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Content Marketing tools for small business

Every content marketer knows that Content Marketing is creating and distributing valuable content. Every content marketer knows that it is so much more than just that. There is so much hard work that goes between creating content and putting it in front of your audience. This is why we need content marketing tools to put everything in perspective and to help us create personalised, intelligent content for our audience.

Content calendar

Planning content for an entire year or an entire month can be overwhelming. The number of outlines, drafts, designs and other content assets can overwhelm you and your team. Expert organisers recommend dividing tasks into manageable chunks. This allows you focus on one piece of content at a time and dedicate the creativity and attention that it requires. The sections in your content calendar will depend on the types of content you produce and the resource that you have. In general, it will include the what, who, when and where.

  • What - Title/Topic/Subject
  • Who - The person assigned to the content. This can be the writer, designer or editor.
  • When - Includes when every step of the content process is due and the posting date.
  • Where - The channels where you will be publishing a piece of content. Is this for your weekly blog? A LinkedIn post? A newsletter.

These four are the necessary information that you need to include. You can also include other information such as the type of content - blog, infographic, video - if you produce a multimedia type of content. Your content calendar needs to be tailor fitted to your content marketing strategy. It should not be a surprise if your content calendar evolves as your organization grows.

Here’s a peek at our content calendar:

Content promotion calendar

To produce a good piece of content is just the beginning. Before a blog or a podcast is even made, you should plan where it is going and how it is going to engage your audience in these channels. similar to your content calendar, your promotion calendar should also contain the title of the content, who is responsible for the promotion, the channels - your social media platforms or your website - it will be posted as well as the timing.

Writer’s and designer’s log

To run a content marketing strategy is hard work. Your team is your most valuable resource. Some might place this log into the content calendar. However, as your team and content assets grow, you will find that the need to create a separate sheet for writers and designers become evident. Starting a writer’s and designer's early will make it easier for you to manage your content marketing strategy. Among details that need to be included in these logs are: Project number, project name, Assigned writer/designer, Word count/number of hours worked/, and Payment owed (very important).

Social Media Management platform

Social media marketing is different from content marketing but these two overlap as much as they are side by side. Social media acts as the distribution and promotion channels for the content that you produce. Social media is very much involved in boosting your content. there are many social media platforms available. Among the most popular are Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. These platforms have their own strengths, choose what benefits your business the most.

Website Development platform

Don’t place all your content in someone else’s basket. Social Media platforms are good places to publish content. They are accessible to your audience and they are free. However, they are not yours. It has been said that if you are not paying for something, you are the product, not the owner. There are so many adverse possibilities that can happen to any social media platform. Remember Friendster?

Make sure your content is at a space that you own. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from social media. This means that the majority of your content should be in your own website where you have full control of its management and distribution. Use social media to engage with your audience and to point them into the direction of your content.

How to Plan a Website Development Project is a helpful guide for anyone who is starting out or giving their website that much needed makeover.

Design tools

Most of the time, when we talk about content, most would think about a blog. While a blog is one of the most common pieces of content that content marketers use, it's not the only type of content. A picture really does paint a thousand words. It’s not a cliche, it’s a classic.People pay attention to a multimedia type of content because they are attractive and most of the time, they evoke emotions. Anyone who has even one day of sales training knows that emotions play a big role in a customer’s buying decision.

Among the numerous tools available, when it comes to design Adobe products still leads the pack. Adobe tools help designers to create just about any type of multimedia content.

CRM

What is a CRM? The short answer is that a CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a software used to manage a business’ relationship with their customer. It includes company's website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. The specific goals for content marketing may differ for every company, but it is generally about educating customers, attract leads and generate sales. Your CRM system helps you manage your content strategy and accomplish your goals.

Email Marketing

One of the reasons why we do content marketing is that we are able to gather our own audience. It is different from advertising where you are ‘renting’ your audiences. Email marketing should be a part of your content marketing strategy. It is a vehicle for you to capture an audience and potential customers that are already interested in helpful information surrounding your products and services to begin with.

There are three requirements that your email marketing campaign needs to comply to:

  • Personalised message - Your message must be based on the profile of your customers. The content that you include should be in line with what they sign up for. for example, if they signed up for blogging tips, don't send them sponsored content on dog grooming. Although a lot of bloggers have dogs, that's not why they subscribed to you.
  • Attractive formats - Simple and attractive formats make it easier for you to organise content that you will be sending.
  • Clear call to action - Your opened your email and read your content. What do you want them to do next? Create a clear call to action that answers the question, “What now?’

Analytics

A common mistake in content marketing is to look at analytics after a strategy is put into place. The problem with this order is that you are taking steps and hoping for the best. It is true that content marketing, just like anything else, involves taking risks. However when you factor in analytics from the very start of your journey, you are empowered to take purposeful steps towards your goal.

Analytics is not only used to measure after a campaign has been run, it should also be a part of your strategy. Use analytics as a guide on what to look for and in establishing your action plan. Analytics in content marketing helps you identify these 3 things.

  • What is important to you? Your goals and objectives for running a campaign.
  • What is important to your audience? The type of content they respond to.
  • Your action plan. What type of content and how you will distribute them so they contribute to your goal.

Content curation

Content curation is the process of identifying content that your audience finds valuable and sharing it with them. Content curation helps you gain more exposure and aligns you with the most reliable sources in your niche.

There is so much content out there. What you have to do is to find the best ones to share. We recommend Buzzsumo, it lets you see the most shared and engaged with content on a certain keyword. Another thing that you need to do is create Twitter lists. This enables you to organise twitter handles by category and filter tweets coming from them.

Content curation best practices

  • Know who you are curating for. The first step in content curation is identifying your audience. What are their needs? What do they value?
  • Know who you should be sharing. The internet makes it easy for anyone to find content on every niche. However, not every piece of content is valuable to your audience. Identify the influencers and brands that produce reliable content and share frequently.
  • Be consistent. Content curation is a long term play. You are not viewed as a reliable source after a day or even after a week. What does it take for your audience to trust you and establish you as top-of-mind of your industry? Consistent, quality content.
  • Convey your message clearly. Curation is similar to producing your own content in that you have to deliver a clear message. It is easy to share every good content that you can find. This can distract from what you do and what your personal brand is about. The topics that you are curating should be consistent with your brand and message.

The number of content marketing tools available to you has expanded. Have you discovered a helpful content marketing tool lately? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

 

Angelica Manlunas

About Angelica Manlunas

Angelica lives off of coffee and pizza. She spends her time online tinkering on social media, watching short films and poetry slams. Her offline time is devoted to trips to the beach or spending lazy days indoors with a book in her hand. Also, she writes at least 1000 words every day. Email Angelica at angelica.manlunas@transeo.com.au and follow Angelica @ang_transeo.

 


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