How to Create a Killer Company Newsletter

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The dreaded newsletter — It’s something that every company strives to send but also wonders if it’s worthwhile.

Most of the time your newsletter list consists of current customers or maybe even leads that weren’t ready to buy. A company newsletter is a great way to maintain brand awareness with your customers. Newsletters can also be a great asset to stay in front of those leads who are not ready to convert. It’s a subtle way to stay top-of-mind while keeping your company brand relevant. When putting together a newsletter, there are two major items to consider. 1) The design and 2) the content.

01. THE DESIGN

The biggest mistake companies can make with their newsletters is the design. While graphics and pops of color can look appealing, they should definitely be kept to a minimum. Here’s why:

  • Too many images increase the likelihood of your email ending up in spam/junk
  • Excessive code in emails can break how they render in different email inboxes
  • Heavy design elements like color, graphics, and custom fonts may not display properly on mobile

Newsletter templates should have a simple yet aesthetic design. It should easily allow readers to move their eyes throughout the content. One great way to accomplish this is by using different content sections or blocks, which can also help organize your newsletter.

                    newsletter1

These email templates are provided by BEE Free and are available for free on their website. Read our blog The Top 3 Free Email Builders to learn how to import this newsletter template into your email marketing platform.

02. THE CONTENT

The type of content within your newsletter will depend on your audience and company brand/voice. If your company voice can be fun and playful, a newsletter is a perfect place to portray it. For example, if your company is a financial institution and your newsletter audience includes clients, it may not be the greatest idea to use a playful voice. Your audience is expecting professionalism and valuable resources in your newsletter.

Contingent on your audience, the following types of content are great for peaking interest and may be a great fit for your newsletter:

Promotions

Promotional offers are one of the most common types of content in newsletters. Offering discounts or special promos can help encourage repeat business but can also help bring in new sales. Social sharing buttons or referral programs make it easy for your readers to share with fellow friends while helping you capture new business.

Resources

Resources like blogs, case studies, and ebooks are just a few examples of the valuable content you can offer your audience in newsletters. For B2B industries, it’s likely that customers will be interested in the material they can relate to their own business efforts. For example, a case study on how another company has overcome the struggle of increasing lead conversion may be valuable for others in the same position. By offering these types of resources you are encouraging your customers to build their knowledge base and in turn, customers will associate value with your company.

Spotlights

Whether you’re adding a new team member or introducing a new client, spotlights are unique content pieces to share with your audience. Employee spotlights could consist of industry related tips, fun facts, reviews, and more. Showcasing a new client may involve a brief introduction but also what your company will be doing to help them. If industry appropriate, spotlights are a great place to get fun with your company personality.

Industry/Company Updates

Reviewing the latest and greatest news in your companies industry is extremely important. By sharing industry updates you’re not only educating them, but you’re also showing your readers you keep up with industry trends and you’re ready to compete. It proves your business is continuously learning and making strides to remain relevant. Updates may also include software or application announcements, especially if your business works with the applications or are widely popular within the industry.

Events

Events are a timeless resource that can hold huge value with customers. Types of events can vary and may include: webinars, networking, fundraising, educational workshops, tradeshows, and more. Newsletters can be a great space to announce these types of events as the email list typically includes the mass majority of your database. Many times hosting or attending an event can also help capture new leads.

If you’re already a pro at email newsletters, check out 8 Valuable Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without.

How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar and Grow Your Business

An effective editorial calendar can get your business on the right track fast. It will help you stay organized, come up with new ideas, reveal gaps in your publishing schedule, and ensure everyone on your team is doing what they’re supposed to.

But more than that, a well thought out editorial calendar has the ability to help you drive more traffic to your site, encourage more people to subscribe to your email list, and boost sales so you generate more revenue than ever before.

If you currently have an editorial calendar (or are looking to create one very soon) and want to learn some surefire ways to maintain it so it works for you and not against you, check out these 4 tips for creating an effective editorial calendar.

1. Choose a Good Platform

In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of having a reliable editorial calendar solution. Luckily, if you use WordPress as your content management system (CMS), there are plenty of WordPress editorial calendar plugins on the market that have the features you need to run a successful content marketing strategy.

A good editorial calendar solution will have some (or all) of the following features:

  • Visual display of your posting schedule (daily, weekly, and monthly)
  • Drag & drop interface for easy rearrangement
  • Quickedit functionality for changing titles, content, and schedules
  • Editorial comments for communicating with your team
  • Social media posting ability
  • Analytics to measure success
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Integration with third-party tools

Some of the best editorial calendars on the market today include CoSchedule and Edit Flow.

Editorial Calendar Example

Every website will require a different type of editorial calendar. Some may need to be accessible within the WordPress dashboards as seen above with Editorial Calendar; others may prefer a third-party website. Take the time to see what you and your team need to streamline the content creation process as much as possible.

2. Have a Plan

The only way your editorial calendar is going to help you become more successful is if you have a plan in mind before your start randomly scheduling posts to go live.

