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 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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No man is an island: content curation for content creators

No man is an island: content curation for content creators

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

What do you think of that quote? Is it depressing? Dismissive?

True?

True or not, that quote evokes a dilemma every content creator struggles with. We have a lot of content to create, and in one way or another, it’s all been created before.

Before you get on the defensive, let me explain what I mean by that.

Why we tend to create similar content

Our job is to create content that both serves our audience and meets business goals. To do that efficiently, we use proven formats (blog posts, white papers, tweets, etc). We answer common questions. We do this in ways that are familiar to our audience and easy for them to understand.

If we get too creative and too cutting-edge, we become hard to understand. As soon as our audience doesn’t understand us, they’re gone. The rest of the Internet – the easy-to-understand and endlessly diverting Internet – is only a click away.

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12 signs you’re wasting time on content marketing

12 signs you're wasting time on content marketing

Lack of time came in as the #1 challenge for both B2B and B2C marketers in the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs 2014 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends surveys.

If you’re not sure you’re using your time well enough, or if you’d like a checklist of content marketing areas to emphasize, the following list may be helpful. Each item of this list is a sign you’re wasting time on content marketing. Or – on the brighter side – an opportunity to boost your productivity.

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10 content curation pros to convince you to start curating now

10 content curation pros to convince you to start curating now

There are so many content curation pros that it can seem too good to be true, especially if you struggle to create your own content. The idea that you can to attract and engage an audience, meet business goals and improve your ROI with other people’s content seems too easy. Surely there’s something else going […]

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How to make your content ridiculously easy to share

How to make your content ridiculously easy to share

Sharing is caring. It’s cliché, but oh so true. While share counts may not be directly tied to your social media and content marketing ROI, many brand publishers measure the success of a piece of content by how many shares it gets.

In earlier posts we’ve talked about the psychological motivations behind what makes people want to share. We’ve also covered how to get in your audience’s head to find out what they want you to share (in other words – what they’re most interested in). For this installment of the sharing series, we’re focused on helping you make content easy to share by formatting it. These are all the tips and tricks of formatting and timing that have been shown to make a difference.

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Why no one is sharing your content [and 3 strategies to fix it]

Why No One is Sharing Your Content [and 3 Strategies to Fix It]

Are you embarrassed by the social sharing counts on your blog posts? Do you hit publish… only to hear crickets?

If you’re not getting many – or any – shares for your content, there is one bright spot: You’re not alone. I’ve seen hundreds of good, even great blog posts with single digit share counts. On any given day, thousands of unshared updates stream through my social media accounts.

As you know, there’s a tremendous amount of content getting published. If you’re not getting any sharing love, consider what you’re up against. This infographic from Domo  outlines the situation well. It shows how much content is published every minute. And it doesn’t even count the 2 million blog posts published every day.

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Social sharing and psychology: 7 levers you should push if you want more shares

Social sharing and psychology - 7 levers you should push if you want more shares

The success or failure of a piece of content is often measured by how many shares it gets. Hopefully, those shares are also part of a content strategy that’s driven by ROI. But whether they are or not, there’s almost always a push for more shares.

Social sharing and psychology are linked: if you want to get more shares from your content, it helps to take a look at the psychological drivers behind why content gets shared. These are the motivations behind sharing that are deeper than the typical techniques to get more shares. They go beyond tricks like including an image, choosing the right time to share, and crafting a click-worthy headline.

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A beginner’s guide to promote content on social media

promote content on social media - a beginner guide

If you don’t know how to promote content on social media, putting all the pieces together can feel like quite a challenge. There are so many options, so many technologies, and so many tips and tricks all clamoring for your attention.

To help distill the process down to it’s basic elements, we’ve created two imaginary business owners: Marisa, who owns a retail store, and Ted, who owns a professional services firm. This post will outline their businesses needs and their content promotion goals. Then it will lay out a detailed weekly content promotion plan and schedule for each of them.

Each promotion plan is a little different, because the businesses are different. Your business will be different than these plans too, of course. But after reading this you’ll know The basic elements of a promotion plan, how they should change with different business priorities and how to decide which options are best for you.

