Unique ideas and compelling content are keys to winning at content marketing. But it’s time to talk about how you manage your content process and the technology you use. Let’s get real about being productive and organized, which gets infinitely harder as large organizations try to hold on to spreadsheets as their primary content calendar and content planning tool.
To truly implement and manage a scalable content marketing operation, you need to embrace a content marketing platform, period. It’s time to ditch the spreadsheets and upgrade to a single platform that keeps your content marketing process organized, your workflows efficient, and your entire organization on the same page.
What Is a Content Marketing Platform?
We’ll start with the basics, so you can truly appreciate the benefits of a content marketing platform. So, defining a content marketing platform is somewhat broad. Many software products could fall into this category as so many different types of tools exist to manage different parts of the content process. However, much of the time, these niche applications have to work together to give you all the functionality you need.
The definition of a true content marketing solution is a platform that includes (at a minimum):
- Capabilities to support ideation, editorial planning, collaboration and workflow
- Tools to create, curate and publish all types of content
- Analytics and insights to measure and optimize content performance
- Integrations with other marketing technologies
What’s critical in deciding what platform is right for your team, is having a central hub for all things content. The best platforms promote accessibility, visibility, and coordination. They help your team stay focused, organized, and more productive.
If you’re using spreadsheets to manage all the aspects of content marketing, then you know the limitations it presents to offering real-time access, visibility, and coordination. Even if you have the spreadsheet posted on Google Drive or SharePoint, it’s only going to handle a small fraction of what most content marketing platforms can manage.
Let’s dive into the advantages you’ll gain with a dedicated content marketing platform.
It’s virtually impossible to keep all your content planning organized and up-to-date if you’re using traditional spreadsheets. Navigating and maintaining spreadsheets wastes time and still leaves questions up in the air about the project’s status. Think about how much time your team spends every day with inefficient content workflows!
Implementing a content marketing platform simplifies organization immediately. One of the most important features to use is the content calendar. A content calendar is an ever-evolving schedule of everything that’s been planned, but also specific details on each content project. It should be accessible to all stakeholders, so there is complete transparency on where each project stands and what the next steps are to finalize and publish.
It’s an absolute must-have tool to get all parties on the same page and will save you valuable time that may have otherwise been spent sending and receiving status emails or ineffective and long meetings.
Make Collaboration Easy
Collaboration is vital to any organization, and you need to provide tools that make it easier to do so. Your content team needs to easily be able to engage with subject matter experts (SMEs) and other departments that have knowledge or information to contribute to content. They may also need to work with freelancers or agencies to get content designed, published and promoted.
Content collaboration is fairly difficult with Excel sheets. Such a system doesn’t allow you to have instant and constant collaboration, which can be further impacted by having to coordinate with partners that are in different offices and time zones.
The right content marketing platform can power collaboration with ease. Look for features that will allow people to work together without limitations, including:
- Central idea repositories: Having a place to deposit and work on ideas in real-time offers contributors the opportunity to share their insights.
- Shared content calendars: No more asking when something is due or where a project is—it’s all visible in these calendars.
- Real-time notifications: When you make changes on a platform, all impacted parties get automatic notifications, a feature Excel sheets don’t offer.
- Project management tools: You’ll be managing each project within one platform, with tasks and alerts on a dashboard, giving you the freedom to converse freely with all parties.
- Commenting and version tracking: Collaboratively edit with colleagues to get content done efficiently.
Leverage Content Automation Features
Content marketing isn’t all glamorous; many mundane and tedious tasks have to be completed to keep the content machine running. With content marketing software, you can now take advantage of automation in many areas. Your spreadsheets certainly can’t provide these tools and make it impossible to gain efficiencies.
Content automation, in the context of using a content marketing platform, really focuses on streamlining repetitive tasks, so that your team can spend more time on high-value work.
What can you automate? There are many possibilities, including:
- Production workflows: Tighten up your workflows so that tasks and assignments are automatically generated.
- Content and social publishing: These activities can be time-consuming when manual. Choose a platform that lets you integrate and synchronize publishing and posting, boosting productivity.
- Notifications and reminders: There’s no need to send emails back and forth on projects when you use your platform to automate them, keeping everyone caught up without disrupting your workflows.
Access Real-Time Reports and Analytics
How do you currently measure the performance of your content? Are you tasked with aggregating data from multiple sources then filling in columns in your spreadsheets? That sounds like fun…
There’s no doubt that content analytics are critical to content marketing; however, it shouldn’t take hours or even days to access this data. With a content marketing platform, content analytics are available in real-time and easy to understand with custom dashboards that show you exactly what you need to see. Aggregation is done for you; all you need to do is analyze and identify patterns of success.
Say So Long to Spreadsheets and Hello to DivvyHQ
Spreadsheets can’t give you the foundation you need to scale and grow your content marketing efforts. They simply don’t offer the dynamic features of a content marketing platform. There are so many amazing benefits of using a content marketing software, so it’s time to say so long to spreadsheets and hello to DivvyHQ, an award-winning platform voted the number one content marketing tool in Content Marketing Institute’s latest tech survey. Try it today for free to see why so many businesses rely on it to power their content marketing.