Video Marketing Tips

video marketing

In this post you will learn why video is a must have and some simple video marketing tips and strategies to make your videos shine.

When it comes to content marketing, the role of video is becoming increasingly clear. Today, more than ever, companies are realising that video has a key role to play in the content marketing strategy. It is a tool for capturing the user’s attention and delivering a brand message in a memorable and meaningful way.

If your company has not made the move to incorporating video into the content marketing mix, it is a must. The following information will provide some background on why video is an integral part of any successful content marketing strategy and also provide some useful tips as to best practices for doing so.

What is the Market Like for video marketing?

imgresWhen assessing the market for video, marketing numbers tell the story well. More users, are watching more videos, more frequently than ever. According to comScore, a company which tracks online engagement, just over 45% of internet users viewed at least one video per month, and the average user is exposed to an average of 32 videos per month.

Looking further into the data we see that the average number of internet users who watch video each day has reached 100 million. When it comes to video in the retail space, 90% of shoppers at major retailers indicated that video played an important part in making purchasing decisions. Within companies themselves, video is also proving to be important, as 75% of executives told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.

The key takeaway here is that video is no longer an optional part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy, it’s crucial.

How Many Marketers are Using Videos?

A recent report of almost 400 marketing and business professionals, conducted by Demand Metric in conjunction with Ascend2, revealed that 69% of respondents had already begun to make use of video marketing. On the other hand, 31% were planning to integrate video marketing into their strategy moving forward (anyone not interesting in video marketing was removed from the survey).

What Are Videos Being Used For?

While the survey conducted by Demand Metric and Ascend2 indicates that video is quickly becoming a preferred form of marketing content, it is worth examining its role within the context of content marketing to understand the purposes for which video marketing is proving to be effective.

According to the survey, when it comes to making use of videos in marketing, video is the preferred form of content used for building brand awareness (52%). It is followed by lead generation (45%) and online engagement (42%).

How Effective Are the Different Uses of Video?

Although research indicates that videos are being used primarily for building brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement, it’s also worth examining their effectiveness when being utilized in the following contexts to obtain a better understanding of where video marketing is most effective.

According to the survey by Demand Metric and Ascend2, the primary placement of videos was on the brand website (81%) – but videos were most effective in the second most popular placement location – video sharing sites such as YouTube (26%). The brand website was in fact, found to be the second most effective distribution channel.

Marketing Results for video marketing

No examination of the use of video in online marketing would be complete without looking to some of the benefits, so let’s dig into the important metrics which highlight the positive results for video marketing:images

According to the Online Publishers Association, 80% of internet users recalled watching a video ad on a website they visited within the last 30 days. Of those, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad by searching for more information, visiting the advertiser’s website or purchasing the product featured in the ad.

Further examination of other statistics included in the report, supports the evidence that video marketing increases sales and leads. Additionally, it shows that those businesses who are not leveraging video marketing, are losing customers to those who do.

How to Make video marketing More Effective

Now that we now know just how important it is to include video in your marketing strategy, let’s examine some techniques for making your videos more effective in driving brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement.

Video Length Matters

Research by Visible Measures said that marketers have 10 seconds to grab the viewers’ attention in a marketing clip. Furthermore, 20% of users will click away from the video in 10 seconds or less. Then, by the 2 minute mark, you can expect to see 60% of users clicking away. These numbers seem to hold true irrespective of the video duration. When it comes to platforms, desktop users seem to have an attention span of around 2 minutes or less, while mobile users seem to stay a little longer, around 2.4 minutes.

In order for your video marketing efforts to be truly effective, in addition to being engaging right from the start, it’s important to pay attention to your video analytics data to gain insight into user behavior. You can then tweak and improve your messaging.

New Trends in Video Distribution

The next important factor is where you place your videos. One of the major trends important to note in video distribution is YouTube’s declining market share. An increasing number of content marketers are opting to upload their videos directly to Facebook, rather than publishing them to YouTube and sharing the links on Facebook. The end result is that Facebook is retaining traffic at YouTube’s expense. Keep this in mind when deciding where and how to post your videos.

Quality Content

Next is the quality of your videos. As with all forms of content used in the marketing mix, quality counts. Here are a few tips for producing stellar video content which not only engages users, but can offer SEO benefits as well:

Video content should solve problems and provide new information
In order to produce engaging videos which rank well, you need to solve user problems and provide new, useful information.

Make videos user friendly

Make your video content easy to browse, link to and share. Create a user-friendly video section where your users can easily search and view your content. Try to focus on creating a separate landing page for each of your videos, rather than embedding several into a single page.

Use interactive elements
Make use of interactive video elements to connect with viewers. These include in-video links, quizzes, surveys and forms, all of which can create engagement opportunities at the correct moment and prompt users to take desired actions.

SEO Content

You spend a lot of time and energy creating video for your audience, so make sure that you make the most of it by optimizing it for search. Well optimized and relevant videos can deliver traffic over a long period of time.

Use Transcriptions
Transcriptions can have a major positive impact on your search rankings when utilized properly to improve indexing, usability and content quality. To unlock the content of your video, and make it available to search engines for indexing, include a transcription directly within the HTML of the pages that the videos are hosted on. This also benefits users who are unable to watch it or listen to the audio.

Host Videos on Your Own Domain
This is possibly the most powerful tactic which can be leveraged to extract the maximum SEO value from your videos. Video sharing sites have their place, but by not hosting your own videos, you’re passing traffic off to other sites and giving away the credit.

