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When I first joined the content marketing team at AmerisourceBergen almost six years ago, we were a small but mighty operation. We dug in on production to build a content hub where not much had existed – and we did it with very few tools. Not a lot has changed for us in terms of team size over the years. But technological advances in content marketing have enabled us to build and engage audiences with more high-quality content that addresses their business challenges than ever.
How did we do it? And how can you use today’s tech tools to stand up or optimize your content marketing program? Use content marketing technology to tackle three of the biggest challenges today’s content marketers face:
Creating quality content at scale: Whether you’re a small shop or part of a large, matrixed organization, adding headcount isn’t easy. Plus, even the most prolific writers and subject matter experts have a limit on what they can produce. Consider tapping into online networks of freelancers or agency relationships that can help you multiply your content production and free up internal resources for content strategy.
Integrating technology into your content marketing operation can seem daunting, but the payoff – creating at scale, improving collaboration, and optimizing your audience’s experience with your brand – can really give your content marketing tea
What to look for: freelance networks that pay writers fairly and vet talent for content marketing and industry-specific experience; agency partners that specialize in content marketing
Collaboration and editing
Any content marketer who’s ever consolidated feedback from multiple reviewers can attest to the value of a content workflow tool. Today’s content marketing tech stack must include an online editor with version control and commenting, at a minimum.
What to look for: headline optimization functions, tone analyzers, and SEO tools; integration with your CMS for fast, efficient publishing
Curating the right user journey
Sometimes, your content marketing pieces hit just the right note the first time and a lead falls right into your lap.
Most of the time, the content-driven sales cycle is a little longer. But do you have enough content? Does your sales team know how to find and use it? To make sure content is varied and vast, consider licensing platforms. To get it in front of sales teams, look at sales enablement platforms that serve up appropriate content right in your CRM.
What to look for: high-quality licensed content that’s relevant to your audience (watch out for SEO restrictions) from platforms that pay writers fairly; Ease of use for sales teams
Where to start
If you’re brand new to content marketing (welcome!), you’ll probably only want to invest in one of these technologies/challenges at a time. That’s okay. It’s actually advisable. Which one should it be?
If your goal is content volume, start with licensed content (or a mix of licensed content and a freelancer network). This is the best way to publish a lot of pieces quickly.
If your goal is fewer, high-quality pieces, start with a freelancer network or agency relationship and ensure each piece is aligned to your audience goals and strategy. This is the slow and steady approach to standing up a content marketing program.
If your goal is process definition or refinement, start with a workflow platform to solidify how you’ll collaborate across marketing team members and other functions before you begin developing content.
Integrating technology into your content marketing operation can seem daunting, but the payoff – creating at scale, improving collaboration, and optimizing your audience’s experience with your brand – can really give your content marketing team the boost it needs when it comes to building an audience.