There are many reasons to put a content marketing platform to work at helping you manage the content function at your company or agency. No matter what content software you choose to use, though, your evaluation of its effectiveness will come down to these three questions:
- Will it save time?
- Will it save work?
- Will it save money?
In the end, time is work is money. Roll those three elements into one thought and you come up with this single question at the core of your evaluation: Will a content marketing program make me more efficient?
The easy, unsupported answer to that question usually goes something like this: “‘Yes, trust me: How can content marketing software not make you more efficient?” A marketer can say most anything about his or her product and expect you to believe it. Whether you’re using content marketing software such as BrandpointHUB, or anything else on the market, it all sounds good.
But a more reliable evaluation relies on real data gleaned from using an actual platform. Only through a detailed analysis — putting numbers to each step of the process and then crunching those figures — can you truly say that a content marketing platform is generating the results and returns you expected.
Only Believe the Data
The smart mindset is to approach content marketing software with the appropriate dose of skepticism until you can actually see how it performs and look at a quantitative measure of what it can do for you. You need facts about what it does and how it performs to save you time, work and money (produce efficiency).
I understand the reluctance to try a content marketing platform. Even if your process is a slow and stodgy one, it probably still gets the job done in the end, right? There’s a familiar rhythm and flow to what you already do, too. Yes, purchasing and using a content marketing platform is going to upset the apple cart a little bit, and it’s a tough thing to do when everything’s so comfortable just the way it is.
But couldn’t you use more time in your day, your week, your year, to get more important things done instead of managing the flow of content through your organization? But just how much efficiency can you really expect to gain? Is it going to be worth the effort and cost of switching to something new, learning it and training your staff and content cohorts to use it?
Real Data, Real-Life Example
Let’s look at a real-life example of a content marketing platform in action.
Before we switched our Brandpoint Blog over to operate the content development and production process on a content marketing platform, I started keeping detailed track of the time it took to perform each documented task involved with each blog post.
Once we made the switch to a using a platform instead of managing the process manually with emails and Word documents, I tracked the steps and time it took to produce each blog post under the content marketing platform.
Here are the base line references for the study: a blog post averaging 600 words and including one photo, along with all the development, review, edit, and posting time on WordPress that it took to get the content from concept to completion. Averages were figured over the course of 10 blog posts for each method.
To view the results, see the following chart. It tracks the time used without, and then with, the content marketing platform employed.
Savings and Efficiency Summarized
Before we dive into the numbers you saw, it’s important to note that this analysis covers only one content format: the blogging function. The true power of a content marketing platform comes when you start layering in all your content — not just blogs, but also e-books, whitepapers, newsletters, thought leadership articles, press releases, social media posts … anything and everything.
In this analysis, the content marketing platform eliminated eight steps in the development and production process, cutting a total of 74 minutes of time investment for each post. Of course, these minutes are saved across staff members involved, but much of the time comes back to the chief person responsible for the content function (perhaps you!) for your company or your client.
Assuming a target of three blog posts per week, that per-blog time savings of 74 minutes tallies out to 222 minutes saved per week, or 11,544 minutes (192.4 hours) per year. Assuming an average value of $30/hour for that time, it equates to a savings of $5,772 per year.
What Will You Do with All that Time?
Remember: Those 192.4 hours and $5,772 are only for blog posts. Brandpoint is going to keep documenting the savings and reporting them for other content formats. But now here is something even more fun to think about: If a content marketing platform finds you that kind of time, what are you going to do with those extra hours? That answer centers around three possibilities:
1. Generate more content
We all would like to produce more content, and some of us are pressured from above to do so too. We also know that, to a point, more content will produce better marketing results.
2. Create higher-quality content
Less time managing content processes and production creates more time to devote to making your content better. Higher-quality content will produce better marketing results.
3. Plan your content better
Use the time to make stronger, better defined content plans and schedules. A good platform will help you document all your ideas and organize everything more efficiently, too. Less flying by the seat of your pants is always good, right?
Look for future posts on how to choose a content marketing platform, and the benefits of a content marketing platform. Brandpoint developed BrandpointHUB based on our 19 years in the content business and our experience with producing millions of pieces of content for our clients. We needed the kinds of efficiencies outlined to support that kind of production. Now it’s one option out there as you look to create more and better content in less time.