Allow Embedding
By making it easy for users to share and embed your videos on their sites, you’re essentially increasing the potential for building inbound links to your own site. This is a major bonus in terms of SEO, as well as increasing your exposure.

Use Keywords
When creating your videos, remember which keywords you’re targeting in order to include them in your transcripts and titles. You then maximize your chances of generating traffic from search engines for relevant searches being performed by users.

Create Catchy Titles
Making use of catchy titles in not only something reserved for content writers. By ensuring that your videos have catchy, memorable titles, you’re maximizing your chances of user engagement and driving traffic from searches.

Provide Thorough Descriptions
When embedding or publishing your videos to social sites such as YouTube, it’s essential to include a thorough description (which includes your keyword) telling users (and search bots) what your video is about. This maximizes the chances of getting traffic and exposure from searches.

Use Tags
When it comes to online video, tags make a difference. Consider using your keywords, as well as words which your target audience may use in searches when tagging your videos.

Use Sitemaps
When embedding videos on your own site, it’s important to make use of video sitemaps to assist search engine bots with accessing and indexing your self-hosted video content. Google provides excellent guidance on this subject.

Internal / Outsourced Mix of Getting Videos Made
No longer is video production confined to large companies with big budgets for resources and equipment. With the advent of modern technology, and outsourcing solutions, it’s becoming increasingly less expensive to produce video content.

Make Quality Videos with Good Content

With the right content strategy, and combination of inexpensive production tools, it’s possible for small businesses to get onboard and produce high quality videos with good content.

Videos Must Be the Appropriate Length
Depending on the nature and purpose of the video being produced, a video only needs to be long enough to engage the user and deliver the message in a meaningful and memorable manner. This can be accomplished with short videos of 3 minutes or less. 9% Increase in Conversions for Websites Using Video
The research conducted found that the average conversion rate for video content users was 1.9% higher than that of non-users.

New Trends in Video Distribution

One of the major trends important to note in video distribution is YouTube’s declining market share. An increasing number of content marketers are opting to upload their videos directly to Facebook, rather than publishing them to YouTube and sharing the links on Facebook. The end result is that Facebook is retaining traffic at YouTube’s expense. Keep this in mind when deciding where and how to post your videos.

Predictions

It’s clear that video is becoming increasingly important part of digital strategy and that the medium will continue to mature and evolve.

Gone are the days of corporate-speak messaging and dull, boring campaigns. Instead, we’ll begin to see more marketers incorporate human-speak into their messaging – videos, pictures, humor, and human!”

Through this article you have learnt the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy and how to get started. The important takeaway here is that it’s better to start now and get to grips with the medium, rather than start later and lose ground to competitors who are already taking video onboard. Make this your year for rolling out an engaging content marketing strategy which includes video content, you’ll be glad you did.

Article Marketing Gets Results

Article marketing is a very powerful tool that if used correctly can generate a lot of traffic for your website. Every business writes articles, and it is the cheapest and easiest way to draw high amounts of traffic to your site FREE of charge. The key though to article marketing is writing good content, and optimising it for search engines.

First lets go over the main reason why some people fail to use article marketing. One major reason why people fail to use it is because it takes time, and can be a slow process in the beginning. However once you’ve written a number of articles you’ll start to get use to the whole process, and you might even find shortcuts to help speed up the process.

How To Write Articles

art marketingFirst you must sit down and think of something you wish to write about. Once you come up with a good topic you then must go and research your topic. You can accomplish this by going out and reading other peoples reviews on your topic, and reading up on new information about your topic. (Tip: write about stuff you already know to save time).

Educate your self before writing your article. The number one thing people love to see in a good article is content that is full of information and gives them good advice. A bad article is one that tries to sell people on a business or product. Most people hate to read things that try to sell something to them. The more information you can provide someone the better your article will be.

Once you are done researching your topic you will want to write a short article no more then 500 words. Most article submissions directories will not accept articles fewer than 400 words. Also if you write a article between 400 to 500 words you can optimise it better for search engine rankings.

How Many Articles Should You Write

The number of articles you write plays a factor into the amount of traffic you will be sending to your site. If you only wrote a couple of articles you will probably not see that much traffic. However if you write between 50 to 100 articles you will start to see a good amount of traffic come in from your articles.

So what I recommend everyone tries to do is write 2 to 4 articles per week. I myself try to write one per day. The more articles you can write the better off you will be.

You must also remember article marketing starts off slow but once you have written a high number of articles it really starts to take off, and you’ll see your site getting some good traffic.

Why Should You Use Article Marketing

Simply because it is free, and it works. It’s that simple. If you have little or no budget article marketing is the perfect place to start.

Another reason why you should write articles is because your articles get picked up by search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL etc. When this happens watch out! Your articles can go through the roof and catch fire and start drawing in crazy amounts of traffic to your site.

How To Optimise Your Article For Search Engines

Here are some very good ways to optimise your articles to help them get ranked high up in the search engines for certain keywords in your article.

First you must pick one keyword that you wish to target. Picking a keyword will be your biggest key. Don’t try to target keywords hat have millions of searches. Target ones that have maybe 600K to 1 million searches at most.

Once you find a good keyword to centre your article around try to use it no more then ten times, but make sure you don’t over do it as that can actually hurt you more then it can help you if you use a word to many times.

Make sure you bold, italic, or underline the word about two or three times. Again make sure that you don’t over do it because this also can hurt you more then it can help you.

Now try your best to use your keyword you are targeting at both the top of your page, and at the bottom of your page in your last few sentences.

Finally you’ll want to use the keyword in your link back to your web site.