Here are some good questions to ask yourself as you set out to create your editorial calendar:

  • What are your overall goals?
  • Who is your target audience and what are their pain points?
  • What type of content do you want to publish on your site?
  • How often can you consistently publish content?
  • What is your content marketing budget?
  • Will you have a team? What are their assigned roles?
  • How will you measure the success of your content marketing strategy?

Answering these questions before you start filling in your editorial calendar will give you (and your team) some direction.

3. Audit Existing Content

Sometimes coming up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis can be tough, especially if you want to publish content on your website many times a week.

That’s where auditing existing content comes in handy.

  • Fill in the Gaps. Going through content that has already been published on your website will help you see the categories that are lacking content so you can draft new content based on those topics. You’ll also find areas that can be expanded on that will be perfect for standalone blog posts.
  • Update Old Content. Old blog posts are perfect for filling in content gaps on your calendar. Interfaces, images, products, and ideas all change over time. By rewriting content that is old and outdated, you keep site visitors up to date and give your site some new content.
  • Repurpose Posts. Another way you can use old content is to repurpose it to seem like new. Maybe a popular blog post can be turned into an exciting infographic. Perhaps readers will appreciate a long blog post that’s broken into actionable steps. Or maybe you can take an existing post and branch off it, taking a small idea from it and turning it into its own standalone blog post.

Getting creative with your content is one of the best ways to fill your editorial calendar.

Full Calendar Example

By having your calendar filled out at all times, like the one in Nelio Content seen above, you can see what type of content you need and when it should publish on your site so site visitors are always given high quality and engaging content that makes them want to stick around.

4. Include it All

Editorial calendars are not just for blog posts. In fact, scheduling everything in your content marketing plan will make it easier to stay organized, fill in the gaps, and see what opportunities you’re missing out on.

Try scheduling blog posts, email campaigns, social media posts, infographics, webinars, and even video content into your editorial calendar. This will give you a bird’s eye view of what’s going on at all times.

If you have a team, scheduling in your entire content marketing plan will give everyone the ability to see what they’re responsible for individually and the status of all projects.

And don’t forget to take advantage of your editorial calendar’s built-in features. For example, add editorial metadata such as content topic, title, publish dates, like the WordPress plugin Edit Flow lets you do.

Editorial Metadata Example

If you want something that mimics the popular Trello content management system, check out Kanban Boards for WordPress. With it, you can set up your editorial calendar in stages so everyone knows what stage each piece of content is on, making tracking of the content creation process easy to do.

Content Creation Status Example

If you do use Trello, and want to include the data in Trello in your WordPress dashboard, be sure to check out the relatively new WordPress plugin WP Trello.

Final Thoughts

In the end, there’s a lot that goes into a content marketing plan that goes beyond just scheduling your site’s posts. However, having a reliable editorial calendar, and knowing what to do with it, can make a world of difference.

If you create an effective editorial calendar, and set up it up to include your entire content creation process, you can publish consistent content that will drive traffic, engage your audience, expose your brand to a broader audience, and even increase sales.

Adding to that, if you’re looking for a way to complement your editorial calendar, and automate your email campaigns, try adding FeedOtter into your content marketing strategy. With a quick setup process, integration with Marketo or Pardot, and the ability to email your blog content to anyone at any time, FeedOtter helps you generate more leads and land more conversions so your business can grow.

 

5 of the Best WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugins

Starting a WordPress blog is not hard to do; but handling the content you want to post on your site can become overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. After all, you need to find a competitive niche, come up with blog post ideas, craft killer headlines, draft your content and publish consistently, and drive traffic to your site, all while hoping that your content is good enough to for site visitors to stick around and read.

Though many factors affect how successful your content marketing efforts will be, one of the most important ones is the scheduling of your site’s content.

Whether you plan to publish a new blog post once a day, once a week, or even once a month – the key is consistency. But without a strategy for planning your content’s publishing schedule, staying consistent can be challenging.

That’s why we’re here to share with you some of the top WordPress editorial calendar plugins on the market today so you can start planning how often you’re going to post on your website and develop a long-term (and very consistent) schedule.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

When it comes to content marketing, an editorial calendar is a tool used to help you organize the content creation process from start to finish.

Though it can be looked at as simply a calendar for scheduling when your blog posts will go live, a good editorial calendar will have features designed to help you with:

  • Coming up with blog post ideas
  • Assigning tasks – such as topic creation, post drafting, imagery, and editing – to members of your team
  • Accessing blog content for quick edits
  • Scheduling which posts will go live on your site and when
  • Posting your site’s content to other channels such as social media

As you can see, a solid editorial calendar solution will help streamline the content creation process and organize things so you always know the status of every blog post that will be published on your site.

So, now that you know the main goal of an editorial calendar, let’s see what solutions are available.

1. Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar is a simple WordPress plugin that is suitable for those that self-publish or have a small team of writers. See an overview of your blog, when each post is scheduled to go live, and even check out this cool demo to see if this is the right solution for you.

