written by
Tanguy Verbelen

Sourcing Your Content Marketing Platform Guide For 2021

9 min read

Have you already developed a powerful content marketing strategy for your business? Then you must be excited to start creating outstanding content for your audience. However, implementing a content marketing strategy isn’t as easy as it sounds. Choosing a content marketing platform can make this process much easier.

You must outline a robust content plan that specifies your content creation and distribution schedule. Also, you need a wide array of content marketing solutions to assist you at every stage. Finding the right content marketing platform is thus crucial for the successful implementation of your content strategy.

The Reality of Content Marketing

First things first — successful content marketing isn’t limited to publishing a few blog posts and social media updates. It requires a well-planned and concrete effort to publish high-performing content across multiple platforms and ensure that it reaches the right audience. You also have to develop a deep understanding of your target audience and niche.

Additionally, it isn’t feasible to build and execute a content marketing strategy on your own. You need to work with a team of strategists, marketers, SEO experts, data analysts, writers, graphic designers, and other content creators.

Also, it’s crucial to monitor various content assets to identify your best-performing content. This data can, in turn, help you further improve your content marketing strategy and maximize its ROI. Lastly, you must ensure that you regularly publish high-quality content at the right time across the selected channels.

Chart depicting content marketing cycle

Unfortunately, the top three challenges that B2B marketers consider responsible for their organization’s lack of content marketing success include:

  • Content creation
  • Strategy
  • Content distribution
Chart about factors for organization's lack of success in content marketing
Content creation challenges take the top spot when B2B marketers identify their lack of content marketing success.

This highlights the need for streamlining various stages of content marketing using the right tools and applications. It isn’t surprising that marketing technology accounts for nearly a third of the total marketing budget for most organizations.

Chart showing the CMO budget distribution
Using a content marketing platform can help remedy content marketing related budget woes.

From content creation and curation to research and analysis — you’ll find a wide array of sophisticated tools on the internet. However, using different tools for each step of content marketing can be expensive. Also, it’s difficult to integrate multiple tools and ensure that they seamlessly work with each other.

A better alternative is to use a powerful content marketing platform (CMP) that lets you streamline the content marketing process from one dashboard. The good news is that the internet is inundated with a variety of feature-rich CMPs for different types of businesses. However, it’s crucial to select one that fits your team’s needs and preferences.

In this blog, we’ll outline a simple guide to help you identify the most suitable content marketing platform for your business. But let’s first understand what it is and whether it’s really indispensable to successful content marketing.

What is a Content Marketing Platform (CMP)?

A content marketing platform is a software solution that provides you with a plethora of tools and applications to optimize various stages of content marketing. In other words, it’s a one-stop destination for all your content marketing-related needs. Whether you’re performing keyword research or monitoring your content assets, a CMP has the right tools for you.

Depending on the CMP you select, you’ll get access to features, such as:

  • Audience research
  • Buyer persona generation
  • Content curation
  • Editorial calendar
  • Project management
  • Social media management
  • Content distribution
  • Content analytics and optimization
  • Customized reporting
  • Content asset management

A CMP isn’t just essential for content marketing. You can integrate it with other CRM and marketing automation solutions you’re using. This, in turn, will help you analyze the impact of your content on the overall revenue and growth of your business.

Here’s how a CMP contributes to various aspects of your business:

Table depicting role of CMP for each business aspect

Why Do You Need a Content Marketing Platform?

Here’s the thing — the use of marketing technology has become an integral aspect of executing content marketing campaigns. However, what sets a CMP apart is that it eliminates the need to find and integrate multiple tools. Instead, you can just select a CMP that fits your needs and train your team to use it.

Are you still wondering whether investing in a CMP would be the right move for your business? Let’s explore some more benefits of CMPs to help you make an informed decision.

Effortless Automation

The best part about using a CMP is that it lets you automate various repetitive and mundane tasks, such as:

  1. Uploading social media posts on time
  2. Sharing new blog posts on various platforms
  3. Monitoring the performance of multiple content pieces
  4. Generating customized reports with actionable insights
  5. Sending timely reminders for content creation and scheduling

This, in turn, saves your team from the hassle of manually carrying out these activities. Consequently, it leads to efficient time management and resource utilization.

For instance, StoryChief’s Social Media Management feature lets you automatically publish content across various social media channels. You just have to create a master post and select your preferred social media channels. Also, you can create a visual workflow to outline your social media strategy for the coming months.

You can even take this up a notch by using the Content Distribution feature. It lets you schedule and publish content across multiple platforms, such as your website, newsletters, social media profiles, content hubs, etc. Instead of manually uploading the same content on each platform, you can automate the process in a few clicks.

storychief content distribution
Storychief’s easy to use content distribution features.

Improved Content Quality

When your team doesn’t have to spend their time doing repetitive tasks, they can focus on doing more of what they’re good at. In other words, a content marketing platform takes the load off of your content team, and, in turn, lets them create better content. They can spend more time understanding your audience’s pain points and publish content that resonates with them.

