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STRYDE | 10 Must Have Tools For Content Marketers

10 Must Have Tools For Content Marketers

By | Content Marketing | One Comment

Do you consider yourself a content marketer? If you answered yes, then you better live and breathe content every day.

The marketing mindset continues to develop and change over time, and one of those more recent changes is its focus being on content. Content marketing is all the rage, and I’m not just saying that because it’s what we do. Several other marketers agree with us, with 90% of marketers using content marketing and 72% creating more content than they were a year ago.

While the stats prove marketers find content marketing an extremely important part of their overall marketing strategy, only 34% of marketers think they’re effective with their content marketing efforts. That number is way too low.

So what can we as marketers do to get that percentage up? First, we need to have confidence in our abilities and ourselves. Next, we need to have a plan in place. And lastly, we need to be using the right content marketing tools to create and get our voices and our brand’s content and storytelling out there!

This isn’t a comprehensive list (or a list ordered by importance), but it’s a list of must-have content marketing tools to help you start becoming and feeling more effective with your content marketing efforts.

  1. WordPress

WordPress is great web software used to create blogs and websites. It first started as just a blogging system but has since grown into a content management system. It allows you to create your own custom theme, add plugins, publish your content (words, images, videos), control comments made on your blog and so much more. WordPress must be an awesome tool since more than 60 million people use it, including us.

  1. Curata

With Curata, you get a tool that does a number of useful things for you. The most common way it’s used is as a content curation tool, where you can easily discover, arrange and share content that’s relevant to your brand and audience to better position yourself as a thought leader within your industry, among other things. Curata is also a good content collaboration and organization tool.

  1. Steptap

Steptap is a relatively new platform for businesses and marketers to leverage for their content initiatives. A Steptap is created to teach your prospects and your customers how to create something, build something, do something, or fix something. With a premium account (which we highly recommend) you can even get some pretty decent SEO value out of your efforts and drive traffic and sales.

  1. Visual.ly

We all know visual content grabs and keeps a reader’s attention, and with visual.ly you can create all kinds of captivating visuals for your audience. Aesthetically pleasing infographics, videos, presentations, engaging web experiences and micro-content are what you can expect from this content marketing tool. 

  1. Qzzr

Virtual quizzes are on the rise. Why? To put it simply — because quizzes are all about the person taking them. Plus they’re fun and engaging. Qzzr, another tool we use, lets you create these types of quizzes for your site or blog, and its design includes social sharing buttons so quiz takers can immediately share their results with their friends and followers, which usually leads to more people taking your quiz.

  1. SlideShare

Keeping with the visual theme we have going here, SlideShare is a tool used for uploading and sharing interesting, informative slide presentations. It also provides insight into who sees your presentations.

  1. Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is going to be a lifesaver for anyone involved with social media accounts for your brand and/or your clients (just ask our social gal). Through Hootsuite you’re able to manage several social media accounts, schedule messages and tweets to be sent out through each account, track any brand mentions and examine social media traffic.

  1. Buzzstream

Buzzstream is a content promotion tool, under the earned media category. It gives you a multitude of services to assist you with link building. Through this platform you can find influencers within your niche that might be willing to share your content, while also organizing and monitoring your outreach efforts.

  1. Outbrain

Another tool worthy of having is Outbrain. This tool falls under paid media. It’s a content discovery tool that exposes and recommends your content to people reading other quality publishers. Outbrain also offers readers a more personalized reader experience.

  1. Google Analytics

Last but not least on this list is a way to track your site analytics. We’ve found that Google Analytics is a useful monitoring tool because with it we can measure conversion rates, evaluate the impact social media and mobile have on our site’s traffic and customize reports for our company and our clients.

What content marketing tools do you currently use that you couldn’t live without? Tell us what works for you in the comments below!

STRYDE | Information Overload & How Brands Can Cut Through The Clutter

Information Overload & How Brands Can Cut Through The Clutter

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

A new year is upon us, yet many of the same challenges we all faced in 2014 are still in our paths. The days of too little data and too few competitive insights are long gone, and now we continue to be inundated with thousands of pieces of information every day.

