As more and more brands come to the see the importance of a Content Marketing Strategy, and put money and resources into developing that strategy, the question becomes “Now what?” The development of a Content Strategy is not something you do overnight, and usually involves a cross-functional team making a concerted effort across an entire organization to align all their content into an overarching and cohesive strategy. For those of us who have done this, we know that is not something you would call “easy.”
But let’s say you have done it, you have successfully completed a plan you can call a Content Marketing Strategy, now all you have to do is implement it, and this is where things get even more complicated. Often we spend so much time and money on the development of the strategy that we don’t think about how we can execute it. Aligning people on the idea of a cohesive Content Strategy is one thing, but now you have to manage their creation of content and the publication of that content, and you discover that an Excel spreadsheet might not be the best tool.
What we have now is a time when technology is catching up with all the things that brands want to do specific to their Content Strategy: manage it’s creation, customize it, serve that customized content in real time, test it’s effectiveness, and track it’s success. We’ve been able to move beyond jerry-rigging a traditional Content Management System (CMS) to help us manage our Content Strategy, and start using dedicated tools and platforms built just for that purpose. They help us manage content creation across multiple teams, align it with our overall strategy, and ensure that is published in the right place at the right time. Most of these even plug-in to existing CMS platforms, allowing for a seamless overall experience. Then comes the data! We can capture reams of different data points with the various analytics tools available to us, see how our content is performing, and make quick changes based on that data.
There are some great companies out there offering the tools that can help you make that execution a reality, and Jeremiah Owyang put together a comprehensive list that covers most of them with a little insight on what each offers. There are a lot out there, and that is a good thing, because there is a need, and it is growing. It’s becoming more and more obvious how important matching the right content to the right customer is to a brands success, so we need to make sure that the hard work we put into creating a Content Strategy materializes into actual content that helps our brands succeed, and that that the right people are seeing it in the right place. Luckily for us we have the tools that can make it all a reality.