When we visited Content Marketing World in the US a few months ago, I was genuinely surprised at the number of content marketing technology vendors that had popped up in the last 12 months. Of course the established vendors like Skyword, Kapost and Zerys made a reappearance, but there were others that seemed like they had just materialised out of the ether.
There is no doubt that the content technology market is a hot one as brands try to manage multiplatform content marketing campaigns across their owned assets as well as incorporating paid amplification tactics and social media. Data collection is a critical component of these technology platforms.
Typically brands need to access multiple data points throughout content strategy implementation to ensure the content is performing across a variety of objectives: traffic, leads, social engagement and sales. However, data without context is useless, so any tech platform worth its salt should deliver personalised and actionable reports. If your tech platform is working hard enough you shouldn’t need a mathematics degree to understand your data!
You also have the added level of complexity of the central role that brand journalism and the editorial process play in effective content marketing. Does the content technology platform enable you to understand which writers deliver content that generates social traction? Is it possible to segment and target writers based on specific briefs?
With all this in mind, I watched with great interest the announcement of the sale of Compendium to Oracle last weekend. For the uninitiated, Compendium is a very slick piece of technology that allows content marketing agencies and brands to manage content marketing campaigns. Oracle owns Eloqua, which is one of the leading marketing automation platforms, and I think it is probably the link between the two that was identified by the bean counters at Oracle.
It’s common knowledge that in order to get the most out of any marketing automation platform or lead nurturing system you need some great content to attract and instigate the process. You also need content to maintain this relationship with a prospect throughout the buyer journey, ensuring that as the consumer rolls through the sales cycle they are educated, engaged and ultimately empowered to make a purchasing decision.
As the CEO of a content marketing agency, the growing role of technology in the content marketing landscape comes as no surprise. We’re seeing content marketing command an increasingly larger slice of the marketing budget. And technology not only makes content marketers more accountable, but more effective. Why? Because it enables them to segment and target audiences with relevant content at critical junctures in the buyer journey.
The logical next step should be for technology to play an increasingly larger role in content marketing, as this allows marketers to concentrate on producing amazing content while relying on ever-more sophisticated means of production, distribution, amplification and measurement of ROI. Compendium and Oracle are now positioned to deliver in some of these areas, but there’s still a long way to go.
Watch this space… we’re only getting started.