According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 86% of content marketers leverage content marketing to market their brands.
After all, content is the perfect medium to reach consumers. It’s still the king.
That said, today’s content marketing campaigns are no easy feat (think: research, strategy, execution, optimization, etc.), especially with today’s empowered consumers.
For this reason, it’s important to streamline and optimize your campaigns so they are fast, efficient and generate a bigger impact with the target market.
This is where content tech comes in and helps with sleek execution. After all, employing the right mix of tech tools together with your strategy is important to reduce wastage and move the needle much faster in the long run.
So in this article, I’ll break down the three fundamental steps you can take to streamline your content marketing through tech, and later, share expert recommendations on the tools you can use to make the process a success.
We’ll be covering the following points:
- Why use tech to power your content marketing
- Content marketing & tech: brands that are doing it right
- Use technology to power and streamline
Why use tech to power your content marketing
The process of scaling up one’s business through strategically placed marketing efforts can be both time and energy-consuming.
Driving high traffic, ensuring consistency and coordinating team efforts are all common challenges.
On top of these challenges, there’s a lot of manual work involved (think: gathering data and email campaigns) as well.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
For this reason, it’s important to leverage tech as one of the key solutions to automate and innovate your campaigns and make them flow smoother.
The number of content marketers turning to tech have grown over the years. However, only 16% of respondents in a research conducted by CMI stated they have both identified the right tech and are using it to its potential.
The problem here is not the lack of resources but the inability to identify which ones to use and how to leverage them.
By eliminating the repetitive work through automation and aiding your content marketing campaign in its coordination and implementation stages, tech will bring you that much closer to achieving your goals.
While there are numerous marketing tools available to help you with each funnel stage in your campaign, it’s about finding the right ones that work for you.
To get you started, let’s go over the three steps you can take to do this.
How to leverage tech to streamline your content marketing efforts
Step one: Identify your content marketing goals
As a content marketer you want to increase the number of site visitors, convert as many of them into loyal customers, provide the ultimate customer experience, maximize conversion rates and, ultimately, the ROI.
However, vague goals can lead to incomplete plans of action that later fall apart in the execution stage.
This is why streamlining your content marketing efforts is important.
By breaking down your plan into actionable and clear steps, you reduce the chances of mishaps and can smoothly implement your plans for better results.
It all begins with your content marketing goals.
If you know the ins-and-outs of your business, the industry you’re operating in and the customers you’re catering to, putting down your content marketing goals will be easy.
However, it’s important that your content marketing goals are fine-tuned to suit and help you meet your ultimate business goals.
The SMART approach helps build a viable content marketing plan by making sure your goals integrate well with the objectives you set.
SMART refers to a five-category checklist you can refer to as a guide to frame your content marketing objectives. To expand upon them, each letter represents an aspect that your goals should be designed around.
- Specific – There should be no room for misunderstanding. Your goal should be clear and sensible.
- Measurable – Quantify your goals in order to be able to track your progress. For example, what percentage increase in organic traffic are you aiming for? What is your target customer base number?
- Achievable – Your goal needs to be grounded in reality and attainable. Consider your financial factors, the skills required and manpower to meet your goals.
- Relevant – Does your content marketing goal integrate with the bigger picture for your business? Is it worth the time and investment you’re putting in?
- Time-Bound – Every goal needs a deadline/target date so you know what you’re working toward and when to accomplish it by. A time-bound goal will help you prioritize your everyday tasks for your long-term goals.
For better understanding, here’s an example of applying the SMART framework to build a content marketing campaign. Let’s say, your goal is to increase email signups:
- S: Increase the percentage of email signups.
- M: Boost email signups by 20% (from 1000/month to 1200/month)
- A: This is attainable because I have an existing organic traffic of 10,000/mo (0.012% conversion)
- R: This is relevant to my quarterly goal of increasing my email list.
- T: Increase the percentage of email signups by 20% each month for the next quarter.
By formulating your content marketing goals alongside the SMART framework, you can make sure there is a clear and robust plan of action that everyone is on board with and understands.
This will ensure everyone is working together toward the same vision and will also lay the foundation down for other important decisions (think: the tools to use).
To take goal-setting a step further, I recommend integrating the right tools.
Step two: Research and invest in the right tools
Finding the right tech tools that fit into your marketing plan and operations is a concern for most marketers.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Needs vary and so do the perfect tools to meet them.
So how do you find out what tools to best invest in to help meet your content marketing goals and make your campaign a flying success?
It’s time for you to conduct some research.
Depending on your budget and the areas of your marketing campaign that you want to focus on, the tools you choose can vary.
Here are examples of three areas you can leverage content-related tools to make your life easier.
Area #1: Content campaign management
Content automation in social media marketing has grown quite popular as a means of managing a content marketing campaign.
By using a tool like Hootsuite, for instance, to schedule and manage your posts, you can ensure your campaign runs smoothly and follows the timeline you had planned in advance for it.
Together with these efforts, providing visually stimulating content is a go-to move for lots of content marketers in their campaigns, for example through the creation of infographics.
Spicing up your marketing campaign with these tools can go a long way.
Area #2: Content automation of low-impact tasks
Hours spent communicating and servicing customers can be cut down drastically by reducing manpower and re-focusing customer service reps’ efforts on other parts of the marketing campaign.
