Whether you’re just starting out in the content marketing game or you’re a seasoned professional, there’s a lot to learn about this ever-growing field -- and even more to learn about making it work for your business.
Different companies take different routes to find content marketing success, and thankfully, a number of great agencies and resources exist to help you find and execute the best strategy for your business.
Here are a few top resources for various points in your strategy development process:
1. Content creation.
Examples and resources: The Content Marketing Institute, led by Joe Pulizzi, is a monster hub of content resources showcasing what exceptional content looks like. Once you’ve gotten a good idea of what that content looks like, you can check out these companies to help you take your content creation efforts to the next level.
From company leaders: Influence & Co. is a marketing firm specializing in thought leadership content showcasing the expertise of key company leaders for executive branding and content marketing. Creating thought leadership content is the best way to leverage your expertise to influence your target audience.'
From journalists: Contently and NewsCred are two companies at the forefront of outsourcing the brand newsroom. While you could attempt to create newsworthy content authored by in-house journalists, these companies have a marketplace of writers who can help with the creation on a larger scale. If you need consistent content for your owned media, one of these marketplaces could be a great fit.
2. Marketing automation.
Successful content marketing tracks, nurtures, converts and closes leads who’ve interacted with your content. HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Salesforce and ONTRAPORT are valuable marketing automation and customer relationship management software and platforms you’ll want to check out.
These companies offer customer support and have on-call consultants who specialize in helping customers implement their software programs effectively. If you’re wondering whether a marketing automation system is absolutely necessary, think of it this way: You can have some success with content marketing without a good system, but if you’re looking for sales you can trace back to your efforts, it’s a must-have.
3. Content distribution.
Influencer marketing: TapInfluence is an influencer marketing platform that aims to authentically connect marketers with consumers. Once your team has started creating content you’ve authored, it may be time to look to influencer marketing as a content distribution strategy. You can tap into influencer channels so they point back to the content you’ve created and naturally lead your audiences back to you.
Employee advocacy: Dynamic Signal and SocialChorus are well-known employee advocacy software programs. Your team can be a huge distribution platform for your content. For example, if a company with 5,000 employees puts an employee advocacy campaign in place, it just added 5,000 microphones to amplify a message. Managing this level of amplification can get messy, and that’s why services such as Dynamic Signal and SocialChorus exist -- to help control and organize the process.
Social media: Whether you’re outsourcing your social media management or managing it in-house, companies such as Likeable Local, Hootsuite and Buffer are great assets to add to your social team. From social listening and ad strategy to scheduling posts and managing engagement, these tools will help you manage and effectively distribute your content on social media.
4. Leverage content.
Boosting sales: The content you’re creating should be shared with your sales team to help teammates nurture leads down the funnel. Keeping your sales and marketing teams on the same page with the same content will help make the hand-off more smooth and, ultimately, boost your sales.
Recruitment: Much of this content can be repurposed into recruiting and training material for your company. It won’t be difficult to take an article or blog post you’ve created and turn it into a handout or SlideShare to attract qualified candidates and train them once they’re hired.