I ran across this infographic listing 25 outstanding content marketing tools, so I thought I’d share it with you.

I use many of these tools, and some not mentioned on here. Rather than re-iterate what’s contained in the infographic, I thought I’d spend today sharing with you WHY you need all these tools and what to look for in the content marketing tools you use. So, here goes:

Content marketing tool 1: Curation

Now, I wouldn’t have started with content curation, but it’s an important aspect of your content marketing strategy. Put simply, content curation means becoming a tastemaker by winnowing the best from vast amounts of content. While we often think of content creation (discussed next) as the core value of content marketing programs and as tools creating influence and building reputation, content curation is also important. That’s because, if you’re good at curating content, you provide a valuable service to readers who want the best on a particular topic, not an exhaustive list of content.

In addition to providing reader value, content curation builds relationships with others working in your topic space. These relationships build your network and support your marketing efforts. Sharing the content of other producers also creates pressure for them to share your content, thus enlarging your reader base.

I spend some time each morning culling good pieces to share with my social networks. I use SproutSocial to bring in my RSS feeds (through Feedly) and ease the task of sharing good posts with some or all of my networks. This saves me a lot of time.

I also use Storify, a tool designed to cull posts from social networks, including Twitter, Facebook. G+, YouTube… Storify works using search terms or hashtags to search recent updates/ posts. You create a story by dragging and dropping individual elements (text, images, etc) into your story. You can add your own text above or below the imported elements. I find this most useful when I Storify an event such as gathering posts from a meetup/ convention or a holiday, such as Black Friday. Here’s an example of a Storify post.

Content marketing tool #2: Content creation

Content creation is really the meat of the content marketing strategic problem. It takes time, talent, organization, and money to create valuable content on a consistent basis — at least 2X per week.

Increasingly, content creation is visual and the tools in the infographic give a good overview of some content marketing tools to help build visualizations, which are an especially challenging form of content creation.

I like PowToon for creating short, lively videos. PowToonsuses animation elements to tell your story. It’s free, but worth the few dollars to get the professional version with enhanced animation and scores. Check out this example sharing a large number of stats about content marketing.

Another great tool is Call Recorder, which records Skype conversations with several optional formats. I commonly record interviews with amazing experts in a side-by-side format where you see both of us. I then use iMovie or Final Cut Pro to edit the movie and add a donut — branding around the interview.

Extending existing content is important in creating content consistently. Google inflect severe penalties for duplicate content, but re-purposing content is a big time-saver. Taking a bunch of posts on a similar topic and combining them into a white paper for instance. Or updating older posts — one thing you can always do in social media is update old posts because social media marketing is SO dynamic.

Content marketing tool #3: Finding writers

Here I take issue with the infographic, finding writers isn’t that easy. Sure, I’ve used guest bloggers (which they don’t even mention) and tested out a service that created content around my keywords. Neither really worked well for me — although I’m always willing to consider high-quality guest posts.

To understand WHY I don’t like their recommended solutions, read my post on why marketing is still queen to content marketing’s king. My personal belief is that content marketing ISN’T journalism — never was; never will be.

Content marketing IS marketing — it’s not called content writing or content journalism for a reason. Doing GOOD content marketing means understanding what consumers want, their preferred approach, their lifestyles and what resonates with them, using subtle influence, embedding CTA (call to action), and lots more marketing skills.

Good content marketing also requires technical skills such as CMS (content management systems), simple HTML and CSS, simple graphic design (we use the Adobe creative suite), keyword research, etc.

Hiring someone to do content marketing is different from hiring someone to write because it involves multiple skills that a writer just doesn’t have. Notice, I bundle a number of services together in our content marketing packages because you can’t just do writing. Ideally, your writer should also promote your content and should be an integral part of your analytics team to ensure they continually tweak your posts to optimize them to reach your goals.

Content marketing tool #4: Content promotion

My agency combines content promotion with content creation using our community managers. For me, that works because community managers know when content is ready for promotion, spend time building community on the firm’s social networks (which enhances engagement and promotion), and are charged with responding to shares and comments related to the content they’ve created, thus further building community.

We use a variety of tools to aid in promoting content — from website tools like Outbrain and AddThis, that encourage visitors to consume more content, to sharing tools like Flare, to social sharing tools like SproutSocial and Hootsuite. For larger clients, with deeper pockets, we use tools like Oktopost and may be adding Marketo.

Ads help promote content — and drive traffic back to your site. Facebook ads manager (especially with the power editor) and Google Adwords are particularly useful in creating and managing your social advertising.

Content marketing tool #5: Analytics

It’s surprising how many of my competitors do little or nothing with analytics. Of course, that’s changing as awareness of the power of analytics to drive ROI (return on investment) increases.

Among other things, you need to track the following with respect to your content marketing:

  • # of website visitors
  • Engagement with post
  • Resonance of topic area
  • Effectiveness of headline (usually involves A/B testing of options)
  • Best day/ times to post to reach objectives
  • Demographics/ psychographics of readers (responders)
  • Website metrics for posts such as time on site, bounce rate
  • Funnel optimization from post or where visitors went after reading

I’ve used and like many of the analytics tools listed in the infographic. If you’re looking for a great social media analytics tool, we’ve crowdsourced some options to help you make a better choice. Take a look at the list and vote for those you find useful or add you own favorite tool to the list.

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Whether you need a complete analytics strategy, some help with brand marketing, or some consulting to learn how to optimize post content, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.