Table of Contents
Today, just about everything we consume – intentionally or not – is marketing of some sort. On Instagram, friends sell their lives and experiences; showcasing how much value their connections and relationships can offer potential friends. The very next post is not for a lifestyle, but instead, a product, marketed by another friend. And the very next post? Nothing more than a targeted add based off of that site you lingered just a bit too long on yesterday. It’s everywhere.
So in a world where marketable content exists in every corner of everywhere we might look, how do we get ours to stand out above the rest?
In the simplest form of answering, you just…do it right. Today, we’re diving into five categories you must nail in order to bring your content marketing projects to the next level. Under all five categories, we’ll provide two solid, reputable, clever products that can help ensure you have the right tools in place to be efficient, effective and charming as you climb your way up the content marketing leaderboard.
Project management for those who are all about customization. Of course there are lists and charts and color-coded ways to get things done (all of which we’re big fans of PS), but Trello brings your project management customization abilities to the next level.
With plans designed specifically for different types of teams (Content Marketing, Engineering, Design, etc.) Trello is a trusted software that puts the power in your hands to make your software work, and look, exactly how you’re wanting it to.
Trello is also big on collaboration, synching seamlessly with some of the biggest software names in communication, storage and collaboration; helping you keep even more of the things that are important to you right in one place.
Knowing too that long gone are the days of status-check meetings (think, “This meeting SHOULD have been an email”), online Gantt chart generator, GanttPRO was created to be a one-stop-shop for the management of every little thing that all your projects might need.
Track not only everything about a specific project, but everything about all your projects in one place.
Track status & milestones, personal tasks, budget and essentially every other “trackable” project piece you can dream up (or accidentally stumble upon).
A big bonus in our eyes is the ability to effectively manage people and teams so individuals and groups are seeing, and involved in, only the things they need to see. Big win for teams who fall victim to the ever-popular “too many hands in the pot” mentality.
Regardless of what you’re selling, the need to come across as trustworthy, reputable and competent should always be top of mind.
One of the best ways to ensure you only send out the highest caliber written content is to check the heck out of it. But realistically, that’s quite time consuming; and we’re only human, meaning, we’re prone to using the Oxford Comma instead of a regular one, or (be honest) using the wrong “their” in a stressful moment of weakness.
That’s why we suggest leaving the proofing to the pros (and to the computer). For no cost to you (there is a paid version should you be interested), Grammarly catches spelling, punctuation, tone and language errors as you work, helping ensure that you create accurate, engaging content start to finish.
Now whereas Grammarly helps you with proficiency and accuracy, Hemmingway Editor exists to help bring your written content to the next level.
Utilizing color-coding (so we’re already a fan), it checks your writing as you work, highlighting poor word choice, passive voice and overly complex sentences, helping to ensure that your writing is not only accurate, but enjoyable, concise and fluid.
Collaboration & Communication
A leader in both collaboration & communication, there’s a slim chance that you haven’t heard of the mega-giant that is Slack, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take a moment to spotlight and recommend it!
Most commonly used for its text chat capabilities, Slack also offers video and voice calling, making it a conversational fit regardless of team member preference.
Chat with individuals, create spaces with small groups, or create channels in which all team communication resides. Share audio, messages and documents, and then search for them with ease, helping to clear up the constant, “What file name did I give that thing…?” headache.
Unsurprisingly, the giant integrates seamlessly with nearly every tech partner you can think up, and as a fun bonus, you can Slack outside your organization, making collaboration with your marketing partners even easier.
With Nextiva, you can lock in all your communications (seriously, all of them) with everyone (seriously, everyone).
By combining all internal and client communications in one place, Nextiva helps ensure that you avoid the fatigue (and misses) that come with checking your texts…your calls…your emails…your internal channels…etc.
Think of it as similar to Slack in the sense of effective, combined communication channels, but add in a customer collaboration aspect through which you can send surveys, collect data, establish customer journeys and more.
On top of that, add in the fact that it also comes equipped with light project management capabilities such as file management, calendars and meeting recording capabilities and you’ll quickly realize, and agree to the platform’s popularity.
SEO & Analytics
When it comes to SEMRush, basically think up everything you’d like to analyze about your marketing. Put all those categories into one place, and then slap the SEMRush name onto it.
Your competitors, your social media strategies, your engagement across all platforms, THEIR engagement across all platforms, key words and SEO audits… you get the idea. Everything lives here.
Although you could certainly look into a platform (or two) for individual categories, the beauty of SEMRush is that even if you’re not quite to a stage in your business where you’re needing to collect all of that specific data, you’re likely well on your way there, and investing in software that allows for that data collection today means you don’t have to seek out a specific program later in your business life.
Track how you’re doing, change your techniques accordingly, and manage the results at every point in time.
It doesn’t matter the industry you’re in, or the end goal(s) you have in sight, whatever they might be, NetBase has got you covered.
With nearly 10 different products, each existing to help you achieve a specific goal, NetBase is your one-stop-shop for detailed marketing analytics at any point in your marketing journey.
Whether you’re needing to develop your overall brand health & perception, nail down your crisis management strategy, assemble some competitive intelligence data or gather product and innovation launch metrics, NetBase has a product, a solution and (a lot) of statistics for you.
Images & Graphics
Unless you’re a graphic designer extraordinaire (or even if you are!) it’s hard to not both respect, and enjoy what Canva offers.
Thousands upon thousands of graphics, fonts, templates and images are available at your fingertips, helping you create an endless stream of sleek, professional-grade marketing materials, no matter what you need them to be.
Posters? Social posts? Invite cards? Email templates? The list is honestly endless and if you’re finding yourself interested in, or needing to, upgrade your options, there is a paid version as well which somehow extends the options available to you.
It’s a fun, simple place to learn, to play, and to create beautiful pieces to catch your competition’s, and customer’s eyes.
We know that visual postings are hugely important (hugely important), which is why it’s crucial to make sure you either can work a camera like a pro, or, you find a tool that helps you create and easily post visual content that inspires buyers, clients and other industry partners.
Enter, Pablo. Home to over 600,000 free images – and with the capability for you to upload your own – the system makes it simple to create content images (with text) that can be resized and reformatted for all the most popular social channels at the click of a button. We love that, honestly.
You (and your customers) would never guess how easy it was for you to create something so striking and effective.
So, to wrap it up, remember that nailing your content marketing strategy doesn’t need to be overly complex, instead, it just needs to be done well. We hope that with the categories and tools presented today, you feel confident to either begin, or dive deeper into your marketing journey; ready to become an effective, creative, inspiring industry force.