There is so much marketing technology out there, it’s easy to lose your mind thinking about it. Yet, it is worth your while to invest in something — not just because everyone else is doing it and you’ll be more “competitive” that way, but because it will free up time and make your past, present and future content much more efficient. Efficiency means a greater return on your investment and better rapport with your audience. Who doesn’t want that? Here are eight ways we help our clients use the latest technology to market smarter.
8 Ways Technology Can Improve Your Content Marketing
1. Find out what’s resonating with your ideal buyer.
In olden times, marketers lived and died by their Excel spreadsheets. Manually checking links and making notes about performance was a dull task for a marketing assistant. These days, advanced software like Raven Tools does all the compiling drudgery for you, so you need only review report data.
We recommend using this information to repurpose your most popular content and guide you in the selection of similar topics for the future. We often use our clients’ most popular topics to create email drip campaigns to further buyers down the sales funnel.
In plain English: your buyer gets the exact content he or she needs, every step of the way — from assessing need, to choosing products and providers, to selecting complementary purchases and learning to use purchased products.
Contrary to what some may say, keyword-guided content is not dead, nor will it ever be dead as long as search engines live. Keyword stuffing and nonsensical phrasing just to cram keywords into your article is a misguided practice, but there is still a place for structuring your content around certain keyword phrases.
As you know, SEO is an ever-evolving practice. You can’t just pick a group of keyword phrases once and forget about it. One of our favorite tools is HitTail, which lets you see all keyword phrases people use to reach your site, all the phrases buyers use to reach your site, and what similar, undiscovered phrases you could be using to connect with similar clientele.
3. Fill content gaps with exciting new ideas.
After a while, content topics can get stale. Imagine writing five posts a week, 52 weeks a year for a New York City podiatrist. When you do the math, that works out to 260 posts a year about FEET! How do you keep it fresh and exciting? Where can you find quality sources to link to in your articles? What content are others in the field writing about that have people talking?
Good old-fashioned keyword research is a solid start, of course, but it’s these newer content curation tools that will take your marketing to the next level. Tools like Buzzsumo, DrumUp, and Feedly are some of our favorite ways to find exciting new topics to write about, within a particular niche. Neil Patel lists 12 great competitor analysis tools (like SEMrush, SimilarWeb, and Compete) that will help you keep a pulse on what’s trending and put you on the leading edge of your industry.
4. Boost productivity with better content planning.
Having the right database is crucial for smoothing out content planning. It is VERY uncommon for a single writer to do all the content curation, writing, editing, scheduling, publishing and promoting solo. In most cases, an editorial board oversees topic assignments and final editing, while a team of writers and editors do the dirty work, and a team of marketers push out the new content via social channels and monitor progress. Basically… successful content marketing requires a lot of collaboration!
Since most teams no longer sit down for business meetings in the same room together, we recommend using a system that connects to email and phone systems for immediate feedback and planning capabilities. Some systems also connect to billing departments so you can see what has been invoiced and paid. Post items on your “to do” list, see what needs to be done at-a-glance, upload your work, and ask important questions all in one place.
We like using Basecamp, but there are so many systems out there. Wrike is a huge competitor many organizations are switching over to. You can also check out project management leaders like: Microsoft Project, JIRA, Asana, Targetprocess, Trello, LeanKit, Smartsheet, Mavenlink, Podio, and Workfront. Look at screenshots of the dashboards, run a few demos, see what works for you. (Or you can also consult with us about your needs and we’ll help you narrow down the field!)
5. Automate what you can and save time.
Certain content can be pushed out automatically to improve the results of your marketing. As we mentioned before, email drip campaigns are particularly effective in converting interested parties into happy, loyal buyers. Read this blog for more information on crafting personalized content for getting better returns from your email marketing.
Another method for automation involves social media publishing. We like to type out all our posts and schedule them at once to save time using a program like Sprout Social. The Buffer App is another popular tool social media marketers use. We also use Hatchbuck as all-in-one software to manage contacts, build online forms, run drip campaigns, segment audiences and nurture leads.
All your content should serve your overall goals and interests. If not, then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. As our ideal client becomes more apparent, we adjust with fresh web copy every year or two. Of course, this is a BIG project that costs a pretty investment. Given all the tools available, you can subtly tweak your content on a more regular basis.
Hotjar and SumoMe are great tools that analyze your website’s usability, providing visual feedback to show you where to improve your content. See what people are reading or what content makes them want to leave. We also A/B test client websites to see which calls to action and landing page copy attracts the most qualified buyers and converts.
Many clients come to us wondering why they have invested so much time and effort into their content — and yet, that content fails to convert into dollars. Half the time, the content needs a major overhaul with target market in mind and expert writers tweaking the tone to engage prospects.
The other half of the time, we find the content is solid, but the call-to-action is missing — usually because business owners don’t want to sound “salesy” or pushy. “People who come to our blog should know how to contact us because we have a ‘contacts’ tab,” they say.
This may be true, but there is nothing wrong with reminding prospects of your specific role in the solution to your problem. With tech companies, that is especially true because the features and roles of your offerings may not be as evident to the general public as you think.
We use Snip.ly to easily attach an attractive call-to-action to each piece of content created.
8. Make your content more visual.
Content is about more than words on a page. Modern audiences desire videos, infographics, captivating images, and interactive content. Some of our favorite visual content creation tools include:
Canva – to add visual effects and create stunning images for social sharing.
Animoto – to create professional slideshow style videos.
Fotolia (now part of Adobe Stock) – to get premium illustrations and stock photos.
Visme – to create infographics, call-to-action buttons, videos, charts, graphs, and interactive surveys.