If you're a content marketer, chances are you've heard the tired phrase "Content is king." And though it may be worn out, it's still true: When it comes to inbound marketing, content is essential. That said, just because it's a necessity in marketing doesn't make it an immediately easy one to act on. But you know what does? Having a few weapons in your arsenal:
As a content marketer, discerning what your target audience is looking for is a must. To do this, consider using Google's Keyword Planner tool to narrow things down.
Say you're a marketer at a dog-washing company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You type in "dog-washing company in Tulsa, Oklahoma," and Keyword Planner provides suggestions like "groomers near me," "dog bath," "dry shampoo for dogs," and so on.
Note that every subject listed is related to your dog-washing company. This means you could be writing content on "The Correct Way to Give a Dog a Bath" or "Top 3 Dry Shampoo Brands for Dogs."
This is an easy way to get a heads up on the questions your target audience is asking and the keywords they're using to search for answers to those questions — which gives your company the chance to provide them the answers.
Google Keyword Planner doesn't cost anything, but you do have to have an AdWords account. The good news is that signing up for AdWords is also free.
Spike emerged in 2011 with a mission to "discover and understand the most interesting stories in the world." The company uses its technology to track how people engage with stories across social networks, which provides insight into what people care about, as well as a deep understanding of what has proven historically engaging.
In other words, the company strives to track what's viral before that content goes viral. That's the promise of Spike. It offers a free trial, but you have to pay for the full service.
Think of all those times you open up your favorite word processor and stare at a blinking cursor on the white screen of death. Horror of horrors: You can't think of anything to satisfy your audience's need for content.
That's when HubSpot's blog ideas generator steps in. Just type three nouns into the appropriate fields, and voila! The tool spits out a week's worth of titles you can cut up, rearrange, and match to fit your blog perfectly.
For example, using the nouns from our hypothetical dog-washing company, I plugged in "dog," "washer," and "Tulsa." I got the following titles:
Don't worry that most of these are nonsense. You're a smart human being — take the format of these titles and insert your own nouns in the right spots. It should get your creative juices flowing.
Oh, and the HubSpot tool is free as well.
Some writers are too wordy. If that's you, there's a desktop app named, appropriately enough, "Hemingway App."
You can write within the app or paste in previously written text and then edit. To improve your writing, the app highlights any use of passive voice, verbose adverbs, or dull words. By using the app, you can (as the app's website suggests) "cut the dead weight from your writing."
It comes with an affordable $19.99 price tag for both Macs and PCs.
As an article in Adweek points out, "Social media audiences are willing to engage with brands, but when it comes to decisions about what to buy, they place more trust in the word of their friends, family, and other social media connections."
They also listen to celebrities, influencers, or those they consider experts in a field, which is why practices like influencer marketing are so widely used. That's where Kred comes in.
Kred measures the influence of social media users. It then allows marketers to connect with those individuals to create partnerships. This helps grow your community and your own influence by leveraging those individuals' networks.
Kred offers a free 30-day trial. After that, it costs $19 a year.
Bottom line: Regularly creating and producing content doesn't have to be difficult or something you handle alone — not with so many tools at your disposal. Test them out today, and see what works for your content.
Will Blesch is the founder and CEO of Breakthrough Business Branding, a first-class luxury marketing agency & strategic consultancy that focuses on helping premium and luxury brands dominate their space.