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Audience and Content Publishing: 17 Ways to Find Out What Your Audience Wants You to Share

audience and content publishing - 17 Ways to Find Out What Your Audience Wants You to Share

Ever had a piece of content go viral? It’s a heady experience. Maybe it took off immediately and you watched the share count go up like a rocket ship. Or maybe it was a slow burn, but week after week, you kept shaking your head at how unbelievably well that one piece of content did.

Any time this happens the most powerful response (after “That did AWESOME! I rock!”) is to try to do it again. Ad agencies get irked when clients tell them “we want it go viral” because they’ve gotten this request so many times. Everybody wants their stuff to go viral. Who would say, “we’d like this to go largely unnoticed.”

Odds are you don’t know how to make things go viral every time. Hey, neither do I. But I do know how to increase the chances of it happening. I’m about to show you how to increase the chances of going viral for your stuff, too. Not just viral wildfire once – and maybe not every time – but often enough to make your competition jealous and to leave your audience enthralled.

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How to nurture leads with content curation

How to Nurture Leads with Content Curation 2

Want more leads? You’re not alone. According to IDG Enterprise’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report, lead generation is the #1 priority for content marketers.
But while everybody says they want more leads, in the very next breathe they’ll add that they want better leads, too. That’s why you’ll see lead nurturing come in as priority #4 on this same graph. Lead nurturing is basically lead generation 2.0. First you get the leads, then you warm them up.

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9 Ways for SMBs to Beat Big Corporations on Social Media [With Examples]

9 Ways for SMBs to Beat Big Corporations on Social Media

Everybody loves an underdog. David versus Goliath… Your local bookstore versus Amazon… Marty’s Fish, Milk & Bait versus WalMart. All these battles, famous or not, tug at our heart strings. Trouble is, if you’re a small business owner, you know you need to do more than just tug at heart strings to make your business work. You need to actually get people in the door. You need to get them to buy things. Then you need them to come back.

Social media has long been hailed as a marketing equalizer. In many ways, it is. It’s free to create an account and free to post and to build your following (Facebook changes aside). But it’s time to get more specific about how to use social as a marketing equalizer. So here are 9 techniques SMBs can use to beat big corporations on social media.

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Want to Make Blog Posts More Engaging? Apply These 15 Tricks

Want to Make Blog Posts More Engaging - Apply These 15 Tricks

Do you read online? Come on… be honest. Because if you’re like most people, you don’t read online. You scan. According to usability specialist Jakob Nielsen, on average readers actually read only about 28% of words on the page. Nielsen wrote an entire study about how web users read the web.  He estimates that while […]

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How to convince your boss you need content marketing software

How To Convince Your Boss You Need a Content Marketing Software

Most of us who practice content marketing rely on at least some kind of content marketing software. We’re software people by nature, so it’s only natural we’ve got a thing for digital tools. Of course, it is possible to stay on top of your content marketing work with just Excel and Google calendar. But at a certain point you’ll want to graduate to something more robust.

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15 Proven Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Blog

15 proven ways to grow traffic on your blog

Who doesn’t want more website traffic? Like money or good looks, it seems like it’s just not possible to have too much traffic to your blog.

Trouble is, traffic is tricky. You can buy it, sure. But if you don’t convert that traffic into dollars, you’re losing money. And to actually see ROI, you have to not just make back the money you’ve spent on advertising. You’ll also have to cover the overhead for your business and the time you spent managing it all.

If you go the other way and build up free traffic, you’ll have to get enough results to justify your time. Anybody can spend an afternoon building traffic to their blog. But did they get enough traffic from those efforts to justify the time spent and the opportunity lost?

It is, of course, possible to get an ROI on your blog traffic work. I’m about to give you specific ideas for exactly how to do that.

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How to do all your social media chores in 30 minutes or less

How to Do All Your Social Media Chores in 30 Minutes or Less

Is social media the biggest business opportunity of our generation – or a complex scheme devised to take up all your time?

I’ll admit it can feel like the latter, but productive, efficient social media activity is possible. It happens every day. You can cover all your bases on the major social networks in just minutes.

I’ll give you the play-by-play tips to manage social media in 30 minutes below.

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