The tools needed to run a successful content marketing campaign without hiring a team in 2016.
There are a number of ways businesses accidentally mess up their content marketing. Be it in the form of social media mishaps, posting too much content, or perhaps not having a well thought out process for capturing readers. There are also a great number of successes too.
Here's a list of things you need to get started.
This may be in the way of your own original content or in the common practice of re-posting other relevant content.
If you need content suggestions try: DrumUp. It's free and gives you access to a simple content feed in any niche that you can schedule to your social profiles.
Whatever your niche, the internet is your oyster. All your favorite blogs, and websites typically have RSS feeds which you can get content from and then import into a scheduling solution below. If all else fails, news websites like Google News also contain RSS feeds. So all you'll have to do is select your category.
Scheduling / Publishing
As social media has become almost a rite of passage in our modern lives, so have the many many services that enable us as business owners to use social media to our benefit.
In this particular case, I'm referring to the automation behind scheduling content which has become so pronounced that you can have a successful content strategy without ever writing a piece of text yourself. Find out more about this on the Snip.ly blog post I wrote titled, How To Set Up a Beautiful Content Strategy in 30 Minutes
Here is a collection of tools that are my personal favorites for managing my content strategy from the scheduling / publishing side.
Snip.ly | Freemium | Paid packages range from $29 -$149/month | automatically attach calls to action to any webpage or RSS feed that appears when the user clicks on that link. This allows you to share existing popular content but overlay with it your brand and your call to action (whatever that may be).
TwitterFeed | Free | a free service which takes an RSS feed then spreads that content across all your social profiles (Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn etc). Works well with the strategy described above & Snip.ly
Dlvr.it | $10/month | a similar content scheduling service as per above, but with a cleaner and simpler to use UI/UX. Dlvr.it works by creating 'routes' - the RSS feed where content is originating from and the social profiles it posts to at specified periods. At GuessBox we currently use Dlvr.it
Rumor has it that certain media companies like Upworthy, and Hubspot run many A/B tests on headlines for content they write before releasing it to the wider world.
I'm not suggesting you run 1000 different tests before picking a headline, however definitely dedicate focus to choosing a good headline before producing your next piece of content. In part because it's a lot easier to write when you have a headline to model off.
The best tool I've found for headline analysis (subject to cost and accessibility), is CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
Locating the Mavens in Your Niche
Malcolm Gladwell author of the bestselling book 'The Tipping Point' describes mavens as "information specialists", "people we rely upon to connect us with new information". These are the people who possess and share plentiful amounts of information.
These are the influencers.
Well, not exactly.
The word influencer I feel has been overused these days to the point where it has been reduced to mean, simply 'people with large social media followings'.
Don't get me wrong, getting the right influencer on your side can definitely help accelerate business growth. However, for a good content strategy, only influencers aren't the people to target.
You want to find mavens.
Those who have a genuine passion for the information they possess, and without prompt choose to share that information. Once you have found these people, you want to engage with them, examine the topics they write about and create a piece of content around that - email them with the content and let them know that you've read their previous share, and you were wondering if they could share a similar post by you.
Note: Don't forget to tweet at and include these people when publishing your posts :)
Here are some tools that will help you find influencers/mavens.
ElectoralHQ - | Free | Paid packags range from $14-$29 | - deifnitely a hidden gem. ElectoralHQ utilizes allows you to search through public twitter lists of any variety (i.e. London CEOs) for no cost. Once you have those twitter IDs, you can further export them into a spreadsheet for remarketing or even delve deeper and extract emails for lead generation purposes.
Buzzsumo | Free Pro Trial | Paid packages range from $99 - $999 | a comprehensive platform for finding top trending content, where it originated and the people who have been sharing it. Buzzsumo is great for finding specific influencers
SocialBro | Free Pro Trial | Paid packages start from $20 / month | I don't know how they do it, but the amount of data SocialBro has on the users of Twitter & Instagram is phenomenal. This allows people to get very specific in their searches filtering through advanced options like, last logged in, last time since tweet, ratio of engaged users to unengaged, keyword search, locations search & much much more.
Here's an example use case. Let's say you are looking to generate PR for your next product or blog post and you want to get some attention from the reporters/journalists in your niche.
- Research your content piece using one of the many tools available above.
- Craft your headline
- Compile of a list of reporters using ElectoralHQ or SocialBro
- Produce the content - keep it between 1000-2000 words or over 10,000. Keep the reader engaged by splitting up long paragraphs with images / graphics etc.
- Post it to your feeds, tagging the appropriate 'mavens' in your niche.
- Set up a direct message campaign to all reporters via social bro (there will be a percentage that will accept messages without actually being your friend on Twitter).
- Follow up with those reporters via email, the easiest way to find whether or not they have a publically listed email address is to export them via SocialBro into a google sheet. Use the search & replace function with 'regular expressions' enabled on the description column.
This will replace all the bio's / descriptions with only the emails (if they are contained within them).
If this sounds like a lot of work, rest assured that as with our other posts this is guide meant to be comprehensive enough so that readers can choose what parts to implement and what to parts leave out when running their own campaigns.