According to a report from The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, companies are increasing their budgets and dedicating employee resources to managing the production of blogs, ebooks, and microsites. Not to mention, freelance bloggers in New York are earning well into the six figures.
Content is powerful for building customer relationships, generating leads, and re-engaging audiences. Blogs, videos, and microsites have made push marketing a thing of the past. Why? Because, as Dell’s Executive Director of Marketing points out, consumers are 60% through their buying journeys by the time that they reach out to your company for more information.
Your customers are smart, savvy, and information-hungry. They’re using social media to become experts in your business and industry. Most importantly, they are a simple Google search away from your competitors.
Your company needs to do more than produce quality content. You need to do it quickly, efficiently, and at scale. That’s why smart programmers have created tools. Here are some favorites that can help you amplify your content marketing goals.
I. Ideastorming: Quora
Let’s start with the basics. Where do you go when you are looking for new content ideas? One of the first places I go is to is Quora, a question and answer engine for information-hungry people. Marketers can use Quora to: (1) see what their target customers are talking about, (2) see what their target customers are asking, and (3) answer their own questions. Let’s say you’re looking for more information about SEO tools, for example. You can simply plug it into the search function, and all of the top discussions around SEO tools will appear.
The next step is taking top questions and converting it into useful information. You can even use open Quora questions as a built-in audience to your blog post. Include your blog post as an answer on Quora — readers can click through to your site and read more.
Quora is a great platform for positioning yourself, your content, and your company as leaders in the industry.
II. Marketing and Promoting Content: Paid Channel Ads
There are a number of different ways to promote content. Tools like Google ads and Facebook ads are incredibly useful if you need extra help spreading the word about the awesome things your company does. In my own experience, both Google ads and Facebook ads have significantly increased our user base, and for us, this has mean increased sales. And, who doesn’t love more money?
But let’s focus on Facebook for a minute. If you’re an avid user of Facebook, like myself, then you’re familiar with “sponsored stories” that appear in your timeline, and the ads that appear in the space on the right-hand side of the mini feed.
Facebook is one of the best options for targeted advertising. Because users provide so many details about themselves, for example, their age, gender, location and interests, Facebook has extremely unique details about users, which provides advertising an incredible opportunity to reach their exact target market.
Take a look below. Here is how you set up your target audience.
Once you’ve decided your location, age, gender, and interests, Facebook will give you the approximate target audience. Pretty cool, right?
You can also choose to promote specific posts, if one piece of news is perhaps more important than others. Take a look at the image below. All you need to do is select the budget that you want for the post, and Facebook will boost this one specific story. Facebook will also tell you the estimated reach, based on how much you spend.
The best thing about Facebook ads is that they make it really simple to set goals, and it’s very easy to make small adjustments to your ad even after it’s already gone live.
III. Automating Your Marketing: HubSpot
If you are new to the world of marketing, then you need to know about marketing automation because your life is about to get much easier. Marketing automation is just like it sounds – it’s the ability to send automated (and highly personalized) content at the date and time of your choice.
The beautiful thing about marketing automation is that you can schedule messages when you know your audience is likely to be reading content. So, let’s say that weekends, or after 6pm on weekdays are high times. You might not work these hours normally, but it doesn’t mean your content shouldn’t.
There are a number of great tools to use, but one of my favorite automation tools is HubSpot. One of the most beneficial features of HubSpot is their Content Optimisation System. It integrates with every marketing channel, and it will adapt to each viewer’s unique context.
HubSpot’s content home enables you to have complete control over all of your content including landing pages, blogs, email marketing, social media, and any call to actions you may have.
HubSpot essentially helps you optimize in four areas: search, mobile, social, and subscriber options. The built-in SEO tools help identify exactly how your posts will rank, which is extremely important as you build your audience. Each of HubSpot’s blog templates are responsive, and this is exactly what you should be concerned about if many of your users read your content on mobile devices or tablets.
HubSpot helps you automatically publish new posts to your favorite social networks. You can choose an image from your post to be featured. Once you’ve automated your messages, HubSpot helps you track how each post is performing.
Basically, HubSpot helps you become a content marketing rockstar, without having to do too much work. Because the dashboard is extremely powerful, it will help you with all of your content needs. This is definitely a tool I can’t live without.
IV. Finding Influencers: Followerwonk
Content production is half the marketing equation. The other half? Distribution.
People are the heart of distribution. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing force that is amplified by industry influencers. Followerwonk is a tool that makes finding influencers easier.
Followerwonk helps you explore and grow your social graph. If you want to know who your followers are, where they are located, and what they tweet about, then this is a great tool to use. Plus, you can find and connect with influencers in your niche.
It’s a tool that truly exemplifies why marketing is about people and can help your company build person-to-person relationships at scale.
Final Thoughts: Get Creative
When it comes to marketing, your tools are only as good as your strategy. Think through what you want to accomplish, and reverse engineer your marketing ‘system’ based on your goals. Always strive to make your operations as efficient as possible.
You should also check out our post on marketing tools for ecommerce businesses.