Editorial Calendar Example

Enjoy features such as:

  • Calendar view of all posts and their respective statuses in the WordPress dashboard
  • Easy drag & drop functionality to rearrange posts
  • Draft management with the new Drafts Drawer
  • Quickedit of post titles, content, and times
  • Management of posts belonging to different authors

PRICE: FREE

2. Edit Flow

Edit Flow

Edit Flow is another great editorial calendar plugin that helps you collaborate with your team inside the WordPress dashboard. It is customizable so you can make changes to fit your needs and has everything you need to stay on track with your content marketing plan.

Edit Flow Example

Additional features include:

  • Month-by-month look at content schedule
  • Custom statuses to define your workflow’s stages
  • Threaded editorial comments so your team can communicate
  • Editorial Metadata for tracking important details
  • Automatic notifications when anything changes
  • Upcoming content in traditional story view for easy printing
  • User groups for managing team members and their roles

PRICE: FREE

3. CoSchedule

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a premium editorial calendar solution that is full of helpful features for agencies, solopreneurs, small businesses, and in-house marketing teams. This all-in-one marketing calendar brings content creation and social media together into one useful platform so you can manage everything blog post related from one place.

CoSchedule Example

Take advantage of features such as:

  • A centralized marketing calendar for viewing the status of all content with drag & drop functionality
  • Social media scheduling to automatically share content across multiple channels
  • Marketing campaign creation for special occasions when your content schedule is going to vary
  • Email marketing management with popular email service provider integrations
  • Detailed analytics to monitor your content marketing strategy

PRICE: $20-$1200/month

4. Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow is a WordPress editorial calendar plugin that’s perfect for those who run blogs with multiple authors, website owners in industries such as healthcare, law, and education, and businesses where tracking every stage is mandatory and crucial to its success.

Oasis Workflow Example

With this unique editorial calendar, you get:

  • The ability to assign, review, and publish from one platform
  • A Visual Workflow Designer with drag & drop functionality
  • User role control for accountability
  • Exclusive inbox and easy sign off when a task or project is complete
  • Custom statuses to define each stage of the workflow
  • Access to process history, complete with all comments
  • Due date and email reminders to keep everyone on track

PRICE: FREE (pro version offers features such as multiple workflows, auto-submission, front-end shortcodes, starting at $79)

5. Nelio Content

Nelio Content

Nelio Content is a robust editorial calendar solution that helps you create, schedule, and promote your website’s content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Nelio Content Example

Other features include:

  • Editorial calendar showing posts, social messages, and tasks in one place
  • Creation of content, scheduling of posts and social media messages, and drag & drop functionality to make changes
  • Automatic sharing on social media platforms of your choosing
  • Analytics for determining your best content and promoting it
  • Content Assistant to help with imagery, content tags, and internal and outbound linking to improve quality

PRICE: FREE (pro version comes with features like priority mail support, editorial tasks and comments, and social templates for $29/month)

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! The top 5 best WordPress editorial calendar plugins to help you get your content marketing strategy on track so you can post to your blog on a consistent basis.

Managing your site’s content doesn’t have to be difficult, so long as you invest a little time into making a plan. This is especially true as your blog following or business continues to scale. The more you have to handle at once, the more crucial an editorial calendar becomes.

Take a look at each of the editorial calendar solutions mentioned above, weigh the features against your individual needs and start planning right away. If you do, you’ll see a significant rise in traffic, subscribers, and even sales.

And to top it off, as you become more successful, and continue to ramp up your email marketing efforts, make sure to check out FeedOtter so you can automate RSS-based emails and create beautiful email newsletters with ease.

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Plan, Create, & Share Content with these Top Tools

One thing content marketers care the most about is creating new fresh content that helps attract more traffic. We know that great content can be beneficial in a number of ways. Some include increasing your company’s online visibility, providing value to your prospective customers, and maintaining brand awareness. Whether you’re a newbie just getting started with content marketing or well-seasoned, the objectives of putting a content piece together are the same: Plan, Create, and Share.

Here are some of the top tools that help plan, create, and share your content:

Plan

When planning your content, there are typically 2 phases; Discovery and Organizing. Discovery might look something like exploring trending hashtags or keywords. One tool I like to use is Google Trends, which allows you to enter a keyword and Google will report the frequency of it being searched as well as any related key terms or phrases. The best part is, this tool is FREE!

By looking at the “related queries” content marketers are able to pinpoint exactly what their audience needs to hear from them. For example, I can see from Google Trends that there is a large interest peak regarding what content marketing is. This shows me that a large portion of my audience may still have some reservations about what content marketing entails.

google trends

Now, when it comes to organizing I am extremely biased. This is because I am obsessed with Quip. If you haven’t heard of Quip yet, they are a Salesforce product that allows users to collaborate real-time on shared documents, spreadsheets, project plans and more. They have a fair pricing structure for businesses, but if you are a one [wo]man show then Quip is absolutely free!

quip

The interface is extremely user-friendly and allows you to stay organized with the ability to create sub-folders and, my favorite, color code them! Natively through Quip, you can utilize a number of other tools like the process bar, project tracker, kanban board, and calendar as another way to keep organized. You can also drop comments anywhere within the document to spark a conversation or note a reminder. These examples just hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the different possibilities with Quip. Ultimately, Quip is a great tool that can help you integrate with other platforms and collaborate with colleagues or clients.

