Content marketing is one of the hot topics in marketing today, for all the right reasons. Creating useful, fresh and new compelling content is the way to go not only to attract and retain new customers, but to engage Google as well. But it’s no cakewalk either. The whole process, from thinking of an idea, to executing and then promoting it can be arduous.
Getting people to listen to what you have to say, and be interested enough to even take a look at what you have to offer in terms of services or products is hard. This is where a good content marketing plan comes in. It’s all about how you tell your brand’s story.
In order to simplify this process, we’ve decided to put together a list of some tools that will ease up the process. So, without further ado, here are some of the tools you should be using for your content marketing plans. Note: To make things easier, I’ve divided them in different categories, according to their use and stage in the content creation process
To Look for Ideas:
- BuzzSumo: I had heard about this tool before, but never started using it until recently. BuzzSumo is a great tool to find what is the most shared content online. By doing a quick search of a keyword or relevant topic, you can find out what article or piece of information was the most shared, broken down by social media stats. Knowing what kind of content people shared the most will give you an idea for what to write about.
- Alltop: Like the name suggests, Alltop will show you the best stories from a number of different sources, organized by categories such as tech, sports and work. Clicking on a category will lead you to a page with many websites and a list of their latest blog posts. In order words, a great place to look for ‘idea’ inspiration.
- Feedly: Ever had that feeling where you have tons of articles or websites bookmarked you’d like to read or revisit later? Feedly brings together your favorites websites in a dashboard. You can thus read your favorite content all in one single place, without having to switch.
- Twitter: Believe it or not, I had to put Twitter on the list. Just the way the site is set up makes it a perfect way to search for new topics. Hashtags provide for a great search tool to see what people are saying about specific topics. Knowing what is being said is relevant to your content plans because it will allow you to make a connection with your customers. The same thing can be said about trending topics.
To Create Content:
- Contently: Businesses can connect with experienced freelance writers here and hire them for their brand’s storytelling needs. At first I was a little weary about putting this tool, but a little competition don’t hurt Plus, freelance writers in no way substitute content marketers.
- Visual.ly: Whether you are a user or a viewer of Visual.ly, it is a great place to browse for ideas and get inspired for your next move on the visual marketing realm. At Visual.ly, you can create visuals of your own, such as infographics, videos and presentations to include in your content.
- Storify: While I have not tried this tool out yet, I still had to include it because of the features it offers. What makes Storify so cool is that by collecting pieces of content from a topic mentioned on social media, such as images from Instagram or videos from Youtube, users can create a visually-rich story.
- Infogr.am: This is another tool to make infographics and other types of charts. Infographics can be interactive, and easily posted on your blog post or on your brand’s social media accounts. One cool feature about this tool is that it is responsive. This is perfect for users working on a team collaboration project, in where users can edit the data.
To Distribute, Promote and Track:
- Google Analytics: While this tool goes beyond basic tracking, I had to include it because of its overwhelming presence. Google Analytics is probably the most notorious tool for monitoring and tracking out there.
- SlideShare: This tool is greatly underused in businesses content marketing plans. Users can share presentations and other forms of content (documents, infographics) in a more creative and visually appealing manner. See more: Why You Should be Using SlideShare in Your Content Marketing Plans
- Outbrain: Outbrain is content delivery platform in where users can place their content and share it with the world. Placing your content in a site like Outbrain will enhance your brand’s credibility as the site itself has gained that reputation.
- Social Media Dashboards: Using a social media dashboard is a great way to distribute your content. Not only is it more efficient than having to manually post yourself on each social network account, but offers great analytics and tracking tools. While I have already dedicated an entire post about social media management tools, the ones I’d recommend you check out are Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer.
- Promoted posts on Facebook: the quickest way to promote your content is to place an ad on Facebook. This is especially true with blog posts. We all know the power Facebook has and so posting there to increasing one’s reach and visibility would not be a bad idea. Promoted posts will appear on users newsfeeds.
So there you have it. Considering the number of tools out there, this list could be seen as short. In my defense, I didn’t want to swamp you with a list so long that you would not know where to start. If you would like to add another tool to the list, please leave a comment below!