So you finally created that epic piece of content, published it and after 1 week of anxious waiting, and somehow there are still no reactions to it. Before we go ahead and start believing that our content actually sucks, it’s worth taking a second look to really figure out what the problem is.
Personally, I have my own hunches on where we could be going wrong. Blogs are like this wonderful exotic island in the middle of the ocean that offers all the peace and tranquility anyone could ever wish for, however, the majority of burned out people who really are looking for this peace and quiet can’t reach it.
Yes, occasionally you might get the odd castaways and adventurers who mysteriously find this amazing paradise and make it their home; however, the thousands of tourists you were hoping for are nowhere to be seen. And you ask yourself, why?
Content marketing and promotion is quite the same. In fact, it’s shocking, but not all the pro bloggers you see out their can really write epic content. Well, they can write, however, what they really excel at is getting their content delivered to the right people – the people that really need it. This is what we are going to be talking about today.
If you have had trouble in the past getting people to read your stuff, you would want to put everything down, turn off your phone, close Facebook, YouTube and Twitter tabs and pay close attention to what I will be sharing with you – I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed. These are a few of the content marketing promotion tools I think every marketer should have and use.
The first group of tools we will look at are the most important and form the bedrock of your promo strategy. This group of tools is fundamental to your success.
I consider social media to be the last frontier in online marketing and with multiple platforms where you can promote your content like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and others, it can be a pain to manage not only your personal accounts, but also brand accounts. Hootsuite makes the process a whole lot easier. With numerous features that will help you sort your data and switch between accounts, it is one of the tools you must have in your content marketing arsenal.
2. Optin Skin
A web form can be extremely powerful if used right. And yes, it might be cliché, but the money is still definitely in the list. This tool allows you to add an optin box to your email list at the bottom of every blog post. Studies have shown that the sidebar optin box is mostly ignored and by placing your box at the end of every post, you stand a higher chance of having people subscribe to your list. Moreover, this tool allows you to know the stats on all your posts i.e. which ones are converting the most, how many sign ups are they getting and ways to improve your split- testing. Optin skin really provides a great way to capture leads that you can later promote your content to.
Here is a good example of using an email opt in at the end of a blog post:
If you are looking to build a wonderful community around your blog, this is one tool you definitely should have. Disqus will help you improve discussions on your blog by allowing you and other readers to up-vote and down-vote comments, thread comment discussions and know who the recurring top commenters on your blog are. What’s really sweet is that everything is done in real time! You can even show related articles at the bottom of the post with this tool. This is definitely one of the good tools out there to help increase engagement on your blog.
Contrary to what many people believe, guest posting is not dead – for SEO it might be, but for branding and driving traffic it still works. This tool allows you to reach new audiences and build your brand by guest posting on other blogs in your niche. In return, you receive a healthy does of traffic to your blog. It’s pretty simple. All you have to do is join the community (which is free by the way) and search for bloggers who are looking for content, write it and wait for the traffic to start streaming in.
The next sets of tools are the creative tools. Let’s face it; the days of churning out low quality content for traffic are over. We have got to be more creative. Here are some of the tools that can help you with that.
If you are looking for a way to get opinions and capture reactions of your audience in real time, Storify is probably one of the best ways to do it. This tool will help you explain a point with third-party content pulled from news streams. This is one great way to engage your readers and keep them hooked to your content.
This tool will allow you to combine your content with other relevant content on the web to create high quality work that will engage your audience in a fresh and dynamic way. With Trap!t, you can create some of the most captivating content on any topic and publish it to email, social networks and applications in real-time or as scheduled updates by using the sleek, simple interface.
(Hover over the image to experience ThingLink…pretty cool huh?)
You can now bring you pictures to life with ThingLink. Gone are the days of uploading royalty free clipart to your content. You can now make your images interactive by adding text, video and music popups to create a compelling story that will leave your audience captivated! If that’s not enough, you can tag, comment and share your images with your friends as this tool allows you to create a channel with all your images.
Content promotion only works if you have great valuable stuff to promote. The bad news is that not everybody has the genius spark within them to create such content. The good news is that this tool will do half the work for you. InboxQ will help you find questions people are asking on Twitter based on the keywords you have used to create a campaign. Whenever people type in questions with any of your keywords, you will receive an update and if it is something you know your audience will like, you can brainstorm killer topics on it and create content based on the questions. This is definitely a cool tool to have especially with the unpredictability of the dreaded writer’s block looming around.
Other than just creating and promoting content, you will need tools that will help you put everything together. The next set of tools will deal with the management and monitoring aspect of your content promotion.
