What is Content Marketing? [Guide to Scaling Content in 2019]

Posted by Manage Inbound's Ginny Dwyer, last updated on Feb 28, 2019

what-is-content-marketing

Content marketing has the power to transform your business. At its core, it's a creative way, a strategic tool, to help businesses grow and succeed.

But you need to do it the right way...

When done well, with a method and strategy supporting it and creating relevant content, it supersedes any traditional, interruptive or push marketing.

Content marketing is educational. It's not about the products your company sells. Leave that for the sales team. Content is information and is an integral part of any marketing mix, and can be used in your strategies from social media, email marketing, and video (to name a few).

Think about it... Content is everywhere.

In this guide, I want to give you tested strategies that are working right now... and will work even better in 2019. So if you're looking to up your content marketing game this year and engage your ideal customers with high-value content, you'll love this guide.

content-marketing-def-guide-cover 

Don't have time to read all the benefits right now?

This post is over 6,000 words ( I practice what I preach), so let me send you a copy so you can read it when it's convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it (takes 5 seconds): 

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Chapter 1

What is Content Marketing

Let's review the writing on the wall.

What most people think content marketing is...

You write on a blog (blog articles were the start of content marketing (IMHO), on whatever topic floats your boat, you tweet, throw a post on Facebook or maybe go so far as writing an article on LinkedIn or Medium. You freely share content wherever and whenever you want.

What content marketing really is...

Successful content marketers don't make content decisions, such as what topics to write about, based on feelings. They make their decisions on what to share with their audience based on data. You focus on creating content that addresses problems and the needs of your ideal customers. And only through research and data can you discover what that really is!

Here are a few experts in the industry and how they define content marketing:

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute, is a leading evangelist for content marketing. He is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author on content marketing, believes passionately that there is a better way for brands to market than how they’ve done it in the past. He says:

"Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."

Neil Patel, Founder of Crazy Egg and Quicksprout and Kathryn Aragon, award-winning content strategist, add: 

"It is a strategy of producing and publishing information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers. It is a way to build relationships and community, so people feel loyal to you and your brand. It is a strategy for becoming recognized as a thought leader in your industry. It is a way to drive sales without traditional "hard sell" tactics."

Jeff Bullas, owner of jeffbullas.comForbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world's top social marketing talent. 

"Content marketing is the effective use of content that informs, educates, entertains, and inspires customers to discover you, trust you and buy from you."

Here's a great analogy written by Michele Linn, co-founder of Mantis Research, on how to explain content marketing to anyone. "Content marketing as your family would understand." I explained this analogy to my husband and after all these years, he finally gets it...  

"My husband was in this camp and he told me about a newsletter that covers trends affecting financial markets. He looks forward to receiving it each day. He explained that the newsletters didn’t have anything to do with the funds the broker was selling, but the information was solid and valuable – and it was useful research for the investments he makes."

“That’s content marketing,” I explained."

So I'd say there's a method to this "madness". Your content is only as valuable as its ability to attract, educate and engage your core audience. It's educational, not promotional!

Let's stop for a second and reflect to the beginning of it all...

Chapter 2

Brief History of Content Marketing

Content marketing isn't new, but as you read on, you'll see how it's evolving.

Outbrain published an Infographic with a brief overview of content marketing. It's been around a long time (over 100 years). It made its debut long before the digital age.

If there’s one thing we can tell from content marketing’s timeline, it’s that good content stands the test of time. The main ingredient for effective content marketing...

Add real value to your customer's lives.

From its inception, content marketing has evolved into better storytelling, enhanced distribution techniques and customer experience. And when we say customer experience, the focus must be on the users intent (i.e. what they are looking for via a search engine) and where they are in their buyer's journey.

71% of B2B buyers said they consumed blog content during their buyer’s journey. That’s up from 66% in 2017. (Demand Gen Report 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report)

You have to think of content marketing and its strategy as a long-term growth method

A decade ago, the industry viewed content marketing as mainly written blogs. That still has not changed. We are still here writing on a blog.  We only added to the venue and expanded into video, surveys, quizzes, polls, stories in social media platforms, email and more. 

