How to choose the right content marketing platform

Estimated reading time
4 minutes
11th February 2020
Author: Kit McKay
Posted in: Content operations

Being able to write entertaining and insightful content is not enough in 2020. The demands for content have become too great for manual processes and antiquated workflows. A content marketing platform (CMP) is a software solution that improves the efficiency of the content marketing process and increases the effectiveness of content.

But “content marketing platform” can cover everything from Hubspot to Turtl, so you need to be aware of what exactly you need from a CMP before you make a choice. 

What is a content marketing platform and why do you need one?

A CMP is a piece of software that can help you with everything from content planning, creation, publishing, distribution, and analysis. 

With growing pressure from senior management to prove the ROI on content marketing activities, those of us who work in content have little option but to become more digitally savvy. Despite this, only 39% of content marketers say they are “somewhat successful” at tracking the ROI of their content.

Close up stock photo of a woman carefully studying moving data on her computer screen, the screen is unusual as it is transparent and the camera is looking through the back of the screen.

This divide is likely responsible for the boom in marketing technology software over the last decade. In 2011, there were only 150 marketing technology companies. As of 2019, there are more than 7,000. This is also becoming a priority of CMOs, who increased the money allocated for marketing technology from 22% to 29% of the marketing budget between 2018 and 2019.

While a one-stop-shop content marketing platform that does everything we need would be perfect in an ideal world, the reality is you’ll need to make a decision on what you need your CMP to do. Many content marketing platforms offer integrations with other tools so if you pick your primary platform, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to incorporate additional data and resources from other tools if required.

What to consider

Ease-of-use

One of the major challenges facing content marketers is a lack of resources, specialized skills, and time. A content marketing platform that is easy to learn and use is essential to reduce these concerns.

The CMP you choose shouldn’t be something that only a graphic designer or a developer is able to effectively use. These platforms are designed to break down barriers and limitations, not create bottlenecks among a few highly skilled individuals.

Similarly, if it’s easy to create, publish, and analyze content, this reduces your reliance on agencies and can save you a huge amount of money. When Cisco switched to their content marketing platform, they reduced their costs by 90%.

Look for software that puts intuition first: templates, drag-and-drop, simple embedding of media like videos, images, etc.

Analytics

You can create as much content as you like, but if you’re not able to measure its performance, what’s the point?

The ability to easily identify and analyze both top-level and granular data is essential to any marketing campaign. Data gives your organization the insights they need to drive growth and build revenue.

Thanks to the content marketing platforms out there, content can now be a key player in generating and capturing this data. Engagement metrics can reveal topics of interest, uncover target audiences in new geographical regions, and even track the individual reading habits of leads and prospects in the funnel.

Screenshot of Turtl's known-reader analytics dashboard

Example: Turtl’s known-reader analytics

Make sure the CMP you choose can not only track everything you need, but that the data is easily accessible and understandable by everyone, not just data analysts. Content marketers have to be able to track their own performance and make changes to their content accordingly.

Integrations

A solution that fits all your needs is ideal, but in reality almost impossible to find. The workaround is to find a content marketing platform that integrates with the other more specialized tools you need.

Probably the most important integration capabilities to look out for are whether the CMP integrates with your CRM (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.). This can allow you to link up your contacts with your CMP’s own analytics functions to see how they engage with your content at an individual level.

It’s also important to take a look at how quickly the CMP integrates with new technologies as the martech industry continues to boom and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends.

Collaboration

It can be difficult for content marketers to get the buy-in they need for a content marketing platform. This is why finding a CMP that is well suited to collaboration can be hugely helpful.

Although not everyone in your business will be a content marketer, many across different teams will be creating content on a regular basis – this could be anything from sales proposals by the sales team, welcome packs by HR, or internal communications from the comms team.

A group of young professionals work together on a project

A content marketing platform that helps aid collaboration within your team and between teams can help prove wider business value and get the buy-in you need.

Look out for capabilities 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 admin, etc.
  • Ability to share permissions

Reputation

At the end of the day, the best way for you to choose which content marketing platform is right for you is to do a lot of research.

Apart from taking comparative looks at the features of different CMPs, you can check how their existing users are using the platforms. Review sites like G2 and Capterra are particularly useful for checking out real, honest opinions of tech companies and software.

Why not check out Turtl’s reviews? (G2/Capterra)

Could Turtl be the right content marketing platform for you? Check us out here or get in touch.

Turtl