Your marketing team gets busy on another project, and suddenly the content engine stops. The right content marketing platform can keep things moving even when your team is swamped.
As content marketers, we all know that content is a long game. While there’s plenty of strategic promotion you can do to make sure your content reaches your audience, you can never be sure what is going to get the best results.
That’s why great content marketing relies on content—and lots of it. Drift publishes one post every single business day. Your team has your own important publishing goals. But they go awry often.
In this post, we dive into some of the unique challenges with content marketing and how the right platform can help you release content consistently and on schedule.
Table of contents:
- The challenges with content marketing
- How a content marketing platform can reduce bottlenecks
- How to use a content marketing platform
- How to pick the right content marketing platform
The complexity of content marketing leaves it vulnerable to upheaval from even the slightest company change.
The challenges with content marketing
Being a content marketer is a wild ride. You have different audiences, content formats, distribution channels, promotion channels, collaborators, bylines, assets, software. As they say, the list goes on.
The complexity of content marketing leaves it vulnerable to upheaval from even the slightest change.
For any given piece of content, you might need to do all of these promotional activities:
Here are some of the issues that put content marketing on pause:
- Team changes - If your content marketing processes aren’t clear, then team turnover or hiring can disrupt all outgoing content. This is especially a problem when your work isn’t consolidated into a single content marketing platform.
- New marketing projects - Sometimes, the content team is asked to write for PR or growth related marketing projects. This can put a pause on outgoing content.
- Content requests for other departments - Content marketers often get roped into content for other departments such as sales and customer success. This collaboration is important, but it can add confusion to already unclear content publishing processes.
- Lack of visibility and traceability - Not sure where everything is? Confusion on where to find assets and what the content calendar is supposed to be are very common challenges.
- Unclear or adhoc processes - After a piece of content is approved, what happens next? Who writes the design brief? Who hits publish? When there aren’t clear systems in place, it can take days or weeks just to release one piece.
How a content marketing platform can reduce bottlenecks
A content marketing platform is software that allows you to manage content marketing for different channels from one central location. It reduces common bottlenecks through bird’s eye view content calendars, team collaboration, and multichannel publishing.
Many marketing teams already use a social media scheduler to increase efficiency when posting on social channels.
A content marketing platform offers a similar value proposition by allowing you to publish to multiple channels from one place.
Top features include:
- Publish to your blog and CMS
- Publish to distribution channels like Medium and LinkedIn articles
- Publish to social media
- Publish to email newsletter
- Content collaboration
- Content reviewing and approval
- Content analytics
How to use a content marketing platform
When you use a content marketing platform, you bring all of your content and collaborators under one roof.
This brings clarity, transparency, systemization, and speed.
Here’s how to use a platform with your team:
1. Create a content marketing strategy
Hate to break it to you, but we have to kick things off with strategy. Without the right strategy in place, you might choose the wrong platform.
Use this content marketing strategy checklist to start off on the right foot:
- Research your target audience
- Decide on your goals for content marketing
- Consider what content you already have
- Choose your content formats and channels
- Document and internally share your strategy
Most importantly, you need to know what types of content will match your audience and your offers. Then, you need to understand how to reach your audience. Finally, you need to document this strategy and come to internal agreement.
A content marketing platform integrates with your CMS, email, and social channels. So you can avoid copy and pasting, and uploading images again and again.
2. Onboard collaborators and create content
Once you’ve chosen a content marketing platform, the next step is to onboard your collaborators.
Here are some of the people that you might want to bring on board:
- Marketing managers and leaders
- Inhouse content creators
- Freelance content creators
- Social media managers
- Email marketing managers
- Executives who will have content ghostwritten for them
When everyone is onboard, you can create content together.
Here’s an example workflow involving a content manager, executive, and freelancer:
A content manager creates a brief for a ghostwritten article for an executive. The content manager assigns the brief to the freelancer, and adds both the freelancer writer and the executive as collaborators to the piece of content, so everyone can review it in one place.
When the executive approves the freelance ghostwriter’s article, the content manager adds the graphics and schedules it for publication.
3. Schedule blog, social, and email publishing in advance
One of the best things about using a content marketing platform is that you can schedule content to be published in advance.
This allows you to bulk your content production activities and get ahead of any disruptions to your schedule.
Because a content marketing platform integrates with your CMS, email, and social channels, you can avoid copy and pasting, as well as downloading and uploading images again and again.
4. Manage employee advocacy
You should also use your content marketing platform to manage employee advocacy. Employee advocacy is when your employees share your company content or engage with it.
Here are some examples of employee advocacy:
- Employee commenting or liking a post by the company or original poster within the company
- Employee sharing a company post
- Employee sharing a piece of company content directly on their profile
- Employee mentioning (without including links) a company offer, announcement, update, or campaign
Particularly with B2B companies, employee advocacy is critical for reaching more people in your target industry.
Although it’s important and valuable, many companies struggle to do it regularly. They might forget to ask employees to engage with a certain piece of content.
A content marketing suite or employee advocacy tool can make sure this critical engagement is done for every piece of valuable content, not just when someone remembers.
You can set up employee advocacy in your publishing workflow, so that every post gets sent to your top employee ambassadors, and then those posts are added to a Slack channel so other employees know to comment on them.
5. Review results and do more of what works
To get better results with content marketing, you need to analyze what works. You should use your platform to not only publish content but review successes and failures.
Check recent and historical content to see what received the top impressions and reads. This can give you a sense of what gets shared the most, and what receives the highest click throughs and actual reads.
You might also use your platform to track leads so you know which pieces of content drive sign ups, contact form submissions, and other signals of interest and intent.
This helps you know what to create more of, so you’re spending your time on the most effective ideas.
6. Update content from one central location
Another way your platform can help you save time is to show you what content needs to get updated.
You don’t have to always publish new content. You can update old content and add this to the top of your blog roll.
If your team is busy on something that’s taking time away from content production, you could instead revive old content that week.
Use your content marketing platform to find out which pieces of content have low SEO optimization, readability, or impressions. Then update them to make them better.
Your platform should allow you to update your content on all channels from one place. For example, if the post was published on your blog and on Medium, you should be able to update it in the platform and have this automatically update the content on those channels.
You can also re-promote the content on social media and to your email list after you update it.
How to pick the right content marketing platform
Now that you have a documented strategy to reach your target audience, it will be easier to find the right platform.
Choose which features you need most. 70% of B2B buyers would rather learn about a company through a blog post than a traditional ad, so most likely you’ll want to make blogging a key part of your strategy.
The most essential features are blog publishing, social media scheduling, content calendars, and user permissions for collaborating and publishing.
StoryChief is one simple tool for all of your content marketing. Learn more.