On the surface, Jane’s mandate was simple: Grow the quality and quantity of content needed to deliver more leads to the sales team. As head of content marketing at a midsize B2B company she knew the blocking and tackling of workflows, publishing tools, style guides and editorial calendars.
But she was not prepared for the extent to which the legacy Web content management system and lack of streamlined workflows would slow her content marketing machine. Content marketers are moving from slow, manual processes to streamlined content supply chains that require agility and specialized tools to excel with differentiated, timely content, noted Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, Research Director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
Dynamo or dinosaur?
First, determine if your existing Web content management (WCM) solution can meet key content marketing needs. Can an update be made to a headline or image by one person within minutes? Is there an editorial calendaring capability that ties elements across narrative arcs, content items and even publishing endpoints for visibility and real-time status?
A majority of traditional WCM solution foundations are more than 10 years old but new capabilities around workflow and publishing have been added in an effort to keep up. However, few measure up to the needs of demanding content marketing programs, so some content marketers are turning to lightweight blogging or content publishing tools coupled with content marketing point solutions for editorial planning, workflow, promotion and measurement.
In more than half of the organizations interviewed, content marketers had two or more WCM solutions — one for product and brand content and a second for blogs, thought leadership and downloadable content.
Strategically fill gaps
Content marketers must identify the capabilities they truly need and determine which gaps can be addressed by a point solution and which can be resolved through their foundational WCM tool. There are three categories currently better served by point solutions:
Creation & Workflow: Capabilities include sourcing, curation, measurement, and managing authoring and publishing workflows.
Design Layouts & Templates: Capabilities include layering on new, often visual, design layouts to create engaging ways to drive content discovery. This includes tools for things like quizzes or interactive content-driven games.
Promotion & Social Sharing: Capabilities include paid content promotion, third-party publishing and social sharing.
Does it play well with others?
As you fill the gaps, remember that every new tool added to the mix adds another point of risk, another vendor to manage or a potential need for data integration. Solutions range along a continuum — some require no integration at all, while others require technical integration through the use of APIs. The most critical integrations are where systems need to work well together and include workflows to publishing, publishing to automation tools and analytics tools to promotion.