The numbers are in and the results are clear: Content marketing works. Like, it really really works.
Yes Missy, it absolutely IS worth it. But don’t take it from me – check out these stats gathered by the Content Marketing Institute:
- Content marketing provides three times as many leads per dollar spent compared to paid search.
- More than 60 percent of American consumers have made purchases based on recommendations they read in blog posts.
- Adding regular blog content to a website results in 434 percent more search engine-indexed pages, compared to websites without blogs.
But to make content marketing truly work for your organization, you’ll need a few tools to help support the workload. No one wants to do everything manually, and there are some fantastic and incredibly valuable software platforms available today to help you kick your content marketing strategy into gear. Just for you, we’ve put together some of our top picks for content marketing tools – take a look:
Tools for mapping the buyer’s journey
Before you set off to write the ~best. blog. ever.~ you’ll need to get a better understanding of your audience and the ways they move through your site. Customer journey mapping is important, and there are a few top tools you can use to help streamline this process and get you to your customer insights faster:
- SugarCRM: We like this tool because it lets users track customers’ progression throughout their journey, and drill down into small journeys within the overarching customer lifecycle. It even provides certain automation functions to help you improve the customer experience your website offers.
- ExperienceFellow: This is a good tool because it allows users to not only map the customer experience but to analyze this experience based on individual products or services. It’s ease of use and collaborative stakeholder feedback features are definite pluses as well.
- Gliffy: This one is interesting as it can be used to diagram basically anything. Gliffy is a SaaS solution that’s very user- and collaboration-friendly. It can protect and track changes and is Google Drive integratable.
Tools for curating content
Curated content is a powerful way to make sure that your audience is picking up what you’re putting down. These content marketing tools give you an in-depth look into the kinds of questions your audience is asking and the types of content they’re looking for:
- Quora: Personally, I LOVE Quora. Now that the ability to answer your audience’s questions is so imperative, Quora is one of the best places to find out what your target personas are actually asking about. Simply search your keywords and find out what the people want to know – from there, you can create your own content to match your audience’s demands.
- BuzzSumo: This one is great because not only does it help you get a sense of what your audience is looking for, but it also shows metrics on how many times top content is shared and on what channels. BuzzSumo is a great resource for keeping up with trending topics and curating content to match.
Tools for building and managing campaigns
You’ll also need to make sure that your content aligns with your current marketing campaigns. Some tools that you can use to build and manage your campaigns include:
- Pardot: This one is an incredibly powerful platform for building and managing marketing campaigns, as well as a whole host of other key processes. Pardot provides features for channel management, event triggered actions, email marketing, lead management and multicampaign support. And because it’s cloud-based, it’s accessible to all of your authorized user stakeholders.
- Zoho Campaigns: This is another full-featured campaign management tool to enable the creation and tracking of your campaigns. Zoho also includes pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop editor for simple campaign creation.
Tools for posting blogs
This is one of the biggest and most important pieces of the puzzle to address. You’ll need a platform to create and publish to your website. There are quite a few content management systems on the market that can provide these capabilities, depending upon how you’d like to route users to your site. Some of our favorites include:
- WordPress: There’s a reason many people are familiar with this tool. Largely considered a standby, WordPress allows you to easily publish written content, as well as videos and images to your blog. Pre-made themes and templates streamline the process, and there are an array of plugins available to help you further customize your blog.
- Wix: This CMS includes easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality for creating blogs. It’s a web-based platform that also supports HTML5 and mobile-optimized sites, allowing your readers to view your posts from their smartphones or other mobile devices.
- Weebly: Here’s another name you may have already heard. Weebly’s simple CMS interface enables easy posting for blog content, images, videos and more. Users report being able to set up their sites and start posting in just minutes.
Tools for inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is an impactful strategy for ensuring that you can provide value for your current and potential customer without having to fight over the noise from the rest of the crowd. A few tools to help you achieve this include:
- SEMrush: This one’s a staple here at Brafton, and it has become an industry-leading content marketing tool. SEMrush provides capabilities for organic research, keyword optimization, link building, site auditing and more. This tool is great for inbound marketing but is also a veritable powerhouse for supporting overall SEO, content, social media and competitive research. Definitely worth a look.
- HubSpot: This tool was originally created with inbound marketing at its helm and has grown to include a whole host of impactful tools for content management, SEO, workflow management and more.
Tools for marketing automation
This is a particularly wide category of tools, including all types of software and applications that automate repetitive processes like sending out emails as part of campaigns, posting to the blog or social media and more. All kinds of platforms fit this bill, but here are some of the top tools for automating your most common marketing processes:
- Marketo: A well-known name in the marketing automation space, Marketo includes a robust suite of automation features for lead management, email marketing, customer base marketing and mobile marketing. Marketo users can also take advantage of the LaunchPoint marketplace, which provides access to an array of integration options.
- Customer.io: This is a great tool for those just starting out with marketing automation. Customer.io offers a simple user interface that’s surprisingly flexible, and as your experience and marketing automation maturity grow, you can customize and add to the platform’s capabilities. In addition, unlike other similar lightweight options, this tool supports event-triggered actions, a pretty big plus.
- ExactTarget: This tool is ideal for those in the B2C space. ExactTarget, recently acquired by Salesforce and brought into its Marketing Cloud, provides a range of automation capabilities for email, app notifications and more. And thanks to its multichannel automation support, you can be sure that you’re reaching out to customers in all the places they frequent.
Now that you’ve got all your tools in order, go forth with confidence and support your content marketing like a pro.
Did we leave anything off the list? What tools does your brand use to support its content marketing? Tell us below!