Content marketing is just one aspect of an inbound marketing strategy. Content marketing involves generating free informational content (such as guides, articles, and eBooks) and blogs to generate inbound leads and conversions. The crux of content marketing is that your company becomes a trusted hub for information for your customers. Through the trust that your content develops, you can expand your customer base, build brand awareness, and create an engaging audience around your product or service.
Content marketing is heavily dependent on content creation - and more specifically in this case, writing high-quality content. However, the writing you would use to create inbound blog post is not the same you might expect in an academic paper, study, or even novel. Rather, great content is designed to be effortlessly read – almost as if the reader is having a conversation with one of your representatives. A content marketing strategy is heavily reliant on clear, concise, and approachable writing. Content marketing takes time and skilled writers and research, much like a journalist.
Unfortunately, generating the content in the quality your company may need to become effective can be incredibly time-consuming. To reduce the time constraints, we at 41 Orange have compiled a list of essential tools you might find helpful in writing and editing content high-quality content for your audience.
Spelling and Grammar
Nothing detracts more from an article than poor spelling or grammar. While you can rely on Microsoft spell check, there are many more efficient tools that can help enhance your writing.
Grammarly is one of our favorite tools to help check spelling and grammar. English is one of the most complicated languages with tricky grammar rules and spelling guidelines, so having something keep an eye on it for you is a perfect tool to help you create a strong blog post, free of grammar and spelling mistakes.
Hemingway is another app that can help you write stronger, more authoritative content. It highlights common language faux pas, such as passive voice or run-on sentences. By eliminating this language out of your content, it can help you create stronger, more effective content marketing strategy with strong writing.
The Associated Press Stylebook (“AP”) is the essential guide to writing, more specifically for journalists. It was created by the Associated Press over the last century to help standardize mass communications within the English language. While this is the base line for reporters and those that work with the press, AP Style has started to become the standard for many corporate communications.
Consistent style, like spelling and grammar, enables the reader to engage with your writing easily. While you can use a few deviations from the rules to emphasize your brand and differentiate your company – you should conform to basic guidelines within AP style.
Another challenge for content marketing is coming up with original topics for blog posts or infographics. There are those days that writer's block comes and sits with you. For those tough days, you can use generators like the Hubspot Blog Idea Generator to come up with topics. Topic Generators, like Hubspot’s, can help get some ideas flowing. While these topic generators can't write a blog for you, they can help you when your marketing campaign needs a little more boost to it.
As mentioned above, you can also reach out to your community for ideas. Listening tools, such as Buzzsumo or Epictions allow you to follow your community, see what people are talking about, and come up with ideas based on their conversations. Tracking data from your customers is the best way to build a content library that your customers find compelling and useful. You can also track trends to see what the online community is buzzing about and see if you can use that information to add into your content marketing plan and join in on the conversation.
Tracking social media is another great resource for finding topics to discuss. People freely discuss their issues and concerns on social media. If you can understand and track these concerns, you can target content to specific groups of people that generate leads and conversions. HootSuite is one of our favorite social media tracking tools. HootSuite allows you to track different keywords and topics, which will let you see what people in certain communities are talking about.
If you're thinking about implementing a content marketing campaign for your business, consider hiring content creators who specialize specifically in inbound marketing. By aligning your content marketing program with lead generation, you'll be able to attract high quality leads to your business.