When the internet was still brand new, marketing professionals were on the cusp of a completely different way of targeting and advertising to specific individuals and audiences. In the past, printed marketing materials were the norm, but today, it’s all about a company’s online presence. Content marketing was once just believed to be what a company had on its blog, but this important aspect of marketing has grown to include so much more. As a marketer, you need to have a well-stocked toolbox with the resources and tools needed to achieve better content marketing results.
Start with the Basics
Before you can fill your toolbox, the first step is understanding the basics of content marketing and what your company is trying to achieve through this method of marketing. If you split the two words apart, you get content, which is anything created for consumption by your target audience, and marketing, which is getting the word out about a specific brand or product to help build awareness and loyalty.
Using those two concepts together is getting all of those pieces your content team has created to the right people, but in a way that is cohesive and easy to understand. In order to do it right, content marketing needs a strategic approach that focuses on creating valuable content and getting it out in an organized manner. A company’s blog is certainly part of this strategy, but good content marketing also includes much more than just a blog post once a week. You need appealing, valuable content and search engine optimization, along with analytics to find out what works for your audience.
Writing and Grammar Tools
Have you ever read something online that just doesn’t make any sense? Maybe the grammar is off, or the writing is all over the place, making it hard to follow. Major grammatical and spelling errors can make your company look less professional, while long-winded and scattered pieces can turn a customer off to your brand. Before you post anything, make sure to use helpful grammar and writing tools to check your work. Even if a piece has gone through proofing, it’s still smart to let a computer perform a second review. Human error is all-too-common.
Grammarly offers a free basic account, scanning all content you produce for errors. A free account will flag minor errors, but you’ll need the premium version to get fixes to more advanced problems in the writing. One unique aspect of Grammarly is that you can install it across different browsers and operating systems, so it will scan content produced in the body of an email, blog site, or other content management system.
Not sure what words in a title need to be capitalized? Plug your title into Title Capitalization, a free online tool that will spell it out for you. If your company sticks to a specific style, an online style guide is another useful resource for your toolbox. The most common style is AP, but style guides also exist online for Chicago, APA, MLA, and others.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
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Even if you have the best content in the world, you have to get it in front of people who are looking for similar topics. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the best way to maximize who sees your company’s content, so tools that improve this practice are absolutely vital to any content marketer’s toolbox. Get started with the SEO Checklist, which allows you to research keywords people are looking for and check off the boxes for words included in your content.
Another useful SEO tool is SEM Rush, although this service isn’t free. For most companies, it’s worth the small monthly fee, offering the option to track keywords across organic and paid campaigns, along with searches to see what’s working. If you’re running a campaign around specific keywords and phrases, try Moz. This company started in 2004, well before the major push for SEO began, so its team members have a lot of experience in the shifts that have occurred over the past decade. Different tools and add-ons give insight into search functionality, common keywords, and how to maximize your company’s content.
For most businesses, the objective of the content marketing strategy is to generate more brand awareness, which often translates into leads. Whether your business is selling software or food products, you’ll need a way to handle inquiries and requests that come from calls to action within your content. Pushing every potential customer to a faceless phone number or generic web address won’t give you much tangible information to determine the return on investment. Marketing automation tools are critical, especially if you’re running multiple campaigns at once.
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Automation tools can handle all types of tasks that you want to automate within your business. You can use Hootsuite to schedule social media posts across the major platforms, tackling a task that might have taken time every single day to handle. Email automation is also very important since most marketers just don’t have the time or the bandwidth to send individual emails to an entire list. Hubspot, Mail Chimp, and Constant Contact are a few examples of email automation software, making it easier to code, create, and send emails instantly.
After your contacts become leads, you’ll need a way to engage with them throughout the evaluation and decision-making process. When a lead goes cold, it’s tough to get them back. Sending helpful content, how-to guides, and tips for making a decision can keep the door open for those who haven’t committed yet. Setting up workflows in email marketing software makes it easier to maintain these relationships and keep up with the nurturing aspect of marketing.
Any good CMO or CFO will want to see how the money invested in marketing is being spent, as well as its value. Analytics are critical to showing the return on an investment, and marketers have access to a wealth of tools for analysis. Google Analytics is one of the most popular options to add to a toolbox, with options to measure the impact of social and web campaigns, pull customized reports, and measure conversion rates. If you need to track documents, Docalytics is a cloud-based platform offering access to people across multiple departments and track leads.
Real-time statistics are helpful in certain industries, and one option that includes this type of analytics is Woopra. You can break down the stats into an individual-level view or build detailed timelines for every user that comes across the page. Another real-time option is Simplereach, which collects data to determine the impact of content on your digital platforms. This tool is helpful for newcomers to the content marketing field, delivering insights into how to shape and revise a content marketing strategy.
Social media is vital to the success of any business, especially those catered toward younger audiences. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, it will be harder to engage with millennials and even those closer to Gen X. Sharing valuable content on social media is a proven method of content marketing, but you’ll need ways to measure the reach and track success. Some social media platforms have built-in analytics, but you can also use external software for a more in-depth picture. Examples include Visible, Socialbakers, Curalate, and Nuvi.
While these tools are certainly helpful for companies with in-house copywriters and editors, many businesses just don’t have the resources to get valuable content as often as it’s needed. Outsourcing hasn’t always had the best connotation in the content world, but it’s a mistake to assume that getting content from external sources is sub-par or lazy. In fact, outsourcing content creation is one of the best ways to maximize your strategy.
Freelance writers provide different takes and unique voices when writing about hot topics in your industry. An in-house copywriter is nice to have, but the content can quickly feel stale if it’s all in the same tone. The demand for content continues to increase and even the biggest players in your industry are likely relying on external writers to fulfill that need. Outsourced content can also help you reach your target audience in a more effective way. Professional copywriters tend to produce high-quality content that you can use across multiple platforms, extending the value of a single piece.
Valuable content takes a lot of time to produce, and the reality is most companies just don’t have that kind of time or resources. As a result, some of the content isn’t very effective. Instead of taking a risk with poor-quality content, add outsourcing tools to your content marketing toolbox. At CopyPress, we live to help clients tell amazing stories, connecting your business with our skilled creatives. We have been around since 2009, building products, software, and services that help businesses share better content.
Add CopyPress to your content marketing toolkit by scheduling a call with us today. We’ll go over your strategy, then provide solid tools and options to help you exceed your goals. Fill your content marketing toolbox with these vital resources to improve the way you produce and share content.