Content Marketing involves the creation and sharing of digital content (in the forms of videos, ebooks, blogs, infographics, and social media posts) which does not necessarily promote a brand but is intended to create interest in a company’s products or services.
This marketing technique works by creating and distributing valuable content in a consistent manner to attract a defined audience. The objective can vary from engagement to traffic or inquiries, but ultimately there is a defined customer action that is being sought by publishing the content.
Content marketers’ primary KPI is to produce content (blogs, videos, images, etc) to drive traffic to the website. And for content to drive traffic it has to win on search engines and hence SEO becomes a key part of their strategy. SEO tools help them plan their content better and analyze their performance as well.
What is Content Marketing software?
With content development becoming one of the biggest activities of marketing teams everywhere, Content Marketing has grown into a process that encompasses vendors, software, media, and analytics. Marketing teams that have evolved their Content Marketing strategies often use a variety of tools to create, deliver and measure results on an ongoing basis.
An effective Content Marketing software enables centralized control of content (creation, collaboration, and approvals), distribution (through integration with media channels) and measurement of results.
According to eMarketer, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day! When you consider the various teams involved and the variations required for each medium, that’s a tremendous workload.
Content Marketing software enables marketers to focus on quality content creation by automating and supporting the various facets that go into the strategy, production and distribution of content.
Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date
Most Content Marketing software contains more than a few tools to help teams manage their Content Marketing calendars effectively. But as the objectives of brands vary, so do the range of Content Marketing strategies. As a result, there is no one size fits all solution in Content Marketing software.
The right Content Marketing solution should give the user a bird’s eye view of overall content activities. Effective Content Marketing helps everyone involved in the process (both internally and externally) work together to plan and execute Content Marketing activities.
Typically, a Content Marketing solution should help you:
Research and create content
Source and select third-party content
Schedule and automate content distribution
Measure published content effectiveness by type and channel
Notwithstanding all of the above, an effective Content Marketing solution should easily integrate with tools that are already being deployed by your team including social media channels, email marketing tools, and analytics. Through easy integration, a Content Marketing solution will ensure the syncing of data across channels and optimization of the team’s workflow.
Content Marketing Software in B2B
The difference between B2B and B2C Content Marketing lies in the way these brands define their marketing objectives. A B2C buyer may have a more complicated customer journey which could require a greater frequency of piecemeal content, as opposed to the decision-maker targeted by a B2B company.
As a result, the Content Marketing strategy for both can be vastly different. B2B Content Marketing is typically oriented towards lead generation by distributing content to the defined target audience in order to attract, engage, and/or generate leads for the sales team, while also continuing to engage and retain past customers. In fact, according to an Accenture ‘On the Verge Report’ 61% of all B2B transactions start online, and 51% of customers turn to social media to do initial research.
B2C brands often create bite-sized content pieces to entertain and boost brand recall, while on the other hand, B2B brands prefer to use content that demonstrates thought leadership, subject matter expertise, or resolves customer pain points.
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reported that B2B marketers primarily used Content Marketing to drive brand awareness, educate audiences, and build credibility. As a result, any Content Marketing software that is B2B-oriented will be designed to support those marketing objectives.
5 Benefits of Content Marketing Software
Aligned Content Marketing Strategy
With the complexities involved in multiple pieces of content across multiple channels in various formats, the obvious immediate benefit of an effective Content Marketing Software is to offer a unified place for the whole marketing team to plan and execute the Content Marketing strategy, seamlessly. This enables integration of disparate systems, bringing in speed and efficiency, and supporting inter-team communication for better results.
Easy to Measure ROI
Another big benefit is the measurability of Content Marketing results. By knowing how each piece of content performed based on its pre-defined objective (brand recall, engagement, lead generation) a marketer can accurately track effectiveness and measure RoI. He or she will also be able to optimize content types based on performance, weed out poor performers, and thereby improve RoI.
The answer to ‘Is my Content Marketing strategy working?’ should be answerable by the analytical insights which the Content Marketing solution provides.
A centralized method to track data across content, media and by objective will allow the marketer to identify the best performing topics and the actions which the audience takes after consuming the content. With the right Content Marketing solution, a marketing team’s Content Marketing initiatives can be mapped directly to revenue and ROI.
