Content marketing is on the rise. Consumers are becoming ever more aware, and old-school tactics that used to work during the early days of the net are seeing a steady decline in effectiveness.
Marketers have discovered that they need to offer something to the customer to get results. Thus, content marketing was born.
But a content marketing campaign can be tricky to plan, let alone take off effectively.
Fortunately, there are loads of easy to use tools that can really help either streamline or simplify the content marketing process. We’ve pulled together some of our absolute must-haves below.
When researching particular topics, it’s good to see how far they will travel. How large is the audience, and how likely are they to share your content on social media?
This is where Buzzsumo comes in. You can put in any keyword you like and Buzzsumo will show you the top most shared articles around that keyword across social media.
But where Buzzsumo really comes into its own is for writing titles for pieces. You can use Buzzsumo to research the most widely shared pieces for the topic you’re covering.
Keep in mind that this isn’t just for blog pieces. Buzzsumo can really help with video titles and press release headings too.
Visuals really count in blog posts. Research has shown that blog posts that have more than one image in them are more likely to be read by a user.
But is your creative resource stretched? Maybe you’re not up to scratch at Photoshop? (Me neither)
Well, fear not. Canva is one of the simplest, and best, creative tools around. It’s free to use, but we’d really recommend the paid version (around £10 p/a) to get full use of all their features.
Whilst doing your planning, you’ll need to look at some keyword data. While there are plenty of tools out there, our preferred keyword research tool is SEMRush.
With SEMrush, you’re able to get accurate keyword data and currently see where your site ranks for these keywords. You’ll also be able to use SEMRush to analyse certain topics, and what hubs to build your content around.
SEMRush is useful at every stage of the content marketing process. From broad strategy planning, right down to the metadata for your page.
Content marketing often has to relate to popular trends or issues, especially if you’re looking to run any sort of digital PR activity alongside it. If you’ve got an idea, it can be smart to make sure that your idea hasn’t peaked already.
If you’re looking to analyse a trend, Google Trends is a great place to start. It does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing you to explore trends and topics. The line graphs give you some easy to use visualisations too, which can be helpful for illustrating your point to a client.
Audience data should form the backbone of all your marketing strategies, not just your content marketing strategy. Your client may already have audience data, but how can you make sure it’s correct?
That’s where Quantcast Measure comes in. All you have to do is pop their pixel into your GTM frame, and you’ll be able to get audience data outside what your clients already have.
This can be really helpful for double verifying the data that your clients may already possess, but it can also help with PR placements. The QCM pixel can show the sites that your audience have a higher affinity for visiting – and can, therefore, help with your PR strategy.
Good old reliable Google Analytics always makes the list, and for good reason. It’s one of the most valuable ways of seeing what your audience is actually up to. Are they repeatedly reading one particular article? What about several articles on the same topic? Or products? Has there been a particular spike in a certain product you offer?
These questions can really help you plan out your content, especially if you’re looking at creating a schedule for your Hub content. Focus on what your customers are already talking about in order to drive engagement.
An underrated content marketing tool is Facebook Messenger. Messenger can be a really good content distribution tool and many studies have found that the open rate and CTR on content distributed through Messenger is a lot higher than traditional email.
But one of the best ways that Facebook Messenger can help is during the research phase. We previously covered how Facebook Messenger can help you to do research on your clients’ current audience. If you have a particular angle you want to explore, using Messenger to conduct some research – or even gather some stats for your next press release – can be absolutely invaluable.
Using these tools can really help you at every stage of the content marketing cycle. Getting to grips with these tools will allow you to spend less time doing tedious things, and more time creating awesome content!