What is a content marketing platform (CMP)? Until a month ago, I didn’t quite know the answer — or the number of ways a CMP could impact a marketing team.
Content marketing revenue is projected to exceed $300 billion this year — showing that content has become a requirement for brands, and it’s not going away any time soon. That’s because content marketing allows brands to build trust with audiences through relevant communication and thought leadership. More importantly, content enables brands to engage with audiences in different, non-traditional ways.
Thanks to technology, we’ve seen massive transformations in the types of content customers demand and the way they consume that content. Yet marketers are still planning, creating, publishing, and measuring their content with a hodgepodge of individual, one-off tools. Marketers are craving a transformation of their own, and it wasn’t until I joined NewsCred as Product Marketing Manager that I realized a content marketing platform is the solution.
Content marketing platform, defined
To understand all the ways a content marketing platform impacts marketing teams, let’s start with a definition.
At NewsCred, we define CMPs as a software solution that drives content marketing efficiencies and results by centralizing and streamlining the end-to-end process of creating content — from ideation and planning through to distribution and ROI measurement. And analysts agree! That’s why Gartner positioned NewsCred highest and furthest to the right in the Magic Quadrant for CMPs two consecutive years in a row.
Ultimately, a content marketing platform allows marketers to spend more time creating exceptional content (driving marketing-attributed revenue) and less time reinventing workflows, gathering approvals, and wasting money through operational inefficiencies.
While all of that sounds great, you’re probably still wondering how a content marketing platform can help your team. In only a month at NewsCred, I’ve uncovered the simple answer to that question: Create more consistent and higher quality content — faster — and tie it directly to business results.
I’ve learned a lot about the content marketing space since joining NewsCred, as our team uses our CMP to plan our marketing campaigns and create the content that supports them. Here are the top four benefits I’ve experienced using a CMP (and the necessary capabilities to get there).
Benefits of using a content marketing platform
1. Data-driven ideation
As both marketers and consumers, we understand the importance of knowing our audience and delivering the content they want, with the value they need. That’s why it’s critical to turn to data when identifying topics that will resonate with your audience, rank high in search engines, and drive overall traffic.
Content marketing platforms make it easy (SEO background or not) to identify which topics, formats, and channels your audience engages with — and searches for — the most. Your content marketing platform should provide search and social trend data to understand the holistic SEO landscape, while also offering keyword recommendations and surfacing commonly asked questions around the web to help expand and refine the topics you’ve chosen to write about.
One last critical SEO capability is competitive comparisons and share of voice data. Your content marketing platform should have the ability to provide the complete set of competitors for keyword rankings, so you can plan (and win) the battle for organic traffic.
2. Streamlined collaboration & content operations
The sad truth is that spreadsheets and emails only cause more manual work. And when content planning and content creation happen in different tools, you’re not only wasting time (and money), but you’re also risking misalignment and inconsistent messaging.
Content marketing platforms provide visibility into the global content strategy and editorial calendar, ensuring alignment and enabling your team to create quality content. Your CMP should offer a centralized content workspace — including rich-text editors and SEO content optimization — to streamline content creation and allow for reviewing and editing all in one place, while maintaining version control and accelerating time-to-publish.
Creating the content, however, is only one piece of the content marketing process. Your CMP should provide your team with custom workflows to standardize the entire process at each stage (from production to approval to publishing) while maintaining brand governance and ensuring all tasks are on track. Additionally, your content marketing platform should offer a native digital asset manager, so you can easily repurpose existing assets within a workflow.
3. Seamless martech integrations
A successful content marketing campaign means delivering consistent experiences across every consumer touchpoint, from your website to your social channels and beyond. But these responsibilities often fall under different teams — and therefore, different technologies — reinforcing silos and creating inconsistent messaging.
To provide an omnichannel experience for your audience, your CMP should provide robust integrations with your marketing stack. Those integrations should begin with your content management system to allow quick and seamless publishing to your website or content hub. From there, your CMP should enable your team to share content directly across all native social media apps or any social media management platforms you use.
A truly integrated CMP will also provide bi-directional integrations with your marketing automation and customer relationship management tools to streamline your team’s access to content and enhance demand generation campaigns. Your CMP should also be able to ingest data from such tools, so you can measure the impact of content from first-touch attribution to closed-won revenue. Which leads us to…
4. Actionable insights & ROI data
In today’s marketing world, data-driven learnings are key to getting an edge on the competition. And if your organization is like most these days, you probably don’t have a streamlined way of pulling your data or the necessary insights to measure ROI and optimize future programs.
Content marketing platforms provide a holistic view into operational efficiencies and the impact of your content so your team can enhance what’s working, optimize what isn’t, and demonstrate the ROI. Content-centric tracking is critical to identifying which topics, formats, and channels drive the most traffic and engagement. You’ll also want the ability to discover the actions your audience takes after consuming content and the resulting number of conversions. And if your content marketing platform has the proper integrations, you should have the ability to map content initiatives directly to revenue and ROI.
What’s next: how to choose the right content marketing platform
A content marketing platform should enable your team to create a high volume of quality content, distribute it across multiple channels, and measure the impact to optimize content and demonstrate ROI — all from one single platform. In Part 2 of this post, we share a detailed guide on how to evaluate and choose the right content marketing platform.
Katie Takacs is NewsCred’s Product Marketing Manager.