Data-driven content ideation
With all the data in one place, it becomes easier to conclude if videos are driving your best results, or whether more infographics need to be allocated into the content mix. Content marketing software can bring out the data that will help identify topics that resonate with the audience, rank high in search engines, and drive the most traffic to your landing pages. Marketers can, therefore, avoid the limitations of guesswork when it comes to content creation.
It’s not the best content that wins. It’s the best-promoted content that wins
Content marketing involves various stakeholders both within and outside a company. While using spreadsheets and emails for interaction may seem fast, it can often result in errors and miscommunication that can waylay the entire production process. A Content Marketing solution offers custom workflows that help standardize content creation and publishing processes at every stage, saving time and effort.
Seamless Omnichannel Content Strategy
Most Content Marketing campaigns today are designed to deliver over more than one channel. This means creating a consistent experience across each one, from the website or blog to social media and more. An effective Content Marketing software will integrate with your required channels to enable quick publishing and in turn, bring in the results to a central hub.
In a nutshell
Regardless of whether you are a B2C or B2B marketer, a Content Marketing Solution can help:
Offer a unified view of your content supply chain.
Give insights into how content is performing, and enabling lead generation or revenue.
Provide a data-driven method to understand what type of content is performing and where.
Additionally, the fact that more businesses are opting for a Content Marketing solution indicates its effectiveness. According to a MartechAdvisor article, from 2018 to 2023 the global Content Marketing solution market is expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 18.4% and is expected to surge to $9.59 billion in 2023 (from $4.12 billion in 2018).
3 Business Problems Solved by Content Marketing Software
Marketing Budget Management
The bottom line is literally the objective of a Content Marketing solution. How does Content Marketing – a key element in business marketing today – account for marketing attributed revenue?
Less than half of the respondents to a survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute said that they measured the RoI of content. While the task may seem a challenging one, Content Marketing software tools can simplify the process of calculating content RoI.
The right Content Marketing software helps teams ensure that they are creating content that is generating measurable value for the company, while not wasting time gathering approvals, creating presentations and spreadsheets of data. This helps in utilizing the marketing budget in an optimal and efficient way.
Content Marketing software can help overcome several of the issues that occur due to poorly timed or under-utilized content. By offering unbiased visibility into content performance, marketers can repurpose content and curate more pieces that have a demonstrable preference amongst the target audience. It helps in delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time thereby improving customer/lead engagement.
Efficient Content Management Process
Content Marketing takes away a lot of the manual tasks related to content planning, creation and publishing thereby allowing marketers to focus on more focused efforts to engage customers.
While working across departmental teams – in global enterprises particularly – consistency in messaging is another issue that can be managed more efficiently with the in-built workflows of a Content Marketing software.
Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it.
Finally, as every content marketing strategist will tell you sustained and long-term quality content is a must to make a market impact, and the right Content Marketing software can help keep the pace going.
What industries benefit from using Content Marketing software?
Content marketing is a cross-industry activity, and therefore Content Marketing software is not limited to specific industries. While some Content Marketing software may be tailored to certain industries – for example, retail-specific Content Marketing software – most can be adapted across industries with little or no loss.
Who are the users of Content Marketing software?
It is interesting to note that while Content Marketing software may seem like an obvious marketing tool, the truth is that content is crucial to the customer acquisition process. In addition to marketing teams, such as those in B2B organizations that need to generate, nurture and supply leads, a Content Marketing solution can be of tremendous benefit to the sales team as well.
Sales teams often stay top-of-mind of their prospective leads by sending content in the form of cases or papers which demonstrate their effectiveness. As a result, Content Marketing software can be of benefit to the sales team and third-party vendors in addition to the Content Marketing team.
Content Marketing activity can be handled within the company or can be outsourced to Marketing Agencies. Even those agencies will be the primary users of Content Marketing Software.
Key Features of Content Marketing Software
Workflows that enable approvals, and get different users working together and collaborating on schedule.
Content Publishing Tools
Enabling users to publish content to different channels, such as social media or websites, sometimes through integrations.
Two-way seamless communication with multiple social channels and digital channels including blog, website, email, and third-party advertising tools.
Content Marketing software integration with social media management tools, marketing automation software, email marketing, CRM, social media tools, and analytics software.
Calendar control and queueing often help teams stay ahead of their content needs. Check to see if your Content Marketing solution allows you to sort, tag, assign and pause content flexibly.
A publishing feature, auto-scheduling enables users to schedule posts and coordinate content releases.
