Batman has always been one of my favorite comic book characters. He didn’t have any superpowers, but he did have superior training, unlimited amounts of resources and money, and a utility belt packed full of the niftiest gadgets imaginable. There wasn’t a scenario or situation that he found himself in that a gadget plucked from his utility belt couldn’t handle.
As a content creator and writer, there are tools in my content marketing utility belt that I use every day.
They make my content creation efforts more streamlined, optimized, and more easily shared. I use them for search engine optimization, idea generation, and social media distribution.
Keyword & Phrase Research
For your content to be the most visible, you need to make sure that you’re not targeting phrases that are too obscure (i.e. no one searches for) or too competitive.
This tool lets me check the search volume (read: popularity) of any phrase I’m trying to target in my writing, as well as see a list of related and alternate phrases. I reach for this one every time that I write to ensure that my posts get seen, searched, and easily indexed. The team at SEOmoz have a tremendous guide on how to research keywords.
I use Google Trends in tandem with the Google Keyword Tool to see how keywords and phrases trend over time and drill down geographic searches for that keyword. Trends will show the relative popularity of up to five phrases at a time, so I can compare phrasing for the best combination of timing and placement.
Having your writing featured on prominent blogs and sites in your industry has huge benefits for social media and search marketing. When I’m identifying high-value sites to pitch a guest post, I fire up Open Site Explorer. It makes it easy to check the SEO value of submitting a guest post and getting valuable backlinks. With Google’s forthcoming AuthorRank putting new emphasis on who who is doing the writing, people want to read content written by credible and knowledgeable people.
Social Media Distribution
Twitter Search is a great utility that I find underutilized, but a quick search around my identified keywords can reveal some audiences that might be receptive to the article I just published, particularly using established hashtags around those content areas. If my newest article is written in response to something I read, I make sure to mention the original author in my tweet promoting the post, as well as linking in the body of the article.
Social media, especially Twitter, moves quickly. If you’re serious about driving traffic to your newest piece of content, you’ll need to tweet links more than once. BufferApp is my curation and automation tool of choice, allowing me to schedule my content shares throughout the day. I tend to share more heavily early in the morning and later in the afternoon to get the most eyes trained on my content.
6. Google Analytics
Content marketing with Google Analytics is unimaginable. Filter out traffic from your own IP, set up goals and funnels, track conversions and adjust as necessary. Check weekly. Real-time Analytics give me location data, keyword searches and the number of visitors on site at any given moment. It’s a great tool to measure at-a-glance the popularity of my latest post.
The right tools make all the difference. However, they’re only good if you use them.
What’s in your utility belt? Tried the Vocus Marketing Suite on for size yet?