Like this poll or trivia question:

 

(Curious? The answer is in Chapter 4)

What else have we seen as an industry the past year?...

Chapter 3

Stats that Cannot Be Ignored and Biggest Content Marketing Trends to Watch For 2019 

1. 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their own sales/promotional message. (CMI & MarketingProfs)

However...

2. Only 42% of B2B content marketers are actually talking to customers to understand their needs when it comes to content. (CMI & MarketingProfs)

Do you talk to your customers?

Think about their value to you. They can tell you exactly what prospective customers are thinking and what is going on in their heads. They were one!

You get to discover first-hand...

  • What triggers their buying decision
  • What type of outcome they are looking for
  • The emotional attitude or concerns they have
  • What's really important to them

Well-researched personas can help teams create successful content. Knowing your buyers is key to making informed marketing decisions. 

3. In 2018, B2B marketers rate blog posts/articles as the most effective content format in the awareness stage, white papers during consideration, and case studies during decision. (CMI & MarketingProfs)

 

content-types-buyer-journey

source: B2B Content Marketing 2019 

If you thought content marketing is dead, hope this is getting you out of your Zombie state.

4. 62% of companies outsource their content marketing. (Demand Metric)

You know why? 

It's tedious, time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming (we can help with that). 

But...

5. 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an advertisement. And that same 70% of consumers feel closer to a company as a result of content marketing.

Biggest Content Marketing Trends to Watch for 2019

If you analyze Google's first page on "biggest content marketing trends to watch for 2019", one thing is for certain ...

Lots of lists posts. I'd say the expanded list post is here to stay.  biggest content marketing trends in 2019

However...

If you are going to use this type of content framework, you better step it up a notch and brainstorm your most actionable tips, strategies, stats, etc. and add great value. 

Brian Dean, SEO expert and founder of Backlinko, says "15-25 items is the sweet spot for an ELP". And create something different and better!

So where are we headed as a content marketing industry...

John Hall, co-founder of Calendar, contributor Forbes, says

1. "Strategy will become more essential"

2. "Customer success will emerge as the new frontier

Companies will need their customers to spread the word. Word-of-mouth marketing will be pivotal and building stronger relationships.

Peter Boyd, Florida attorney who founded Paper Street, and also contributor to Forbes,

3. "Long-form content will be even more important next year, as search engines reward lengthier posts in results rankings, and readers are increasingly looking for more trustworthy sources. "

If there was a meter scale of 1 to 5 and  5 was strongly agree. Mine would be going off loud and clear as "Strongly Agree."

4. "Voice Search" is growing

According to research as of January 2018, one billion voice searches are occurring each month and growing. Michael Brenner, author and CEO of Marketing Insider Group agrees,

"You must consider how a voice search effects not only how you write but what you write about so that it’s more relevant to a voice search. Lifestyles and mobility have changed the way that possible buyers look for what they need. Your content marketing has to evolve, too."

How Voice Search is Impacting Content Marketing

5. "Audio content" to keep up with followers’ demand.

6. Chatbots for personalizing and increasing customer engagement.

I have to agree with this one too! As consumers, we love and have grown to expect to be able to connect to our favorite brands or companies immediately via chat.

Our own, Keith Gutierrez, founder of Manage Inbound foresees...

7. "Pillar pages that cover all aspects of a topic on a single page will continue to grow."

(But he does it with a twist)  While Keith believes in the internal linking strategy to site pages, he remains persistent in authority sculpting and removing dead weight blog posts. He believes pillar pages are a support beam to help you rank well in the search engines.

And give your readers...

8. Content Upgrades. Instead of offering readers something they weren't looking for. Give them want they came for... a PDF of the post (it's unique to each blog post/ pillar page) or a resource that just makes the content better!

Syed Balki, Entrepreneur, Growth Hacker and Marketer believes:

9. "Vlogging"  for business, both businesses and entrepreneurs are slowly invading the vlogging world. Blog posts incorporating video attract 3x as many inbound links as blog posts without video.  

