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When it comes to finding ways to increase your business growth, you probably already know that marketing is a big part of the equation. However, many entrepreneurs and small business owners find themselves stuck when they wonder where to begin in their marketing efforts.

Marketing is what allows your company’s products and services to stand out from the crowd and be heard by prospective buyers. But while you know this, you may not be aware of how important it is to use tools to get the best results possible.

Two Categories of Marketing Tools

Although some universal rules can help your promotional efforts, there are many specialized tools for different business marketing situations. These tools fall into two distinct categories: advertising and analytics. Each serves a specific purpose and helps improve different stages of your marketing campaign. With the right toolset, you’ll find that promoting yourself becomes much easier than expected.

Advertising Tools

Advertising tools help get the attention of people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Therefore, targeting the right audiences can drastically increase your conversions.

Your adverts should always serve to achieve an objective, whether it’s making someone aware of your brand name for the first time, encouraging them to download something, or buying one of your products.

Analytics Tools

Unlike advertising tools, which primarily focus on external factors like branding and customer demographics, analytics tools are social listening tools that look at how customers behave around your website and social media pages. By observing customer behavior, you can better understand what they want and how to deliver it more effectively.

The primary purpose of optimizing your site for analytics is boosting conversions while maintaining a positive user experience. That’s why you need tools that help you identify problem areas around your website and provide targeted advice on fixing them.

Ways on How Marketing Tools Impact Business Growth

Helps You Get Started Quickly.

Many businesses struggle with knowing where to get started regarding their marketing strategy. With so many options available, not to mention conflicting opinions about the best methods, finding direction can be difficult for small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Fortunately, marketing tools help take some of the guesswork out of this process and get you moving in the right direction.

Helps You Analyze Your Competitors.

Using marketing tools lets you know what your competitors are doing and how they’re advertising themselves online. This makes it much easier for you to find out where their successes lie, as well as what they aren’t doing that might give you an edge over them.

Marketing tools can also give you an idea of what is missing in your business’s strategy, whether it’s a certain type of technology or service that your competitors are offering. By learning from them and then making improvements, you’ll put yourself in a better position to compete against them.

Helps You Innovate.

The best marketing tools are those that help you find new ways of doing things, whether it’s experimenting with new promotional strategies, launching different types of advertisements, or adjusting the layout and content of your website.

Increase Your Brand Awareness.

It’s better to think of your brand as a living entity that needs to be nurtured and encouraged to grow. So every day, your goal should be to make it easier for people to find out about you and what you do.

Every time someone likes or shares one of your posts on Facebook, retweets a tweet, or marks something as a “favorite,” this is a good thing for your brand because it gives other people a chance to interact with your content. In addition, you can use marketing tools to encourage these behaviors by being proactive in sharing updates that can spread quickly through social media channels.

Better Control Over Your Marketing Efforts.

Marketing tools allow you to control all aspects of your marketing from one centralized location, like improving your website, uploading new advertisements, sending important messages to the right people, and doing many other tasks.

Having everything in one place can reduce the time you need to spend switching between different programs to get something done. This is good for business growth since it allows you to focus more on what actually matters without constantly worrying about other things that might take up your time.

Gain More Customers.

One of the best ways to grow your business is by getting as many prospects as possible to visit your website or social media pages because this gives you more chances for conversions. Targeted advertising helps make this more feasible because it lets you focus on those interested in what’s on offer.

Encourage Growth Through Personalization.

There’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ approach in marketing. What works for one company might not work for another, and this is where personalization comes in.

By using marketing tools that allow you to target specific individuals or groups, you’ll create campaigns that are more relevant to them. This makes it more likely that they’ll engage with your content, which can then lead to conversion.

Helps You Keep an Eye on Your Progress.

One of the best ways to see how well your business is doing is by tracking your progress over time. This can be done by using marketing tools to access detailed reports and analytics.

With this information, you’ll see how your website is performing, how effective your marketing campaigns are, and where you need to make changes. This is an essential part of business growth, and it’s something that can be greatly improved by using marketing tools.

Better Understand What Your Customers Want.

One of the most critical aspects of digital marketing is knowing what your customers want and giving it to them. This can be not easy, especially if you haven’t done anything like it before. Many new business owners aren’t sure what questions to ask or how they should get the data they need to make informed decisions.

