Content marketing technology is the sixth most common layer of customers’ martech stacks, said Anita Brearton, CEO of CabinetM, a marketing technology management platform. And based on her company’s list, Adobe, Google and WordPress are the most common of that mix.
“There is no longer a clean line between content marketing and marketing technology,” said Brearton. “We are all content marketers in one way or another. And, as such, we all use one or more pieces of technology to create, deliver, manage or measure the effectiveness of content.”
Brearton pulled a list of the most often used content marketing tools among her clients and found the number one tool was Adobe Creative Cloud, which CabinetM classifies as a content creation solution.
Top 10 Content Marketing Tools based on CabinetM data:
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe)
- WordPress (Automattic)
- Google Docs (Google)
- Canva (Canva)
- Drupal (Drupal Association)
- SharePoint (Microsoft)
- Sitecore Web Experience Manager (Sitecore)
- Curata Curation Software (Curata)
- InVision (InVision)
- LiveChat (LiveChat Software)
Of the top 20 content marketing tools from Brearton’s list, five were content creation platforms, three of which showed up in the top 10: Adobe Creation Cloud, Canva and InVision. While content creation platforms made up 20 percent of Brearton’s top 20 most popular content marketing tools, the bulk of the list was divided evenly between content management/workflow solutions, content management systems, content marketing platforms and chat systems.
“One of the biggest trends is that marketers are viewing chat as a content marketing tool and are recognizing that it offers a way to engage customers and enhance the customer experience,” said Brearton, “There are three chat tools in the top 20!”
Drift, a content marketing/chat solution focused on “conversational marketing” came in 16th in Brearton’s list of top 20 content marketing platforms. Brearton said the tool was a big driver in the chat trend.
What makes a great platform? Brad Smith, founder of the content creation firm Codeless, says the true value of content marketing technology isn’t that it allows content marketers to do more, but that enables them to do less.
“Martech removes the time-consuming bottlenecks, making preparation easier, collaboration more seamless, and distribution more consistent. That frees up content marketers to spend more time prioritizing the most difficult part: starting at a blank, white screen and creating something from scratch,” said Smith.
When asked which content marketing technology the team at Codeless finds most helpful, Smith points to everything from an SEO content template from SEMrush, a workflow management platform and a Facebook ads tool.
“We use AdEspresso for social paid promotion,” said Smith, who disclosed the platform is also a client of Codeless. “We pay for an account and use it to automatically run split tests for both ad creative and placements to bring down distribution costs. You can set the variables, and then it will automatically pause under-performing placements and creative, or increase budget on others that are working well.”
One of the content creation tools in Smith’s arsenal of content marketing tech is Grammarly. Codeless uses it to catch glaring errors, but Smith said it also helps his team check for plagiarism (both automated and manual) when contracting out writing assignments to freelancers.
“For example, we commonly see less experienced writers will basically rip off content that’s already out there and that puts us and our clients at risk,” said Smith.
Snail mail? You might expect something like AI or virtual reality to come up as the next big thing in content marketing, but Brearton has another idea: direct mail.
“In the world of what’s old is new again, marketers are back to focusing on direct mail as part of their omnichannel programs because the response rates are very good, and direct mail serves as a great reinforcement for mobile and online initiatives,” said Brearton.
CabinetM recently released its direct mail technology stack with assistance from the United States Postal Service and Postalytics. The stack includes more than 175 martech solutions aimed at creating, personalizing, distribution and tracking direct mail campaigns.
In a release announcing the direct mail technology stack, USPS vice president of product innovation Gary Reblin said that direct mail response rates are often 30 times higher than display ads and nine-times higher than email ads.
“What’s new and exciting is that there are lots of new tools that make it easy to create, produce, and deliver personalized direct mail on demand, as well as tools that provide the means to track and measure the effectiveness of direct mail programs,” said Brearton.