For every article you write you’ll have a “about the author” box. In this box you’ll want to leave a little sales pitch along with a link back to your site.

Resources to Consider

affiliate-promo-material-1-logoDiscover how easily you can spin or rewrite any article with this amazing piece of kit.

Article Submission Directory Submit Your Articles Here. http://www.GoArticles.com

Ezine Articles are the biggest library of articles on the net

Content Nitrous Review

Just thought I would put together a short insight into a new product coming onto the market on Tuesday August 24th 2015 called Content Nitrous by husband and wife team Omar & Melinda Martin. The target niche is geared towards, content marketing, traffic generation and content optimisation.

So What Is Content Nitrous?

Well simply put it is a system used to enhance websites and make money, this is fact not theory. They have been doing this for years and now want to reveal their secrets to the world. It has been tested on membership sites, download pages, and funnels. It has been perfected by their team of progammers to automate it, giving them a copy and paste short code for WordPress that pulls in the money. The code can also be customised to suit your requirements.

Content Nitrous Features.

The sytem has already been used on some of the biggest product launches in the Internet Marketing Industry in the last few years. The software will do things on autopilot such as; increase long term marketing profits, inject life in to any launch bottom line and also decrease your support headaches. You can check out their video on the site.

You will get the content nitrous ebook, MP3 audio course, four part video training course and the “StepBox” WordPress plugin.

So Why Do You Need It?

Imagine you had a simple short code that you could paste on to your thank you page or download page of your website to quickly add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to your bottom line over and over again. This is the kind of product that you will use constantly to improve and grow your business long term, this is the real deal.

Your customers, visitors will love the value that this simple system will add to your site, customers will keep flooding back for more.

 

Digital advertising has been blacklisted

Which Form of Digital Advertising is the Most Effective?

People these days are so fixated on content marketing, and organic search that even uttering the words ‘let’s pay for some traffic’ have become awkwardly pushed to the side.

But don’t be fooled.

Even the most successful ‘content marketers’ are still using digital advertising tactics to get their content found. They might just not tell you about it, because it contradicts their methodology.

We can’t forget how effective ads can be for getting our products and services found – but we need to be aware of how the landscape is changing.

 

The state of digital advertising

Digital ad revenue continues to grow year on year.

The big trend you need to know about?

Mobile is taking over (Not quite taking over, but it’s growing rapidly)

Ok you get it, content marketing alone might not be enough and mobile is becoming more and more important if you want to advertise online.

But where do you start? How do you know what is the best platform for your business?

The most effective form of digital advertising is contextual, it depends on who you are trying to reach and how you want to get there.

Let’s run through the options, then give a quick breakdown of who benefits most from each.

Social Media

It’s a rare thing to find a company without a social media division these days, even if that “division” is just some hapless intern working for experience.

From restaurants to airlines to celebrities – if there’s a brand, there’s a Twitter handle to match.

When it comes to advertising on social media, everything is pretty new. The way we advertise on these platforms is continually changing, because no one really knows what works.

Advertisers aren’t quite sure yet (although some will claim they are). The consumers are confused with these new ads popping up on their social streams. And the platforms themselves (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) are still balancing user experience with maximising revenue.

Social ads generally follow Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Impression models, making them relatively easy to budget for – because you pay for what you get.

Now for a closer look at Facebook and Twitter as advertising platforms.

Facebook

This social network is perhaps the most progressed with its digital advertising platform.

Facebook ads are similar to Google PPC campaigns, where you can bid for clicks or impressions on different keywords, then display ads on Facebook’s right vertical bar.

More recently Facebook introduced news feed ad spots if you have an active Facebook page. These are proving a much better ROI than the right side bar.

Keep in mind that the people seeing your ads will find them in a social context – so photos and images are a core component of a successful ad campaign.

Who should advertise on Facebook?

Devoted PPC marketers with the willingness to spend a lot of time getting things right.

Keep in mind that the sheer number of users Facebook has, makes it a perfect fit for B2C marketers. But B2B marketers have started to make their presence known because of the extremely targeted information the platform is accruing on all of us.

Facebook ads are easy to launch, and just as easy to edit (especially with the new mobile ad manager).

Marketers are able to make spot fixes on the fly to optimise and correct under performing ads while boosting budget for winners.

Twitter

These ads are, again, not dissimilar from Facebook advertising when it comes down to brute mechanics.

But they’re a different animal conceptually. Facebook ads are, well, advertising. They’re your chance to put your commercial foot forward.

Twitter ads are not. Paying for prominence here is a way to put what you might normally tweet into a more obvious place.

Ads work in parallel with the personality of your normal, free Twitter feed, and shouldn’t veer off into sales territory.

Who should advertise on Twitter?

Marketers with a solid Twitter strategy, but not enough Twitter traction.

Promoting your posts to the right audience (and yes, Twitter’s ad engine allows considerable targeting) is your way of cutting through the logjam of influencers and expose potential clients to your social voice.

Interstitial

The relative new kid on the block. Interstitial ads, if you haven’t heard the phrase before, are promotional pages that show up before a visitor makes their way to the content they actually want to see. On one hand, that basically guarantees visibility. On the other, it’s irritating; interstitial ads are prime targets for adblock software, and many clients avoid them on principle.

As a result, the industry has undergone a mild reformation. They’ve really come into their own on mobile platforms, where they quickly capture attention, leading to soaring success, especially in the case of attention-grabbing video and rich media ads.

Who should advertise with interstitial?

Companies with the budget to make a move on mobile and do it right.

