The Lean Content Marketing Blog

How to get more return on investment from content

Articles by Pam Neely


The best content marketing tools for the planning phase (2/6)

the best content marketing tools for the planning phase content marketing lifecycle

Earlier this month, we listed the best content marketing tools for the strategy phase, the first phase of the content marketing lifecycle. We discussed how content marketing is a powerful opportunity to build a loyal audience authentically, provided you’re willing to invest the time and effort it takes to do things right. In order to succeed with content […]

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The best content marketing tools for the strategy phase (1/6)

best content marketing tools for the strategy phase content marketing lifecycle

Content marketing has a lot going for it. For starters, if you’ve got some content creation and promotion skills, it can be done nearly for free. It’s also a great way to build a trusting audience – if you can be patient while that audience grows. But like anything, content marketing has its snags. It takes […]

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Outsourcing content creation made simple: 5 [easy] ways to find the right freelancer

outsourcing content creation doesnt have to be hard if you do this

A long time ago, I managed up to 20 freelance writers at a time. They helped me create content for a series of niche websites. I learned a lot hiring them and working with them. If you’re struggling to create enough content in-house, it might be time to consider hiring some freelance content creators. If […]

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How to find awesome content your email subscribers will love

how to find awesome content your email subscribers will love

Are you sending out email updates to promote your new content? If you are, give yourself a pat on the back. Because most marketers aren’t. This was one of the biggest surprises we found after surveying 1,038 SMB marketers on their content marketing best practices and analyzing the results using our Content Marketing Grader tool. Only 29% […]

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Quantity vs quality: why a balance is key to content marketing success

quantity vs quality why balance is key to content marketing success

This is one of the core questions content marketers struggle with. How you answer it will shape your content strategy, your budget, and more. No content marketer answers this question in the same way. Even on this blog, there might be some dispute. Depending on your budget, your audience, or your business model, you may need […]

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3 proven ways to amplify your content marketing efforts

3 proven ways to amplify your content marketing efforts

Content marketing is tricky. It’s fairly easy to set up the rudiments of a content marketing machine, but getting it to turn a profit is another beast entirely. The reality is that many companies are just barely breaking even. That’s a tough spot to be in. You’re doing just well enough that you don’t want to […]

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How to make blogging, social media and email marketing work together

How to make blogging, social media and email marketing work together

Does this sound familiar? You’ve got a blog. You’re active on a few social media channels. You send out an email update every week. It’s a lot of work. You wonder if you’re getting enough results. And you’ve got this sneaking suspicion that there’s got to be an easier way. Good news: there is. You’re […]

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How to find highly-shareable content for your social media accounts

How to find highly-shareable content for your social media accounts

Struggling to find highly-shareable content for your social media accounts? You’re not alone. But it’s way easier than you think – once you know where to look. Here are five easy, proven techniques to find top-notch content your audience will love. 1. Curate With aggregated curation tools Curation tools like Scoop.it can be set up to […]

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How to reformat one piece of content into an entire marketing campaign

How to reformat one piece of content into an entire marketing campaign

This is my favorite content marketing quote: “Our goal is to create the least amount of content with the maximum amount of impact.” Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute Here’s the tone I hear those words in: There are several reasons to create less content: 1. So-so content fails. Good content […]

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Why you need a content marketing software

Why you need a content marketing software

Content marketing has a lot of moving parts. The good thing is there are a thousand ways to customize it, re-imagine it, and gain an edge on our competitors. The downside? It’s a lot to manage.

Fortunately, marketers today are way luckier than the marketers of yesteryear. We’ve got computers! We’ve got a thousand tools to create, manage and promote our content with.

The trick is to manage all those tools and the work they facilitate as nimbly and effectively as possible. This is why you need a content marketing software. You need one unifying tool or system to manage all the moving parts. Otherwise you’re working with a patchwork of systems, constantly trying to fill in the gaps between them.

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Content co-creation: what is it and how to do it

everything you need to know about content co-creation

Creating engaging content is the biggest challenge content marketers face. It beats out time constraints, limited budgets and even staffing challenges. That’s why we’re all constantly looking for ways to make content development easier. And if we can’t make it easier – or cheaper – we’re trying to make it more efficient. If you’ve been […]

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A beginner’s guide to content curation

A beginner’s guide to content curation

Never tried content curation? Not sure it could work for your business? Then this is the post for you. A beginner’s guide to content curation First things first: What is content curation? It can be as simple as sharing other peoples’ content. Nothing too complicated there, right? So if you’ve ever retweeted a tweet or shared […]

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The best content marketing tools for the measuring phase (6/6)

best content marketing tools measuring phase

Last editions: #1: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. #2: The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. #3: The best content marketing tools for the optimization phase. #4: The best content marketing tools for the publishing phase. #5: The best content marketing tools for the promotion phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity […]

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The best content marketing tools for the promotion phase (5/6)

best content marketing tools edition 5 promotion phase

Last editions: #1: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. #2: The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. #3: The best content marketing tools for the optimization phase. #4: The best content marketing tools for the publishing phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if […]

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The best content marketing tools for the publishing phase (4/6)

best content marketing tools edition 4 publishing phase

Last editions: #1: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. #2: The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. #3: The best content marketing tools for the optimization phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if you’re willing to invest the time to do things […]

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The best content marketing tools for the optimization phase (3/6)

best content marketing tools edition 3 optimization phase

Last editions: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if you’re willing to invest the time to do things right. Want to understand more about each phase of […]

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How to use competitive research to improve your content marketing

How to use competitive research to improve your content marketing

Your content has a lot of competition. That’s a big challenge, but there’s a hidden opportunity there, too. With just a little bit of research you can find out how any piece of content performed. Then you can apply that knowledge to your own content creation and curation efforts. That ocean of other people’s’ content […]

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The best content marketing tools for the creation phase (2/6)

best content marketing tools edition 2 creation phase

Last week we listed the best content marketing tools for the research phase, first phase of your content marketing cycle.

We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if you’re willing to invest the time to do things right.

Some carefully chosen content marketing software definitely help. To give you the specifics on how it could help and which pieces of software might help, we’ve put together this series of walk-throughs of all the basic functions and tasks required for content marketing, plus which pieces of software to use for each function.

This doesn’t include every piece of software you could use. But it does include the heavy hitters and the most popular tools.

I hope it gives you some ideas for how to better use software in your content marketing. Excel and whiteboards and notepads are all great tools, but we probably shouldn’t be running an entire content marketing department with them.

This week, we’ll go over the best content marketing tools to help you in your creation phase.

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The best content marketing tools for the research phase (1/6)

best content marketing tools edition 1 research phase

Content marketing has a lot going for it. It’s 63% less expensive than traditional advertising. It’s an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way. But it does require quite a bit of work and management if you want to see results.

These are the 6 phases of content marketing:

content-marketing-cycle1.png

This week, we’ll go over the best content marketing tools to help you in your research phase.

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7 ways for small businesses to generate leads with social media

7 ways for small businesses to generate leads with social media

Small business owners aren’t usually on social media to share cat videos and indulge in celebrity gossip. They’re on social media for business. They do social media to gain exposure, but ultimately the goal is to get more business. Getting more business usually means getting more leads.

Unfortunately, getting leads from social media is not so easy. If you’re doing well at it, pat yourself on the back. Most marketers struggle with getting social media to work well for lead generation.

7 ways for small businesses to generate leads with social media

That’s what Ascend2 discovered when they tallied up the results of a lead generation survey of 300 marketers last month. Only 26% of the marketers they surveyed marked social media as among their more effective lead generation tactics.

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