10. Live video will continue to grow. With Instagram Live, Facebook Live and live streaming on other platforms like Youtube and Twitch, live video for business will become even bigger in 2019.  

11. Contextual Marketing - based on the user's needs, show the right content to the right person at the right time. 

As a conversion-minded content marketer, we have to humanize our content through personalization. Content that aligns with the users buying journey will continue to evolve in 2019.

One thing they all have in common ...it all begins with content! 

Resource:

 

Bonus Content: Download our 21 Blog Post  Writing Secrets to convert leads online. Easily save it to your computer or print for reference for your next piece of content.

CHAPTER 4

Benefits of Content Marketing & How Business Can Use Content Marketing with (Real-life Example) 

Answer to the Poll/Trivia Question: Consumers who read a brand’s educational content were 131% more likely to purchase from that brand.

If the statistic of 131% of consumers were more likely to purchase from a brand after reading educational content is not enough, here are a few eye-opening reasons for getting behind content marketing.

Top 5 Benefits of Content Marketing

1. Search Engine Visibility is King for Trust, Volume

Forrester Consulting evaluated how online consumers search and found,

"Search consistently dominates the rankings of tools customers turn to for reach, depth, and relationship. Customers trust their search results as well – with 72% saying search results are trustworthy – the highest rating for any digital channel."

Would 1.2 million page views help a company rank on the first page of Google? I would say that is a definite yes. And that is only one blog post:

blog post views central

The image above depicts a 2-year time-frame (January 2017-current)

Every time you write a piece of content like a blog post, it's one more indexed page on your website. And according to Justin Champion, Content Professor at HubSpot,

"one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website. In fact, websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages. That’s a lot of opportunity."

2. Referral Traffic (traffic you earn from other sources, not search engine)

manage inbound referral traffic

Referral traffic is "Google's method of reporting visits that came to your site from sources outside of its search engine. When someone clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website, Analytics tracks the click as a referral visit to the second site. [What is Referral Traffic in Google Analytics]

Barry Feldman, author and founder of Feldman Creative, put it so eloquently,

"Good content marketers create content others read, view, find, borrow from, quote, promote, and link to.

Great content marketers are proactive about making it happen. They create content explicitly for high profile publishers and collaborate with influencers. The key here is guest blogging, various forms of PR, and social media activity." 

3. Generate More Qualified Leads

Lead generation takes time and consistency. When a company offers valuable content across the buyer's journey, they will continue to see their lead generation increase.

A value-based relationship with relevant content takes time and nurturing. You will need to create the right mix of content depending  on where your potential customer is in their journey.

Create content that you know your audience is struggling with and answer their questions. This type of practice will focus on the buyer versus the seller. Help them discover how you can fix their pain points. By addressing their needs, they are more apt to become loyal fans and if nurtured correctly loyal customers.

4. Thought Leadership / Industry Authority

When you offer consistent, useful, educational, and entertaining content you will be viewed as a thought leader in your industry. 

Why does that matter?

Your content and brand will be distinguished as a credible source. As a credible source, you'll have more visitors to your website. Content marketing can improve brand loyalty. More loyal fans and visitors means more potential customers.

5. Content Marketing Moves Your Audience to Take Action = Conversion

Through your content marketing, you encourage visitors on your site to move down the funnel. But they won't move down your funnel - until you have educated or inspired them. 

Inspired writing should emphasize value and create a demand. Aberdeen conducted a study and found companies that focused on content marketing increased their website conversion rates by more than 5x.

And those who didn't create the right content saw only a 0.5% conversion rate increase.

Pam Didner, Speaker, author of Effective Sales Enablement, adds: 

"Content will continue to play a critical role in driving conversions.  For outbound communications, it’s about delivering a seamless customer experience through personalization and customization. Segmentation of your customers will also be key.

