Ian Cleary Discusses Essential Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing #CMWorld
By Joshua Nite
RazorSocial Founder Ian Cleary is passionate about using tools to make content marketing better. At RazorSocial, he trains companies to use technology to increase their reach, search ranking, and audience relevance.
Ian took us on a whirlwind tour through 15 common content marketing problems and the tools he uses to solve them. Here are my picks for the top five:
Problem #1: Blog Posts Don’t Get Ongoing Organic Traffic
After the initial post-launch spike, you may find your traffic results dwindling. In most cases, organic traffic dies off completely.
Solution: Create Content Designed for Continued Visibility
Use a tool like InboundWriter to see what topics will be more successful in the long term, and what keywords to use that will keep your content visible to search traffic.
Problem #2: Low Conversion Rates on Opt-Ins
It’s great to have someone read a single article on your site. But it’s even better to persuade the reader to opt in for future nurturing efforts.
Solution: Make the Content the Opt-In
You can use your article itself to capture subscriptions. On the Razorsocial blog, Ian offers a download of each article as a PDF the reader can consume online. Clicking the “download” option pops up a form from Optinmonster, capturing an email address in exchange for the PDF.
Problem #3: Not Enough Links to Your Content
The number of relevant, highly-regarded sites that link to your content can have a big impact on your search ranking. Earning those links may seem beyond your control, but it’s possible to get quality backlinks (in an ethical and meaningful way).
Solution: Promote Content to Relevant Sites
To get more backlinks for his content, Ian searches for older, outdated articles about the same topic. Then he uses AHrefs to see what sites link to these outdated articles, and emails them directly suggesting his new article. The direct outreach nets plenty of quality backlinks with minimal effort and at no expense.
Problem #4: Need to Track Content Success Across Multiple Domains
It’s important to keep track of your users’ activity on your sites to see what content is hitting and what’s not getting the job done. Historically, you’d do that with multiple blocks of code from various sources–a Facebook pixel, an Optimizely link–that each require an ask from your tech crew.
Solution: Use Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a free tool that works with your Google Analytics account. A single code block on the site lets you plug in all those various trackers without having to bother IT. Ian does A/B testing on variants of a site with Tag Manager, putting the code block on each site to get a comprehensive view of user interaction.
Problem #5: Need to Monitor and Track Brand Conversations
It’s important to know who is talking about your brand (and your competitors), what they’re saying, and when you can engage. Good social listening gives you a deeper understanding of what your customers need and the opportunity to act on the knowledge.
Solution: Social Listening Tools Keep You in the Know
Ian recommends Brand24 for Social Media Monitoring. He suggests monitoring Twitter and Facebook at a minimum, but adding other platforms if they’re relevant to your audience. He suggests taking a strategic approach to engaging–focus on conversations with influencers and brand ambassadors, people who can make or break your reputation, even though they may not have the largest social network.
Content marketing is a creative business, but strategy and technology can give your efforts an extra edge. The right tools can help you create what your audience needs, help you increase your reach, and help you track your results for continual improvement.
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