Content marketing needs well-described and consistently carried out strategy. Building one is a huge job. Thankfully, there are many useful tools for every part of creation, implementation, and analysis. Here are the most useful at the planning stage.
This articles will help you with deciding which tools use during making your content marketing work. Every strategy needs features that allow increasing its value. Below you will find our favourite ones. Many of them give us or our friends a help when doing business.
To make it clear, you will get 7 articles. The whole cycle is divided into main stages of content marketing strategy and individual content marketing activities. We use CMI apportionment. Strategy will be described in 7 general parts:
We have bad news for content marketing beginners – there is no universal strategy template. Every company needs to create it’s own. Here are just pillars which should be taken into account. But even two similar businesses can have completely different documents. It’s important to know the best practices and the common methodology.
Guessing that every strategist knows this Benjamin Franklin quote:
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!
Planning is essential. As a Content Marketer you have to do a little non-directly content marketing work here:
At the very beginning, you have to do a huge internal research. Read company business, sales and development strategies or reports. Meet with salespeople, B+R, product managers, customer services, and every team which helps you to understand your business, company goals, customers, future development plans, products, and services. These tools may help you:
1. Slack – easy, mobile friendly and intuitive instant messenger for group chatting, sharing files, and direct messages – ideal for every team, especially working remotely. Allows reaching out to every coworker when doing research.
2. Yammer – join to the list of tools that you need to know, understand how your company works from every team point of view.
3. Google Hangouts – a great tool from Google to communicate with colleagues through phone calls, video calls, or direct messages
4. Podio – a useful platform for project management – easy data sharing, chatting and discussing.
5. Join.me – a couple of features and our favourite one – instant screen sharing – make sure that everyone will be on the same page during calls.
Now, when to get to know theses communications tools you just can’t say that had troubles with reaching out to someone important in your organization.
Before start interviewing your sales, customer service and business development teams, make sure you understand their job. Here are common CRMs and marketing automation platforms. If you don’t have any sales or lead generation past try out demos. You will see key metrics and many useful data which will enrich your planning process.
These teams work directly with customers. Their knowledge may be used on every stage of your content marketing strategy.
Most popular CRMs:
6. Salesforce – one of the most completed CRM. Many companies use it to manage their sales processes. The useful knowledge base for every marketeer.
7. Pipedrive – another great CRM, beloved especially by small teams. Easy and intuitive in use.
8. Intercom – cool CRM that gives sales teams a chance to simplify communications with customers and prospects.
As a marketeer (or want to be) you are probably familiar with leading marketing automation platforms. If not check out these few below.
9. SALESmanago – comprehensive marketing automation platform with profitable features: behavioral profiling, multichannel one-to-one real-time marketing personalization, email marketing automation, and more.
10. HubSpot – perfect for lead nurturing, easy to manage and connect with other HubSpot software. User-friendly design is a strong asset here.
11. Marketo – marketing automation software which helps with building long-term relationships with customers, allows selecting the best prospects, and gives deepen insights thanks to the great measurement panel.
Now you are more familiar with sales, internal communications, and marketing automation tools. They all are very important when working on content marketing strategy. As well as business developing ideas. Make sure that you do your homework and get as much as it’s only possible from business strategy teams.
Business development is highly connected with lead generation and sales. Actually, it’s the first stage on which long-term sales plans are determined. Described features are often used by sales and marketing teams. Your job – building content marketing strategy – should have a huge influence on your company BD plans. Your teams have to work together. If not – it may be difficult to gain anything.
12. Unomy – ideal to looking for new business opportunities, prospects, and future sales. Gives deepen insights when building sales strategy.
13. Infusionsoft – a great, multi-faceted tool especially for small businesses. Complete software which allows planning your growth.
14. SmartDraw – a helpful tool to create all that kind of additional content when planning, building strategy and forecasting future sales.
