What is Content Marketing Software?
Content marketing software offers tools to help marketers with content creation, curation, publishing, distribution, tracking and sourcing. These platforms are designed to enable a content marketing strategy. The goal of content marketing is to attract and nurture a target audience by providing useful content, rather than directly pitching a product.
Content marketing software generally supports a variety of media types including text, images, videos, infographics, and interactive content. Marketers use these tools to build repository of marketing assets to be distributed or available for prospects to self-explore.
Why Content Marketing?
Content marketing addresses a common pain point of traditional advertising or batch-and-blast marketing campaigns. Such campaigns can seem disruptive and irrelevant. So, content marketing aims to present material so that it is informative, timely, and relevant in the context in which it’s discovered.
Content marketing positions a brand as authoritative by freely offering helpful information without a sales pitch. It is somewhat similar to native advertising. But consumers are increasingly wary of the hidden sales pitches in native advertising. Content marketing aims to raise brand awareness without annoying the audience or generating mistrust.
Content Marketing Software Features & Capabilities
Not all content marketing platforms address content ideation and production. Those that do commonly have the following features:
Ideation: Tools for creative development, such as ideation workspaces, guides to certain topics or channels, briefs, recommendations, and/or access to agencies.
Approval workflows: Ability to create and track workflows for content approval.
Network for content licensing/production: Access to a database of content that can be licensed or a talent network for content production.
Payment/resource management: Allows users to budget for content creation costs and/or make payments to contractors or agencies.
Most content marketing tools involve publishing, sharing, or other mechanisms of distribution. These capabilities help marketers organize, distribute, promote, and contextualize content for publication. Features may include:
Content hub: Central repository for organizing all content.
Forms / gated content: Ability to set up forms for lead generation, which can be used to gate content.
Embedded CTAs: Forms or links embedded in the content.
Content distribution: Allows users to push content to different channels, such as social media or websites. Sometimes handled via integrations.
Content promotion: Ability to promote content by connecting to paid and earned media channels.
Content automation: Ability to set up automated distribution, personalization and/or curation.
Content Reporting & Analytics
Reporting and analytics help marketers understand the impact of content on the buyer's journey. They also help marketers understand, segment, and target their audiences. The focus is usually on content engagement. However, some platforms also look at production costs and trends. Content marketing tools may also integrate with web analytics and other software for more advanced and closed-loop analytics.
Common features around content reporting and analytics are:
Audience profiling and targeting: Profiles—types that can be used for segmentation—based on audience behavior or demographics. Helps deliver targeted content via website personalization and/or marketing automation campaigns.
Closed-loop tracking and reporting: Tracks the impact of content on the buyer’s or customer’s journey and ROI.
Content performance reports & analytics: Insights into how individual pieces of content are performing. Measured by engagement and/or conversion.
Campaign optimization dashboard: Quick view on content performance. Allows users to make changes to which channels and which content is being promoted or displayed.
Content production analytics: Analytics on time and money spent on content production.
Page-level engagement analytics: For a granular look at content performance.
Most content marketing tools do not cover the entire content lifecycle. Therefore, it's important to explore how a content marketing tool will fit into your stack.
Content marketing platforms commonly integrate with content management systems, social media management tools, marketing automation software, email marketing software, CRM systems, social media platforms, and/or third-party analytics software such as A/B testing, social media analytics, and web analytics tools.
Often a content marketing program’s biggest investment will be in time or resources for creating the content itself. Another big investment might be in paid campaigns for distributing content.
For content marketing tools, pricing varies depending on feature complexity. Simpler planning and publishing tools might cost somewhere in the range of $100 to $500 per month. Limits might be placed on storage or users. Platforms that more fully cover the spectrum of features range from $3,000 per month up to $25,000+ a month.