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3 Tips for Building Your Content Marketing Tech Stack

Content Marketing Tech Stack

Technology has revolutionized content marketing. High-tech tools allow you to reach bigger audiences with less effort, streamlining the entire approach to creating content. In fact, technology was set to take up 29 percent of marketing spending in 2018, which was a 7 percent increase from the year before. CMOs are investing in online content management systems, analytics technology, and email marketing tech to bolster their marketing efforts in the future. Clearly, the success of your content marketing efforts heavily depends on technologies you choose — this is the tech stack.

This variety of tools can be helpful in all aspects of content marketing, from insight generation to budgeting. Some are simple and cheap (even free, occasionally), while others are complex and costly. The wealth of options gives you plenty to consider, but it can also leave you overwhelmed.

Having a tech stack to bolster your content marketing efforts has become increasingly important, so building the right stack is essential. You have to determine which technologies will help you gain a competitive edge and provide solutions for your pain points. And just as importantly, you have to resist the allure of new technologies that are flashy but have no proven track record of success, which can cause more problems than they solve.

Finalizing your tech stack isn’t a quick or easy process, but it is absolutely one of the most worthwhile ways to ensure the success of your content marketing.

A Great Tech Stack in Action

At our company, we spent years going through trial and error to get our content marketing tech stack right. But the turning point came when we learned to focus less on the bells and whistles of various technologies and more on the problems we were trying to solve with them.

For instance, we had historically relied on using manual processes to do a lot of our work, which ate up a significant amount of time. Once we identified the steps in these processes and how they worked, though, we introduced technology to automate much of the data entry we were doing by hand. Where our reporting process used to begin with three to five hours of data collection, it now takes only a few clicks. More than that, instead of spending our time generating reports, we can now focus on applying the insights we identify and using them to their fullest potential.

While everyone should use the tech stack that best fits their specific needs and goals, try using some of the same reasoning as we did when choosing what the tools in that stack will be. Our goal was to improve efficiency, so we looked for user-friendly tools above all else. We wanted the team to learn the technology fast and utilize it to the best of its capabilities, so we evaluated every option to ensure each was accessible.

We also considered the practical impact each tool would have on our work and our company. We needed them to solve real problems, not just offer impressive bells and whistles. If we didn’t think something could make complex problems easier, we eliminated it as a choice. In fact, most of the technologies we considered we actually rejected, but I don’t regret the effort we put into the selection process in any way. It helped us build a true, intentional tech stack — not just a random collection of wrong technologies that sounded right because they were new and exciting.

Customizing Your Own Content Marketing Tech Stack

Your tech stack is a reflection of your company, which is why it’s always unique to you, your goals, and your needs. Follow these steps to build your own content marketing tech stack from the ground up:

  1. Define your goals and processes.
    What do you hope to achieve from your next content marketing campaign? The answer says a lot about which tools you really need. If you want to identify target keywords for your strategy, Google Keyword Planner is a free and popular tool for research. However, it doesn’t show you the gap between your rankings and those of your competitors, which is something tools like SEMrush and BrightEdge do.
    The benefit of these tools is their robust competitor analysis feature set and detailed keyword data. But they admittedly cost quite a bit, whereas Google Keyword Planner is free. It really boils down to whether you need keyword volume data down to the tens as well as more side by side competitive analysis. BrightEdge and SEMrush do offer quite a bit more too, which could justify the cost once you start identifying additional needs.
    Once you define your goals and the processes you want to improve, the answer will become more apparent. For instance, and have identified specific verticals and created educational, actionable content for their audiences within those verticals. This attention to detail and understanding of how to harness technology to further their goals has led to incredible success, and both outrank sites like Amazon for certain keywords when searched on Google.
  2. Do research and schedule demos.
    Never choose a product without scheduling a demo first. Microsoft, for example, performed a holographic telepresence demonstration at a recent event to showcase the future of work. To access a demo, you’ll likely have to sit through a sales pitch first, but you will also learn important information that you couldn’t find elsewhere. Plus, you’ll be able to test the product and learn how user-friendly it really is — or isn’t. Some vendors will even let you sign up for a free trial and provide a customized build of the software using your own data (after you sign a non-disclosure agreement). Always jump at this option because it gives you the kind of hands-on experience you need to evaluate the technology in-depth.
  3. Look past the tech features at the teams.
    The features of the technology you’re considering are clearly important, but they’re not the only consideration you have to make. You should also explore implementation times, customization options, and the level of support the vendor provides. Ultimately, you’re picking a tech partner, not just a product. On top of that, don’t forget to consider the impact the new tech will have on your team. As an example, Wistia, an analytics and video hosting platform, provides customers with how-to videos to support them as they implement the technology. Making decisions about which tech to adopt based on how your employees will be affected and how much support you’ll get from that tech partner is a strong way to do things.

It’s easy to be anxious about building the wrong tech stack, but it’s better to be excited about doing things correctly. Marketers can continue to push their content marketing into exciting new territory, as long as they have the right tools at their disposal. Choose wisely and you’ll reap the rewards of having a strategic, well-planned content marketing tech stack for years to come.

What other steps have you taken to build a successful content marketing tech stack? Let me know in the comments!

Joe Arduini