Projects managers are often too mysterious to other professionals. With flexible duties, always in projects mindsets and working with different teams. No matter what it’s hardly possible to imagine any bigger company without them. They have a huge knowledge about your brand business and it’s worth to get in touch with them. Here are their favorite tools.
15. ConceptDraw – useful software for project managers, shows exactly what this job is about. Easy and intuitive – can be used by different teams.
16. Trello – a favorite tool of getting-things-done teams. Needful features especially for remotely working companies.
17. Freedcamp – free tool for any type of professionals – from freelancers, digital nomads, small team members to corporation workers.
After the short intro to the project management, let’s focus on customer services and common tools.
Customer supporters are on the front line. They know all problems and customer experiences the best. Reach out to them and understand what your audience need to know about your products/services. Take a look at the common tools.
18. LiveChat – a useful feature to chat with your website visitors. Allows building dialogue in a real time. Helpful not only in post sales support but also a strong purchase asset.
19. Freshdesk – multichannel software which allows supporting clients through email, phone, live chat, feedback widget, Facebook and Twitter channels, in-app support. Additionally, Freshdesk gives users a chance to create a self-support portal.
20. UserEcho – multitasking software. Intuitive and user-friendly for getting feedback, live chatting with website visitors, building the knowledge base and creating a helpdesk.
These tools (and similar ones) will help you with understanding your coworkers, company, and customers needs on many levels. Take your time and ask colleagues about details. People love to talk about their job when they feel that someone is interested.
Great content marketing fits well with company mission, values, and overall public relations. It’s very important to understand brand communications strategy, typical adversities, and challenges. In well-managed organizations, PR and content marketing teams collaborate effectively.
Now it’s time to spent a little time with your spokesmen and his team. Ask them to meet with your company PR agency also, if it’s possible. Check out this toolkit below.
21. Prowly – gives your brand useful features to do that PR job in a new way. Story creator allows creating meaningful stories for any device. Media pitch helps with gaining audience insights and meeting their needs. Brand Journal let you build one place to gathering all your brand communications.
22. Help A Reporter Out – it’s unusual platform and source of knowledge for the best journalists. Experts from your company can be a wellspring of information for important media. Great place to build a brand authority, promote your values, ideas, and solutions. Also, the best place to see trending topics and media interests.
23. Cision– a useful software to enrich your communications. PR software help with searching for right influencers, building awareness, sharing brand news, and tracking coverage across traditional and social media. Social software allows monitoring social media for important information. Global insights is an extra knowledge base. GR&PAC provides valuable communications with officials.
Described tools just show how many aspects you should take into account when getting to know your PR team job. Before the meeting check out your press room and latest publications about your company.
When you are familiar with your company teams, their tasks and the overall way of doing business, it’s time to get to know your competitors. You are probably aware that it’s time to use Google. Type your industry, products, keywords, look for lists of the best companies in your industry. Check out their websites, blogs, and social media channels. Do the research on Quora – how many of their stuff is active there, how popular they are, and in which threads they are interested in.
All that hard work written up above can be done effectively thanks to useful tools and software.
24. BuzzSumo – check out this screenshot below. Here are many filters which allow searching for the most important and needed content. You can decide if you want to look for topics or domains.
25. Epicbeat – smart alternatives to the previous one tool. Allowing to search for keyword (also 2 and multiple options), keyword in a site, exact phrase, by site, by the author, by hashtag, and by sharer. Look what happen when typing nytimes.com in the search bar.
Benchmark gives you a lot of knowledge about your industry and rivals. You can learn from the best practices and decide which way to choose. All that time-absorbing work will pay off when it comes to set up content marketing goals.
The final part of the planning stage is to decide what you want to gain in exchange of the strategy realization. There will be no tools suggested in this piece. All you need is your notebook or docs. Remember what have you learned during research, take into account your business objectives and market conditions. Set up a few goals. You all work during next stages should be done for those assumptions. Be sure that you will obey these rules below:
Wish you luck with all that work when planning a content marketing strategy. If you use any tool which in your opinion is essential on this stage – share it with us in the comment section.