Poorly made mobile ads are just as annoying as their increasingly disliked predecessors; treat them as an opportunity to create original content, then show it to your viewers.

Banner Ads

Banner ads have caught a load of flak for the slashed CTR’s they’ve seen of late. But while the numbers are daunting, they merely point to a poor average, not a death knell for the humble banner.

They might not pull the engagement that more obtrusive options do, but banner ads remain wonderful for establishing visual branding, and hitting a highly targeted audience.

The ability to pick and choose where an ad shows up allows advertisers to carefully tailor their campaign toward a given site and demographic.

But in order to beat flagging CTR’s, companies do have to evolve. Think about clever examples like Skittles’ interactive, offbeat banners, or powerful, fold-dominating movie posters.

Who should advertise with banner ads?

Established companies with a solid ad budget, and an extremely clear idea of who they want to reach and how.

A defined audience and a superb visual idea can still combine to keep banners relevant.

PPC

The skimpier, but less-expensive cousins to banner ads.

Google’s Pay-Per-Click campaigns have become a massive boon for cash-strapped businesses looking to muscle in on banner space. And at least at the moment, they’ve proven to be effective.

Those stark text boxes may blend in to the background of many sites, but find a convincing enough message, and it’ll still snag a few eyes.

Perhaps the best thing about PPC ads is that they offer a more-or-less predictable ROI, and one that, even if an ad belly-flops spectacularly, won’t drop to levels low enough to seriously hurt most companies.

Design costs for text ads are nil, and the PPC model guarantees that advertisers won’t drop too much of their budget upon launch.

Who should advertise with PPC?

Companies that don’t translate well to visual media.

Whether you simply don’t have a graphic artist on hand, or your services are hard to sum up in a photo, PPC is your best bet for a high-yield campaign.

The best PPC ads are the ones that ditch details, and go for the jugular with competitive prices and calls to action.

Wrapping it up

While all ad formats still have their applications for different companies, changing technology and market trends will result in a few finding even greater success down the road.

We’re particularly talking about mobile. Whether you go banner, video interstitial, whatever. Mobile ads will likely make up a larger and larger percentage of all advertising in the coming years. Evolving tech such as proximity marketing will only exaggerate that effect.

But if you’re attached to a particular form, there’s still good news. The lessons learned from more traditional marketing aren’t about to be completely invalidated. At the end of the day the actual quality of ads will be the single largest determining factor of their success.

Tools For Content Marketing

Producing great content is very important, so I have decided to give a few of my secrets away showing you what I consider to be some of the best tools for content marketing.

You need to be attracting hundreds if not thousands of people to your articles, blog posts & services in order to increase your subscriber list and grow your authority as an expert in your chosen field.

The list below will show you how to write engaging blog posts, create many article ideas along with very attractive headlines, also I show you how to distribute your content and much more.

Getting Content Ideas

Topsy will allow you to find the most popular content on Twitter, it is great for generating ideas for your daily blogging efforts. You can discover exactly who is sharing and see what and who the key influences are at any given time. You can see who has re-tweeted your content simply by putting in a blog post url and clicking search. Also there is a cool tab called “influential only” which will show you who the most influential people are who have shared an article or blog post, it’s a great way to build relationships with others. Add value & promote for them and they will do the same for you, it’s win win all round.

BuzzSumo will help you find the most popular content on any subject you care to think of. Obtain detailed stats on social media from the dashboard, and find the most shared content and those sharing it. Search any keyword and see the main people influencing that subject field. There are so many things you can do with this tool, check it out to see what I mean.

All Top allows you to discover all of the top blogs on any given subject by aggregating the best of the web. Find a category you are interested in from the dashboard and keep track of the most recent popular posts, giving an endless array of content ideas.

Tag Board, here find interesting content on any topic, by entering a hashtag and watch as the tagboard retrieves countless amounts of epic content from across the internet. It does this by aggregating all of the recent posts from, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook and many other social media platforms that contain the particular hashtag you are after.

Feedly helps in the finding of great content ideas to share online, again this tool will aggregate all of your selected favourite blogs in one easy to navigate dashboard.

Scoop It Here find numerous content ideas by doing a quick and easy search. Nice piece of kit, simple to use.

Social Crawlytics With this tool discover some of the most in depth social sharing data available on the net, and find out which posts are the most popular on the top social media sites around like LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. Identify the most popular content on your website, thus allowing you to see what is working and what is not. This will give you constant information as to what to blog about next, and which services & products to promote, great for affiliate marketing ideas.

Quora is a great little Q & A facility. The questions here are usually unique, interesting & intelligent asked daily, which will allow you to find new angles to master in any new content marketing campaign. Explore new and interesting ideas for articles and blog posts alike, also good for email marketing content ideas as well as any videos you may be thinking of doing. Quora is not like Yahoo Answers where there is so much repeated waffle and garbage talked about.

Listly Here you can simply type in any keyword and get hundreds of content ideas on any topic, I use it for headline engagement.

Uber Suggest Is great for long tail keyword research and generating new topic ideas as well as finding new keywords to use.

Gaining Creative Content

Toggl Is a cool little productivity tool, it is a simple time tracking tool. To use it just enter the task you are currently working on and click start. Toggl will track your time in the backgound thus keeping you focused on the task in hand.

Evernote can go hand-in-hand with Google Drive & is ideal for writing your blog posts within the system they provide. With Evernote you are able to record audio and turn it into text, free of charge.

Quabel is a distraction free writing app that allows people to focus on creating content speedily. Set yourself a goal and let the timer begin, also this will back up your work as you create it, automatically.