As a content marketer, we’re sometimes creating content, like social posts or blogs, that contain other related sources such as photos. Instead of saving the photos to my desktop, I outline my content then copy and paste my photos where they belong. Quip documents can also be shared with anyone, where others can solicit feedback in real-time via the internal chat function. Another awesome feature of Quip is the ability to great-looking documents using the native tools. Personally, I’ve used them to create client project plans, content calendars, and more. One of my favorite aspects about Quip is that it cuts down the number of emails to my inbox with the real-time notifications. I have no doubt this will become your favorite tool within Quip because who doesn’t want to cut out the number of work emails they receive!

quip folders

 

quip document

 

Create

When it comes to what type of content you should be creating, it’s best practice to put yourself in the reader’s shoes and determine the best way the content can be easily interpreted. Whether it’s writing blogs, creating infographics, or ebooks Canva has a variety of templates to help bring your content to the finish line. Canva is an online graphic design tool that offers easy editing with a drag and drop feature. While they do have paid versions of Canva, including enterprise levels, I have found the free version works just fine. The only feature I feel I am missing out on is the ability to create different folders for my content.

canva home

Canva allows you to choose from 50,000+ layout templates for different types of content and search thousands of icons. While many of these icons are free, users can decide to upgrade to other icons or images. There’s also the ability to drag and drop shapes, lines, and charts. Lastly, you can upload computer photos, which can then be edited by the built-in photo editor. Canva is another one of my favorite tools I’m biased about because it’s so easy! With a breeze, you can create ebooks, infographics, social graphics and much more. To top it all off, these graphics can easily be saved by selecting the download button in the upper right corner, where users are given the option to export as a PDF, JPEG, or PNG. Thankfully there is no fussing over the exported file type.

canva templates

canva layouts

canva builder

 

Share

At this point, you’ve come up with a great plan for your content. You’ve organized what you need to get done and taken the right steps on how to get that content created. Now, you’re ready to share and optimize your content.

With the existence of several types of marketing mediums, it’s important to pinpoint which one will best connect with your audience. There are a couple of different routes to take here. Whether it be through social media, blogging, or email marketing, there are a number of tools that can help with scheduling and overall distribution.

For social media management, my favorite tool is Sendible. Of course, the platform has the ability to schedule posts, including Instagram, but it also lets you engage with your audience right from the platform feed. This is extremely beneficial as it cuts down the time of jumping from platform to platform in order to connect with customers. You can also monitor keywords to stay in-front of trending topics and most importantly users can customize their reports and dashboards to measure what’s working.

sendible

As a content marketer, you know blogging can be a tremendous resource for your company. These blogs can also act as a great resource for email marketing, whether you’re blasting your monthly subscribers or using them as valuable content for new leads. There’s a great tool called FeedOtter that allows users to easily build email templates that pull in blog posts from your website. FeedOtter seamlessly integrates with Pardot and Marketo to immediately send or schedule emails of your new posts. The platform offers out-of-box newsletter templates or you can create your own style. The beauty of FeedOtter is all the email sending and management is being done through your marketing automation platform. Therefore, unsubscribes and bounces are still effectively being managed in one area.

feedotter

Optimize your content

One significant step when sharing your content is ensuring it has been optimized. The easiest way to enhance your blog post is to assign keywords, tags, and develop the SEO. When using WordPress, one of my favorite SEO plugins is Yoast SEO. It’s by far the most self-explanatory and user-friendly tool to use for SEO optimization. Once the WordPress Plugin is downloaded, a section of every page will be dedicated to Yoast SEO where you can not only develop SEO on blog posts, but also individual pages. The Yoast section will score the SEO on the page on a number of characteristics including title, keywords, meta description, readability, and more. Most beneficial, the Yoast SEO plugin will tell users exactly what they need to work on to get good SEO.

yoast seo

 

Learn more content marketing tools you can’t live without.

Social Media for Pardot Marketers

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One of the best ways to get your content in front of a receptive audience is through social media. No secret to content marketers, social media can help you grow a new following as well as stay in front of the followers you already have. Much of marketing is about being in front of the lead at the exact time that they are ready to buy. And on another token, more touch points in a campaign generally correlates with more brand legitimacy and trust, as well as more interest in the product or service you are offering. Social media has a place in your marketing efforts, and your investment will be increased tenfold by integrating social posting with your Pardot platform.

The Benefits of Using Pardot for Social Media

A Comprehensive Picture of Your Prospects

The number one benefit to leveraging Pardot for your social media posting is that it will offer you a more comprehensive picture of your prospects and the type of content they are engaging with. The process is similar to your website tracking process. Anonymous web activity is reported, and when Prospects are cookied by Pardot, they are then matched to their web sessions. At that point, you are able to view a specific Prospect’s web activity and how it relates to the rest of their profile. Prospects can also be cookied and matched to their social media profiles, filling the missing gaps in their digital activity.

