What you need to know about content marketing platforms

We explore to exponential rise in this category of martech and how utilising content differs to other digital advertising

Creating content connections

Increasing interest in content is also opening opportunities for more traditional players, including native content network and marketplace, Avid Collective, which now provides access to 80 digital publishers. Managing director, Luke Spano, says his company is constantly enhancing capabilities by creating digital tools that aid the content creation and publishing workflow.

Spano notes the key difference between content and advertising is content is not an intrusive experience.

“Content is something someone is deliberately consuming, which is a very different experience,” he says. “Consumers are looking for more meaningful connections - they are looking for content and stories and brands that resonate - and content is a way to connect with consumers.”

Spano is not surprised by rapidly growing interest in content production given some marketers are realising the deficiencies of other advertising formats.

“What traditional advertising channels have helped advertisers achieve is scale,” Spano says. “Then you had the Web 2.0 evolution, with the Facebooks and Googles of the world, who bought both scale and targeting.

“But what is lacking is two other core pillars: Attention and trust.”

Spano also believes as advertising becomes more prevalent, trust declines. “That is why there has been a significant turn to content from brands. Within that is branded content,” he says.

Avid Collective’s platform aims to make it easier to work with writers, influencers and other content creators across 80 different communities who already have an understanding of their audiences.

“Structure enables talent, and the same thing can be applied to creativity,” Spano says. “Having a workflow platform that allows the people creating the content to do what they do best, and not get caught up in having to sift through 100 email chains, Google Sheets and tools that aren’t purpose-built for the work they are trying to do, means there is less risk of errors and more ability to get into flow state and create content they are really good at creating.

“It allows the creators to focus on doing what they do really well and engage with the brands in a way where brands are still getting the message that they want across.”

Beyond advertising

It is evident marketers continue to up their spend on content: This year’s State of the CMO research shows nearly half of all marketing leaders surveyed plan to increase investments in content production this year. What’s more, growing numbers are building in-house agency models to help cope with the exponential increase in content and creative required across digital channels and formats.

For those planning to increase content investments, Gartner’s Cohen advises taking a distinctly different approach to planning content campaigns from what they might bring to traditional advertising.

“In this environment it is not about product specs or features and benefits, it is about helping someone solve a business problem,” Cohen says. “Because at the end of the day, buyers do not care about product, they care about solving their own problems. And if you can create education type content that can help solve their problems, that is the first step of building trust. It is not new, but the explosion of it is new.”

As to which of the current crop of CMPs will still be in existence or independent in the years ahead, Cohen says the winners will be those that also focus on solving the true needs of their customers.

“They need content, they need automation and they need AI. It just makes sense to find the right technology to help manage this whole process,” he adds.

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