Best-in-class marketing teams were using four main types of technology by 2013. Web optimization, sales force automation, social media, and marketing automation platforms were considered must-haves, particularly in enterprise organizations.
Look closely at each category, and you’ll find that innovative technologies go beyond building efficient processes. They inform strategies.
Technology delivers new opportunities—specifically, the chance to create more powerful buyer experiences and gather insights into these experiences. When marketing teams see how potential solutions can ramp up the acquisition of leads and move opportunities, they open the wallet.
And that’s what’s happening with content marketing software.
Leaders in content marketing plan to increase content marketing platform budgets by 31% by August 2014, according to the Aberdeen Group. Why? Because it makes targeting specific buyer personas and sales stages easier. It integrates with the key technology platforms needed for a full-scale, multi-channel marketing operation. It delivers insights into content production and performance. It makes marketers more successful.
However, enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily lead to clarity. There’s plenty of confusion about the key benefits, users, and elements of content marketing software. To shed some light, we created an entire eBook—An Introduction to Content Marketing Software—which is free to download.
But to get started, you should expect the following six qualities from a content marketing software.
Increased Quality of Content
There’s a lot of content out there these days, and it can even be said that brands are superseding traditional media. The only way to actually earn attention is to be strategic in your content creation, and to produce content that’s consistently better than the rest. Technology allows teams to organize efficient workflows, manage multiple revisions of assets, and collaborate on and approve content to ensure every asset meets (or, better yet, exceeds) your brand’s standards. And process begets higher performing content.
Ability to Target Buyer Personas
Content marketing leaders plan to increase content marketing platform budgets by 31%
Content has to speak to the right people, and it needs to be created with those people in mind. If you’re trying to reach teenagers and you constantly reference Loveboat, you’re showing that you don’t know how to communicate with your target audience. By getting to know your audience, bringing that knowledge into your software, and aligning every content asset and campaign with the interests and needs of those buyers, your marketing will hit its mark.
Production and Performance Analytics
You need production analytics to see how your team is doing, where there are inefficiencies in your process, and whether you’re hitting the necessary content quotas to meet your lead and revenue numbers. Are those assets on deadline? Are you short on content ideas? Are you consistently publishing a variety of content types? Production analytics give insight into output and timing.
Performance analytics, on the other hand, highlight which assets, contributors, or content types are actually contributing to meeting your goals. These can include metrics such as page views and unique visitors, links to content, clicks on calls-to-action, social shares, leads generated, and dollars attributed. Knowing what works or doesn’t is the only way you can tighten your strategy.
To be truly valuable, content marketing software must integrate with the tools and technologies marketers need
Workflows define each step in the production, publication, and analysis process. They hold specific contributors accountable for specific tasks, and organize timelines for completing each of those tasks. This is how content projects are outlined, how each important step is completed, and how deadlines are met.
Quality content won’t do you any good is no one sees it. To be effective, and to show the results you’re looking for, it must be pushed to the appropriate channels and platforms. This includes internal channels, such as your CRM, and external-facing channels, such as your CMS, marketing automation software, and social platforms. Which leads me to…
To be truly valuable, content marketing software must integrate with the tools and technologies marketers need to distribute and track their content. Otherwise, it’s not much more than a project management tool. Project management and collaboration is still a useful piece, but to really get the full value of the technology, it’s the role of content marketing software to pull data from and push content to multiple platforms.
Each of these elements make content marketing software a necessary part of the 2014 modern marketing machine. Especially as technology becomes increasingly critical to not only process, but strategy.