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How To Choose The Best Content Marketing Software In 4 Easy Steps

Looking to scale up your content production? Maybe you’re interested in testing out some new forms of content marketing. Whatever the case, you’re here because you’re in the market for content marketing software, and learning how to choose the best content marketing software is a handy skill for anyone engaged in content marketing.

Media professionals might use these content marketing platforms for content creation or production, while website or community managers might be more interested in content distribution or analytics.

General advice on choosing the best content marketing tools don’t always apply to each situation because you have to consider different goals, needs, priorities, and budgets. And, it gets more complicated if you have a whole team using the software—are the different functions that each team carries out supported? Can most of the team members use it?

In this article, I teach you how to choose the best content marketing software. Read on to learn:

What Is Content Marketing Software?

Content marketing software is a technology solution that helps content teams plan, create, publish, distribute, and track content on different channels such as websites, podcasts, and social media. The goal behind this is different for each team or organization—it might be creating brand awareness, generating leads, or building a loyal audience.

Content marketing is effective, but can also be resource-intensive and time-consuming. Content marketing platforms also often leverage automations for repetitive digital marketing tasks like email marketing, SMS marketing, and social media management to help users work more effectively and give customers a more personalized experience.

Choosing The Best Content Marketing Software

There are many different types of content marketing software available in the market today, and it can be overwhelming to choose one. 

Besides the number of choices available, many marketing technologies perform overlapping functions. For example, a digital asset management (DAM) tool might also provide content management and media asset management capabilities.

Here are four steps to help you choose content marketing tools.

1. Determine Whether You Actually Need One

Many content marketers confuse content marketing software with other technology like content management systems (CMS) or project management software (PMS). So before you read further, establish whether you need one in the first place. 

To determine whether you need a content marketing platform, break down your content creation process into small, manageable chunks. Keep your pain points in mind and factor these in when determining which tasks you need help with. It could be that you need a specialized tool rather than an all-in-one content marketing tool.

Content marketing tools have a broad spectrum of functions. These include:

Content Planning 

This involves tasks like creating an editorial calendar, plotting assignments and publishing dates, and assigning topics and deadlines. For this type of task, you’ll need a tool with project management features.

Examples:

Content Optimization

Content optimization ensures your content is seen by the largest possible audience. It involves search engine optimization (SEO) best practices such as keyword research, improving readability, and adding links, headers, and title and meta tags.

For these tasks, you’ll need SEO tools that cover on-page, off-page, technical SEO, or a mix of all three.

Examples:

Content Creation

Content creation is the process of building out content. Depending on the chosen medium, it could involve programs for writing, graphic design, and video and audio recording or editing.

Examples:

Content Distribution

Content distribution refers to the means of disseminating content to online audiences in various media formats through multiple channels.

Content distribution tools allow you to schedule and share content to your social media platforms from one place, removing the hassle of logging into all your accounts. 

Examples:

Content Audit

A content audit is the systematic and periodic review of your website content to determine whether your blog posts are performing as expected and content marketing efforts are rewarded. For this, you’ll need tools with analytics and reporting functions.

Audits should be an integral part of your long-term content marketing strategy. They help you uncover opportunities and content ideas. They also show page deficiencies so you can further improve the quality of your posts.

Content audits aren’t limited to website content only; you can also perform social media content audits, often through content marketing software as well. 

Examples:

Here’s a summary table of the above, breaking down each task and what content marketing software you might choose for each one:

TaskTools
Content PlanningNotion, Trello, Asana
Content OptimizationClearscope, MarketMuse, Semrush
Content CreationGoogle Docs, Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud
Content Distribution Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social
Content AuditYoast, Google Analytics, Ahrefs

2. List Your Criteria

Now that you know the kind of content tools you need, list a set of criteria so you’re clear on your priorities when choosing content marketing software.

For example, will you go for a cheaper yet complicated tool or get a more expensive but intuitive tool? Are there specific features you’re looking for? What integrations do you need?

Here’s the evaluation criteria we use, as an example:

  • Usability: Is it easy to use and easy to learn? The content marketing platform you choose should make your life easier, not harder. It should be intuitive, so you don’t waste time learning it and so you can easily teach others to use it. 
  • Integrations: Does it connect with other tools? The content platform you choose should integrate with the existing tools in your tech stack to make the work process smoother.
  • Customer support: Does the company provide expert and timely support when needed? Do they have resources you can access online when you’re stuck? Some people aren’t tech-savvy, so having customer support available to troubleshoot gives them more peace of mind.
  • Value for money: Does the tool’s price justify its features and capabilities? Does the price fit your budget? The tool’s benefit should be worth what you pay for.

3. Research

Now you’ve determined the content tools you need, it’s time to look for one that best suits your needs. Start with our list of the top 10 best content marketing software here

You can also start by asking around in your network for tool recommendations. You might read blogs and watch reviews and recommendations to supplement the information your contacts have given you.

4. Create A Shortlist Of Tools You Want To Try

After doing your research, you’ll have a list of content marketing software you want to try. 

Stack them up against the list of criteria you made.

If you’re having trouble choosing between a couple of tools, create a list of pros and cons. You can also check whether the software offers free trial periods so you can test it. From there, eliminate as needed until you’re left with a tool you’re happy with.

Final Thoughts: How To Choose The Best Content Marketing Software For Your Business

Content marketing software should make the job of creating quality content easier. 

Narrow down your choice, reduce overwhelm, and save time and money by learning how to choose the best content marketing software. The four tips we shared will guide you in the selection process.

How do you choose the best content marketing software for your business? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section. 

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