What you need to know about content marketing platforms

It’s been over 25 years since Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wrote an essay that reminds us that content is king.

That’s a long time in the internet years, and many other predictions have turned out to be wrong. But there’s no doubt that the appetite for content has never been healthier. In 2021, the global content marketing industry was estimated at $66 billion in revenue, reaching $76 billion this year. It is expected to double by 2026 to $137 billion.

All of this content requires tools and processes to manage it, which, in turn, has seen a proliferation of new technologies for this purpose. The 2022 edition of Scott Brinker and Frans Reimers’ Marketing Technology Landscape noted that among the 9,932 martech solutions featured, the number of content and engagement providers grew from 1,936 to 2,592 in a single year.

Many are grouped under the banner of Content Marketing Platforms (CMPs). Although the exact definition of a CMP varies, they generally include tools for creating, managing, distributing, and measuring marketing-related digital content.

According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms released in March, the most comprehensive software offerings support features such as content strategy, ideation, editorial planning, scheduling, collaboration, and creative workflows and approval management, curation, metadata management and distribution of different types of content. and measurement and optimization tools. The analyst firm also points to integration into marketing systems such as web content management, sales enablement, digital asset management (DAM) and marketing automation as a growing area of ​​focus for these platforms.

Jeffrey Cohen, Gartner’s principal analyst for marketers, says it’s no surprise that the importance of content has grown as digital marketing has matured, especially in business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

“It starts with the idea that content is essential for any revenue-generating organization, whether it’s marketing or sales,” he said. CMO. “If you’re a B2B business, that’s very important because that’s how demand generation is handled. But even if you’re a consumer-serving B2C business, you’re trying to bring your prospects and customers to s engage with you and content is what they engage with.

Cohen says the appreciation for the importance of content makes marketing and sales managers want to get better at creating it — a process that has traditionally been expensive and time-consuming to implement.

“While we can’t necessarily improve the content people create, technology can improve the process,” he says.

The capabilities of the products now grouped under the CMP category are vast. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant includes vendors as diverse as Optimizely, Seismic, Contently, and Sitecore. Many competitors are still in their start-up phase, and the category has been a hotbed of merger and acquisition activity as larger competitors seek to expand their capabilities.

“Some have a social listening front-end, some have SEO entries, and some even look at competitive content keywords,” Cohen says. “But it has to start with the voice of the customer and what they care about, and how we improve idea generation by focusing on that. Then it becomes an editorial planning process to turn that into a series of content to through campaigns with different themes for different audiences.

A new generation of martech

Among the entrepreneurs vying for a share of this fast-growing opportunity are Aaron Macarthur and his team at Sydney-based startup Convo Ink. Macarthur believes the way forward for content marketing solutions has been blazed by social media platforms, which have done an incredible job of getting content in front of the right people.

“These great social media platforms have given many people a better understanding of how to use different forms of content to drive results,” Macarthur says. “It’s ripe for new innovation, and it certainly needs new tools to make it easier and simpler to create content at scale.”

Macarthur held numerous sales and operations positions with publishing and media companies before launching Convo Ink in 2021. The goal of this new company is to bring many innovations that have driven the growth of the digital advertising in the content marketing industry.

“Over the past three years or so, it’s really become apparent that the industry has started to understand the role that content can play in acquiring or delivering customers,” he says. “But the industry simply didn’t have the tools to create content at scale. So it was incredibly difficult to write and produce content and then roll it out to multiple publishers.

Macarthur’s solution is to use programmatic digital marketing technology and other tools to create efficiencies in content processes, coupled with strong data analytics capability to measure the performance of that content. Convo Ink has created its own metric to measure the attention given to each piece of content, so marketers can understand how each is performing in real time. This is achieved by analyzing specific behaviors such as watch or play time and interactions such as swipes and clicks, as well as examining the environment in which the content resides.

“All of these things add up to give us the clearest picture yet of content performance,” Macarthur says. “That was one of the hardest things to measure in the industry for a long time.”

By understanding content performance in real time, Macarthur hopes to enable marketers to dynamically optimize content based on this information.

“Instead of just having a static campaign, what we’re looking to do is explore the different data signals and see what’s happening with our attention scores and use those as clues as to what we need to do. to evolve that content,” says Macarthur. “Over time, we’re able to make three or four different optimizations to this content that will essentially increase engagement and increase attention levels over time.”

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