Choosing the right content marketing software is a grueling and overwhelming process. Part of the problem, as you’ll find in your research, is that the term is used loosely to capture content marketing tools that help you with basic content curation to those that provide elaborate analytics and work with CRM software.
Even the most expensive content marketing tool is pointless if the team doesn’t use it. That’s why it’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and do a little footwork–before you talk to any content marketing software vendors.
Alright, here are seven things that will help you choose the perfect content marketing software partner (or close to it):
1. Know your company’s content and digital marketing goals
Understanding your company’s long and short-term goals will help you hone in on your final decision. Do these goals seem fully defined or are they loosely patched objectives and ideas?
2. Be realistic about the state of your company’s content strategy
Some Fortune 500 companies operate on a barely existent content strategy. Whether you’re at a large or small firm, it’s important to be honest about the state of your content strategy.
Here are some content strategy health considerations:
- Are there structures and processes in place for generating ideas, creating content, or communicating with other departments?
- Who is expected to generate content?
- How much content will the company produce on a weekly and monthly basis?
3. Prepare a list of departments, colleagues, and contributors that will access the content marketing tool
This is an important step. Will your agency, legal, customer service team, or bloggers need access to the content marketing software? What will they need to use it for–approvals, idea generation, access to the editorial calendar? Where do your company’s current assets live?
4. Take inventory of the business tools that need to integrate with the content marketing platform
In speaking to your colleagues and partners, you will gain an understanding of what tools are on the wish list of integrations with the content marketing tool. They will mostly fall under these categories:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Email Marketing Platform
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Marketing Automation Software
- Social Media Management (These include social listening, analytics, monitoring and publishing tools)
- Other–Customer service, collaboration or intranet software, project management, social CRM, or advanced analytics
5. Figure out which features and capabilities are important, then prioritize them
Content marketing software features run the gamut, but mostly fall under these categories:
- Audience and Targeting
6. Have a budget in mind
You’ll be swayed by bells and whistles you do not need or find yourself with a much more expensive product if you don’t know your budget before talking to a vendor.
7. Have an idea of much IT support you’ll need
Does the vendor offer troubleshooting and IT support? Will your internal IT team be able to help out? These are important questions to have answered before you need IT assistance.