback and insight from inbuilt analytics and then amend and improve content instantaneously will ensure you increase optimal engagement of your readers. Learn what’s important to them and then give them more of what they want

Analytics

Absolutely essential to any content marketing campaign is the ability to easily analyse and interpret data. From a birds eye view down to the granular.

Data is key to driving the process of analysis. It provides your organisation with key information, insight, whether or not your audience is engaged with your message or ignoring it. It is also an area which many marketers have struggled to get to grips with.

It is essential that your platform of choice can measure results in real time allowing you to amend and improve your content with agility. It should be able to cover the following:

  • Effectiveness of content, campaigns, and strategies
  • What content engages your audience
  • Who customers are (on some level)
  • Where customers are in the sales funnel
  • What factors are most likely to convert leads

Integration

Integration is becoming more important than ever. It empowers you to work with more specialised tools when the situation requires it.

A solution that fits all your needs is ideal but in reality almost impossible to find. New techniques are flooding the market all the time. And so you need to be able to have the ability to adapt quickly by working with additional tools that can be of great benefit for your marketing plan. It’s therefore crucial to look for a Content Marketing Platform that integrates with additional tools that you will use, like your CRM or marketing automation platform.

Collaboration

Communication across your whole organisation can pose problems at the best of times. And so it is really important that your marketing software has the ability to make this as easy as possible when it comes to content.

Having a truly integrated content marketing platform will not only aid collaboration but will combine data analysis, content creation and delivery and sit well with project management, sales and customer management.

The right content marketing technology should make collaboration simple in ways like:

  • Tracking what other team members have done
  • Working on the page in real time
  • Assigning tasks and campaigns
  • Sharing pieces of content
  • Sharing of data
  • Simple sharing of assets
  • Ability to allocate different roles such as administrator
  • Ability to share permissions

Reputation

Look at what types of content marketing platforms other brands are using . And in particular look at what your competitors are using and how successfully. And what do they have to say about them? What’s their reputation like?

Check out documented case studies and go seek any testimonials and reviews you can find on sites like Capterra or G2Crowd.

Optimisation

It is essential that there is optimisation across all devices. Tablets and mobiles are becoming increasingly important and are stealing serious marketshare from laptops and desktops which marketers traditionally used to focus on first.

It’s essential that your content marketing platform of choice can deliver your content creation efforts seamlessly across all browsers and devices.

And finally … the Demo

There’s no better way to get an understanding of how a platform works than to see it in action. But consider and list your specific needs in advance to ensure that you gain a full understanding of how it can best work for you.

Further key questions to ask

In addition to the basic criteria listed in the previous section there are some additional essential questions to consider when exploring which Content Marketing Platform to select:

  • Does it integrate with other marketing software that you use or are likely to use?
  • What training/onboarding is involved, and is it included?
  • Is there ongoing support? How is support provided? Is there a specific support team?
  • Are there any limits on how much content can be generated without having to incur additional costs?
  • Are there additional cost considerations to take on board for number of users allowed etc.?
  • Can the software be customised if required? And if so how extensive is customisation?
  • How frequently is the platform updated? Are updates ongoing? What updates are in the pipeline?
  • What benefits does it have over that of its competitors?

Do you need help choosing the right content marketing platform for your business? Let us help you! Get in touch or call +44 (0)330 311 9742