There are hundreds of companies out there offering thousands of content marketing tools. You name it, and there's a tool out there for it.
Every step in the content marketing process, from brainstorming ideas to mind mapping to writing the content to distribution, has a dozen tool options, made by a variety of companies, all designed to make that step easier or more effective.
But what's the difference between your content marketing team using a collection of different content marketing tools and instead choosing a content marketing platform (CMP)? And how can a CMP help the modern content marketer? Let's answer those questions now.
What is a Content Marketing Platform?
A content marketing platform, or CMP, aims to combine various tools into a single bundle, streamlining the content ideation, creation, distribution, and evaluation process.
In other words, a CMP is supposed to be a one-stop destination for content marketing teams to use, saving time and money, allowing the modern content marketer to focus on what she does best – making great content that builds brands, gathers tribes, and racks up sales!
It's easy to see why a CMP would be convenient, in theory. But very few content marketing teams these days are already on an all-in-one platform. Most teams use an array of tools for the various tasks related to content creation and distribution. You're already familiar with those tools. You like how they work, and your entire team may not want to make such a dramatic switch to a CMP in the name of convenience.
So let's talk in detail about how a CMP can save your team some serious time and money.
We'll also talk about certain advantages content marketing platforms can provide marketing teams, perks no hodge-podge collection of tools could give.
How CMPs Save Time
Learning how to use a new tool takes time, and time is money. Introducing one new tool to your workflow means time spent with manuals or on knowledge-bases, or searching YouTube for detailed how-to videos. You may get stuck for hours trying to figure out how to something with the new tool that you could do in seconds with the old, familiar tool.
So how could switching not just one tool but all your tools to the combined platform be beneficial and save you time?
You'll have to invest time upfront to learn the tricks of a new platform, but, in the long run, your team will save massive amounts of time by making the switch. How?
Think about this. Do you ever find yourself manually exporting data from one tool to add to another? An ideation tool, for example, helps you craft the perfect list of keyword expressions. You have to export that list and feed it into your creation tool so you can write the article. Or else, you keep both tools open, flipping between tabs or windows, wasting time and pulling yourself out of flow, all because the two tools aren't properly connected.
When you work with an array of different tools, you have to deal with the wasted time of switching from one tool to the next. In addition to that, you have to deal with communication time, sending content or notes from one tool to the preferred or assigned tool of a teammate.
Now imagine if you were able to stay on the same platform, using highly integrated tools, for entire portions of the content creation process. What if the entire team were on the same platform, meaning you can communicate with partners and pass notes or work back and forth with ease?
By combining tools and migrating to a platform, you can trim hours across your team, making you leaner, meaner, and more profitable.
How CMPs Save Money
Of course, time is money, so saving time means you'll also be saving money by migrating to a CMP. In addition to that, there are many reasons why a content marketing platform can save you money. Let's consider the biggest one.
Many of the top tools these days follow a subscription model. While this is great, since developers will constantly update and improve the tool over time, you have to see any tool you add to your team's arsenal as a new monthly bill.
When you have multiple tools on the books, those subscriptions can quickly add up. When you pay for a CMP, however, you'll be paying a single price for several tools, potentially saving some of your team's budget.
On top of that, you may have several tools that have overlapping features. Perhaps your ideation tool does have the option of crafting rough drafts, but you prefer using a different, dedicated tool for content creation. The result? You may be paying for the same features multiple times because of that natural overlap between tools.
When you switch to a CMP, however, you'll streamline that monthly bill by paying for multiple, integrated tools as once, with no waste or overlap.
How CMPs Provide Perspective
I know you've heard of someone not being able to see the forest for the trees. When someone gets too down into the details, they can lose perspective. They fail to see the big picture and, therefore, can miss out on amazing opportunities.
Content marketing tools are like those trees. Each tool is sectioned off, not connected with all the others, and it wants to hold your attention as long as possible. Now, imagine an entire team of amazing creators and marketers, each on their own "tree." How can you get perspective? How can you see the big picture?
The only way to understand how everyone is working is to export information, often manually, from each tool, combining all that data onto a custom spreadsheet. What a waste of time and energy!
On the other hand, with a CMP, you can quickly get a handle on the activities of your entire team because everyone is working in the same, integrated system. Many platforms allow you to export performance and usage data, allowing team leaders to quickly see the big picture and make decisions that will benefit everyone at the same time.
Armed with that perspective, your team may be able to explore new directions, experiment with new ways of working, tweaking the workflow in new and interesting ways. New plans will automatically take into account all the tools every individual uses because everyone is working on the same network of tools, integrated into a unified CMP.
Troubleshooting and Optimizing
When an entire content marketing team is working together on the same CMP, it becomes much easier to troubleshoot and identify problems in the workflow and overall process of everyone involved.
Consider this example. Your team fails to meet a deadline. What was the cause of the delay? Was a single team member at fault? Was there a lack of communication at some point? Did work sit in an inbox somewhere to too long?
When it comes time to investigate the metrics, having an array of separate tools can make things more complicated. It would be like a detective having to search a multi-roomed mansion for clues to a murder. So many nooks and crannies to study!
On the other hand, when the entire team is working together with a single platform, it can be much easier to troubleshoot possible inefficiencies in the workflow, allowing everyone to get back to work quickly. It's like the detective only having to investigate a single room for clues. The mystery is over much sooner!
Choosing the Right Content Marketing Platform
A quick Google search shows there are hundreds of content marketing platforms available to the modern marketer or marketing team. How do you choose the best one for you?
You'll want to investigate each platform to make sure it includes the tools you'll need the most. How effective is the integration of the marketing platform? Is it missing tools you'll need? Can the entire team use the same platform?
Of course, a major disadvantage to using a CMP is having to settle with the exact collection of tools a certain platform has to offer. Not all companies can do all kinds of tools well. One platform may rock ideation and prove to be lackluster with distribution.
For that reason, adopting a CMP may start to feel like a mixed bag. Your team will have to take the good with the bad. But is there another option?
Is there a way to have the benefits of a CMP without having to accept the bad with the good?
Enter integrated toolsets.
What if a company could create a set of integrated tools that cover several steps of the content marketing process, focusing only on the tools that they can use well?
Perhaps the solution is to adopt a couple of half-platforms than to look for that one platform that does everything right.
What would that look like?
Building Tools for the Future
Here at CONCURED, our goal is to create a set of highly integrated tools that help with ideation and performance evaluation.
We continue to create, improve, and optimize our tools to help content marketing teams plan new content campaigns and measure the success of past campaigns.
Because each of our tools are so integrated into a single platform, the decisions you make in one tool will affect what you see in another. And every tool is powered by AI to give you the strongest possible suggestions when it comes to keywords, engagement, and link building techniques.
You may decide that an all-in-one platform is best for your team. Or you may choose to combine a few sets of highly-integrated tools to round out the needs of your marketing division.
In the end, the tools you choose will have a drastic impact on your team's performance over time.