Robust Campaign Tracking

As with all other assets in Pardot (emails, forms, landing pages, files, etc), social media posts will be assigned to a campaign. This gives you more robust campaign tracking when it comes to evaluating which pieces of content have had the most face time, and how it performed across different channels.

Page Actions and Custom Redirects

A strong feature in Pardot, Page Actions allow you to trigger automated functions based on a Prospect’s visit to a particular page on you website. Think sending an autoresponder email to follow up, adjusting their score, creating a Salesforce task for a sales rep to follow up, etc. Similarly, Custom Redirects provide you tracked links that redirect to another web page. When you include these in your social media posts, you reach your Prospects on another channel to nudge them toward your web content. And if they click, it will trigger any designated automated functions and cookie them in the process.

Connecting Your Social Channels

Pardot currently allows you to connect Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for easy posting through Pardot. These can be set up with a few easy steps.

  1. On the blue lefthand sidebar, select Admin and then Connectors.
  2. Click on the social media platform you would like to connect.
  3. Click on Create Connector.
  4. The system will refresh and the connector will show up in your list as unverified. Click on verify now, which will launch a window for you to log into Facebook and accept Pardot’s permissions.
  5. Save, and you should be all set!

How to Make Sure Prospects Are Cookied

To really take advantage of Pardot social media posting, you will want to make sure that you can cookie as many of your Prospects as possible. This happens at the point where a Prospect clicks a tracked link.

Social Links in Emails

By including social links in your email templates, you will increase the likelihood that your Prospects are found on social media. If they click on your social icons, they will be cookied and that information will now be tracked.

Those Custom Redirects Again

Because Custom Redirects are tracked, your Prospects will be cookied when they click them. Incorporating these in your social posting can help you cookie more people and trap activity that may relate back to a Prospect you already have in Pardot.

Interested in other great ways to use Pardot? Check out our guide to Pardot best practices.

8 Valuable Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without

When it comes to content marketing, the goal is always to create newer and better content to attract, convert, and retain more site visitors. Not to mention, everyone wants to drive more traffic, generate more leads, and make more sales.

But you can’t just create content and hope that people come. In fact, you need to make sure what your publishing on your website has value for your readers and is relevant to what they’re looking for. Otherwise you’ll never become successful.

Now, you might feel that you’re part of the 42% of people that think they’re good at content marketing. But you should know there’s always room for improvement.

And if you’re not part of the 88% of people that use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, it’s time you get started.

With that said, no matter which category you fall into, we’re here to share with you some of the very best content marketing tools to add to your arsenal so that you make the most of your time and effort.

1. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is a free online tool designed to proofread your content before you publish it. It can be accessed online or you can download the desktop app.

When you cut and paste your content into the editor, it will highlight things such as:

  • Lengthy, complex sentences that can be shortened
  • Phrases that can be simplified
  • Any instances of the passive voice
  • Adverbs and other phrases that can weaken your text

With the Hemingway Editor you make sure to deliver the strongest, most well-written piece of content possible, and that all of your site visitors will understand it.

2. Trello

Trello

Trello makes collaborating with your team effortless by letting you organize your content marketing strategy like a Kanban board. See your workflow in a visual way using boards, lists, and individual cards. Assign tasks to your team members, leave comments and attach files, and make sure only the people you want on each board has access.

Trello Boards

This free content marketing tool syncs across all devices, has an easy to use interface and layout, and makes sure all your content gaps are filled in immediately so you consistently publish high-quality content for your site visitors.

3. SEO SiteCheckup

SEO SiteCheckup

You should know by now that SEO is crucial to your success. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one comes to see what you have to offer. That’s why focusing on SEO optimization so your content shows up in relevant search results is so important.

SEO SiteCheckup is a simple SEO tool that shows you how optimized your website is. Simply enter your site’s URL and let the tool analyze your site.

SEO SiteCheckup Score

After the analysis, you’ll receive an overall score that ranges between 0-100. The higher the score the more optimized your site is. If you scroll down, you’ll also see a set of common SEO issues that relate to your site and how to fix them to improve your site’s search rankings. Keep in mind, in order to use this tool free of charge, you can only analyze one site a day.

4. CoSchedule

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is one of the most well-known, and popular, content marketing calendars on the market today. It lets you create an editorial calendar that you and your team can work together on. Not to mention, it comes with features like automated social sharing of your blog’s content, a way to manage your email marketing campaigns, and detailed analytics so you can make data-driven decisions to grow your business.

In addition, CoSchedule offers a very helpful free tool, called the Headline Analyzer, which helps you create powerful headlines for your content, lead magnets, email campaigns, and more.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

After your headline is analyzed, you’ll receive:

  • A headline score
  • The balance of words, taking into consideration overall structure, grammar, and readability
  • A length analysis including characters and words
  • The main keywords being used
  • The type of sentiment your headline conveys

Lastly, a Google search result snippet and email subject line preview will display so you can see exactly what your site visitors and subscribers will see if you choose to use that headline.

5. Social Media Share Buttons

Social Media Share Buttons

If you want your content to reach a broader audience, there’s no better way than to encourage site visitors to share their favorite content on their own social media profiles for friends and family to see. Add popular social icons to your site such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. And rest assured, there are over 200 other social media platforms available.

6. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

To learn where your site visitors come from, and what they do once they’re on your website, it’s a good idea to sign up for a free Google Analytics account. With it, you can see how well your marketing campaigns are doing, what devices site visitors are visiting from, and whether you landing pages are converting.

Not to mention, you can view metrics like the number of pageviews and sessions, the average session duration, and even your site’s bounce rate to make sure your content is working for you, not against you.

7. HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

HubSpot's Blog Ideas GeneratorPreview (opens in a new window)

If you’re having trouble thinking up of content ideas for your site’s blog, check out HubSpot’s idea generator. Simply add a few nouns to the form field and click “Give Me Blog Ideas!”

You’ll immediately be given 5 exceptional blog headlines that you can use outright or use for inspiration.

Blog Ideas

Keep your content fresh and relevant using this free tool and watch your following grow.

8. Ahrefs

Ahrefs

Ahrefs gives you a chance to dig into your content marketing strategy and view data such as the number of backlinks, where your backlinks are coming from, popular keywords, and even mentions of your brand across the web.

Ahrefs Dashboard

You can also track your competition to see what’s working for them and make sure you do the same to draw some of their site visitors your way. Check out what keywords they’re ranking for in organic search results, how much traffic their site is seeing, and even get ideas for your own content so you can keep up with the competition and even move ahead.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Some of the best content marketing tools available on the market today.

Of course, this list is in no way exhaustive. But it does give you a definitive head start, especially if you’re just starting out with your content marketing efforts.

Each of this tools will play a vital role in your content market strategy and help drive more traffic to your site, increase engagement, and boost conversions and sales. So, take your pick and start growing your business now.

And don’t forget, if you’re looking for an email content marketing software that can automate RSS-based emails and help you create stunning newsletters for subscribers, check out how FeedOtter can help.

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The Top 3 Free Email Builders

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As a content marketer, one of your most valued duties includes creating content and sharing it. However, using different marketing software may present as your biggest challenge. Picture this, you’re up against a tight deadline to launch an e-newsletter containing this month’s featured content, but you’ve run into a snag because your email template just doesn’t translate the way you imaged or worse isn’t rendering correctly.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this scenario, this blog is for you! By the end of this piece, you will know how to use the top free email builders and how to import your new design to use in Pardot.

 

BEE Free

BEE Free is one of the easiest email builders to use. You can drag and drop content onto email templates, including buttons, text blocks, images, and more.  With BEE Free, marketers can design sleek and modern emails with ease. This site also offers a way to export HTML to transfer into email marketing platforms.

To begin building your email template, head over to the BEE Free homepage and “Start Designing”. The site will prompt you to start your own design from scratch or select a template where you can filter through an abundance of free templates, usage types, and different industries.

 

Once you’ve selected a template you’re now ready to customize it! The drag and drop email builder gives you a seamless user experience. Once you’ve got the look you desired you want to “Save” the email template. However, if you’re using the free version, BEE Free will ask if you’d like to sign up for a paid plan or if you’d just like to download your template – you want to choose to download it.

 

After selecting to download the email, a zip file should load where you will find an image (holds all the images to the email template) and .html file. You’ll want to open this file and right-click to reveal the drop-down for “View Page Source”. This will allow you to view the code of the whole page. This is the code we’ll later copy and paste into Pardot.

 

In the Pardot email builder, you’ll want to paste the code from the page source into the HTML tab in Pardot.

 

*Note: You may receive the following alert: HTML message: An unsubscribe tag (%%unsubscribe%% or %%email_preference_center%%) is required somewhere in the body of the email. This can be done by highlighting the text you’d like to link for unsubscribers and selecting the hyperlink icon to choose the unsubscribe tag as the link type.

 

Once the HTML code is added I suggest previewing your email template and making revisions. Please note if you’re adding images to the BEE Free template, you will need to readd them to the Pardot template.

 

TOPOL.io

Similar to BEE Free, Topol.io allows users to design emails with a drag and drop tool and it’s “sooooo easy”. In comparison to BEE Free, Topol.io also provides a number of email templates but not nearly as many. One feature I believe Topol.io does better is the process of exporting the email HTML. Topol.io automatically creates a download of the .html file, rather than a zip file.

 

After selecting your email template to design, you’ll want to “Save & Download”, which will prompt an automatic download of the HTML. From here the same process as stated above should be followed to import the email HTML into Pardot.

Stripo.email

Unlike our first two contenders, Stripo requires users to sign up for a free account and caps off at 4 free downloads each month. However, Stripo.email states the download limits get reset every month. By selecting “Email Templates” in the navigation bar, you’re able to select from numerous email templates and filter by type, industry, and season.

 

“Try Out” your email template once you’ve selected the right fit and begin to make your revisions. When you’re ready to export the HTML, you will save the email template which will then prompt you to create a free user account.

 

When your new account has been registered you will be brought to an overview screen of all your email templates. Select the one you’d like to export the HTML and proceed with selecting the “Export” button > HTML > Download HTML file.