For internal collaboration, we will need to expand content marketing to the sales side, understand sales’ requirements, and remember that a piece of content can be repurposed or repackaged to meet multiple teams’ needs." [source]

The Business Case for Agile Content Marketing

[Real-life example: How Mike landed a top spot in Google in under 6 months - for a very competitive keyword]

Ranking on the first page of Google is a substantial benefit for a business.  It increases your visibility, increases traffic, you're viewed as a thought leader, builds your brand and trust and so much more.

So how do you go about making your site more search friendly and landing on the first page of Google?

You can start by using these 5 techniques: 

  • Optimize your web pages around medium-tailed keywords and topics
  • Increase click-through rates by adding power words in your title and description tag
  • Write comprehensive, in-depth and useful content (the case study we share had 14,000 words)
  • After you finish writing the first draft of your post, go back through and include LSI Keywords
  • Make your content easier to read by breaking it into bite-sized chunks

 But wait there's more...

We used the 5 SEO tips (and a few others ) for a client and their brand new post made it to the 1st page of Google and one of the top spots in less than 6 months.  

And is still in position for over a year.

corporate video

What did we do? In addition to the techniques in the video...

  1. wrote a stellar, long-form piece of content optimized for search
  2. published the content on Jan 18, 2018
  3. after the post got a little traction, we shared on social media 
  4. started email outreach (because we knew we had a great piece of content to share)
  5. watched the rankings rise from nothing to  #16 (2nd page of Google by the end of February "nationally").
  6. created a video and embedded in the post for more traffic 
  7. strategized our link building efforts
  8. started guest blogging (which was a massive success with over a dozen backlinks).

It's a collaborative effort and always a work in progress, but so worth it.

Some fascinating results:

  • 186 new contacts

new contacts

  • still on the first page of Google (authority)
  • increasing organic traffic
  • building the brand

It takes effort to get high rankings.  But if you want it bad enough,  publish your content and optimize and nurture it until you hit the sweet spot. 

It took 174 days to rank ...first page, second spot "nationally" but I'd say it's worth it.

CHAPTER 5

Types/Formats of Content Marketing 

Content marketing is a powerful strategy for a variety of industries to grow their business. It is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content

It involves powerful storytelling between your business and your prospects and customers. You want to make a human connection and resonate with visitors that need your help.

5 Examples of Content Marketing

1. Long Form Content

As discussed, long form content (this post) written for "search intent" aka reader intent is one of the examples of content marketing. Blogging will help improve search engine optimization, increase audience engagement, and build relationships with leads and customers.

Your long-form content can be displayed or formatted as a go-to-guide with many chapters and links jumping to each or as an expanded list post. (which we touched on in Chapter 3).  Both offer extensive information with a table of contents in a go-to-guide, and step-by-step details in an expanded list post.

2. Video

Another type of content that is powerful is video. You need to incorporate video into your content marketing.  Here are a few statistics why:

  • Videos are shared 1,200% more times than links and text combined.
  • 80% of global internet consumption will be video content by 2021.
  • Video drives a 157% in organic traffic from SERPs.
  • Embedded videos in websites (like the one above) can increase traffic by up to 55%
  • 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand's video.

3. Infographics 

Infographics can take a topic and bring it to life to educate an audience and provide useful information. Providing educational content is key to converting leads online.

As an example, we created an infographic with actionable steps to make content more appealing to your readers with blog post writing tips...

21 content writing secrets

The infographic has 21 tips to make your educational content more attractive, shareable and clickable. 

Like it? Share it:

If you're looking for some infographic design tips, Visme will help you become a better visual communicator. 18 Infographic Design tips Every Marketer Should Know.

Let's stop for a second and move to content not on your website...

4. Email Marketing Content

Email marketing is still very much alive. According to Hubspot, there will be 3 billion email users by 2020.  Remember there is a human on the other end of your email, so treat it right. Your email marketing success relies on it.

Email allows you to send the right person, the right message, at the right time with segmentation and personalization.

Content marketing and email marketing have the same goals in common. They use content to build loyalty and trust through sharing content. 

5. Social media content

Great content is the backbone of your social strategy. You can take a post (like this) and extend your reach on social media platforms. 

Your content and social content should align with each other and your business goals. Both want to build a brand, gain new customers and enable sales. There is an 80/20 rule when it comes to social media content. 

