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There’s no denying the value of content marketing for any business.
Whether you’re an e-commerce company, a SaaS startup or a brick-and-mortar business on a mission to establish your online presence and capture more leads, content marketing can generate tangible impact for you.
Yet, at the same time, only 27% of marketers mention having an established tracking system for their content marketing. Even less people actually know the exact CAC (customer acquisition cost) for their content. And 70% of produced content is often left unused.
Granted, developing your first content marketing campaign can be overwhelming and time-consuming. But of course, there are some great tools out there to take off some of the pressure. I asked some veteran content marketers and entrepreneurs what content marketing tools they can’t live without. Here are 15 of them, grouped according to your needs.
Pre-Planning and Content Discovery
“DrumUp can serve a double-purpose. It shows you all trending content based on the keywords you provide from different websites and social media platforms, which you can use to brainstorm topics for your blog. And you can also use it to schedule and curate content on social media – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and build relationships with other publishers.” - Melinda Hakim, CEO of DoctorCPR.
“We use Quora to solve a variety of problems. First, that's where we find content ideas for our new blogs based on the common questions asked about our industry. Next, we use it to test our content assumptions and ask questions ourselves to discover the pain points of our clients. And finally, we occasionally promote our newly published pieces there within the replies to existing questions. In case of the latter, always add value prior to dropping your link.” – Alexandr Kraminsky, CEO of Prestige Barbers.
“This software may look a bit advanced, but in reality, it's very simple and efficient. Divvy allows you to create editorial calendars, collaborate on new pieces (handy if you have more than one contributor to your blog), assign tasks, track statuses and promote your new pieces efficiently afterwards - all through a single web interface.” - Robert Carter, CEO of Capital Office.
“Wondering what is hot in your niche and where all the buzz is coming from? Tap into TrendSpottr. This tool will help you discover the key industry trends, viral pieces and major niche influencers in real-time. It aggregates the data from different social media networks, notifies you about popular hashtags and rising topics. Use it to create timely content or newsjack.” - Anita Khurana, CEO of Vision Tech Camps.
“Venngage is a free-to-use, drag-and-drop infographics maker with loads of sleek templates, custom design elements, fonts, icons etc. We use it to create pretty much all the graphics for our blogs and social media. The response from our community has been overly positive and we’ve seen a drastic increase in social shares, especially from Pinterest.” - Louis Swingrover, CEO of 1031Gateway.
“If you’re struggling to create engaging content, try Atomic Reach. This tool will analyze your piece based on 20 different impact factors and rate it on a 0 to 100 scale. Based on the provided suggestions, you can tweak your copy further in the built-in editor. You can adjust the audience proficiency levels (from general public to specialists, academics, or even geniuses) and the tool will highlight whether the content is appropriate or not.” – Aric Shelko, CEO of Battery Clerk.
“Hemingway was the master of short powerful sentences and this app will teach you the same art. Writing for the web means that you have just a few seconds to trigger the reader's' attention. Long sentences won't do you any good in this case. The app will rate the readability of your copy, highlight too complicated structures, point out grammar mishaps, and other small errors. If your aim is to write more coherent and powerful copies, give this tool a try.” – Denis Holmes, CEO of Beachway.
“Apester is a great tool to experiment with digital storytelling and new types of content. You can use it to create personalized customer polls, quizzes, and interactive native advertising materials. After experimenting with a few new content types, our average time on site has increased by 34%.” - Brad Butler, CEO of Oakland Spine.
9. Lead Pages
“The goal of your content marketing is to generate leads. And of course, you should have a few dedicated landing and squeeze pages to capture those leads with higher efficiency. Lead Pages has plenty of attractive and high converting templates, which you can add to your website without calling the developers. Use it to entice more prospects to your email list and warm them up with great content before pushing a sale.” - Alex Perelmuter, CEO of New Jersey Videography.
10. Active Presenter
“How-to product videos ensure high conversion rates for a variety of industries. We’ve been using Active Presenter – a free screen-recording tool to create simple explainer videos both for our customer support library and for standalone video marketing content for YouTube. It’s feature-rich, allows tweaking both video and audio, and add annotations whenever needed. Creating a great video takes less than 20 minutes.” - Ines Cohron, CEO of Total Home.
11. IFTTT Recipes
“Monitoring all mentions, interacting on social media and scheduling your content for sharing can quickly eat up your entire day. That’s why we started using various IFTTT recipes to automate certain processes – from notifying people on Twitter about a recent mention in the post to sending quick “thanks” messages to folks, who have shared or content online.” - Bill Henry, CEO of Robinson And Henry.
“Traackr is a great platform to record, manage and track all your outreach and influencer marketing campaigns. Creating collaboration campaigns and measuring the results/ROI is very efficient through their interface. I also love the way you can keep all your contacts organized in one place and search for the best matches using different filters and metrics.” - John Quaif, CEO of Choice Financial Solutions.
“Zest is a great marketing community and Google Chrome browser add-on, where anyone can suggest new content for respective categories. Use it both for content discovery/inspiration and to promote your latest pieces (as long as they are stellar!).” - John Fitch, CEO of The Fitch Law Firm.
“BuzzStream drastically reduces the time for outreaching. This app suggests you how to personalize your outreach emails better, when it’s time to follow-up again and schedule email blasts. Additionally, BuzzStream automatically tracks your email and Twitter conversations with existing contacts and reminds to you to send relationship-building letters more often.” - Eric Ritter, CEO of Digital Neighbor.
“Having a viral StumbleUpon can result into massive exposure on other social networks, link mentions and even press coverage from top publishers. However, make sure you submit only your best and most relevant content to this network. That is interesting visual pieces, first-person stories, and listicles. A paid ad boost for your post can pay off lavishly as well.” - Tim Johnson, CEO of Ink Factory.