As most business owners know at this point, content marketing has become an essential way to reach niche audiences, boost SEO rankings, and draw potential clients to your corner of the world–er, internet. And because content marketing has become so popular, there are thousands of tools out there that have been developed to help. You’ll find your own favourites of course, but these — for me — are the 12 life-saving tools that best keep my team and clients organized, scheduled, and successful. Hope they’re helpful!
1. Google Analytics
This is a no-brainer. Google Analytics is a powerful, free, online tool that gives great insight into your audience and web performance. You’ll learn intricate details from each web page on your site, ad campaign performance, and general tips to improve your ranking. If you’re new to content marketing, start here, observing for a month or two how your audience views and consumes the content you’ve got out there. You’ll gain immediate insights into what works, what doesn’t, and where your content opportunities lie.
Ever wonder how social media professionals always share the latest and greatest content? They’re not scrolling their screen hitting “post” every hour. They use scheduling apps like CoSchedule — and yet there are few scheduling apps quite like it. CoSchedule is a dream tool for consultancies like mine who work with larger organizations, requiring different people to review and approve content. It is, essentially, a giant plug-in to WordPress, too, enabling you to create and publish blog posts from within CoSchedule — and to create and organize all associated social throws, too. I’m truly a CoSchedule fangirl. Ask me about it and I’ll talk your ear off.
Asana is a project manager’s dream–and kind of great for those of us who aren’t project managers, too. Work with your team or in private, organize, assign and communicate about every task for every project, and never worry about forgetting details. You can add everything that needs to get done and tell folks when it’s due. Voila and hoorah!
One challenge of staying on top of your social media content marketing is integrating other expert sources and thought leaders into your strategy. It’s smart to share your own content, but it’s even smarter to incorporate the top dogs in your industry to show you know your niche. Feedly helps you quickly find the right content to share. Sift through backlogs of any blog you like, and get updates when fresh ones are posted. I arrange my Feedly according to client, too, so that I can very quickly see which content coming in is right for which account.
This one’s great for the on-the-go busy folks. The Pocket app essentially lets you store great content to read later, all in one pleasant-to-look-at app. It’s like a Kindle filled with anything you find interesting while browsing the internet. Articles, blogs, social media posts, listicles, the list goes on. Put it in your Pocket (yep, I said that) and save it for later.
This small, influential app is like your friend nudging you to explore something cool. SumoMe sets on the side of your site, encouraging visitors to interact at every touchpoint and share your creations anywhere they like. Turn your traffic into a loyal following.
You’ve likely heard of this one. And if you haven’t yet taken the leap, just try it out. There are lots of ’em out there, but MailChimp is a great place to start for businesses, and will probably be the only email marketing service you need, especially if you’re on a budget. Easy-to-design templates, e-commerce structures built-in, intuitive integrations with your other apps, and accurate analytics make it a key part of your content marketing strategy.
Powering 27% of the internet is a huge bragging right of this website builder and domain provider. WordPress is a popular choice among bloggers and content creators for its extensive customization and appealing aesthetic. It’s a premiere option if you’re exploring publishing platforms for your own content. I worked in Drupal for years, and can tell you that I won’t go back there.
I know, I’ve already recommended CoSchedule as a blog and social media publishing platform — but if you’re concerned about reporting, you might want to alternately, or additionally, consider SproutSocial. The reporting and analytics are well above its competitors, making it easier to understand how your posts are performing and what parts of your strategy need to change. I use it, along with Google Analytics, as my reporting mainstays.
And here’s yet another social media publishing tool. I use it for clients who do more social media curation than blog-based content marketing. Quite simply, Buffer is a social media scheduling app that takes the headache out of posting online. With options to scale up to your business size, it fits everyone’s needs. You can post to every social platform including Instagram, which is reason enough to jump on board. And I’d say the best feature of Buffer is their optimal posting time calculator that tells you the optimal time of day to post for the highest engagement based on past performance. It’s content marketing, simplified.
11. Creative Market
Looking for a visual boost for your brand? Visit the Creative Market, a lovely hub of creativity for graphics, photography, fonts, icons, templates, blog tips, design tips, and everything related to brand design. The presentation of your content is just as important as the content itself.
I’m actually not sure how I’d stay sane without LastPass. Just get it. Keep all your login passwords and key phrases safe and say goodbye to the headache of changing old passwords. LastPass manages everything for you with one master password. Every other login is as easy as the click of a button. Thank blerdy goodness.
Got your favourites? Let me know! I’d be happy to chat about integrating successful tools into your content marketing strategy.2