Content Marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. For the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of content marketing tools, apps and processes to identify and curate quality content, syndicate this content to my social network and automate the process using various tools, both free and paid versions.
This video highlights the tools and concepts I will be exploring in the article. In the near future, I will show you how I use each content marketing tool in my day-to-day marketing effort as it applies to my blogging activity, servicing my clients and engaging my social media marketing network.
In this article, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite content marketing tools, applications and techniques that I’ve incorporated into my daily and weekly content marketing routine. They include:
• Google Plus
What is Content Marketing an why should you care?
It’s too early to call, but in some circles, it’s said that social is becoming the new SEO.
If this theory holds, it’s not a minute to soon for you to plan, develop and deploy a new content marketing and social sharing strategy. In this article, I’m going to share with you my approach to content marketing and social sharing using a new content marketing strategy and the tools and techniques I use to deploy this new methodology.
Finding good quality content is key so we don’t spend half our day doing it. At the core of this new content marketing is Google Reader. My advice is get to know the new Google Reader ASAP. It will help you find great content that is worth sharing.
Your Friends, Fans, Followers, Readers and Customers will thank you for it. Granted, there’s more than one way to skin this content marketing and syndication challenge and this model is by no means the end-all, but I can tell you, if you follow this model, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and generate a lot more traffic to your site!
The first content marketing tool I’ll cover is called PostRank.
PostRank delivers objective, real-time data and analysis on any topic, trend, or interest relevant to you or your business. PostRank was acquired by Google in June 2011, so you know the algorithm is robust, stable and provides an quality accurate scoring of the content. I’ve been using PostRank since July 2011 and I can report the algorithm delivers on its promise (i.e.) assigns an accurate quality score to a specific piece of digital content (Blog post article).
How to use PostRank for Content Marketing
First off, you’ll want to visit the Chrome store and install the PostRank extension into your Chrome browser. Over the years, I have subscribed to dozens of Blogs that speak to the issues I need to keep abreast of in order to stay ahead of the learning curve in SEO, Local SEO, WordPress, Social Media, Content Marketing, etc.
I have somewhere between 15-20 top tier RSS Feeds in each of my Google Reader Folders. You should do the same. I found a great way to find “best of class” Blogs in each of my niche markets. If you need help on this, let me know and I’ll share with you the tools and techniques I used to find these great Blogs. [Hint] Visit Junta42.com
Let’s assume you have a nice roster of Blogs in each of your RSS Folders. All you need to do is — open Google Reader and visit each RSS Folder. The PostRank extension will present you with a color coded score on each of the entries in each RSS Feed. I just scan the headlines of the best (5.4+) scored entries scan the headlines that catch my eye and that I think my audience will find useful. Now all I have to do, is scroll down to the bottom of the article and click the G+ share icon and post it to my G+ Stream.
So in a matter of 2-3 minutes, I’ve identified a great piece of content and shared it on my G+ Stream. I’ve decided G+ will become the de facto standard for social sharing and networking, so this is where the majority of my social shares will be syndicated moving forward. You can do the same thing with Twitter, Buffer, Ping.fm or any of a dozen other web enabled other apps. The point is, you want to ID great content and syndicate that content with people that will find your social share useful. This is one of the most effective ways I know to build a reputation as an expert in your field.
Visibli Engagement Toolbar in Content Marketing
Visibli’s Content Optimization platform categorizes your content by topic and format, and provides an actionable scorecard to increase engagement.
I like using the Visibli Engagement Toolbar because it lets me extend the reach of my social shares. There are dozens of elements you can add to your toolbar. I’ve been using my main web 2.0 properties (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Pinterest).
As you saw in the video above, as you share quality content marketing messages with your audience, you will find they will share your content with their fans, followers and friends, and in many instances, they will ReTweet it, watch your video (if you link a YouTube video to your toolbar) or visit one of your web 2.0 social networks and over-time, you will become an esteemed expert in your field.
I have not upgraded to the Visibli Enterprise edition, so the data in my Analytic Dashboard are limited. Still, I am able to see which if my top 10 pages get the most clicks and re-shares. This helps me gauge where to add more focus and where to scale back on less appealing content I’ve authored over time.
Pinterest Visual Bookmarks
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
Pinterest popularity has sky rocketed in the past few months. Pinterest has 3.24 million unique visitors per month (Compete.com, December 2011). The big tech blogs (Mashable, TechCrunch etc.) have tagged Pinterest as one of the Top 10 social networks for 2011, and for good reason. Their growth and usage numbers are “off the charts”.