Also, many content marketing platforms offer various content creation and research tools. From preparing the outline for a blog post to identifying the right hashtags for Instagram — a CMP helps you with everything. It can even handhold you through the process of writing eye-catching headlines and optimizing your content for search engines.

For instance, StoryChief provides you with a powerful SEO Copywriting Assistant. The tool helps you evaluate the search engine-friendliness and readability of your blog posts. You even get plenty of actionable insights to better optimize the content. Also, it automatically generates the meta title and description of each blog post based on the content.

Seamless Collaboration

All industry-standard CMPs provide you with robust project management tools to facilitate proper coordination and communication among your team members. This makes it easier to implement a content calendar and assign various responsibilities to individual team members. Additionally, it ensures that all your team members are on the same page and know when a deadline is approaching.

Take StoryChief’s Content Calendar tool for instance. Using this tool, you can easily create a visual outline for your content creation and distribution schedule. This, in turn, gives you an overview of the progress of various content pieces. The best part is that it eliminates the need to follow up with individual team members.

StoryChief's content calendar
Storychief’s content calendar feature

Yet another cool feature on StoryChief is that of Content Collaboration that lets your team members work together irrespective of their location. They can use the tool to share notes and updates about different content assets. Also, it becomes easier for you to review their work and keep everyone on the same page. This, in turn, helps you maintain a uniform brand voice across all channels.

Outstanding Consistency

Consistency is one of the most crucial factors that affect your content marketing success. A CMP provides you with the right tools to help you develop a database of outstanding content. Also, it helps your team better utilize their time and resources and focus on content creation. The best part is that it even distributes your content on various channels at the right time.

Additionally, our Content Data Management feature helps you maintain a repository of published content assets. This, in turn, simplifies the process of repurposing already published content. All these factors contribute to improving the overall consistency of your content strategy.

Excellent Analytics & Insights

A CMP saves you from the hassle of manually tracking the performance of individual content assets. Instead, you can use reliable and accurate analytics tools to gather relevant data and generate actionable reports. This, in turn, helps you identify high-performing content pieces and devise ways to improve your strategy for better results.

Can’t wait to start your search for the best content marketing platform, right? Let’s walk through the process.

How to Find the Best Content Marketing Platform?

It’s worth mentioning at the outset that a universally acceptable “best” CMP doesn’t exist. You have to evaluate various options available in the market and compare their features and pricing before making the final selection. The key is to identify your needs and select a platform that best fits the bill.

So, how can you go about choosing the right content marketing platform? Here are a few useful tips.

1. Analyze Your Needs

Before you start your search for a robust CMP, make sure you carefully analyze your needs and determine whether it’s the right choice. Make sure you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I have a team large enough to fully utilize a CMP?
  2. Does my current content strategy demand a CMP?
  3. Would I be better off using a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress?
  4. Do my team members have the right technical skills to use a CMP?
  5. Can I afford a CMP?

2. List the Essential Features

Every CMP offers a unique set of features. That’s why it is essential to identify the features you need in a CMP. If you’ve already assessed your needs, the next step is to prepare a list of must-have features. Start by breaking every step of content marketing into small manageable tasks.

Table depicting tasks involved in various steps of content marketing

From the above list, identify the tasks that your team struggles with the most. Make sure you consult your team members at this stage. This, in turn, will give you a better idea of the gaps in your content strategy and plan. Finally, prepare a list of the features your CMP must offer.

3. Set Your Budget

Budgeting for a content marketing platform isn’t just about purchasing the software. You also have to consider additional expenses, such as license renewal fees and the cost of training your team members.

Additionally, you might have to purchase specialized hardware to install and implement the CMP. Allocate a realistic budget for your CMP taking all these factors into account.

4. Shortlist Your Content Marketing Platform Options

Now that you have a better idea of your needs and budget, it’s time to find available CMP options that fit your criteria. Check the following for each shortlisted CMP:

  • Available features
  • Pricing plans
  • Customer support
  • Documentation
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Ease of use
  • Time to implement

You should also consider additional factors, such as scalability, frequency of updates, and the quality of content they publish.

5. Opt for a Free Trial

Once you’ve handpicked a few options, it’s time to explore their websites and look for a free trial/free demo. Most leading CMPs, such as StoryChief, offer a 14-day free trial. Even if the website doesn’t mention anything, get in touch with the sales reps to schedule a demo. During the demo, keep an eye out for user-friendliness and customizability.

Conclusion

Choosing a powerful and user-friendly content marketing platform is the key to consistently producing high-quality content. Make sure you have a clear idea of your needs and set aside a dedicated budget. Also, don’t forget to keep your team members in the loop and seek their advice before making the final selection.

Join over 10.000 marketeers for the latest content marketing insights.
Sign up for our newsletter