"Only 20% of your social media content should promote your brand. The other 80% should be dedicated to audience interests".  [Hubspot Academy]

What type of content is most effective for attracting website traffic?

Search Engine Journal's poll reported results showing...

content survey

  • written content -  is the most effective type of content for attracting traffic with results coming in at 40.4% of those surveyed.
  • video content  -  is effective for driving traffic to a website with 34.3 % of those surveyed and...
  • visual content was at  25.3%  

CHAPTER 6

Quick Content Marketing Tips You Can Use Today

1. Write for content and context

  • In-depth content tends to rank best in Google
  • at least 2,000 words

2. Write authoritative evergreen content (update yearly if needed). Help your buyers through the research phase and keep relevant content organized together.

When you create authoritative content that helps solve your potential customer's challenges, they will look to you (and your site) when they are ready for more. (as in look at your product or service) Your primary goal is to help your target audience make a decision, even if that means they choose a competitor.

3. Write with your LSI keywords in mind and add to your content.

4. Write amazing content. Google wants to feature content written by experts. Sorry random freelancers you really need to be a part of the marketing team extension and learn the company's business you are writing about.

5. Create visual content to go along with your writing.  Embeddable images go a long way.

Brian Dean agrees that in his experience when you create more visual content ... especially embeddable images they can do just as well as a fancy infographic...if not better.

For example, here's a simple visual he included on one of his guides on RankBrain:

visual-included-in-a-guide

Image credit: Google RankBrain

Guess what that does?

The single embeddable image will generate a backlink to his site.

Tip: Go back and look through some of your posts and see where you can create a stellar embeddable image that your customers and your industry thought leaders will love.

CHAPTER 7

Challenges and Misconceptions - the Dark Side of Content Marketing

In this article, I emphasized content marketing should "Deliver value", "Master Storytelling",  "If you write it, they will come" (I alluded to that statement).

If you've been in the industry long enough, you've heard it all.

However...

With all the glory and greatness of content marketing, there is also a "dark side".

#1. There's the cost...

  • somebody has to research, create and distribute the content
  • it's hard to measure the impact of content marketing on your bottom line
  • the ROI may not cover the cost

#2. The need for originality is at an all-time high. With over 1.8 billion websites, you need to get noticed. There is a lot of noise out there. Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute, says, ask yourself this one question,

“Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?” 

"It’s about creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of behavior change in our customers. For that to be possible, what you are creating has to be valuable, useful, compelling and, yes, different."

Joe explains the need to have a  "content tilt." It is what will make you and your content unique and differentiate you from the rest of the pack. (the 1.8 billion sites)

Create and design content for your audience but add a twist and infuse your personality in your writing. Make it entertaining and worth your audience's time.

#3. According to the "B2B Content Marketing 2019 Report" from Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 61 % of marketers reported - changes to SEO/search algorithms is the top content marketing issue of importance to organizations, followed by #4 changes in social media algorithms (45%).

However, despite the challenges and hurdles, the industry is growing.

#5. Content marketing takes time though! Be patient and wait for results.

"As an organization grows in content marketing maturity, its success is likely to increase."

This statement is a hard one for must companies to swallow. They want immediate results and if given time, they will see improvements. But most will abandon the idea before getting started and committing to content marketing. 

Here's another BIG misconception...

#6. All your content is going to be great content.

It's not. But you need to write and create content to discover which topics will resonate the most with your audience and convert. Optimizing your best content will gain the traction you need and lead to success.

One last challenge I see ...

#7. The least successful marketers are not crafting content based on the stages of the buyer's journey. They are crafting on their promotional needs over the audience needs.

It doesn't have to be as difficult as some make it. Use content to help create brand awareness through educational content. It will build trust and generate demand.

CHAPTER 8

How to Develop a Content Marketing Process From Start to Finish (Bringing it all together)

Content marketing is a process. A complex process.

You need to understand your buyer persona, your customer's pains/needs, create content to solve their pains/needs, promote the content and analyze what you just did. Then do it again.