In order to have an effective content promotion campaign, you need to keep track of things. If you are looking to keep track of interesting content for future blog posts, you need to check out this tool. Diigo allows you to highlight and keep interesting content stored in a central place for easy referral later on. It also has an awesome feature that allows you to embed notes to your saved content. This tool also supports mobile devices like the iPhone, Android and iPad tablets.
For bloggers who have a team of writers who usually contribute to their blog and are looking for an easy way to manage all the tasks that include content creation and promotion, this tool will help them. Trello is more than a task manager. In fact by its own definition, it can be whatever you want it to be! A day planner, a task manager or a community bulletin, anything! It is free to use which makes it even better. Try it out for yourself and see if it’s all it has been made out to be.
The next set of outreach tools will help you gauge just how well your brand is performing.
Do you really want to know how good your brand is doing? Well, Socialmention is what you need. What this tool will do for you is aggregate content generated on the web and display it for you in a single stream of information. However, it does more than just display information. Its innovative features allow you to know the strength of your brand in social media circles i.e. the likelihood of your brand being discussed in social media, find out the ratio of positive to negative mentions your brand is receiving and help you calculate the likelihood of individuals talking about your brand and find out if they will continue to do so or not.
Here is what Socialmention gives you when you search “Nicki Minaj” her Billboard Music Awards lap dance on Lil’ Wayne.
Not too many people consider Google+ a great way to reach out to new markets or get traffic, however, in my opinion it remains a gold mine for any serious content marketer. Consider this; Google+ is now the second largest social network site in terms of active users after Facebook. Many more people are turning to this social networking site to get themselves heard and you should too. With 343 million active users, it could prove to be a valuable market and source of traffic for you.
Pro tip: Because of Google Search Plus Your World, get into as many Google+ circles as you can because this will give the content that you share on Google+ better chances to show up in influencer SERPs.
Followerwonk is a powerful tool that will help you connect with people in a specific niche on Twitter. This analytical/social media marketing tool will help you explore and grow your social graph faster while allowing you to keep the analytical aspects of your campaigns clear and easy to understand. Followerwonk will help you find the right followers, sort them into different subcategories and analyze them to help you create compelling campaigns that will allow you to get your message across effectively. You can even compare your social graphs to your competitors or industry leaders and much more
This is definitely one of the most important tools every marketer should have in his blogging arsenal. Buzzstream will allow you to promote your products, service and content on the internet by helping you create buzz around your content and build links to them at the same time. The link marker feature will help you filter through any blog to find contact and other helpful information that you might need to create effective campaigns.
If there is a general market you are trying to reach, this tool will help you do it. With a number of categories and sub categories to choose from such as “health bloggers”, “sports bloggers” etc, this tool will help you search and find similar bloggers you would like to reach out to within your niche.
So you would rather have people do the work for you. Not bad. If you are more of a results oriented person and don’t like the hustle of writing, promoting and analyzing your stats, there are a few tools and services you can consider.
Consider this your one stop shop when it comes to content promotion. Contently will not only help you with your content creation, they will go one step further and identify the best promotion strategy for your business or brand. With innovative features for brands and individuals alike. Contently and its partner sites also offer tons of free information that you can use to build your business. Their division The Content Strategist is a great help for bloggers.
For those who outsource writing and would like to know that the work they are paying for is 100% unique, you should consider getting this tool. This is one of the most accurate ways to check for plagiarism online and the best part about it is that it’s free to use!
The hustles of content outsourcing are many indeed. If it’s not plagiarism, it’s poor grammar and sentence structure. Now, you can check to see if the content you receive from your writers is grammatically correct. Grammarly will allow to check over 250 points of grammar and correct up to 10 times as many mistakes than the most popular word processors. Spend less time proofreading and more time doing what matters most – promoting your content. No one wants to be the grammar nazi but sometimes it’s necessary.
With the right tools, creating quality content should not be too much of a problem. These last two tools will absolutely take your content promotion to the next level.
In the blogosphere today, infographics are all the rage and to be honest, I kind of like them too. However, like most people, I assumed they cost hundreds of dollars to create so I was totally shocked when I found out that you could create your own infographics for FREE! Infogr.am will allow you to create visually appealing and highly engaging infographics on any topic. It’s easy to use and understand so you should have your infographic up very quickly provided you have all your information gathered.
Create visually appealing charts within minutes with this wonder tool. iCharts will help you: increase your brand appeal, engage site visitors, capture leads and measure marketing strategies effortlessly with its cutting edge features. For the features it offers, this tool should be a part of every bloggers arsenal.
There you have it, the 20 tools I personally believe every content marketer should have in 2013. Do you agree? I would love to hear what other tools you thought should have made it to the list. Leave you comments and views below.