 

Not a Pardot user? Here’s a similar article for Marketo.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Types of Content You Should Publish on Your WordPress Site

Content marketing goes way beyond just publishing blog posts on your WordPress website. Unfortunately, many website owners consistently create blog posts and just stop there.

Sure, blogging brings traffic to your site, educates and informs site visitors about what you have to offer, and encourages them to convert by subscribing to your email list or buying your products.

But, you’d be surprised at how changing up the types of content you publish on your website can help drive more organic traffic to your site, improve SEO, get you more conversions than ever, and even land you more sales.

That’s why today we’re going to take a look at the 5 different kinds of content you can add to your website to give it fresh makeover for loyal followers and new visitors alike.

1. Infographics

Infographics are pieces of content that present information in a visual way. They help break data, research, statistics, and findings up into easier to digest chunks.

Not to mention, infographics are known for being viewed, shared, and loved by site visitors more than any other kind of content.

Ironically,  this infographic by CoSchedule shows you just how popular infographics are:

Infographic Example

This type of content has a long life span and engages site visitors and excites them to the point they want to tell others about it. Plus, it gives you valuable backlink juice every time it’s shared, which is great for your site’s SEO.

2. Video

Following infographics’ steps when it comes to presenting content in a visual way is video content. It’s persuasive, easy to consume, and caters to those who  have attention spans that are too short to get through entire blog posts.

In fact, 4x as many customers claim they would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

Want an example of a video that caught a lot of people’s attention?

Just take a look at this video by Google, which has been viewed over 10 million times:

If you’re going to add video content to your website, follow these best practices:

  • Only publish videos that offer value to your target audience
  • Include a clear call to action at the end of each video, taking people to your site’s landing page if possible
  • Publish on other platforms like YouTube or Vimeo
  • Coordinate your video content to match existing blog content
  • Customize your videos to match your company’s brand and values
  • Watch the length so you don’t lose people’s interest (aim for 2-3 minutes)
  • Make your videos sharable to expand your reach

With video content expected to make up 82% of all web traffic by the year 2021, it’s time you hop on the bandwagon and add some video content to your site now, before the competition gets real tough.

3. Guides

Guides, sometimes referred to as longform content, are the perfect lead magnet to offer people in exchange for their email address. In fact, if you’re using FeedOtter to automatically send blog and RSS content directly to subscribers, sending a guide as part of an email campaign after someone subscribes is a cinch.

This content type is typically much longer than a traditional blog post and has many useful details for people to really dig into. Adding to that, its layout is much more professional looking than a simple article about a topic.

Even Neil Patel, one of the industry’s leading digital marketers, says some of his most popular content comes in the form of guides. And he doesn’t even ask for an email address to read it:

Guide Example

Guides integrated into your site’s blog, as part of locked content, or as a content upgrade for subscribing, are comprehensive, help establish you as an authority in your industry, and make it so people don’t have to look elsewhere about a particular topic because you’ve literally covered it all.

4. How-to Content

How-to guides are a great way to teach your target audience something new. They have immense long tail keyword potential, thanks to “How to” queries, and even help boost your site’s SEO.

And best of all, they offer lots of value to your site visitors:

How-to Content Example

If you want to write exceptional tutorial content, follow these guidelines:

  • Introduce the problem site visitors are facing
  • Introduce your solution to their problem
  • Discuss your solution using easy to understand steps
  • Summarize and provide a conclusion

Always include step by step instructions and images when you can to make sure anyone reading your how-to guide can follow along. And don’t forget the call to action at the end of the post letting people know how they can tap into the solution you’ve provided if it happens to be a product or service you offer.

5. Templates and Checklists

Offering people solutions is not always easy to do in a typical blog post. The pain point isn’t always clear, and neither is the solution. However, if you create a simple (yet actionable) template or checklist, you can guarantee people will know exactly what to do.

And the great thing is, this type of content can be used over and over by site visitors. Plus, you can create a checklist out of almost any blog post you’ve written.

For example, check out HubSpot’s Ultimate Webinar Checklist. It highlights everything you could possibly need to know about how to create a webinar in a practical and useful way.

Checklist Example

One of the best ways to use this type of content is to add one at the end of blog posts as a call to action.

Plus, they should be simple, clear, and concise (like this one from Digital Marketer) and always including your site’s branding so people remember where this helpful information came from.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Some of the different types of content you should be publishing on your WordPress site starting now. Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the kinds of content you can create. Nor does this mean that you should forgo blogging altogether. In fact, blog content can still be the main type of content you publish.

But if you’re looking to increase traffic, generate more leads, drive sales, and improve your search rankings, you should definitely give some of these a try.

And, when you find that site visitors like a specific type of content, make sure to add it to your editorial calendar. That way you give people what they want and you reap the benefit.

Featured Image Credit

Learn 4 Tools to Determine Audience Segmentation in Pardot

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What is Audience Segmentation?

As a content marketer, it’s common to hear that segmenting your data is important, but do you know why it matters? Segmenting your customer data allows you to pinpoint different subgroups that relate to another in one or more ways. This simple strategy can be extremely beneficial to a content marketer. The most significant reason a to consider audience segmentation is due to the fact that it hones in on a data subset, which allows you to better understand your customer. In turn, you can create customer-specific content that resonates with the right target audience.

