Before You Pull the Trigger on a Content Marketing Platform, Have You Considered…

 In Content Marketing, Content Marketing Toolbox, Content Strategy

Everyday, more and more companies are realizing that their current system of endless spreadsheets, status meetings, and emails is way more painful than it should be. And HEY LOOK! Maybe there’s a content marketing platform out there that will rescue us???!!! Herein lies the problem.

What type of content marketing platform DO you need?

The short answer is…”It depends”. There are several variables to consider when a company is looking at software to manage their content marketing. Variables may include things like:

  • Size and structure of a content team – Solo or small teams may be able to get by with less-sophisticated tools like Excel or Google Drive (calendar/spreadsheet/docs) to manage their process. But as teams grow, these solutions get cumbersome and inefficiencies start to thwart output. We’ve outlined the pitfalls of spreadsheet-based solutions here.
    Large organizations that often have multiple departments/teams contributing to content marketing should look at a more robust content marketing platform (DivvyHQ, Kapost, others) that offers shared, scalable content calendar architecture, content-centric workflow tools and CMS-backed platforms that become the centralized repository for all content created across an organization. These platforms can significantly increase efficiency and output, as well as improve collaboration and content quality.
  • Volume of Content – Along the same lines as above, lower volumes of content typically equate to smaller levels of “process pain”, so organizations that don’t create a lot of content can get by with less-sophisticated solutions (Excel, task management systems). As the volume increases, pain levels increase and getting content planned, produced and published efficiently becomes a real challenge. High-volume content teams need well-defined workflow processes and a software tool needs to be customizable and mold to those processes.
  • Types of Content and Distribution Channels – When evaluating software platforms, it’s important to consider the different types of content that your organization needs to produce and through which channels that content will be published/distributed. For example, B2C organizations may focus heavily on social and visual content, and thus a solution like Percolate may be ideal. B2B organizations may produce more long-form content (blog posts, ebooks, webinars), and thus solutions like DivvyHQ or Kapost may be a better fit.
    And let’s not forget about all the other types of content that are produced inside of your organization. Employees are arguably your most important audience and internal communications teams need good tools too! Feeding intranets and internal social networks take just as much planning and process efficiency as external channels. Just imagine…external comms and internal comms sharing assets and collaborating efficiently!

Beware of Generals and Swiss Army Knives

A few words of caution as you’re narrowing down your platform options… Beware of “generals”, as in general/generic project management systems that aren’t tailored for managing the unique aspects of content strategy and content marketing. They simply don’t have content-centric workflows, automation and native fields that are vital for managing this very unique process.

Also be careful with “swiss army knives”, the platforms that claim they can do EVERYTHING, but do nothing well. The best tools are those that specialize and go deep into a small part of the process. Think of a chef trying to cook a meal with a swiss army knife. Sure, he could probably get the job done, but to make something special, he needs his set of specialized knives, spatulas, pans, etc.

Key In On Your Real Pain

So, think about what you really need. Which parts of your process are the most painful? Where are you really struggling? Before you start spending valuable dollars and time on platforms that may not be the most efficient or effective, take time to consider the above variables and discuss with your key stakeholders. When you remove the hassles of coordinating your content marketing in impractical ways, you’ll be able to focus on what you’re here to do…create and publish great content.

Now go find your ideal solution.

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