By Michael Gerard
As brands strive to build trust and customer engagement, content marketing will play an even bigger role in their strategy.
A 2013 Curata survey of 500 marketers revealed 71 percent plan to increase investment in content marketing this year.
Content Marketing and Technology
When content marketing first hit the scene, marketers often used a patchwork of tools to plan their editorial calendars, create and promote content, and track performance using any number of analytics tools.
They might scribble ideas in a notebook or on a Post-It, write the content in a Word document before copying it into WordPress, and maintain an editorial calendar on a shared whiteboard to collaborate on new ideas.
This could be affectionately called the duct tape method.
With the explosive growth of tools designed specifically for content creation, marketers now collaborate and do more with dedicated content marketing software.
These tools help streamline, as marketers and CMOs are recognizing the value of well-developed systems.
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed are now using free tools, vendor software, or internally developed tools rather than spreadsheets for building editorial calendars, and word processing applications for formatting blog posts.
Content-specific tools designed to help marketers manage their content workflow are proving to be vital assets in organizations of all size.
Content Marketing and Internal Staff
There’s a lot of discussion surrounding who “owns” content creation efforts.
The marketing department or department lead was often tasked with creating content, or at least organizing other internal stakeholders to contribute their perspectives. The trouble with this approach, however, is push-back from employees who don’t consider themselves strong storytellers, or who struggle to find the time to prioritize content creation.
Many brands are actively hiring content strategy executives and dedicated content development teams, and also launching brand journalism efforts as part of their content marketing programs.
Content creation teams may or may not have traditional marketing experience, as an increasing number of brands move to hire people who can think like journalists to tell their story in a compelling and credible way.
Outsourcing Content Creation
That said, many organization are combining their internal talent with external content creators.
Outsourcing creation creation isn’t necessarily new, as companies with limited internal resources look for outside help. What was first a cost-saving measure has now become a legitimate way of creating content to a schedule.
As brands strive to feed the content beast and produce a steady stream of high-quality content, many will invest more time and resources into outsourcing, by contracting with more and more freelancers. These specialists are able to create quality, brand-aligned content to support an existing content strategy.
As this becomes more common, online content marketplaces and tools will help scale these efforts.
Marketing tactics evolve, and content marketing will continue to evolve as new trends, tools, and processes become available.