By automating repetitive tasks and freeing up time, creative efforts can be redirected to high-value areas.
Examples of other areas that can be streamlined through content automation include SEO optimization and target audience analytics.
Area #3: Content calendars and coordination
Coordination struggles with your team regarding content production and consistency can also be addressed through tech apps catered toward ensuring high-quality communication with co-workers.
For example, through cloud-based platforms that enable remote working and the maintenance of resources in one shared area.
After choosing your preferred mix of tech tools, it’s time to start putting them into action.
Step three: Measure your performance
How can you tell the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign unless you dig deeper into your results and performance?
Which content practices work best? What content generated the most engagement and why? What sales value does one content medium offer over another?
Your performance measurement should rise above the basic quantitative to the fundamental values your customers attribute to your brand and how your content can best deliver those.
Tech has also enabled the process of performance measurement.
For example, AI provides analytics capabilities. Certain software can analyze your competitive positioning in the content space and identify the loopholes you should address in your marketing campaigns to move ahead.
Tech can help you scale your efforts by showing you the areas to focus on and the tools you can employ to maximize your productivity.
Once you track your performance and identify the metrics you want to improve on, you can continue to streamline your work efficiency as you’ll now focus on what actually moves the needle.
And due to these insights, you’ll be able to set better content marketing goals by employing better tools and approaches to meet your objectives.
Content marketing Tech: Case’s from brands that are doing it right
Using tech to revolutionize content marketing is something companies have already been focused on as part of their strategies, some more successful than others.
Identifying the areas where tech is most suited in content marketing and applying it efficiently can take time but if done right, will bring out amazing results.
For example, have a look at these companies and experts and how they used tech to transform their content marketing to greater heights.
Adobe’s Art Maker Series
Adobe’s innovative approach to leveraging user-generated content for a content marketing campaign continues to be one of their most effective moves in the space.
They identified what their content marketing goal was: to connect with their customers and engage them on a more personal level.
The ‘social media proof’ that results from this campaign can then be repurposed to boost their brand image. The tech they are using here to realize this strategy would be social media as a platform.
The design software company then invested (step two done right) in promoting a user-focused campaign called the Art Maker Series. The campaign invited designers and artists globally to create and share their art through the use of their favorite Adobe products like PhotoShop.
Adobe then repurposed the content that was produced through customer reviews and product promotions, exhibiting their various service offerings through their own user’s results of the same.
This was an innovative tactic that helped them to keep ahead of the competition while establishing the end goal of generating content buzz directly from the consumers themselves.
Leveraging social media platforms like Instagram where they spread the word about the campaign was an instrumental part of their content marketing campaign.
Nick Malekos — Learn Worlds
Nick Malekos, from the Business Development and Marketing team at LearnWorlds, believes that any content strategy, for software companies, in particular, should focus on three pillars: Relevancy, Product and Value.
Relevancy focuses on your customers and SEO tactics. You want to attract the right readers and in order to do so, your piece should be relevant to attract the right target market.
Product is about how connected your content is to the product/service you sell. “That means how your product is the solution to the specific problem,” Nick elaborates. “Screenshots, examples and use cases work incredibly well here.”
Finally, the entirety of your content piece should add Value at every step of the way. Value is all about reader engagement and how they share and link back to your content.
“Here at LearnWorlds, we follow this strategy for our top content pieces, and it works like a charm,” Nick says, highlighting the success of their article on how to create an online school.
“This article is highly relevant to our audience, it showcases our product and adds value by addressing all steps in details and how can someone do this.”
Compared to their top visited articles, it has double the conversion rate from visitors to trials and brings consistently highly relevant traffic to their website.
Tope Long — Biteable
Tope Long from Biteable recommends two tools that have been effective in boosting his productivity.
Firstly, Biteable itself!
Biteable is an online video maker that puts the power of video in your hands.
“Regardless of budget and skills, it helps you create professional high-quality videos in minutes. That’s why Biteable is a delight for small businesses,” Tope says.
Biteable has hundreds of free stock video/audio clips and images that are integrated into professionally designed templates to choose from. You can also add your own content to make your video unique, such as text, photos, colors, and sound.
Biteable provides options to create all kinds of videos, ranging from presentations and infographic videos to logo animations and ads.
It’s free to try it out for up to 10 video projects/month, this version allowing publishing your finished video to Facebook, Twitter and also embedding it on your website or blog.
The premium plan ($19/month) is required to remove the Biteable’s watermark, download your video, upload your own footage, and access to other exciting features.
Like Chioma, Tope also recommends Time Doctor. He uses this application to track billing hours on his writing projects.
These brands and individuals are not the only ones reaping the benefits of partnering with tech to bring about positive results to their content marketing.
So why not go ahead and try it for yourself? You have a lot more to gain than lose from giving it a shot.
Use technology to power and streamline
Businesses spend a significant amount of time, money and work into perfecting their marketing strategies and getting their brand out there.
Content practices can make or break a brand. Everything from brand perception to customer loyalty and their experience can be affected by your content marketing strategy.
Knowing your brand’s strengths and combining human effort with tech capabilities can open new doors for your business and take your brand to greater heights.
So what are you waiting for?
Start streamlining with tech.