How to Evaluate a Content Marketing Platform

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As the need to create, deliver, and promote great content in a strategic manner that optimizes results increases, are you wondering how you can achieve all this?

In this regard, a content marketing platform is the ideal tool.

As a marketer, you know all too well the importance of content marketing and that it’s not just about creating and releasing content. With a lot of information available in real-time to users today, you must optimize your content for maximum visibility.

Chances are, you probably do all this. But, do you measure the return on investment your marketing efforts generate?

This is where content marketing software comes in as It helps you streamline your content marketing strategy and increases your workflow efficiency. However, with many solutions in the market, you have to be keen on the one you select as not all can adequately meet your needs.

What is a Content Marketing Platform?

Before you get to the nitty-gritty of evaluating content marketing tools, you must know what exactly they are. Think of a content marketing platform as the solution that helps content marketers manage and execute their content marketing plans more effectively.

In general, they have three key objectives:

  • Help marketers become more efficient when carrying out their content marketing plans
  • Support content creation, SEO, collaboration, distribution, and analytics
  • Make it easier for content marketers to calculate the ROI of their content strategy

Such solutions offer varying functionality and features. As such, one that may be ideal for other marketers may not be suitable for you.

Key Functions of a Content Marketing Platform to Assess

If you’ve been using standalone marketing software, it’s easy to assume you have all the support you need. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

When it comes to content marketing support, a CMP is more of a suite of multiple tools, unlike standalone software that offers one or two specific functions.

With such a host of functions in one solution, it will serve as your content management system. It also eliminates the risk of duplication of data or repetition of tasks when members of your content marketing team use different content marketing tools.

Considering the key role it can play, look at the level of functionality along with the primary features of a CMP before choosing a content marketing platform.

Here are the key functions you should be looking at:

  • Content creation
  • Content management
  • Collaboration and project management
  • Content promotion
  • Analytics and optimization

1. Content Creation

An effective marketing strategy hinges on creating quality content that users want and that benefits them. Determining the type of content suitable for this and curating it such that it ranks higher than competitors’ is a task that’s easier said than done.

Effective CMPs offer tools that help with content curation and optimization. Such tools allow you to do competitor and keyword research for the topics you intend to address with your content.

This is an exciting proposition as it will make it easier for your team to determine interesting topics and optimize them. In turn, you’ll benefit from content that’s more appealing to users and effective.

Another key element you should be keen on having is content production support. This comes in the form of features that help optimize the layout of your content for SEO and conversion purposes and sourcing for images.

2. Content Management

Each day, content creators are tasked with developing new content that’s engaging and useful to their audience. But the work does not end once content has been published.

You must manage both new and existing content, which becomes more and more challenging as your content increases. As a result, the time and effort it takes to manage content can impede ideation and content creation.

With a content marketing platform, you’ll have content management solutions for both new and existing content. You can easily organize content, making it easy to track later if you need to repurpose it.

Better yet, as your CMP collects analytics data, the organization makes it easy to skim through your content to see how different content is performing.

3. Collaboration and Project Management

Unless you are a one-person team, which is a recipe for failure, content marketing is a team game. For your content marketing process to be effective and efficient, you need a blend of different people with varying skill sets.

However, even with the best of the best, you will experience bottlenecks and other challenges if members of your marketing team cannot communicate and collaborate.

Content marketing software comes with tools that support and enhance collaboration and communication. For instance, an editorial calendar ensures that all members know which content to prioritize without the need for engagement.

Also, features such as cloud-based collaborative editing allow them to collaborate on projects at each member’s convenience.

4. Content Promotion

You know the old adage involving looking for needles in haystacks? Well, no pun intended. You’ll have more luck with that than randomly coming across content that you need online.

As such, your content marketing efforts do not end at publishing. You must promote the right content via the right channels and to the right people to realize any meaningful results.

Today, there are many avenues where users can access the content. Each of these channels is suitable for different types of content and provides access to varying audiences.

A good content marketing software comes with analytics capabilities that will help you determine the right channels to promote your content, depending on your target audience. With marketing automation, it will take care of content promotion, allowing your marketing team to focus on other tasks.

5. Analytics and Optimization

Content marketing is increasingly becoming competitive. Each month, there are tens of millions of blogs published.

Also, search engines such as Google update their algorithms periodically to improve user experience. With these two factors, strategies that worked today may not be effective in the future.

For you to achieve long-term success in content marketing, you must continually improve. This requires you to keep track of trends and adjust to them.

In this regard, ensure that the CMP you choose offers analytics and optimization. With a solution that collects data, you’ll be able to see the performance of content and learn what’s working and what’s not, guiding the production of new content.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Content Marketing Platform

In terms of features, you are likely to find several solutions that seem ideal for your company. Therefore, there are other factors that you should also consider to help narrow down your options.

Here it goes:

  • Ease of use
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Integration
  • Growth plans
  • Level of support
  • Frequency of updates
  • Reviews

1. Ease of Use

The primary objective of using a CMP is to facilitate and expedite your marketing team’s efforts in actualizing your content strategy. What’s more, your solution should be very user-friendly with a short learning period.

Otherwise, you may adopt a solution that becomes an obstacle, or your team will not use it. Either way, the investment will go to waste.

2. How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

Even with similar features and functionality, different solutions come at varying costs. Besides the initial investment, you’ll incur additional costs for licensing, support, training, hardware, and keeping it running.

Consider all these costs when calculating the ROI to determine if a solution is within your budget.

However, your decision should not be solely based on price point. Take other metrics and considerations into account as well.

3. Integration

In the digital era, there’s no escaping the use of systems and software to help with processes. This is especially so for digital marketing.

Ideally, all your solutions should work together or, at the very least, be able to integrate. Sadly, this is not always the case.

If you adopt a solution that can’t integrate with your existing systems, it defeats the purpose of digitizing. Your team will have to perform a process that should otherwise be automated.

As a result, it’s vital that you have a CMP that fully integrates with other systems, including your CRM and email marketing tools.

4. Growth Plans

It’s fair to assume that a desire to scale your company will accompany your investment and efforts to improve content marketing. If yes, there are two key questions you should ask yourself when assessing content marketing platforms:

  • What growth plans do we have?
  • Will the CMP I choose be able to handle our increasing needs?

As your company grows, you will have more CMP users, requiring greater functionality. Consider your growth plans and select a solution that will scale with you. It should also be flexible enough to adjust to evolving content marketing needs.

5. Level of Support

As much as a solution is user friendly, you’re likely to encounter challenges from time to time. When this happens, you want a provider that offers round-the-clock support to reduce downtime.

Go through the service level agreement to find out how soon you can expect your concerns to be addressed.

6. Frequency of Updates

Content marketing needs are continually evolving. As you take the necessary steps to stay up to date with developments, your vendor must be responsive to such changes.

Find a solution that is frequently updated. This demonstrates the vendor’s commitment to providing the best content marketing support.

7. Reviews

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three, use experiences from current or previous clients to inform your decision.

Check for reviews on their website, social media pages, and other review platforms. If a vendor has a questionable track record, move on to the next one.

Getting Ahead of the Pack

As content marketing becomes more competitive and complex, there is no room for mistakes. Your processes must be efficient and effective for you to get desired results consistently.

Are you looking for a solution that enables you to plan, track, and distribute your workload all from one platform? Then Welcome is the ideal tool for you. It also comes with creative tools to help you spice up your content. Stop what you’re doing and contact us today to take your content marketing to the next level. We promise you won’t regret it.

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