Content marketing, a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing very specific, relevant, and valuable content to attract and retain a clearly defined and very targeted audience, is gaining traction, but the technology that supports it will have to become more useful and flexible if it has any chance to succeed.
Marketers favor content marketing tools that enable them to create content for a wider variety of formats, with the goal of engaging audiences in different ways, a study by business software review firm G2 Crowd found. Some users indicated that they would be willing to compromise on ease of use for a solution that offers a wider range of content types, as well as the ability to track engagement with that content.
“Content marketing products should help marketing organizations capture the attention of prospects and customers online. In an environment that is deluged with content and information in general, you need to try many different formats of presenting that content, and it needs to be managed and deployed across a variety of formats and channels,” Michael Fauscette, chief research officer at G2 Crowd, told CRM magazine via email.
He notes that marketing products that support a greater diversity of content types tend to rank higher with users because some users value the ability to experiment with different content formats.
The report also indicates that users prefer products that provide collaborative capabilities. Products that enable multiple users to work on a single piece of content simultaneously were particularly favored, indicating the importance of enabling all members of a marketing team to provide input into the process of creating marketing content. “Developing compelling marketing content for program use is an inherently collaborative process for most marketing organizations. It can involve diverse creative functions, editors, managers, etc., so having the embedded ability to manage and facilitate this collaborative process is an important part of driving increased user satisfaction and, in particular, an improved user experience,” Fauscette says. “External collaboration tools can be used, but adding extra steps to a process can create extra work, rework, and miscommunications and make the whole process more difficult and time-consuming.”
For these reasons, Fauscette stresses it is important to have the collaboration capabilities reside inside the workflow.
The report also provided insight into the marketing software market and ranked solutions based on customer satisfaction and market presence, as determined by market share, vendor size, and social impact.
The report identified Ceros—which offers a cloud-based design studio where users can create content, including animation and interaction effects—as the top vendor in the space. Ceros’s solution also allows users to link directly to Ceros-hosted content, host content on their own subdomains, or embed content directly into their websites. Furthermore, Ceros’s performance metrics allow users to analyze viewer engagement, and its integration capabilities enable users to send information between Ceros content and their websites.
Runner-up Uberflip aggregates user content from various sources, including blogs, social media, and videos, into a single content hub and enables users to target their content and craft contextual calls to action. The solution also enables users to measure performance through a content score that factors in data such as views, landings, shares, assists, and clicks, and uses behavioral data to inform users’ marketing automation platforms.
“Content marketing is still a reasonably new and fast-changing category. As is often the case in categories like this, many of the leading products are from smaller companies that are solely focused on providing the best content marketing tools possible, while adapting to a changing set of user expectations—in other words, providing a nimble and flexible solution that can evolve quickly with the function,” Fauscette stated.