What Does the Process Look Like?

James Blackwell at Buzzsumo, (a tool that provides insights into the most popular content online) explains...

"A content marketer might spend time researching content, learning about their audience, chatting about trends with influencers, or calculating traffic with Google Analytics. There are daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and campaign-specific tasks to keep in mind."

They put together an infographic/roadmap that helps organize the chaos.

content marketing process

The full infographic can be found here: Content Marketing: Beginners Guide for Maximum Success

Step 1. It starts with finding the perfect blend between the audience interest and business goals. What lies between those - will be your content topics.

Another consideration: Is the topic Link friendly? This is where those interested in your topic will link to you (so they need a website, probably not your customer) and they have interest in the topic, whether it is a trending topic or evergreen.

Step 2. You need to determine your brand's point of view on the topic. And how it fits with your SMART goals. Establish a benchmark. Write down your clear and concise goals.

Step 3.  What KPI's are you going to use to measure the performance of your content?

If you have a CRM platform like Hubspot, you'll be able to analyze your page and blog performance using the website analytics tool. You can filter your report by date range, frequency, page types, and more.

From there you can choose the metric you want to see in your data visualization. In the analytics tool, you can analyze your content's performance with a variety of filters. (For example, page views, submissions, CTA views, and more).

Traffic is great and we all love traffic but converting that traffic to leads is better! If you tell your sales team we had "X" amount of traffic - that means nothing to them. If you tell your sales team you have "X" leads for them - that means everything to them.

And of course, the best indicator of successful content is sales. 

For every piece of content, have the KPI in mind you want to track. For example, is it post views, call-to-action performance, or visitor-to-lead conversion rate.

Step 4: Map the content with the buyer's journey: Define audience segments

Are they a new subscriber? Or are they looking for a demo or trial of your product? 

Create an engaging, unique and worthy piece of content.

Step 5: Choose the content channels 

Where is the content you create going to exist? on your blog? use in an email? use for a webinar? Select the right channels for marketing your content.

Build awareness and share or promote across the most effective social media channels your audience is hanging out.

Step 6: Which format is best suited? 

If the content is on your blog, will it be a go-to guide, expanded list post, infographic etc.? Will you follow up with a video, webinar, or eBook?

Step 7: Publish your content

Step 8: Promote your content

Facilitate social sharing within your organization. Conduct email outreach and link building to the influencer's in your industry.

Step 9: Measure your results

According to Demand Metric, 60% of B2B marketers use web traffic to measure success, 51% use sales lead quality and 45% use social media sharing.

Rely on data from closed-loop marketing analytics. With closed-loop marketing data, you can track a lead from the moment of first conversion on your website, until that lead becomes your customer.

With this information you can look back to see which marketing channels are most effective at generating customers at the lowest cost. 

Step 10: Re-purpose and optimize top performing content

Step 11: Start all over again

Remember content marketing is a long-term play that can deliver results if you build it with a smart strategy and process. And it takes all of the steps to execute the strategy.

CHAPTER 9

Bonus Chapter: Essential Content Marketing Tools to Be the Boss of Your Content

What's in your content marketing toolbox?

In an overcrowded, online world, tools are a necessity. There is no doubt, tools make you work smarter and faster. This is a list of our favorite tools, some free, some paid. Our tools are constantly evolving with our needs and the needs of our customers. This is a great list to get you started. 

These amazing tools have helped our organic traffic grow over the last year, rank for competitive keywords, and become better content marketers.

Free tools to get you working smarter...

Advanced Marketing Institute (AMI) 

You want to make an emotional impact with your headline to connect with your audience. A free headline analyzer offered from AMI will let you know if you have a winning title that evokes emotion.

Canva

If you don't have an in-house design team or someone that can get you quick images when you need them, Canva is a great tool.

"Design anything. Publish anywhere" Canva is an image creation tool that is simple to use and has pre-designed templates for all social media platforms. It's an awesome tool if you're in need of a quick design.

Google Analytics

"Get the data you need to make intelligent marketing and business decisions". Stats on your website that include data on visitors, traffic source, conversions, and behavior.