Stay Focused is a Google Chrome extension which blocks sites which appear as time wasting ones, there is also a Firefox plugin called Leech Block which does a similar job.

Camtasia is excellent for creating video, for Mac users then Screenflow is probably best.

Audacity is a free audio editor for those who want to create great podcasts and place them on sites like itunes, soundcloud or stitcher radio.

Canva will help you create very engaging graphics even if your design skills are not too good. There are built in templates to help create social media posts, blog graphics, pinterest photographs, twitter headers, Kindle & facebook covers plus there ads. Creating cool looking graphics is of paramount importance these days when dealing with any kind of social media platform.

Pic Monkey is another photo editing tool that makes life easier when creating images for blog posts, to gain attention.

Pixabay has thousands of copyright-free images that can be used on your blog or
ever for commercial use. No registration is required.

Unsplash Gorgeous, copyright-free images.

123rf  One of the most affordable stock photography sites online. It’s about
a dollar per image.

IconFinder allows you to use icons in blog images.

GraphicRiver Thousands of icons, web graphics, infographics, and other design elements that you can use in your blog posts. Here’s a quick image I whipped up using some cool graphics from GraphicRiver…

ReciteThis Create picture quotes. Great for posting on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Slideshare – Find unique and engaging Slideshare presentations to embed in your
blog post. Fun and easy way to add value to your posts AND stand out.

Recordit Make your content stand out with animated screencasts. Record quick videos with Recordit and then turn them into animated gifs that you can put in your blog post. It’s a great way to make your article stand out from the rest. These also work well on Google Plus.

Wordle Create beautiful word clouds in just a few clicks.

QuotesCover  Create beautiful picture quotes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram. QuotesCover makes it easy.

 

Blogger Outreach

The first step to blogger outreach is finding the top influencers in your niche. The best two tools for identifying the top bloggers and social media influencers are Topsy and BuzzSumo. On Topsy, you can enter ANY url (or blog post) and find out the top social media users who shared that article. This is a super easy way to find the top bloggers who are most likely to share your article. The other is is BuzzSumo. Simply enter your main keyword and find the top social media users around that topic. After every post you write, send a personalized email to at least 50 related bloggers and let them know about your latest blog post. This alone can easily generate thousands of highly-targeted visitors. In fact, if I could only choose ONE strategy for promoting my content. This would be it. Even above email marketing.

BuzzStream  One of the most popular platforms for blogger outreach. Buzzstream allows you to scale your blogger outreach without losing the personal touch.
You can build a list of influencers, create email templates, set reminders, schedule emails, track your conversation history, and more.

Contactually Helps you track, manage, and build relationships with other top bloggers. Gives you a systematic way to scale your relationships and keep up with the people who
matter. You can also use their ScaleMail feature to send up to 250 personalized messages. Add a few personal notes to each one and then click send to broadcast your email to all of your contacts. Contactually allows you to create ongoing, meaningful conversations.

InkyBee One of the best tools for finding the most popular bloggers in any niche.
Gmail Canned Responses – Gmail has a magical little add-on that is perfect for content marketers. It’s called “Canned Responses”. First, you’ll need to open up your Gmail settings and click on the “Labs” tab. From here, you can enable “Canned Responses” in your Gmail account. You just enabled a hidden feature that could easily save you hours of time every month.

You can now start creating email templates for your blogger outreach, customer support, frequently asked questions, joint venture emails, and more.
I have 5 different email templates I use for blogger outreach. So each time I publish a new blog post, I can click one button and upload one of my favorite templates. From there I do a bit of customization. I like all of my emails to be fun and personalized 🙂
The more fun you have with your emails the better responses you’ll get. Most people are way to uptight and professional in their emails.
Have fun with it! You’re not a robot.
And then you send it off! But by creating templates, you can send 25 outreach emails in a fraction of the time.

Boomerang Gmail plugin that reminds you to follow up on emails. You can setup Boomerang to remind you in X number of days if you don’t hear back from someone. This tool is essential for any content marketer doing a lot of blogger outreach. Helps you stay on track of multiple conversations. Or even schedule recurring emails to remind yourself of important tasks you need to finish.

BananaTag See what happens to your emails after you press send. BananaTag allows you
to find out whether or not someone opened your email or clicked a link. Integrates seamlessly with Gmail and Outlook. Get detailed metrics for ALL of your blogger outreach.
So when you email your favorite blogger, you’ll know exactly when they opened your email and whether or not they clicked on your link. BananaTag will even tell you whether they’re on their desktop or mobile device. And best of all, your email appears NO different to your contacts. All of the tracking is done seamlessly without any change in the user experience.

Rapportive Integrates seamlessly with Gmail to give you additional (insightful) info on every contact in your inbox.

Refresh.io  This one is a hidden gem. It’s a great blogger outreach tools but still quite undiscovered in the social media world. Basically, Refresh allows you to search just about ANY person on the web and find out some really cool stuff about them.

Tools For An Easier Way To Blog

Don’t you wish there was an easier way to blog? From coming up with ideas to writing and promoting, there is a lot that goes into content marketing.

You can use a number of tools that can help you generate ideas, make the writing process easier, and even market your content for you.

Before you can start writing, you need to come up with ideas, ideally ones that will be popular.

