Content Marketing Tools: Utility Belt for Content Marketers

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Andy Crestodina

Batman didn’t have superpowers, but he was always prepared. I once saw him hanging in midair off the side of a helicopter with a shark attacking his leg. No big deal. He just reached into his utility belt and grabbed his shark repellant.

I don’t have superpowers either. But I do have a utility belt of content marketing tools. Some of these, I use everyday. I use them for search engine optimization, social media, email marketing, and guest blogging… and sharks.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Keyphrase Research

1. Google Keyword Planner

You need to make sure that you’re not targeting phrases that no one searches for or, conversely, are too competitive. Reach for this tool every time you write to check the search volume (popularity) for any phrase and to see a list of hundreds of other related phrases. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to research keywords.

2. Google Trends

As a follow-up to the Keyword Planner, use Trends to see both the trending of phrases over time and the geographic differences for searches on that keyword. It won’t show you actual numbers, but it shows the trending and relative popularity of up to 5 phrases at a time.

3. Moz Link Explorer

Don’t just post everything you write in the Batcave. Get out and post on other sites. This has huge benefits for social media and search marketing.

Link Explorer makes it easy to check the SEO value of being a guest blogger on various sites, assuming you get a link back to your site. Enter the first possible host blog, then click “compare link metrics” and compare up to four more. The site with the highest “authority” is likely the best.

Social Media Promotion

4. Follower Wonk

Before you tweet your article, first take a moment to find influential people to mention. This makes sharing through Twitter much more effective. Follower Wonk will help you quickly find people on Twitter who are likely to love the article and possibly share with their followings.

Just enter a few phrases into the bio search, review the list of people, sorted by following size, and mention them in the tweet. (Example: There are 34 people on Twitter with “Batman” and “marketing” in their bios).

5. Manage Flitter

Don’t forget to target those people who already follow you. This is especially important if you have a substantial following on Twitter.

Although Manage Flitter is really a tool that helps you unfollow people who aren’t following you back, it also lets you search the bios of people who follow you. It’s a quick way to find people who are interested in the topic and even more likely to share with others.

6. HootSuite

You need to tweet links to your content more than once if you’re serious about driving traffic. Professional Twitter management tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck let you schedule these Tweets in advance.

Don’t be shy about promoting content. The streams of your followers may be moving too fast to catch the first tweet. Schedule three or four tweets to your article over a week or two, and consider it done.

Here’s another option: Rignite is a great alternative to Hootsuite that allows you to set a frequency and duration for sharing links to your content. For example, you can set it to tweet your blog post 4x per week for 6 months, and post to Facebook 1x every 2months.

Email Marketing

7. Google URL Builder

Unless you add tracking code to the links in your email, you won’t be able to separate the traffic from your campaigns in Analytics. It only takes a minute to run your links through this tool. Enter the Campaign Source (“utility_belt_newsletter”) and Campaign Medium (“email”). Now when you look at your Analytics, the traffic from your email will appear as a separate traffic source. Here are full instructions on how to use the URL builder for Google Analytics.

8. MailChimp (or similar Email Service Provider / ESP)

Ready to send? Here’s one of the most important tools on your belt. There are dozens to choose from: MailChimp, ExpressPigeon, Campaign Monitor, etc… Whichever tool you use, it should be easy to set up campaigns, manage your list and read the reports. The best ESPs also make it easy to segment your list and do A/B testing.


9. Google Analytics

Doing content marketing without Analytics is unimaginable. Not only do you need this tool, you must have it set up properly. A content marketing superhero filters out traffic from their own IP address, they set up goals with funnels, they do cross-domain tracking, they set things up correctly and then watch carefully. Check weekly, if not daily.

Superpowers? Nope! Just well equipped.

You don’t need superpowers to do content marketing. You just need the right tools. Now you know what content marketing tools are in my utility belt. Except for the shark repellant, I use these tools every day.

What’s in your utility belt?

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Comments (6)
  • Best tip is buried in the “Hootsuite” item. “Don’t be shy” So true. Human’s naturally don’t want to feel like they are “imposing” on others by over-sharing. so they limit to once, or twice.  Or worse, some nut-case follower complains and say’s your tweets are “spamming” him, and threatens to drop following you. Fact is, this socially sharing requires repetition, we’re all busy and may not catch your value the first time.  Let the nut-case go, his loss to stop following your content. Use Hootsuite or other tools to hit the peak times of the day, multiple times.

    • @AndrewJSteinI completely agree, Andrew. Social streams aren’t like inboxes. Tweets don’t sit there until their read, filed or deleted. For most people, the stream moves fast and unless the tweet goes out several times, people are likely to miss it. Share early and often!
      Related: repetitive tweeting is also a chance to practice your headline authoring. Test variation in tweets, along with the time-of-day. I usually send three per post: one with the headline, one with a quote and one that mentions a few people who may be interested and a hashtag…

    • @AndrewJStein Ah so true!!! I get that from people too, you are spamming me on Twitter and I am going to unfollow you. Go ahead, unfollow, you were never going to be my client anyways:) Right? The nut cases don’t know marketing.

  • Thanks Andy! Look what you can do with all the right tools 🙂

  • Great tips Andy. Really enjoyed the video at the end. It really was amazing that Batman was always prepared!

    • @ChrisMakara Batman was all about the right tool at the right time. …Hopefully, the readers didn’t notice that the shark repellent wasn’t in his belt, it was in the bat copter!

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