Google Search Console

This is a great way to find your "opportunity keywords" for a quick win. (especially when you are updating old content).

Here's what I mean...

The Google Search Console has a performance report that will list your top performing pages and keywords on your site (those that get the most clicks from Google). You can click on the pages and see where and for what keyword you are ranking for.

So...how can you use this feature? You can find "opportunity keywords" where you rank between #8-#20 in Google.  

For example, our ranking for the keyword "optimization techniques" is 11.4 (average position) With some updates to that page, we should be able to boost our rankings.

 

optimization techniques 1

optimization techniques 2

Grammarly: Free Writing Assistant 

Who couldn't use an online grammar and spell checker? That also has a free and paid version.

Cool thing is, it integrates with some CRM's and lets you know what needs to be changed before you hit publish. (I dare you to find a misspelled word on this page, just kidding, I'm human it could happen but... doubt it :) ).

Keywords Everywhere 

This is a Chrome or Firefox extension. Great backup to some of the paid keyword tools. You'll get free search volume, CPC & competitor data.

A very cool feature it has ... People Also Search For

keywords everywhere content marketing

Slack 

Slack is where work flows.

This is where all the collaboration happens between team members (both in-house and clients). You can create channels/threads for every conversation organized by topic, project, or whatever your business needs are.

This will save you time and is a single place for messaging and sharing files, thoughts, and agendas.

Now on to the paid tools...

Ahrefs

"Tools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors and monitor your niche"

It will help you make smarter keyword decisions. It gives you the low-down on exactly how many backlinks you would need to rank on the first page of Google.

ahrefs keyword difficulty

It gives you a site, content, keyword and rank tracker all in one.

BuzzStream

BuzzStream will make your outreach organized and easier. You'll be able to research, email, manage and report all from one place.

Brian Dean at Backlinko updated his personal review of the tool. He goes over in detail campaign management, outreach templates, finding contact information and more: BuzzStream Review: Is This Link Building and Outreach Tool Worth It?

Buzzsumo

This is a tool I use daily. You can analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. You have access to "Trending Now" which you can filter by industry/keyword/topic and it keeps you in the know.

As a content strategist,  I love the "Content Analyzer". With a few clicks you can view engagements and content published over time for a topic, average engagements by network, content type, and by content length. 

content length and engagement

image credit: Buzzsumo

The chart shows you how different content lengths affect share rates on each social network. It appears Twitter craves the written word.

HubSpot

HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software. You can find the HubSpot product updates and enhancements on our other post: HubSpot Product Updates [2018]

As a writer, the Marketing tab is where I spend my days (of course in the blogging section) but the planning and strategy section rules too. You can see all your social media posts in the Calendar. And the SEO section will dictate how your content is performing and which topics are the most relevant. 

Along with the Marketing tab, the Reports tab / Analytics tool is going to give you a comprehensive view of every KPI known to this industry.

SEMRush

SemRush is an online visibility management and content marketing platform. It covers everything. You can start by benchmarking your own data to see how you are performing across organic and paid search. Then branch out to identify your top organic search competitors. 

We could write an entire power page just covering the in's and out's of SemRush but that's really not what this article is about. It is about making you the best content marketer there is and what tools are available. But a little help like "uncovering your competitor's top content" or finding the right keywords to go after is quite beneficial. 

There are so many insights with SemRush to gain quick wins in the SERPs.

Resources:

 

So…What Do You Think?

What're your team's secret weapons?

I hope this guide showed you how to scale your content marketing in 2019.

I'll leave you with a quote I read from Sonia Simone, Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger, 

"Conversion-oriented content marketing is always informed by a solid understanding of traditional copywriting techniques, wrapped in the voice of our audience and delivered in engaging packages."

 Are you ready to deliver your next package? I know you are.

Did you learn something new from this guide?

Or maybe you have a question...

Either way, leave a comment below right now. 

blog author

Ginny Dwyer

Ginny is a Hubspot certified inbound marketer helping companies build their brand through blogging, social media and other inbound activities.