Content Discovery Tools

Buzzsumo – type in a word or a phrase, and Buzzsumo will show you the most popular posts around the web that contain that phrase.
Portent – if you are struggling to come up with a cool idea or title, just type in a keyword on Portent, and it will generate catchy titles for you.
Quora – this is a great place to look if you need some inspiration. People ask questions in every industry, and Quora will help you spot the hot ones.
Google Trends – the last thing you want to do is blog on a topic that isn’t popular. Google Trends will point you in the right direction as it shows search volume for different keywords and phrases.
Alltop – not every blog is worth following. Alltop ranks and organizes the top blogs around the web so you can see what others are writing about.
Twitter – most people use Twitter for distribution, but I also use it to see what’s trending.
Pulse – LinkedIn created a product that is like an RSS feed. It allows you to subscribe to specific topics and interests so that you know what is being discussed.
Evernote – as a blogger, you’ll eventually have more ideas than time. With Evernote, you can keep track of all your ideas.
Trello – the more organized you are, the smoother the content marketing process will be. Trello is a great place to organize all of your ideas.

Once you have figured out what to blog on, the next step is for you to start writing.

Tools for writing

If you use the tools below, you’ll find that not only will you write better but you’ll also be able to create content faster.

Google Docs – instead of blogging in WordPress, consider writing your content first in Google Docs. It will help you spot grammar and spelling issues, plus you can collaborate with others when you need help.
Wunderlist – if you want to write list-based posts, check out Wunderlist. It makes it easy for you to create lists on everything.
Meme Generator – who said creating funny images is hard? With a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, you can start generating memes in minutes on Meme Generator.
Visual.ly – infographics don’t have to be expensive. Visual.ly will help you create your own.
Infogr.am – graphs and pie charts don’t have to be ugly anymore. You can now create pretty ones that generate social shares.
Skitch – from screen captures to quick photo edits, Skitch is a simple photo editing tool. It may not have as many features as Photoshop, but it is much easier to use.
Uberflip – sometimes you’ll want to create ebooks or PDFs on your blog. Uberflip is a simple tool that will allow you to do so, plus it gives you stats that show you how popular your content is.
TinyMCE – if you prefer blogging within WordPress, this tool will ensure you are using correct grammar and spelling.
Text Broker – ideally, you should be writing your own content, but if you don’t have the time, Text Broker can take care of the writing process for you.
Problogger Job Board – similarly to finding help on Text Broker, you can find freelance writers on Problogger.
Shareist – from capturing content around the web to embedding links and videos, Shareist helps with the whole content marketing cycle. It’s a platform made for small and medium businesses.
Kapost – if you want a tool that does everything, Kapost is worth checking out. It’s worth using if you need help with scheduling and writing, but it can do much more than that.
Editorial calendar – once you get the hang of blogging, you’ll want to use a content calendar to organize publishing of your posts. This will help you spot holes and figure out how often and when you should be blogging.

Now that you’ve nailed down the writing process, it’s time to focus on distribution.

Tools for distribution

Promoting your content doesn’t have to be hard. There are a lot of tools you can use to help you out.

Yoast – search engines are a great source of traffic. Yoast will optimize your blog for you so that you can maximize your rankings.
Buffer – pushing out your content to all of the social sites can be a pain. But with Buffer, you can do so with just one click.
Click to tweet – by making quotes and phrases within your content tweetable, you will get more social traffic. When I tested this out on Quick Sprout, I was able to generate 26% more tweets.
Tweroid – your followers may not be online when you are tweeting. Tweroid will help you determine the optimal twitting time to get the most exposure.
Slideshare – why not turn your content into a presentation? Submitting your content to Slideshare in a presentation format is a great way to get extra traffic and more branding.
Outbrain – if you want to generate more traffic, Outbrain is a good source for cheap traffic. For a few cents a click, you can get more people reading your blog.
Flare – social sharing buttons don’t have to be ugly. Flare lets you take control of the way your sharing buttons look, plus it tells you the number of clicks they get.
GetResponse – email is the best way to generate traffic to your blog. Through GetResponse, you can start collecting emails on your blog and then do an email blast to your list every time you publish a new piece of content.
Google Webmaster Tools – if you want to know where you rank in the search engine results, this is the only tool you need. You can then take the keywords that rank on page one, build some links to them, and increase your rankings.
LinkedIn Groups – one of the simplest ways to get more traffic is to submit your content to LinkedIn groups. Join groups that have over 100,000 members and are in spaces related to yours. Submit your content, and watch your social traffic grow.
Audience Bloom – these guys have an internal tool that helps companies get guest posts. They only charge you when their tool helps you land a guest post from relevant sites. It’s a great way to increase your referral traffic and gain new readers to your blog.
Google Blog Search – through Google’s blog search, you can find relevant blogs within your industry. Once you find a handful of blogs, read their content, and start commenting, providing great information. This will help drive people back to your blog, which will increase your readership.

Conclusion

Content marketing isn’t rocket science. The tools I mentioned above will make it easier for you to generate ideas, write articles, and promote your content.

I’ve tested all of them, and they’ve helped me with the whole content marketing process. Best of all, they help me save hours each week, which allows me to either focus on other marketing initiatives or write more content.

Content Marketing Made Easier

Putting my research hat on again I discovered some cool tools to make your content marketing strategies a lot easier.

Content manager and content marketers lives can get a bit hectic. They spend a lot of time identifying what is seen as relevant and valuable content, in relation to their product, with the intent of changing or enhancing

consumer behavior.

That is content marketing and the belief of this marketing strategy is that if you help increase the intelligence of your consumer base by putting more information in front of them, valuable information, then they’ll reward

you with their business and loyalty. This often requires long hours of internet research to find what is considered relevant and valuable information that will elevate your target audience, putting together posts that have both great content and great visuals, and doing it on a consistent basis.

