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3 Must-Have Tools to Take the Guess Work Out of Content Marketing

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Content marketing has really come into its own in the last few years. Businesses have begun increasing their content marketing budgets and marketers have are becoming more confident of the deliverables coming from custom content production and distribution.

Content marketing brings a slew of benefits to the table and each one of them helps nurture business growth.

But creating a marketing action plan that revolves around content is difficult. If you don’t get it right, your carefully wrought content strategy can fail, big time. Marketers, therefore, have to be very careful about how they approach content marketing. They need all the help they can get to craft, plan and implement a content marketing campaign that delivers the results they are looking for.

This is where content marketing tools that enhance your marketing efforts enter the picture. As a content marketer, you must use tools that simplify activities like content research, ideation, organization and distribution.

Related: 5 Tools That Put Content Marketing Analysis on Autopilot

Here are three tools I believe are best placed to help your content marketing efforts:

RankWatch

RankWatch is a search-focused dashboard that keeps track of your rankings in Google for “keywords” you’ve defined. It also gives you an idea of the type of listing in the search result pages – whether you have a normal, snippet, video or local listing. With this information in your hands, you are aware about the type of content working for your business. It will help you fine-tune your content strategy as you can focus on content that is delivering value and stop producing content that isn’t.

You are also shown how you rank for keywords you haven’t specified, to create new content that centers on those keywords. This tool also helps you keep an eagle eye on competitors and monitor whether their rankings for different keywords are going up or down. In case they are going up, you can follow in their footsteps. If they are going down, don’t touch their strategy with a barge pole.

RankWatch helps you look at your content marketing strategy from the SEO prism. It offers great insights into the sort of content that can deliver solid SEO benefit.

Related: Why Content Marketing Is King

Buzzsumo

One of the most difficult things to do in content marketing is come up with fresh content ideas all the time. Producing engaging content regularly is a challenge for marketers and inability to come up with interesting and engaging content can interfere with content strategy deliverables.

BuzzSumo is a tool that offers mission critical content marketing intelligence, helping you come up with ideas that translate into immensely readable and largely sharable content. It gives you the lowdown on the most shared content across different social networks and helps identify influencers in a particular topic area, along with the kind of content they share. This information enables you to come up with ideas that will resonate with your audience.

To put it simply, Buzzsumo is the ‘big picture’ ideas generator. You can objectively assess ideas that can work and the ones that can’t.

Outbrain

Outbrain calls itself "the leading content discovery platform on the web." It helps you amplify your content. The links to your content appear as recommendations on some of the web’s most well-respected and popularly read sites. Your content links are promoted on sites that have a massive audience. This goes a long way in increasing the reach of your content pieces.

One of the biggest challenges faced by content marketers is ensuring their content gets discovered by their target audience. Outbrain is the solution they are looking for, but there is a rider. The content they want to amplify should be interesting and engaging. Promoting second-rate content will land your brand in trouble. Its reputation will take a hit and this will affect its sales.

The right tools help you maximize returns from your marketing efforts as you are able to take the right decisions, at the right time. You also make the best use of your time as these tools take care of some of the mundane, time consuming aspects of content marketing. This allows you to give more time to facets that will determine the success of your strategy.

Related: Don't Be a Content Marketing Dinosaur -- 5 Must-Haves to Stay Current