Over the last few years, content marketing has grown to become one of the most popular tactics in digital marketing.
As it’s been shown that 60 percent of consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands and 82 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content, it’s likely content marketing will become a vital marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes.
The ability to produce and distribute content, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, newsletters, or white papers, has become an indispensable form of connecting with a customer base.
However, it’s no surprise that creating and marketing quality content can be quite time consuming. It can also often take a great deal of resources to produce content that’s timely, relevant, informative, and provides value to your customers.
This is where the cloud can augment marketing efforts.
Adopting cloud technologies presents a major opportunity for businesses that create and distribute online content. Businesses can use cloud technologies to implement more consistent, collaborative, and cost-efficient processes, which, in turn, enable the creation of higher quality content. In fact, nearly half of medium- to large- sized businesses identified improved business efficiency as the main benefit of using the cloud.
Here are five ways the cloud is improving processes for content marketers.
1. Reduces the costs of IT services
For many businesses, maintaining an on-premises server can be extremely expensive. Aside from the pricey hardware, on-premises systems require a large IT team to consistently manage and monitor.
Businesses that use cloud storage services, like Dropbox or MediaFire, benefit from scalable data plans and around-the-clock data monitoring from their cloud service providers. When you transition from on-premises systems to the cloud, you also eliminate the costs associated with powering, maintaining, and updating the system.
Not having to manage a large, in-house IT team or expensive equipment can allow businesses to allocate more resources to content creation. For example, a business could dedicate a larger portion of their budget to hire more writing professionals or support research that strengthens content projects.
2. Improves backup and recovery to protect content
Creating quality content can demand a lot of time, energy, and passion. After spending time planning, researching, and writing a piece of content, the last thing you want is to lose your work.
Whether your computer crashes, you lose power, or you become plagued by a computer virus, work that is stored in the cloud won’t be lost in the process. If faced with a problem, you can easily recover data and files from the cloud service provider’s data center.
The cloud mitigates a great deal of risk for content marketers and protects you from the frustrations of re-doing work.
3. Speeds up production time
From creating the initial topic idea, to writing the first draft, to finally receiving a final approval, carrying a piece of content through its lifecycle can be extremely time consuming.
Before a document becomes a final product, it goes through numerous stages of editing and approval across various departments. Historically, this also meant that documents would encounter many different types of communication channels, like email, printing, or faxing. Overall, using these various processes can lead to a lengthier production time.
However, using a cloud-based document-sharing application such as Google Drive allows contributors to access the document in one central location. In addition, stakeholders will receive notifications whenever the document needs their attention. They see suggestions or comments in real time, and they can implement them just as quickly.
4. Improves content performance and analytics tracking
In recent years, content marketing teams have acquired roles and tasks outside of actual content creation. Now, more than ever, it’s important for content professionals to track performance data like content engagement, impressions, and a myriad of other analytics.
However, according to the recent results of a survey conducted by Forbes Insights and Axiom, only 27 percent of executives are highly satisfied with their organization’s ability to extract value from this data. Data management platforms (DMPs), or cloud-based software systems, can store, organize, and interpret customer and campaign data. A DMP enables publishers and marketers to derive deeper insights and better personalization. Data management is a critical process for businesses, involving tasks such as accessing and securing business data.
Although this data is vital to content marketing success, it’s outside the scope of their daily work. Many companies begun to use automation for data management in order to patch, tune, and perform other operations, without requiring human time and effort. These systems can automate data management, which allows content marketers to focus on tasks central to their day-to-day roles.
5. Increases team collaboration
Remote work continues to become more prevalent in modern workforces. A study from IWG found that 70 percent of today’s professionals work remotely at least one day a week.
The cloud allows professionals across many disciplines to connect, share ideas, and collaborate on pieces of content, regardless of location. Because the cloud operates digitally, it allows users to access data anywhere they can access an Internet connection. Content professionals can use Google Drive or Dropbox to share files, Slack or Skype to communicate, and Podio or Wrike to manage projects.
There are a host of cloud-based tools that allow content teams to collaborate, without the barriers presented by location. Rather than sending files back and forth over email and exchanging information through lengthy phone calls, team members can work together in real time, whether they’re working from the office, at home, or even in a completely different time zone.
Cloud-based content marketing is here to stay
Content marketing is a critical strategy for successful companies, and it’s only expected to become more imperative in the coming years. Finding ways to integrate more cloud-based tools and resources will help content teams mitigate risk, better assess data and analytics, and become more productive and cost-effective.
This guest blog article was written by Marie Johnson, a user-experience designer and technology writer from New York City. When she is not writing her latest blog post in her kitchen, you’ll likely find her strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.