Below are 15 free content marketing tools that will help you deliver that amazing content to keep your customers coming back for more.

Tools for screenshots

Let’s face it, content is always great to have, but human beings are visual creatures. “I’ll believe it when I see

it,” didn’t become an adage for no reason at all. There is universal truth in that statement, which is naturally

understood. Consumers most often prefer to be shown, not told, about the features to help them best make

their decision, or to increase their knowledge of your industry, niche, or products. This is where screenshots or how-to videos come in. These are the tools to help you with them.
1. Jing

Jing is a downloadable tool that allows it’s user to capture the screenshot, alter the screenshot with different

markup features and send screenshots to your social media platforms with easy sharing tools. What sets

Jing apart is its recording feature that is maxed at five minutes for “instant, focused communication.”

2. Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is actually a plug-in that is created based on Google Chrome, but also can be used in

other popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s default browser Safari. Its stand-out feature is

that it’s built-in to the browser, so if your work or product is internet based (what isn’t now a days?), it’s

easier to utilize this tool than one that needs to be downloaded and ran separately.

3. Monosnap

Monosnap also comes fully equipped with the expected features of a screenshot tool, allowing you to

highlight the important parts of the screen with pen, text, arrows and shapes. Be sure to use the blur out tool

to blur out your confidential information. This tool comes with free cloud storage.

 

Writing & Editing Tools

The most important part of all content marketers’ job is the content. This is the bread and butter; the chicken

& the gravy. Without professional, accurate, knowledgeable content delivered in an easy to understand

manner, there is no work. There will be no consumers seeking out your company’s service or product.

Ultimately there is nothing without content. Here are the tools to make sure your content meets all these

criteria, or if you have difficulty generating content, resources that will help you do so.
4. Paper Rater

Paper Rater is a Natural Language Processing engine that runs behind Paper Rater is the stand-out feature

of this website. It not only checks for plagiarism but it seeks to improve the writing of the author by avoiding

false-positives on grammar detection which happens a staggering 50% of the time with other technologies.

5. Essay Mama

Essay Mama is different from paper rater, whereas instead of checking your work, you can purchase essays

or content from writers who hold Master’s degrees and PhD’s in their field. If you have a large enough profit

margin for your business, and think having 100% original content from experts in your industry will help boost

the value you give to your consumer, then Essay Mama is the place for you.

6. Copyscape

Copyscape allows you to protect your content by seeking for exact copies online. It’s been ranked number 0ne by

independent tests as the most powerful and most popular plagiarism detection software. You can purchase

Copyscape premium for upgraded features; therefore, unlocking the full power of the plagiarism detection

software. Copysentry is the second feature of Copyscape Premium, which automatically scans the web

daily or weekly and e-mails you if any copies of your content are found.

 

Image and Design Tools

Beyond the penultimate, valuable content, with how-to tutorials and/or valuable screenshots, consumers want

to know that their decision of utilizing your website for valuable information is the correct one. Having a great

web design and utilizing images, helps increase credibility, and build your brand. Here are a few places to

help make this component of your content grade A.

7. Thinglink

Embed content within your images with ThingLink, from product descriptions, links to purchase pages of

products, tell the story behind the image, etc. all to increase your click-through rate and increase consumer

interaction. They offer real time analytics of consumer engagement, and can even make a ThingLink image

an interactive App on Facebook. Utilizing ThingLink is sure to increase consumer engagement.

8. Canva

Canva is a design tool that was founded by a design visionary to take as much hassle out of design as

possible. Design software has been complicated from the beginning and can take weeks to months of trial

and error before you achieve your desired result, even if you do. Utilize Canva, and you can create beautiful

designs with the simplicity of their stand-out, drag and drop feature. The designs can be made for web or print

and covers things such as flyers, presentations, Facebook covers, blog graphics, business cards, posters,

and invitations.

9. PicMonkey

PicMonkey has a bunch of cool things going on with their team, which includes a monkey of course. Their

features include Touchup, which users can utilize to get the best look out of their profile pictures. They also

have a photo editor, loads of collage templates, and graphics that can be used to customize the design for

your brand, product or service. What is standout about PicMonkey are the tutorials that they offer for support.

So not only do they provide you with the tools for free, they teach you how to use and get the most out of

them for free as well.

 

Creative fonts

Fonts, not just any fonts, but creative ones, help to create the creases and ripples in your brands fingerprint.

If chosen correctly, and adhered to, it will help separate yourself and give you a more defined brand identity.

These are a few sites that offer free, downloadable fonts that you can use as your brands namesake.

10. Dafont

Either if you know it or not, Dafont has been around since 2000! Pushing on their fourteenth year

anniversary is only a testament of how longevity favours simplicity. You can easily find fonts either via

alphabetical order, or type and in a few clicks you can have it downloaded and running in your program of

choice. Use their FAQ and Forums for help getting your newly acquired font, into the software or website

where you want it. They also have a tools section which advertises purchasable font software.

11. Google Fonts

Google just seems to find any and everything they can capitalize on, and then do it. Here is another example

of their subtle monopoly into every possible online frontier imaginable. With over 600 font families, Google

Fonts makes it just three easy steps before the font is running on your website. The standout feature is

simply that – the Open Source CSS font code is already prepared and easy as adding it to your website in

seconds.

 

Infographic and video creation.

If you haven’t seen an infographic, you’re not with the times. These are graphic visual representations of data

or information that’s intended to present information clearly and quickly. The tools for video creation will be

beneficial for the content manager who needs to make more than just a five minute how-to by using a tool like

Jing.

