You’ve got a blog, an email-subscriber list a mile long, and you UTM all of your social media content because this ain’t your first content marketing rodeo.
But this isn’t enough for you anymore.
No, now you’re ready to refine your strategy, stay current on new tools and trends, and analyze your results with a more discerning eye.
Well, I applaud your initiative 👏👏👏 and present you with 12 ways small business owners can turn into serious content marketers.
1. Subscribe to This Free Magazine
Content Marketing Institute offers an awesome (and free) subscription to their magazine: CCO — Chief Content Officer.
It’s filled with current and upcoming trends in content marketing you’ll want to know about. But it’s also got interviews with key players in the industry too.
It’s available in both print and digital editions and is published every other month. Subscribing to this complimentary mag is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of content marketing. (And how you can make it work for your business.)
2. Listen to Content Marketing Webinars
Want to continually improve as a content marketer? Sign up for free webinars that cover everything from new tools to A/B testing email subject lines.
Because most webinars are recorded, you’ll be able to work them into your schedule even if you can’t make the scheduled time.
To find out about upcoming webinars, sign up for emails from a few top CM sites. (Yeah, I know… no one wants more emails… but these ones will be beneficial to your growth, mmkay?)
- Content Marketing Institue
- SEMrush (Not strictly limited to content marketing, but they have webinars that will help you with components of CM, like SEO and strategy.)
3. Become a Podcast Addict
If webinars aren’t your thing, check out podcasts instead. They’re my personal fave because they’re easy to insert into a busy routine by listening during your morning/evening commute, while you’re doing the dishes, having coffee, taking a bath, and so on.
Give these podcasts a whirl — they’re perfect for the content marketer on-the-go:
- The Mad Marketing Podcast with Marcus Sheridan
- Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
- This Old Marketing Podcast with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose
4. Give Interactive Content a Try
Apester lets you create fun polls and quizzes to keep your audience entertained and coming back for more. (You can also use it to get valuable information about your audience and as a method for crowd sourcing.)
It also integrates easily with platforms like WordPress and Facebook Instant Articles so you’ll be able to use it no matter your tech level.
5. Analyze Your Content-Marketing Efforts
The best content marketers are always experimenting. (Not unlike a mad scientist, but with words, not potions.) Sumo can help you do this with their suite of (mostly free!) tools.
From a heat map that tells you where people are clicking to customizable pop-ups that collect email addresses, Sumo has a lot to offer the savvy content marketer. (But no coding or tech skills are needed to use their tools.)
Hot tip: Don’t keep all of their tools running at once as it can drag down your page load times and ain’t nobody got time for that.
6. Stop Relying Solely on Spell-Check
Put your content into Hemingway App (in addition to using spell check) if you want to give your readers a better experience.
Hemingway App shows you where you’ve used passive voice, points out weak sentences, and gives you simpler alternatives when you try to use buzzwords. (And a great content marketer knows these issues are important to avoid.)
7. Try Publishing Your Content on Linkedin
If you have a blog, consider republishing your posts on Linkedin — or creating unique content specifically for the platform. You’ll broaden your professional network this way and help to establish yourself as an industry leader.
Keep in mind that business/marketing/social media/work-related topics do best on this platform.
Hot tip: Send a tweet to the Linkedin editors to let them know you’ve published a post to increase your odds of getting on Pulse, which is where you’ll get the most views, comments, and shares.
Use this format:
8. Fine-Tune Your SEO Efforts
If you have a WordPress blog, Yoast just became your SEO BFF.
This wonderful plug-in will alert you when your keyword density is low, when you’ve forgotten to use your keyword in your meta description, and when you’re linking to the phrase you’re trying to rank for.
It’ll even let you specify the headline and image you want your readers to see when each blog post is shared — all for free.
9. Try Your Hand at Image Creation
As a content marketer, you know it can be hard to get your content noticed. Jazz things up a bit by creating your own images.
- Try PicMonkey for super-fast image editing and resizing, silly overlays, and fun photo effects. You’ll get more features if you pay, but the basic level is pretty great in itself.
- Check out Canva to create images from scratch for your social posts, email marketing, and blogging efforts. They have a ton of free icons, overlays, fonts, and photos for you to play around with.
- Want to create a text-based image? Try Pablo — it’s super fast and your images will look great.
10. Consider Buying a Stock-Image Subscription
If you use images often enough, buying a subscription from iStock or another site might be beneficial for you. Or, try the free site Unsplash, which has beautiful photos you can use for free, but is much more limited in selection.
11. Analyze Your Headlines and Email Subject Lines
CoSchedule has a pretty cool tool that will analzye your headlines (and subject lines) based off length and word choice.
Did you forget to use a power word? Is your headline too long? Are you using too many common words? This tool will tell it like it is.
12. Automate Your Emails
MailChimp recently released four free email automations that will let you send things like welcome emails and a lead-nurture series at no cost.
This is in addition to all their other features — so if you don’t use MailChimp for your email marketing efforts, now’s probably the time to give it a try.
Well, there you have it! 12 tools that’ll turn you into an insanely good content marketer, guaranteed!