Your brand and your company must learn how to sift through the abundance of information in order to be successful. As of now, you simply have far too much information and cannot take actionable steps towards actually utilizing it in a proactive manner.

What’s even more frightening is that many brands seem to blissfully unaware of this issue. The 2014 CMO Survey indicated a 3.8% spending increase on marketing research and intelligence. Yet, only 33% of marketing initiatives utilize this data to make decisions.

Effective Curation & Intelligence Is The Answer

When it comes to content marketing, it’s no secret that content curation creates thought leadership, but that’s not all it provides you and your brand. In order to manage the outpouring of information and once and for all cut through the content clutter, your firm must become experts in curation.

There are four steps to prevent this information overload from occurring in your business. The steps are clearly identifying your brand objectives, narrowing your focus on information that supports those objectives, fostering a collaborative environment, and communicating your own insights.

Clearly Identify Brand Objectives

Determining clear and measurable objectives is the first and arguably most critical step in cutting through the information clutter. What do you want your brand to achieve? Will you focus on traits of your company’s personality or more on specific core competencies?

After you and your team have done some introspection, it’s time to determine what success in those objectives looks like. These successes should be quantifiable, like number of leads, new clients, or overall market share, just to name a few.

Always remember to stay realistic and honest with your brand and its current position in the market place. Are your objectives realistically obtainable? Make sure you aren’t setting yourself up against insurmountable odds before you get too far into the process.

Narrow Your Scope

Once you have clearly identified your brand objectives, it’s time to get laser-focused. Content that does not support your business objectives should be quickly dismissed. This is the only way to sift through thousands of possible pieces in a manner that is timely, while still ensuring you’re not overlooking anything.

Be protective of your brand. If you doubt the efficacy of a piece of content in supporting your brand objectives, listen to those doubts! If you or your team cannot see relevant intelligence that supports your brand objectives, curating these pieces only proves to damage what you’re trying to accomplish.

Foster Collaboration

As with most things in business, collaboration among your team is crucial. Your team should not just have to participate in your curation efforts, they should want to. The best way to accomplish this is with an easy-to-use, intuitive tool.

Team members should be able to survey information from a variety of platforms and sources that they deem relevant. Then, they should be able to communicate why specific content is important, and begin a conversation about it with other team members. Carrying out this collaboration should be highly intuitive and work seamlessly.

At the end of the day, the team that collaborates will provide the best insights and highest value to the brand objectives that they have set to achieve.

Communicate Your Insights

Not only should the collaboration within your team be streamlined, communication of your insights with your audience should also be seamless. Your audience needs to know exactly why you deemed this piece of content worthy, and be able to see that value with their own eyes.

The platform in which you communicate your curated content is entirely dictated by your audience. How do they prefer to be reached? Typically, methods of distribution include your brands social profiles, email communications, and blog posts. But, you don’t need to limit your communications to those avenues. Exploring new methods may give you a competitive advantage on a new channel.

The ability of your firm to transform the information you collect into relevant intelligence is no easy feat. Always remember that good insight includes why a piece of content is relevant, the next steps to take from the relevant information, and how the relevant information impacts the business.

Cutting through the clutter in curation really boils down to a matter of storytelling. The content you curate should be used as supportive evidence across your social channels, newsletters, and even reports and presentations. Is there cohesion among curated information and your brand, which is then communicated in an effective manner to the intended audience?

5 Lesser-Known Content Discovery Tools

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

When you’re spending a good portion of your day searching for show-stopping content, staring at countless RSS feeds gets really old. Sometimes, for your sanity, it’s imperative to step away from Feedly and spend time on other content discovery tools (maybe I’m speaking too much from personal experience here). Regardless, we thought it would be useful to round up 5 alternative content discovery tools and tried each one out so you don’t have to! They’re listed in order of likelihood of us utilizing them in the future.