12. Piktochart

Never made an infographic before? This is the tool for you. Hit the ground running with your choice of 100,

fully customizable themes, a library of over 1,000 images to use or upload your own and share it with as

many consumers you can reach. How many more consumers could you inform if you were spreading your

product/service data with infographics instead of old school articles? The standout feature for piktochart has

to be their support. They have the most comprehensive resource list out of all these tools and advertise the

most support. There’s no way you can lose with Piktochart.

13. Infogram

Infogram has already had more than 2.5 million inforgraphics made on their website, and yours should be

next! They offer 30 different chart types, with a backend spreadsheet that allows you to easily edit your data

and alter your charts. No design skills are required to create and you can download your infographics as

PNG or PDF for presentations or to send to consumers via e-mail marketing. If you have any trouble you can

contact them via their support bar on the side, or reach them via a social media channel such as Skype, FB

or Twitter.

14. Wideo

Wideo is an online video creation tool that allows its users to create, edit and share video for free. The videos

are fully animated and are made with their own available images, movement, objects, shapes, audio or text;

or you can upload your own images, backgrounds and music. Wideo has been utilized for business,

education and just for fun! Either way, animated videos are always fun and if utilized appropriately can be very

beneficial for your purpose.

 

15. Stupeflix

Stupeflix, a startup online video creation tool, created in Europe can be used for personal reasons, education,

business, and developers. The videos can be up to 20 minutes long and each one comes with a free theme,

made and ready for the web with a single click. Standout Stupeflix features are its ability to add maps,

custom transitions, add voice-over, set movie pace, individual durations or even slo-mo. Stupeflix does offer a

PRO version with an additional fee.

6 Keys for Content Creation

Most marketers are good at packaging products and services but not as adept when it comes to packaging information and providing compelling content creation practices.

Nowadays, it’s commonplace to use high-quality content as a way to attract inbound leads.

Below, I share with you insights that keep people reading, sharing, subscribing and passing along my e-newsletter. All of these actions are important for attracting advertisers.

1. Create Personas

Most marketers write to a faceless audience. There is no such thing. You must vividly define and picture exactly who you want to reach.

Chances are, you’re going to have multiple segments within your audience. Identify each segment by way of a persona. Give each persona a name and identity. Define what they want to know and what motivates them.

Ask yourself these questions about the various personas:

What are their job titles?
Are they influences or the actual buyers?
Are they consultants or on staff?
What makes them look good in front of their bosses?

Figure out the level of sophistication of all persona’s and what they want to know. Assume these people are at least as smart as you are and maybe smarter. After all, if they’re in a position to spend money with you or influence spending, then they must have something on the ball.

2. Speak From Experience

Readers and viewers want your expertise and not someone else’s regurgitated content. Sharing case histories and results from your own experience informs the reader about what exactly you do for a living and the products and services you vend.

I have been subscribed to a firm’s RSS feed for years, having enjoyed its content immensely, but I had no idea how it makes money until recently. Remember, your audience wants to know where you’re coming from and what your agenda is. Tell them. It’s transparent; it’s honest and forthright. It gives them an idea of your style and what they can expect if they begin a client relationship with you.

3. Optimize Your Content with Cross-Channel Promotion

Many marketers who generate content only promote it within the delivery channel of that content. If you’re going to go to the expense and effort of creating quality content, you might as well amortize it by promoting it across as many platforms as possible.

We billboard what the next issue of Web Digest will be in our Twitter feed. We ask for suggestions. We typically tell followers which firms will be covered in the next issue. Various parts of each issue are posted to different blogs and posted to our Facebook page.

If you produce podcasts, make sure your show notes go into detail about exactly what is covered in each podcast. There are SEO as well as UI reasons to do this. You can easily imagine people may just read the show notes instead of listening to or viewing the actual podcasts. I’ve done it myself. Be sure to post links to upcoming events and “share” buttons in those show notes.

Within your podcast, don’t be shy about asking people to Like you on Facebook, subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on Twitter, and even consider buying your products and services. Be sure to give them solid reasons why they should do each. Tell them what goodies await them should they Like you on FB.

4. Look for Content Holes

Yes, you might get ideas from others about what to write about, but your primary mission is to look for what’s missing…what is not covered that is of significant importance. This is how you ensure that your content is exclusive and stands out from the rest of the blah-blah blogosphere, which, more often than not, is just a reverberation chamber of what everyone else is bloviating about.

In short, don’t create “me too” content. There’s too much of that already, and you won’t differentiate yourself by adding to it.

5. Give ‘Em Tools

Some of the most clicked-on issues of Web Digest contain short reviews of useful tools in a tightly defined niche. In this age of “go and do this now,” tools that give fast answers are always in high demand.

You might not want to review tools in your niche since they might be offered by competitors. But, you could create your own useful tools that dovetail neatly with your product/service offerings. Think of tools as content packages in their own right. HubSpot’s various tools have gone viral such as Marketing Grader.

6. Map Your Content

This is obvious for folks in the publishing business, but many marketers do not project out beyond a few weeks what they’re going to create.

I know a number of sophisticated marketers who plan their pdf collateral a year in advance. For such deep studies, there is no other way to budget and prepare quality products.

But, if you’re on a weekly, monthly or daily schedule, have something roughed in for each date you publish. However, if at all possible, keep it flexible until a few days or weeks prior. Why? Because in this fast-moving world, things change on a dime. Something you thought of six months ago could be old news or replaced with something hot and happening.