Content Marketing Tools 2015: A Marketer’s Guide
A fundamental shift in the relationship between brands and consumers is driving an equally significant change in how – and how often – marketers communicate with their target audiences. The convergence of user-generated online content, social media, and mobile communication has put control firmly in consumers’ hands. Rather than coming to the brand website, store or sales rep with questions, consumers now come armed with product and purchase information gathered from a wide array of sources, via multiple channels.
”Content marketing” has become a core component of brand marketing strategies as a result.
This buyer’s guide analyzes the current market for content marketing tools, including the types of vendors serving the market and the capabilities available. If you are considering licensing a content marketing tool, this buyer’s guide will help you decide whether or not you need to. It provides recommended steps for choosing a content marketing tool and contains profiles of 18 content marketing vendors. The guide features relevant information for both B2B and B2C marketers.
The Benefits of Using Content Marketing Tools
Managing the volume of marketing content that needs to be created, distributed, analyzed, and managed has become complicated, time consuming and costly for many marketing organizations. Automating these processes – or partnering with a content marketing vendor that provides content creation services – can provide numerous benefits:
- Increase the relevancy and effectiveness of your content. When consumers view and interact with content, they reveal a lot about their preferences and buying stage. By capturing and analyzing their content consumption, you can provide them with more relevant information that may push them further into the sales funnel
- Improve message consistency across all marketing channels. Managing brand style and consistency is a huge challenge for global brands and multi-location marketers. By centralizing content assets in a CMS or database, those assets can be standardized and monitored for compliance with style and regulatory guidelines.
- Collect more accurate customer data. Content marketing optimization and analytics tools track and measure content consumption across multiple touch points. Metrics are moving from quantity based (i.e., how many pages viewed) to quality based (i.e., time spent reading specific pages). By automating the process, data can be integrated with CRM and marketing automation systems to enhance prospect data.
- Grow social sharing, referrals, and engagement. More personalized, relevant content is shared more frequently across social networks, which will amplify the impact and awareness of your brand.
- Decrease marketing campaign costs. By sending the right content to the right consumers through their preferred channels, campaign efficiency increases and campaign costs decrease.
Do You Need a Content Marketing Tool?
Deciding whether or not your company needs a content marketing tool calls for the same evaluative steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support, and financial resources. Use the following questions as a guideline to determine the answers.
- Have we identified our content marketing strategy and goals?
- Have we established KPIs and put a system in place for tracking, measuring, and reporting results?
- Do we have C-level buy in?
- Who will own or manage content marketing?
- Do we have the staff to execute content marketing?
- What is our budget? Can we invest in staff training?
- Can we integrate content marketing with our existing marketing systems?
Choosing a Content Marketing Tool
Once you have determined that content marketing software makes sense for your brand, spend time researching individual vendors and their capabilities. Make a list of all the content marketing capabilities you currently have, those that you would like to have, and those that you can’t live without. This last category is critical, and will help you avoid making a costly mistake.
For example, if content creation is a primary need, this is one capability you will focus on during vendor interviews and demos. If you find that one vendor doesn’t offer this “must-have” capability, it’s obviously not a fit.
Take your list of capabilities and then do some research. Narrow your list down to those vendors that meet your criteria. Submit your list of the content marketing capabilities you’ve identified, and set a timeframe for them to reply. Whether or not you choose to do this in a formal RFI/RFP process is an individual preference, however be sure to give the same list of capabilities to each vendor to facilitate comparison. The most effective RFPs only request relevant information and provide ample information about your brand and its call analytics needs. It should reflect high-level strategic goals and KPIs.
When written properly, an RFP will facilitate the sales process and ensure that everyone involved on both sides come to a shared understanding of the purpose, requirements, scope, and structure of the intended purchase. From the RFP responses, you should be able to narrow your list down to three or four tools that you’ll want to demo.
Download “Content Marketing Tools 2015,” The 43-page PDF includes additional valuable information including:
- A content marketing overview with the latest industry statistics and M&A activity.
- In-depth analysis of content marketing tool features and capabilities.
- Recommended steps for making an informed software investment.
- Profiles of 18 leading vendors.
- …and much more
This article was originally published on SearchEngineLand
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