This is a guest post written by Dong Liu of VentureScanner. I was impressed with their research on the many categories of marketing technology, and invited them to give us a helicopter tour of one particularly popular subcategory, content marketing.
A recent study by ContentPlus shows that 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company through articles as opposed to through ads. Indeed, with the growing importance of content in attracting new customers and engaging existing ones, content marketing has become an area of focus for many businesses’ marketing efforts.
However, it might be difficult to navigate through the dozens of content marketing tools to find the right one for your needs. In this article, I examine the entire content marketing lifecycle from content planning, content creation, content publishing, content promotion, to content analytics, as well as identifying a representative sample of ten tools that could facilitate each step of the process.
The first step in the content marketing lifecycle is content planning, which refers to how brands and businesses manage and structure their internal content production process. Two tools that could help marketers with content planning are Kapost and DivvyHQ. Kapost provides a platform for content marketing teams to operationalize the content production workflow by assigning tasks to each collaborator, managing assets for the project, and defining deadlines and deliverables. Similarly, DivvyHQ enables marketers to streamline the content production process using a unified dashboard that stores content ideas, provides multiple calendars, and lists out individual content assignments.
After planning out the content production workflow, it’s time for content creation. Whether you create content in-house or outsource its creation to freelancers, there are tools that can help. There are a number of platforms, such as Scripted, which provides businesses with a pool of talented writers who could create any kind of content from 350-word blog posts to 1250-word white papers with professional brand messaging. On the other hand, Content BLVD offers a platform for businesses to integrate their brand marketing into various media partners’ content such as sponsored stories, product placement, and branded entertainment.
When it comes to content publishing on either earned or owned properties, there are two tools that could help: Contently and Sprout Social. Contently is a content publishing platform that enables businesses to publish their content to their CMS and increase its engagement through email marketing, social media, and paid distribution. Sprout Social focuses on publishing content onto businesses’ social media properties and provides features to schedule these posts and increase their engagement by publishing at the most optimal times.
The most important phase of the content marketing lifecycle is driving traffic through content promotion. This is a crowded space but the two companies that could represent the sector are OneSpot and Zemanta. OneSpot enables businesses to turn their content into highly engaging ad creatives and place them in traditional ad spots across its network of publisher sites. Zemanta takes content promotion one step further by being an aggregator of all the content promotion services offered by other companies such as Outbrain and nRelate. Zemanta promotes content in content ads from multiple networks distributed across their publisher sites in a variety of formats such as promoted recommendations, in-stream ads, in-text ads, and sponsored content. Companies such as OneSpot and Zemanta offer a solution to promote businesses’ content as non-disruptive ad units native to the publisher platform and congruent with the user experience.
Finally, it’s time to measure and optimize performance through content analytics. Two tools that could help businesses in this area are Crowdbooster and Traackr. Crowdbooster enables businesses to track and analyze their social media analytics so as to identify their biggest social advocates and determine the best promotion strategy. On the other hand, Traackr gives businesses the ability to discover, engage, and collaborate with relevant influencers so as to maximize the exposure and influence of their content.
As content marketing becomes ever more important in attracting and engaging audiences, it’s key for brands and businesses to systemize the content marketing process. This article highlights a sample of the tools available to optimize the effectiveness across the entire content marketing lifecycle from content planning, content creation, content publishing, content promotion, to content analytics. Identifying the right tool, from the hundreds available, to support your content marketing function is the key to driving revenue through content marketing.
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4 thoughts on “A whirlygig tour of content marketing software”
Scott, very interesting overview of the content technology, a few comments.
1. The omission of Newscred and Percolate are noticable, as well as platforms like Sprinklr and Spredfast. I see these from a pure view that they are creating, producing and distributing content, including analytics and workflow to the most extent. I am sure you can use many other content platforms, but these are being quite highly integrated and growing in capability.
2. The fact that many of these technologies are now beginning to “automate” digital production, once the facet of agencies to take creative then build variants for the media platforms, is now radically changing with many software vendors embedding this capability into their core products, enabling production, distribution across an array of media platforms to be almost automatic. This will dramatically change the digital production landscape in the coming years.
3. Content has long been forgotten in the emerging “marketing technology” landscape, just as Salesforce liberated CRM capabilities, and SAP did the same for ERP, it is the content that engages consumer experiences and therefore put at the center of this experience, it is the content “quality” that should surface based on the consumers interaction and data drivers (media, crm, insight, research and data). Only when you understand this “ecosystem” relationship can you produce less content with greater value, than more content with suspiciously less value than you initially thought!
Hi David, I believe the graphic simply uses the older Newscred logo–the first in the graphic, actually.
Newscred is still more so about curation, than creation, which is why it may have been left out of the “content creation” section. Percolate also facilitates content creation by allowing marketers to plug-and-play, not by actually doing it in house. I’m more surprised that the author mentions Kapost, but doesn’t include the company in the graphic. Though, it’s more of a tech platform than anything else–it doesn’t offer creation or marketing services.
I’m not meaning to shamelessly plug a product I represent, but please don’t forget about Compendium AKA Oracle Content Marketing. We’ve got an agile dev team which has woven it into Eloqua for landing pages and emails plus our social marketing app. The Content Marketing calendar actually shares data with the Eloqua calendar and there’s a match between the content planning personas and data-based segments.
The idea is to make the content pervasive amongst its distribution channels and understand what to deploy to whom when and in what channel. It really fits well with the VentureScanner lifecycle.
Respectfully plugged – with enthusiasm!
PS – The Modern Marketing Blog runs on it and was recognized as a top 10 corporate blog. http://bit.ly/1Boru6N
Thanks for an insightful post.
Great post! I would like to recommend the inclusion of Curata. Our latest product, Curata CMP, enables marketers to optimize their content production, and more importantly, to identify what content works and does not work across their pipeline to drive leads and revenue. For additional information, learn about Curata CMP here: http://bit.ly/curatacmp. Thank you in advance for your consideration!