A whopping 76 percent of marketers plan to increase their content-marketing budgets in 2016, according to Curata. Really, though, this growth isn’t that surprising, given that most companies realize content marketing is a key strategy for building relationships and creating customers.
That influx of cash will only do so much if you don’t have the right tools. Here are a few great options you can use to drive every stage of your content-marketing machine in 2016:
Defining needs and strategy
The tools you need for developing your strategy come largely from the collaboration space. Any of the following options will help you work with your team to define what content needs you have, what strategy you’ll use and who is responsible for what.
This project-management tool makes it easier to be organized in your approach and collaborate with clients, vendors and stakeholders. Basically, ProofHub gives you a platform to assign tasks, determine time tables and stay on budget.
Kapost is a content-marketing platform that helps you manage your editorial and content-creation process. With this tool, your team can brainstorm ideas, organize writing assignments, run content production and analyze results from within a single platform.
Marketing.ai allows you to build a content strategy using a central framework, and then work together as a team in the calendar to create and promote content, enabling you to easily align your strategic goals with your execution.
Content creation and curation
“Creating content” doesn’t just mean writing new blog posts. You can use your existing content and curate it to create something new to share, or you can create entirely new content from scratch. Here are the essential tools you need to do both:
Storify allows you to collect social-media mentions around a specific topic. By researching a given trend, event, industry or influencer, you can curate all of the best social-media mentions in one place and adapt them to create your own content.
5. Curata CCS
Curata CCS helps you to find, share and organize relevant content for your industry or brand, positioning your company as a thought leader while building your brand and customer base.
With Contently, you can connect with high-quality freelance writers in your desired industry who can create original content for your blog, website, social media and more. The program’s content-management dashboard is also worth a look for brands that want to keep everything in-house.
Sharing, promotion and community
Writing great content is essential to your content-marketing machine, but even great content doesn’t sell itself. You have to share and promote it if you want to build your business. Here are the tools you need:
7. Content Marketer
Word of mouth is powerful: 74 percent of consumers say that word of mouth is the top influencer in their purchasing decisions. As a result, having influencers share links to your content is a great way to build trust. I built Content Marketer to make it easier for people to connect with influencers to boost shares and increase traffic.
A popular social-media-management tool, Buffer allows you to share content with your social-media followers on multiple platforms throughout the day. Content can be scheduled in advance or posted in real time, helping you to balance the need for at-the-moment updates with hands-off management.
PixxFly allows you to automate the distribution and syndication of your content, saving your team time and money. The platform includes sharing of content, news releases, videos and other formats.
Narrow is a great tool for building your Twitter following. It helps you build a targeted audience of prospective customers to follow and engage with. The software leverages and utilizes keywords and hashtags to identify a relevant audience.
Analytics and measurement
You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and that’s truer now with content marketing than ever before. Simply sharing content and hoping for the best is cheating your brand. Instead, use these tools to measure what you share and focus on the most effective platforms and content types.
This tool uses predictive analytics to track the performance of topics and authors, capitalize on online trends, promote popular content and more. Parse.ly lets you know why audiences respond to your content so that you can publish more of it in the future.
This tool gives you a comprehensive understanding of your social-media channels. SumAll tracks all of your data in one place, making it easy to get a complete look at the success of your social-media campaigns.
13. Raven Tools
The capabilities of Raven Tools help you to take a comprehensive look at your results -- from website search-engine optimization to social media to pay-per-click ads -- and to benchmark your results against your competitors’. The company’s reports are easy to create and can be set to run automatically at regular intervals.
The entire content-marketing process can seem overwhelming, but designing a successful content-marketing machine is simply a question of having the right tools in place. With the tools listed above, your strategy and execution for 2016 will be ready in no time.
What other tools do you use in your content-marketing machine? Share your best recommendations in the comments section below.