Why Does it Matter?

With all the advertising and marketing clutter today, it is more imperative than ever to offer relevant and valuable content to your target consumers. By delivering worthwhile resources, customers immediately see value within the company and brand. This can result in a greater opportunity for cross-selling/up-selling, consumer retention, higher conversion rates, and more.

Who is your Audience?

If you are just starting out with content marketing and have yet to determine who your audience is, here are the most common characteristics for segmenting your data.

1) Geographical/Regional (i.e. State)

2) Demographic (i.e. Income)

3) Behavioral (i.e. Product Purchased)

Keep in mind your audience segmentation is going to be specific to your company – learn more about audience building. For example, as a loan lender, you may choose to segment your data by income. The greater the income a contact has, the larger loan you may be able to offer them. This would determine the specific campaigns marketed to these groups – leverage your content the right way.

4 Pardot Tools for Audience Segmentation

If your company utilizes a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you can take advantage of the native tools within the platform to create audience segmentation. These tools include:

1) Static vs. Dynamic List

  • With this tool, you are able to create a one-time list (static) and lists that automatically update based on a set of rules and criteria (dynamic). Static lists are manually updated by importing or removing contacts. These are the standard types of email lists. As for a dynamic list, the only way a contact can be added to that list is if they meet the criteria. For example, you may create a dynamic list that only holds contacts with the state MA. If a contact has the state RI, they will not be added to the dynamic list and you cannot manually add them.

2) Suppression List

  • Pardot allows you to prevent certain contacts from receiving specific mailing communication when opting to “suppress” them. For example, you may want to create a suppression list of everyone who has not opened an email within the last 30 days to avoid mailing uninterested leads.

3) Tagging

  • This functionality in Pardot allows you to apply “tags” to individual contacts. This helps to organize and segment your data even further. For example, you may want to tag your “tradeshow contacts” within Pardot to easily distinguish they need to be placed in a pre-show campaign. You can also use these tags to create dynamic lists or automation rules later on.

4) Automation Rules

  • Pardot allows users to create automation rules, which can automate a number of things. Specifically, regarding segmentation, automation rules can push contacts to a mailing list based on criteria. Automation rules can also automatically apply tags to contacts given criteria has been provided. There are many other actions you can take with automation rules like updating contact fields or adjusting their Pardot score.

Now that you have learned how to segment like a pro, let’s look at how to create an effective content and distribution strategy.

Effective Content Strategy & Distribution in Pardot

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As a content marketer, you understand the value of content and the role that it plays in your marketing strategy. Writing strong content establishes us as thought leaders on a subject and engages our audience without pushing an aggressive call-to-action. This inbound strategy helps naturally attract new leads and opportunities. Often considered the most crucial part of your website, cornerstone and evergreen content draw new visitors to your web pages and increase your search rank. But, aside from SEO, how can you leverage this content?

With a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you have the ability to track your prospects’ behaviors and activity. This includes the topics that interest them, as well as the form of content that they prefer, whether that be blog, video, whitepaper, or something else. Then, you are able to take that knowledge and segment your database in order to provide the best types of content to the prospects that are looking for it.

 

Tracking Content

Set yourself up for success with content marketing by having the proper tracking mechanisms in place.

Tagging

Add tags to prospects that you know are interested in different subject areas. For intelligent and dynamic tagging, make use of page actions and custom redirects.

Page Actions

Page actions allow you to trigger actions, such as applying tags or updating field criteria, when specific pages are accessed on your website. This function is often used to alert a sales rep when a prospect visits a page that indicates high intent, such as a product pricing page. Thinking a little more critically, this can also be used to apply tags to prospects when they visit certain pages of your website.

Custom Redirects

For content that is not hosted on your own website, such as your Youtube channel, or even third party content, make use of custom redirects. This Pardot feature has the same functionality as page actions in that you are able to trigger actions based on the designated URL being accessed. Pardot replaces the end URL with a tracked one, which you can then use in your campaigns.

 

Leveraging Content

With all of that information stored in Pardot, you can design your next email campaign accordingly. Build out your next workflow in Engagement Studio with smart rules that send your prospects down different paths based on their tags. To do this, select your best content pieces in each subject area, and promote them to prospects that are tagged with those subjects. Then, follow up with similar content pieces that the prospect may be interested in. These emails should be personal in nature and come from a specific sender rather than a nameless company email address.

Some other ways to leverage content over email include:

  • Sending weekly blog newsletters to the prospects that have shown previous engagement with your blog page — learn how to automate this
  • Using content pieces as the main focus of one of the first touches in your nurture campaigns
  • Taking the absence of activity, such as a group of prospects that has not opened an email in 90 days, and sending those prospects a strong content piece in an attempt to re-engage them

Not sure where to start with curating content for your emails? The most efficient, automated process for curating content is through the use of RSS feeds. To learn about integrating your Pardot instance with RSS feeds, schedule a demo of FeedOtter.