One of the biggest problems for businesses is that they have something to say, but not a voice loud enough to rise above the swarms of other businesses also trying to tell people their message. Here lies the need for content marketing which offers different tools to help your voice stand out from the crowd. A creative and original content strategy can be the key to connecting with your audience whilst also expanding your social footprint. This can range from the content you create to tools you use to publicise it.
The one thing you can’t top is creating imaginative and high quality content, consistently. If you want people to repeatedly return to you, you have to frequently supply material worth coming back for. There’s no point publishing an article onto your blog or website and then not putting anything out there again for the next few months. People will lose interest. It also helps to be unique and have a catchy headline. Any potential audience is going to be attracted to your headlines more than anything else and this is why ‘top tens’ and ‘the best…’ work so well. People aren’t always interested in trawling through reams of copy and are much more attracted to easy reads where quick comparisons can be made. With this in mind, here are some useful tools to help you in devising a content marketing strategy.
Infographics but don’t miss the obvious.
Since 2010, infographic search trends have gone up 800% which goes someway to explaining their popularity. For the lay audience out there, an infographic is a visual and usually colourful representation of usually quite complex data/information. Not only are they beneficial to the visual learners, but they really stand out in the congested market of content, tweets and status updates. The ease at which they can be scanned and shared makes infographics a really engaging medium with the potential to become viral. You can create them on websites such as infogr.am and visual.ly. The key mistake many people make here is just creating the graphic and then sending the JPEG out which often defeats the object of getting a link back. If you place your infographic on your own website and use an embed code so people can embed it on their sites this creates the link and you get a free link for all of your efforts too.
Social media management apps
Social media is arguably the most important tool for businesses when it comes to content marketing. However, it can become difficult to manage when you have so many accounts across various platforms. Hootsuite is one of the most popular management tools when it comes to social media and it allows firms to execute operations on the likes of Twitter and Facebook from one dashboard. You can schedule messages or status updates, track conversations and even analyse traffic all from one screen. There are other management tools out there such as TweetDeck, Bufferap and Tweepi, but Hootsuite has proven to be the most popular with free and paid versions available with many criticising Tweetdeck since it was bought out by Twitter.
Surprise, surprise but content is still key in this new world of digital PR so it’s important to be organised. A content calendar such as DivvyHQ or Kapost makes it easy to stay on top of your content and allows a business to plan and manage the production process for each of its articles. These online tools allows a host of calendars to be set up, categorised in a range of ways from client name to content type and enables the user to add article ideas and deadlines if necessary. If content publishing is your new marketing, then being organised is essential.
WordPress is the blogging weapon of choice
WordPress is the number one publishing tool out there on the social web and it provides a detailed and versatile platform to deliver content to a potential market. The blogger is king in the digital age and open source software such as WordPress means it’s never been easier to set up a blog or website for your business. WordPress has an intuitive design which makes it easy to create, design and modify posts and is incredibly easy to manage. It’s also created with SEO in mind and has many default features in place to help search engines find your page as well as making various plugins available to increase the search exposure of posts. The key to wordpress is these plugins – so many people just set up a blog with wordpress and post their content but if they actually sat down and went through the most useful apps like Akismet, related posts and many more like these.
If you’re going to be producing an abundance of content you’re going to want to know where your audience is actually coming from. Google Analytics creates comprehensive statistics about the amount of traffic going to a website and where this traffic is coming from, i.e. search engines, social media etc. It can also give you the make-up of your audiences with it using cookies to determine a visitor’s gender, age and interests. This is a powerful tool (IT’S FREE) which allows a business to determine exactly who to target and how. Another great benefit comes in your knowledge that through utilising analytics, you have a solid understanding of the wants and needs of your audience, allowing you to provide them with what they crave on a regular basis.
All good businesses understand the important of content when it comes to PR and social media marketing, and this list, albeit not exhaustive, highlights some of the key tools which can be used to make content marketing just that little bit easier.
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