Content marketing works, and a good content marketing platform will help you make it work.
The ecosystem of content marketing tools has evolved in the last few years, though. Mostly, it’s expanded a ton, and now there are tools for every imagined purpose.
This can get a bit overwhelming, especially when you just want to get started with content marketing and don’t want to spend months reviewing particular platforms.
So, how do you choose the best content marketing platform? Well, even with a list, it’s still going to require you outlining your goals and challenges and finding the best solution for your particular case.
But a good list will help you narrow that decision down and will help to strip out the duds from your decision landscape. This list of the top 11 best content marketing platforms hopes to do just that.
What is a Content Marketing Platform?
First, a quick definition.
A content marketing platform is a software solution that enables marketers to manage and execute a content marketing program in its entirety. Basically, in very simple terms, a content marketing platform helps you do content marketing. It’s right there in the name.
Content marketing, however, keeps broadening in definition.
We’ll keep things simple by including entries on this list that help you manage an editorial process (for whatever type of content you produce), publish or distribute content to your audience, and analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns.
The Top 12 Best Content Marketing Platforms in 2019
Here are the 12 best content marketing platforms:
WordPress, while not exclusively a content marketing platform, is the world’s most popular content marketing platform. It’s a free and open source CMS (content management system) that allows you to build a website, host a blog, and publish incredibly easily.
You can create a self-hosted WordPress site using WordPress.org or you can use wordpress.com to host the site for you. In the long run, it’s better to take the .org option, as you can fully customize your website without the constraints of wordpress.com
Finally, if you use WordPress and Google Docs, you can use Wordable to upload your drafts to WordPress, fully formatted, in mere seconds. This is a huge time saver, one that compounds the more you publish.
HubSpot is a full suite of marketing, sales, and service tools that helps you run an inbound marketing program. Inbound marketing is a term that means, instead of using interruptive techniques like cold calls and poorly targeted banner ads, you pull customers to your site using things like blogging, social media, and personalization.
While HubSpot now has tons of different tools and solutions for companies of many sizes, it started out primarily as a website builder, blogging platform, and automation tool used to nurture leads to become customers.
HubSpot isn’t free though, but some of the point solutions have freemium entry points.
Marketo is a competitor of HubSpot’s in the marketing automation arena.
They tend to cater more towards the enterprise (even more so with their recent Adobe acquisition), and as such, they’re a bit more expensive. Their features are also limited to the marketing side of things, without the data centralization features like the CRM or a help desk software.
Still, as a blogging and marketing automation tool, Marketo is quite strong, and because of that, many top businesses use them to execute content marketing programs.
Exponea is an end-to-end Customer Data Platform, combining advanced customer data analytics with omni-channel campaign execution. It enables businesses to understand customer behavior and launch highly personalized campaigns for each individual customer through their preferred channels.
Marketers are able to use the platform for content marketing, as the functionality supports customer loyalty through content personalization and allows easy distribution to existing customers. CRM Managers who care about relevant content for each of their customers can use Exponea to better communicate with their customer base.
The platform helps maximize profits and optimize marketing spend by targeting the right customers with the right content at the right time.
Kapost is a full suite content marketing software company that offers tools for content marketing program management, operations, and insights.
Their content marketing platform allows you to create a robust editorial calendar, manage content producers and stakeholders, map your campaigns to the customer journey, and execute the campaigns that you’ve planned. It’s a pretty feature rich solution for serious content marketing pros.
Ceros is an experiential content creation platform that helps marketers and designers to create interactive and immersive content experiences.
You can think of them as a studio that lets you make interactive and multi-layered infographics. It’s somewhat hard to explain without actually experiencing it, so go over and take a look at their inspiration section of their site.
Newscred is an enterprise content marketing platform that includes a ton of impressive tools to analyze your content and surface insights, come up with better content ideas, manage your content operations, and publish content hubs for your customers. It’s one of my personal favorite content marketing platforms.
The big differentiator here is that Newscred’s data and insights capabilities far surpass most competitors. They have the typical stuff for content marketing management – editorial calendars, workflows, digital asset management, etc. – but what really stands out is the predictive insights in their content, conversion, and ROI reports.
Percolate is another high-powered content marketing platform capable of doing pretty much everything. You can look at it as the control center for a mature content marketing program. It’s an operations management solution on steroids, with capabilities like:
- Campaign planning
- Editorial calendars
- Individual campaign workflows
- Collaboration and task management
- Advanced analytics
- Governance and access control
It’s not a solution that would do you much benefit if you have barely started your content marketing efforts, but if you’ve been at it for a while and your efforts are starting to get more complicated (e.g. you’ve got more writers to work with and you’re trying to scale production), it can definitely be pretty useful.
Divvy, like the previous two entries on this list, is a full suite enterprise content marketing platform. It’s widely used and very popular with huge content marketing all stars like Redbull, the Chicago Cubs, and Unilever.
What’s it do? Pretty much everything:
- Content planning
- Editorial calendars
This platform is an excellent solution if you’ve got a multi-faceted content team and a need for quite mature content strategy planning and architecture. In other words, if you’re just pumping out one or two blog posts a week, it’s not a ton of use.
But if you’re operating a multi-channel, high volume, content marketing program, this software is solutions is one of the best options available.
Zerys is a content strategy planner, content production platform, and professional writer marketplace all rolled into one content marketing platform. The biggest differentiator is that they have a huge marketplace of professional writers and editors who can help you actually produce better content.
Zerys plugs into both HubSpot and WordPress.
It’s not free, but it’s not too expensive (starts around $15 per document).
Uberflip is a content marketing platform for building out Content Hubs. You can collect, manage, and curate content experiences and showcase them in a way to create engagement as well as high value marketing leads.
Uberflip isn’t as much of a full suite content marketing platform or one you’d want to operate on its own, but it can give superpowers to whatever editorial and publication platform you’re using in addition. It’s great for making content more engaging and for bringing in more leads through CTAs and automation.
OneSpot is also more of a complementary content marketing platform, but a really cool one. It helps you to serve personalized content experiences for greater engagement and ROI.
They do this personalized content delivery based on user interest profiles, which enable your brand to deliver individualized content to 100% of your visitors and email subscribers.
A large part of this work is automated, which is in contrast to most personalization platforms, where you not only have to find and define the segments, but set up targeting rules and manage your experiences while trying to determine the ROI of any given experience.
In any case, OneSpot is a great advanced content marketing tool to help you get more out of your existing program.
There are many content marketing platforms out there today, but the 11 included on this list are the best ones in 2019.
They are all pretty complete solutions on their own, but some can be complementary to each other.
For instance, you could run all of your blogging and content publishing efforts on something like HubSpot (maybe even using them for your CRM and data analytics), and then use something like Divvy to architect your content strategy and plan out your whole operation from the command center. Then you could use OneSpot or Uberflip to increase your ability to generate leads and engage readers.
Or you could keep things simple and just use WordPress (and of course, Wordable, so you can save time uploading Google Docs to WordPress).