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Power Blog

    essential tools for each stage of content marketing
    Grayson Lafrenz
    by Grayson Lafrenz |

    Essential Tools You Need for Each Stage of Content Marketing

    If you are serious about content marketing, then you need serious tools to make sure you are getting the best results possible. In this post, we're going to look at the essential tools you need throughout each stage of your content marketing.

    Content Research

    The first stage of content is content research. You need to know what resonates best with your target audience. One of the best ways to find this out is by looking at the content your competitors create.

    A great tool to help you find popular content on your competitor's website is BuzzSumo. You simply enter the URL of your competitor and it will show you the most popular content on that website from the past year.

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    This should give you some inspiration on what kind of content you need to create for your audience, as your competitors have proven it to be valuable to your target audience.

    From here, you should visit each of these pieces of content to learn more about how your competitors approached the topics. If you see room for improvement, or read comments from your target audience asking questions that are not answered in this piece of content, then improve that content.

    For example, you may notice that an article offers five pieces of advice for a specific topic. If you have more to offer, create an article with ten pieces of advice on that topic.

    Once you have published that piece of content, you come back to this tool and click the View Sharers button next to the content that inspired you. You will then have a list of people to reach out to that have already shown interest in your topic. You will either find people who are your potential customers, or people who will share your content with potential customers.

    Content Planning

    Next is content planning. Whether it's just you or a team of content writers, editors, and managers, you need something to keep you organized. CoSchedule will help you plan out your content marketing from start to finish.

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    In addition to assigning tasks and due dates from the first draft to when a piece of content goes live, you can also schedule the promotion of your content to your social channels and analyze the social reach of your content.

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    Effectively, you are getting an editorial calendar, project management, social media scheduling tool, and content analytics tool all in one, which makes it a great value for any size business.

    Content Development

    If you feel that the spelling and grammar checker built into Microsoft Word or your browser are not doing the job, you're probably right. Grammarly is an advanced tool you can use to make sure that your written content is edited properly.

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    You can set Grammarly to edit your content based on the content type or industry. It will even check content submitted by guest authors or freelancers for plagiarism across the web.

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    For businesses without an editor on staff, for writers who want to improve their content, or for editors that want to simplify their job, Grammarly is an essential tool.

    Content Promotion

    There are effectively hundreds of tools you can use to promote your content. A lot depends on whether you want a lot of your promotion to be automated or if you want the ability to customize your updates for specific channels.

    For those interested in automation of social shares, you can use your blog's RSS feed with IFTTT and Buffer . Buffer is a social sharing tool that allows you to create a schedule of times to post to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. IFTTT is a service that allows you to automate activities from platform to another.

    Once you have set up Buffer, set all of your accounts as default. Then go to the Email to Buffer page and grab your secret email.

    Next, grab your blog's RSS feed from your website. If you use WordPress, this will usually be yourwebsite.com/blog/feed.

    Then go to IFTTT and create a new recipe using RSS as the trigger and Gmail as the action. It should look something like this.

    What happens now is each time your RSS feed updates with a new post from your blog, it will be emailed to Buffer and scheduled to be shared on all of your social accounts. It's a set it and forget it system.

    You can do something similar to automate the promotion of your content to your email subscribers with RSS to email from GetResponse, or similar features from other email service providers. You simply take your RSS feed and set it to send a new email immediately when posts are published, or a digest email with your most recent articles on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

    If you have a large social media and email audience, both of these automations will help you drive traffic to your new content without any additional thought once it's published.

    Content Analytics

    Last, but not least, is content analytics. Many of the above-mentioned tools - BuzzSumo, CoSchedule, and Buffer - can help you get social sharing analytics for your content. Beyond this, you will want to rely on the Google Analytics. Behavior reports to measure the performance of your onsite content. Your All Pages report will show you breakdowns of traffic and visitor behavior per page.

    The Landing Pages report will show similar data, but will also include information about which pages generated the most conversions for your business. Both will help you determine which pieces of onsite content resonate best with your target audience and which pieces of content affect your bottom line.

    Wrapping It Up

    Your best bet is to choose the tools that will help you in multiple areas of your content marketing. For example, BuzzSumo helps with research and outreach, and CoSchedule helps you with planning, promotion, and analytics. Or find tools that automate processes to save you time, such as the IFTTT + Buffer configuration or the RSS to email feature from your email marketing provider.

    With the right tools, you can make sure that your content marketing is successful in helping your business accomplish its goals.

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