Pinterest and Content Marketing
While Pinterest is ideal for Photographers sharing wedding photos, even us guys in the SEO space can share content that non-techs find interesting and useful. I will say that for those who are tech oriented, it helps if your PIN is presented in a visual format. Infographics work well for this. It’s smart to plan out the Pinterest Boards and Pins you intend to share in your content marketing. Here’s My Pinterest Board.
I see a lot people on Pinterest that haven’t taken the time to fill-out any info on their profile. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure you fill-out a complete profile description and include the full URL to your other social networks. Here’s why. When you add a new Board or a new Pin to a Board and someone likes it, or repins it, Pinterest will automatically add the link to the page where that image or video came from. This is a great way to acquire links to your site, increase traffic to your site and increase the number of people in your target audience to start following you on Pinterest and your other social networks.
As with any social network, there are some basic rules of engagement you should know and follow. Here’s the “rules of engagement for Pinterest.
Most Popular on Pinterest
The Pinterest Top page has five (5) headings
• Pinners You Follow
One way to find quality content marketing material is to scan the Popular feed. It’s fast and easy to leave a quick note on a Pin. That simple 10 second action will increase the # of Pinners who circle back to look at your board (and your website) and if your Pins are in sync with their tastes, they will start following you. This is not at all like the cheesy way people use Twitter spammy messages. It’s much more social and much more cool.
The Buffer App
Twitter made some major upgrades to their platform in 2011. By now we all know, the number of followers you on Twitter is less important than WHO you have following and reading your Tweets.
The Buffer App is an ideal app for content curation and content marketing. For now, you can sync your Buffer creds to Twitter and Facebook. And like you saw in the video above, you can schedule Tweets. The Analytics Dashboard data shows you how many times your Tweet got Clicked, ReTweeted, Mentioned and Favorited. For each account you have in your Buffer Dashboard.
I realize Hootsuite and Tweetdeck do some of these actions too, but nearly as easy or as fast. And with the Buffer extension added to Chrome or Firefox, can curate quality content and syndicate that Tweet in a snap! This alone, makes the Buffer App a must-have social media content marketing tool for my money. [Note] I am going to do a video on each of these content marketing and syndication tools in real-time, using my live accounts so you can see 1st-hand how fast and easy and efficient this model works.
Scoop.it Content Curation
Scoop.it is a powerful, easy to use content curation portal. With an Alexa is 2,396 and a Pagerank of 6, Scoop.it is one of the top tier content curation site on the Internet. With Scoop.it, you can quickly curate quality content and with a couple of mouse clicks, syndicate your content to a host of main stream web 2.0 properties (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr)
I’m to a big fan of their curation engine, that recommends content to add to my panel, since it renders a lot of Twitter junk and other non-filtered content. But what I do like, is how fast and easy I can grab a URL from one of the RSS Feeds I track in Google Reader, or a killer post in my G+ Stream or any site I visit that has a great message I know my target audience will find useful. And let’s face it, there’s so much junk out there, that when you send someone a piece of information that helps them in their business, they will remember you for it.
I set up my notifications so that when someone re-scoops one of my entries, I can thank them and follow them and begin to build a relationship with them. This simple formula is very effective. The Scoop.it Community Dashboard ranked the Scoop.it topics by # of views. I have 4 topics so far, and about 4,000 views since its official launch in Sept. 2011. Scoop.it regularly ranks as one of the top 5 referral sources of my WordPress traffic.
I saved the best for last. I predict Google Plus will become the #1 social network for professionals. Google owns over 70 of search and everything starts with search. Local search, mobile search and content search. Since its launch, I’ve been testing #hashtags, keywords, images and real-time SEO. The short version is, Google is integrating all of its ancillary tools into this massive platform.
Search Google Plus for keyword phrase “local search marketing” then hit best of and notice what posts come up at the top of the results. That’s where you want your content to show up. Fortunately, I’ve been able to get my posts ranked at the top of the best of on Google Plus these targeted keyword phrases.
The more keywords I get ranked at the top of the Google Plus search results, the more views my content marketing messages will get and the more traffic I will drive to my website. This is what you want to do too! Get yourself a Google Plus Personal Page and a Google Plus Business Page. To date, I only have 900 Plussers in my circles. But I’ve handpicked 99% of them versus simply adding people like I did with my Twitter account where I have 20,000 Followers. Who can track with 20,000 people and more importantly |who want too?
Content Marketing will be a huge metric in 2012. Having a strategy on how to identify and acquire and syndicate your content is key. Hopefully, this overly extended article got you thinking about how you will tackle this issue moving forward. As I said earlier, I will be doing a video on each of the content marketing tools mentioned in this piece, so as to show you how fast and easy content marketing can be done if you use good tools and a well tuned process.