Marketing Tools 5To effectively ramp up your brand’s content marketing efforts, you’ll need the right tools to reach the right audience. But what you also need are the right systems to deal with incoming data from the audience. In recent years, content marketing technology has seen a significant spike in interest and funding. According to marketing tech blog Chiefmartec, content marketing tech firms increased from 947 companies in 2014 to 1,876 companies in 2015.

Recent data from CrunchBase says over US$1 billion has been invested in more than 89 content marketing tech companies since 2006. The growing popularity of content software is undeniable, and solutions now make it possible to create, execute, and measure your campaigns more affordably than ever before. In no particular order, here are five free tech tools that all newbie content marketers should think about using.

Feedly

Marketing ToolsGood content starts with great ideas. Most folks browse the web for articles, blog posts, videos, and infographics to get inspired. It’s also important to stay on top of key trends in your industry if you hope to craft relevant content. Following the news becomes an essential role of any content marketer. But then the question becomes, How can I automate the way I get my daily dose of inspiration and news? Afterall, browsing the web every single day can take time out of your work schedule. A startup called Feedly thinks it has the answer.

Feedly is a news aggregator that allows you to collect and arrange your online content and categorize it based on preferences. Subscribe to as many feeds as you want, and the app will help organize everything into easy-to-read collections. With Feedly, you can catch up on your media needs and industry news at minimal effort.

Hootsuite

Marketing Tools 2More than 75 percent of all internet users are on some form of social media. This makes sharing content via social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn an absolute must for any content marketing campaign. But which channels are right for different pieces of content, and how can you zero in on different target audiences? Do marketers need to maintain a bunch of different accounts simultaneously each day?

To manage your brand’s various social media channels, you’ll need an application like Hootsuite. This social media management system can plug into your brand’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and WordPress accounts all in one dashboard. You can schedule posts, engage with your audiences, and analyze the impact of your social media campaigns with this one-stop service app.

Easel.ly

Marketing Tools 3According to social media scheduler firm Massplanner, infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content. Visual content is able to catch your audience’s attention because it is processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. If you wish to apply infographics to your content marketing strategy but Photoshop isn’t really your strong suit, consider giving Easel.ly a try.

Easel.ly is a free application that lets you create appealing and attractive infographics with templates or from scratch. It offers professional and well-designed infographic elements in a variety of styles and formats. Users can also upload their own images to produce custom designs. It’s a simple and easy-to-use app for creating and sharing visual content, and perfect for marketers who are looking to convey data in a fun way. Note: As this is a web-based app, you’ll need a strong internet connection. Otherwise users may experience lag.

Google Analytics

Marketing Tools 4The goal of content marketing is often to build a relationship between your brand and your audience and boost web traffic. It may sound like a no-brainer, but if you’re serious about your digital content strategy, then Google Analytics should already be integrated into your blog or website. Google Analytics tells you how effective your content marketing truly is, and there’s really no substitute.

Google Analytics provides invaluable data for anyone attempting to grow and retain an online audience. The app gives you insights about your users, such as where they live, the types of content they’re accessing the most, and how long they stay engaged. Results are organized into easy-to-read graphs, from which brands can most often extrapolate actionable intelligence.

MailChimp

Marketing Tools 6This app has long been the darling of direct email marketers around the globe. MailChimp is an email platform that allows you to create custom campaigns for various audience segments. In MailChimp, you can design your own newsletters with stock templates or create your own to give your email a more personal touch. The app let’s you import contact lists from spreadsheets and other files to build out your database of audience segments.

One invaluable feature on MailChimp is called Mail Merge. Essentially, it lets you insert certain words from your contact lists such as the first name of the recipient. This makes it much more personal when they get your message, and you don’t have to go through the trouble of pasting names one by one.

Another great feature of MailChimp is the report you can access after your campaign goes out. It lets you know who and how many people are opening your newsletters, as well as those who have unsubscribed.


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