A library of templates that can be customized by the content team.
Sales Content Library
Access to sales-related content which can be either downloaded and emailed or delivered to a prospect by the sales team within the system.
Reporting features that allow business users to have control over their reporting with drill-down and exporting capabilities.
Content Marketing and AI
Artificial intelligence is helping businesses maneuver through the chaos by analyzing user data and helping marketers make sense of their customer intent. With Content Marketing getting more challenging every day, thanks to the huge proliferation of various media types (think blog, tweets, grams, and videos – both short and long), AI can often help pinpoint the right type of content for the right person on the media they prefer.
Predictive and prescriptive analytics are AI-driven algorithms that enable retail marketers to deliver follow-up messages and tailored offers to abandoned shopping carts online. Shoppers are targeted with highly personalized content around their shopping preferences and offered ideas and choices to help convert them into buyers. Some brands even customize what a customer sees on their website home page based on their past interaction with the brand. AI enables this level of personalized marketing and the right Content Marketing solution can help you leverage its capabilities.
Artificial Intelligence also helps marketers create relevant content on their Content Marketing software for their customer audiences at every stage of the marketing funnel. Using the information offered by an AI-driven algorithm, marketers can use a Content Marketing tool to create or curate content that is relevant to their immediate needs, raising engagement levels and pushing RoI.
According to Peter Loibl of the Content Marketing Institute, artificial intelligence will likely be used to help with day-to-day minutia. He continues to predict that 2020 will be the year where marketers really begin figuring out how to leverage AI to complement organic content creation.
Buyers Guide - Guide to choosing a Content Marketing Software
It is essential to consider whether a business has global or local considerations to take into account. Companies that create content across geographies would need multilingual support as an essential component.
Market Segment and Industry Vertical
Content Marketing Software can come in various sizes, depending on the size of the company, it is good to choose the software that best meets the company’s needs. Enterprise companies would require enterprise-level features like scale, performance, multi-channel support, security, collaboration, etc. Similarly, some content marketing software would be more suitable for specific verticals like Retail, E-Commerce, so consideration can be given to the specific industry segment the software supports. Specifically, the template support and content library if it is more tailored for specific industry segments.
The choice of a channel is determined by the content strategy of the company. Some might want to focus only on email vis-a-vis some wanting to strategize social media content. The choice of the software will depend on their strength of support for that channel. Large companies that have a multi-channel approach might choose software which has multi-channel support.
Content Marketing is never a standalone process. It intertwines with many of the marketing processes and hence would need integration with tools like Marketing Automation, CRM, Social Media Marketing. The right Content Marketing solution will need to provide out of box integrations and connectors which save time to integrate or the integration hooks
Ease of Use
Since Content Marketing Software is used extensively by marketers and agencies, ease of use plays a key role in selecting the software. It should be easy to learn, customize and use the software.
Challenges in Deploying a Content Marketing Software Solution
We covered some of the things a good Content Marketing solution can do.
While the ideal Content Marketing software addresses all of your requirements, some may lack the key features you need. As also mentioned earlier, the software you pick will often vary based on your specific needs and the results you are hoping to achieve.
It’s also important to know that Content Marketing Software should not be confused with Marketing Automation Platforms which are distribution software; which mainly amplify content reach while measuring impact. Marketing automation solutions tend to focus more on lead generation and management, while Content Marketing software is primarily content-oriented.
Content Marketing Software is also not to be confused with Content Management Systems (CMS) though they both allow multiple users to create and edit digital content through collaboration. A CMS is mainly used to handle website content creation and publishing.
RoI for Content Marketing Software
We’ve talked about the RoI of a Content Marketing solution earlier, but let’s break it down to understand whether investing in this kind of a long-term solution can help generate positive RoI for your brand or business.
With content saturating the Internet, getting and holding your customers’ limited attention isn’t as easy as it used to be. A programmatic solution and data-driven method to demonstrate content effectiveness can help save time (and money on promotions) on content that just does not appeal to your target audience.
Content Marketing software can also help get more juice out of your best pieces of content. While you may already be repurposing your content for various media, a Content Marketing solution can make that result apparent to everyone involved, generating more ideas around suitable formats and key messages that are clicking.
Finally, a Content Marketing solution can help teams with the workflow development of content which can often be overwhelming. This, in turn, can help marketers use their time to focus on core marketing activities.