Buzzsumo

What Buzzsumo Says:

BuzzSumo offers social insights for content marketers and SEO agencies. We help you identify content and outreach opportunities.”

From a User’s Perspective:

buzzsumo top content

Out of all these wonderful content discovery tools, Buzzsumo is my personal favorite. After about 5 minutes of poking around the application, I had to bookmark it. I think what makes it so great is it’s all encompassing features. Users can filter results by media type and even filter further by date. The sorting options are also plentiful: from total shares to shares on a specific social platform. Users are also able to see who else has shared the content and are just 3 clicks away from sharing it to their own social profiles.

buzzsumo influencers

 

The Influencers tab is what put me over the moon about Buzzsumo. Just look at all of the rich information it provides on one simple search! The sort options here are also incredibly useful for whatever your specific query entails. Buzzsumo doesn’t just stop at creating amazing web applications, it forays into research as well. Last month, it’s analysis on over 100 million articles and what makes content go viral was featured on Inc. in the article 5 Proven Ways to Make Your Content Irresistibly Shareable.

Flipboard

What Flipboard says:

It’s a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. Add your favorite social networks, publications and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people closest to you.”

From a User’s Perspective:

flipboard home

Flipboard is very aesthetically pleasing and intuitive. Which makes it a great tool if you’re aiming to curate images or photos. It’s useful for seeing what content is ‘popular’ instead of just an RSS feed. As a complete application, it has a decidedly different feel than other web-based applications.

flipboard discover tab

However, if you’re looking for a greater volume of consumable content, it’s not quite as conducive. But, the discovery tab is fun and reminiscent of Pinterest’s layout. That’s a bonus if your already familiar with navigating Pinterest.

iFlow

What iFlow says:

iFlow is all about delivering the content that matters to you right now, rather than just following the crowd. At the heart of iFlow are topic-based streams called flows that allow you to stay connected with the topics you care about on an ongoing basis.”

From a User’s Perspective:

iflow dashboardThere’s several useful features of iFlow. Users can completely customize their “flows” to see only the subjects they choose, tailored around their interests or expertise. It isn’t nearly as intuitive or physically appealing as Flipboard, but it allows for much greater customization and filtering options.

collections

Setting up your own flows takes a bit of time and to remedy this iFlow has it’s own “Discover Flows” page. Here, you can subscribe to any and all of your interests to see relevant content at your leisure. It’s also completely synced with your own social media account (either Facebook or Twitter) and allows you to interact with your connections on both platforms through iFlow’s site.

ContentGems

What ContentGems Says:

The current process for content marketing is tedious and involves cobbling together multiple tools and manual activities. Our main goal at ContentGems is to reduce the friction involved in content marketing so that marketers and companies can focus their efforts on creating and curating valuable content for their prospects and customers.”

From a User’s Perspective:

contentgems dashboard

ContentGems offers a limited offering for it’s free use. In this free version, users can only have two interests monitored. However, the Pro and Business versions are not terribly expensive and give a wider variety of options for tracking and RSS feed integration.

sources contentgems

I like that ContentGems sends you daily content suggestions via email in addition to Twitter home timeline integration. It’s also useful that ContentGems goes beyond RSS feeds by allowing users to filter interests by popularity or relevancy.

Dizkover

What Dizkover Says:

Dizkover is your social Content Curation and Content Discovery platform. Users posts original content or anything from the web. Other members can vote, link related information, or leave comments about the content. Related information and opinions can be voted up or down. This way, users can easily discover interesting content.”

From a User’s Perspective:

dizkover business

 

There are extremely varied users of Dizkover’s content curation and discovery platform. Which means that until you find the safety of your desired channel, you get inundated with irrelevant content. What sets Dizkover apart from other content discovery tools is that users can post their original content in addition to anything on the web. So,  your original content becomes treated just like anything else on the web and can be up-voted, similar to Reddit, to gain higher rankings in popularity. Using Dizkover, you can sort content by popularity, the number of comments, and date.

That concludes this list! What are some of your go-to’s for interesting content?