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12 Questions to Ask When Making a Content Marketing Technology Decision

12 Questions to Ask When Making a Content Marketing Technology Decision

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Are you looking to make the right decisions for your content marketing technology? The Content Marketing Institute has prepared 12 questions that will be valuable to ask any company as you navigate …

Are you looking to make the right decisions for your content marketing technology? The Content Marketing Institute has prepared 12 questions that will be valuable to ask any company as you navigate this process. Let us help! And at the end of the presentation, we've gotten you started with three technology guides on content curation, content collaboration and native advertising, now available for free download. Enjoy!

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  • Shouldn't Question #1 be 'Should I do this business process in-house or should I outsource it?'

    The reason I put this forward is that unless you're a marketing agency or marketing consultant, doing content marketing is not a core business process for you and should therefore be outsourced. It's the same as payroll, public relations, large-scale I.T., and a lot of H.R. If you're a computer company, then you shouldn't be doing payroll, PR, IT, HR, or content marketing in-house. If you're a solar panel manufacturer, you shouldn't be doing payroll, PR, IT, HR, or content marketing in-house. Etc., etc. This concept has been well established in business for decades. Even marketers have outsourced advertising and PR for decades. Why would content marketing be any different?

    The responsible executive should at least pose the question.

    Otherwise, this is a terrific and useful primer for those who are committed to a marketing automation investment.
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  • 1. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT,EMAIL,LEADGENERATION,CUSTOMERRELATIONSHIPMANAGEMENTSOCIAL MEDIA,MARKETINGAUTOMATION,EDITORIALWORKFLOW,CONTENTCURATION,CONTENT MANAGEMENT,EMAIL,LEADGENERATION,CUSTOMERRELATIONSHIPMANAGEMENTSOCIAL MEDIA,MARKETINGAUTOMATION,EDITORIALWORKFLOW,CONTENTCURATION,CONTENT MANAGEMENT,EMAIL,LEADGENERATION,CUSTOMERRELATIONSHIPMANAGEMENTSOCIAL MEDIA,MARKETINGAUTOMATION,EDITORIALWORKFLOW,CONTENTCURATION,CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT 12 Questions to Ask When Making a Content Marketing Technology Decision
  • 2. There are so many tools, and the space is quickly evolving. Trying to differentiate vendors and figure out the right fit for your organization is tough. Quite simply, there is no magic bullet. Knowing the answers to the following questions is essential to making smart content marketing technology decisions. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, Content marketing technology is confusing.
  • 3. Like anything, it’s key that you understand your business and marketing goals so you can find the right kind of tools and platforms to support them. Answer these kinds of questions: ■ What is your business need? ■ What are the objectives for investing in this software solution? ■ How does investing in it support the company’s/your department’s strategic objectives? ■ What are the risks if we do nothing? ■ Will you be able to estimate ROI? Executives at higher levels of your organization will want to know how this solution will drive additional revenue/leads/brand enhancement. ■ What requirements do core team members have? ■ What is essential versus what is nice to have? Document all of your requirements from the key people across your organization and prioritize them. Sometimes it is tough for people to articulate what they need, so route the list of requirements to all stakeholders for one final review. As everyone sees the list, they may identify additional things that could have been overlooked as they think more deeply about the organization’s/your department’s needs. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION,HOW WILL THIS TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU SUPPORT YOUR GOALS?
  • 4. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, WILL IT BE EASY TO USE? Do you value intuitiveness over throngs of features? Are you able, to a certain degree, to cut dependence on IT out of the equation? Do you demand direct control over your properties? Then these requirements should be at the top of your list: ■ Ease of use ■ Drag-and-drop layout ■ Simple text editing ■ Configurable role designations for team members ■ Quick-reference asset management (pictures, videos, etc.) ■ The availability of training – (at no charge!) ■ The availability of support resources (documentation, forums, account managers, etc.)
  • 5. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, WILL THIS TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION REQUIRE THE SUPPORT OR INVOLVEMENT OF YOUR ORGANIZATION’S IT DEPARTMENT? In many corporations, IT has absolute control of the network and firewall (for access to cloud-based solutions) as well as the desktops in your organization. Without their support, nothing happens so make sure you answer these questions in advance. ■ How much of their support will you need to implement the application? ■ How much of their support will you require on an ongoing basis, after the technology solution is operational? ■ Have you clearly defined the requirements of the technology solution you’re considering that addresses all of IT’s typical concerns (such as network permissions and security)? ■ Does the IT department understand why you need this technology solution and how it supports the company’s strategic objectives? Get your firm’s IT department involved early in your technology selection process. Find out what their concerns are, so you can ask the right questions of the technology vendors you’re considering.
  • 6. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, Marketing is a science. Data drives the scientific process, proving whether your audience is ignoring or latching on to your message. If your software can’t measure results, find another platform. Does it: ■ Measure the effectiveness of content, campaigns, and strategies? ■ Identify bottlenecks in your marketing process? ■ Reveal areas that excite your audience? ■ Characterize who customers are (on some level)? ■ Identify where customers are in the sales funnel? ■ Consider which factors are most likely to convert leads? ■ Support A/B testing? Make sure you’re well equipped to handle the explosion of data to come over the next decade. Ideally, it should provide some sort of a “dashboard” that should provide some means of interpreting the tidal wave of data and present it in an understandable visual form. WILL IT PROVIDE A WAY TO MEASURE RESULTS?
  • 7. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, Vendors tend to box out the competition. But integration is more important than ever. It empowers you to work with more specialized vendors when the situation calls for it. As new techniques hit the market, having the ability to adapt quickly by working with specialized vendors that supply them is a huge benefit for your marketing plan. Does it integrate with your company’s digital asset management system? Does it support an API? If so, ask the vendors you’re talking to how other customers typically use it. That will give you a better sense of what’s possible if you ever want to integrate it with other technology platforms your company is using or may add in the future. WILL IT INTEGRATE EASILY WITH OTHER SOFTWARE?
  • 8. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, With a growing number of users on mobile phones and tablets, you likely need a solution that will work on mobile—and help you optimize your content for any device or social channel. As a result, your marketing software shouldn’t discriminate against presentation styles. It should include simple resources for setting screen displays or designing responsively. WILL IT MAKE DEVICE OPTIMIZATION A NO-BRAINER?
  • 9. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, Does your marketing software make communication across the enterprise easier? Collaboration among different teams is what makes a truly integrated suite useful by combining data analysis, content control and delivery, and asset management through project management. The right content marketing technology should make collaboration simpler in ways like the following, or your marketing program risks falling flat: ■ Tracking actions taken by other team members ■ Chatting on the page in real time ■ Assigning tasks and campaigns ■ Sharing pieces of content (like data) ■ Simple sharing of assets ■ Designating roles and rights (not everyone who will be contributing should have equal access to all assets) HOW DIFFICULT WILL COLLABORATION BE?
  • 10. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, One of the reasons software implementations often don’t work is because users aren’t using it well—or at all. While some level of training is critical for the vast majority of technologies, some require more extensive and ongoing support than others. Ask questions, like: ■ How much time does it typically take companies to use your product effectively? ■ What type of training is offered? Videos, phone support, a dedicated consultant? ■ For how long will training be available? And what if I need more? Is there support for a train-the-trainer program, so your company can become self-sufficient (i.e. ongoing training)? WHAT KIND OF TRAINING AND CONSULTING WILL BE INCLUDED?
  • 11. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, Simply put, you want a software partner you can trust. There are many resources to help find answers and review reputations, such as: ■ Online reviews ■ Peer/colleague referrals ■ LinkedIn groups ■ Quora ■ Ripoff Report ■ Better Business Bureau ■ Case histories WHAT KIND OF REPUTATION DOES THE COMPANY/SOFTWARE HAVE?
  • 12. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, Ask for case studies to see if others have used the technology in way that is similar to your needs. Look for the answers to these questions: ■ What kind of potential does the platform hold? ■ Does the platform have a lot of users? ■ Have any major brands put their trust in the software? ■ What successes have organizations like yours had with the platform? How have other companies used the software?
  • 13. SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, Tally up everything, including less tangible costs, to get a full picture of your investment. Costs may include: ■ Setup and licensing fees ■ Training ■ Content migration from an old platform ■ Custom development ■ Penalty fees dues to broken contracts Figuring out what you’ve invested is a crucial step in calculating your ROI. WHAT COSTS WILL BE INVOLVED?
  • 14. Will introducing new software make you more friends than it will enemies? It’s always important to consider the politics of introducing a new technology to an entire department. If content is your focus, for example, you may end up favoring a platform with a strong editorial workflow manager. As a result, a dedicated email marketing specialist may find her portion of the software to be lacking. Does the vendor provide assistance/advice with change management? Always consider the compromises a new software platform may force internally. The last thing you want to do is create an old “island” of information as you begin using the new solution! People may drag their feet in adopting a new technology if they are comfortable using something that exists. Or, the new solution may be combining a number of separate applications you used in the past into a single new platform, which may further complicate the data migration process. In short, there’s no such thing as a perfect piece of software. Will the vendor you are considering help your teams transition from their existing systems to the new solution? SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION,WHOM WILL IT MAKE HAPPY, AND WHOM WILL IT UPSET?
  • 15. If you are making technology decisions, let the Content Marketing Institute help. Download one or more of our buyer guides in the Content Marketing Technology Landscape series: Content Collaboration Tools: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/research/content-collaboration-tools/  Content Curation and Conversation Tools:  http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/research/content-curation-conversation-tools/ Content Discovery and Native Advertising Tools:  http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/research/content-discovery-native-advertising-tools/ SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING AUTOMATION, EDITORIAL WORKFLOW, CONTENT CURATION, CONTENT MANAGEMENT, EMAIL, LEAD GENERATION, LET US HELP. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com