However, one of the best parts about having access to marketing tools is that there are now more ways for businesses to gather valuable customer insights, making it easier for them to adapt their behaviors accordingly. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to serve your target audience.

Keeps You Updated About Industry Trends and Changes.

The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be challenging to keep up with all the latest trends. However, you’ll have access to updates about new technologies, changes in search engine algorithms, and other important information by using marketing tools.

This means that you’ll be able to make changes to your marketing strategies as needed to not fall behind the competition.

Marketing tools are an essential part of any business’ growth strategy. By using these tools, companies can improve their website performance, get more leads, understand their customers better, and track their progress. Targeted advertising can also help a business get more customers, and personalization is an integral part of the customer experience.


Kristin Gray is the Head of Digital Community and Writer from Onclusive, a Data Science Company For Marketing And Communications that invents PR Attribution and Power of Voice.

Content calendar (or editorial calendar) is a simple concept: a schedule of when and where to publish future content (posts, video materials, podcasts, etc). An efficient content calendar normally includes dates for publishing upcoming content, planned promotions, social media promotions and posts, and updates to previously published content.

A content calendar is of extreme importance for businesses because it helps devise and track marketing strategies. Not only does it help a business stay organized, but it also helps with monitoring SEO performance.

How to Use a Content Calendar Efficiently

That being said, even the finest of content calendars won’t be efficient if they are not used to their full potential. In plain words, creating a content calendar and not following up and updating it is not the way to go about things.

The most common goals a content calendar should help achieve are, as follows:

  • Ensures that planned tasks are going as planned
  • Provides overview of upcoming tasks
  • Ensures ideal content distribution
  • Ensures that collaboration is taking place

Additional features may be added as per specific goals, but these are the very basic and essential ones.

Elements of a Good Content Calendar

As is the case with everything in life, there is no universal rule when it comes to content calendars. However, while they are highly customizable, they still should feature a number of elements that are crucial for every marketing strategy. These include editorial, promotional items, platform and upcoming ideas.

A content calendar should be planned well ahead and created in such a way that it can be easily customized as needed. To ensure best results, stick to your OKRs.

Editorial

Editorials should be the starting point of every content calendar. Namely, their goal is to list the posting schedule and all content planned for publishing.

Promotional Items

Promotional Items are pieces of content that will promote your services. They can vary in form and usually include a mixture of posts, podcasts, newsletters and various announcements.

Platform

Choosing the best platform where to host your content calendar is paramount, especially when there are multiple contributors. The calendar should be easily accessible to every contributor at all times.

A good email marketing calendar relies on swift responses, so if you’re running a large business, a suitable platform is essential.

There are numerous options when it comes to the choice of a platform and other content calendar tools, the most popular of which we will list hereby:

  • Trello (for marketing teams)
  • Asana (for marketing teams)
  • Slack (for marketing teams)
  • Coschedule (for marketing teams)
  • Google Sheets (for individuals)
  • MS Excel (for individuals)
  • Google Calendar (for individuals)

Certainly, there are other options as well, but there is a good reason why some tools are more popular than others.

Upcoming Ideas

Finally, note all ideas as they come as these can be later turned into efficient strategies. Keep in mind that audiences change (and so do trends), so the ideas you get along the way are extremely significant.

Whether it’s the new Gmail templates or customer feedback, make sure to note all of the important insights in your content calendar.

How to Organize Your Content Calendar

Organizing a content calendar is a serious undertaking, especially for businesses with many contributors. However, it is not impossible and there are some best practices to help you in this matter, too.

First of all, make sure you have chosen the very best platform for your needs. Immediately define the dynamics of posting.

Content calendars for small-scale marketing plans may include only post titles and the dates when to post them.

On the other hand, complex content strategies should best feature all the steps of the content creation process that are easily understandable to all contributors.

Calendar Templates

Creating a template is always a good idea as it serves two purposes:

  1. It simplifies the process.
  2. It helps contributors get used to the routine, making the whole process faster and more efficient.

Again, no rules are set in stone, but some elements are simply logical to include in a content calendar template. Here are some tips:

  • The topic
  • Content-type
  • Publishing date and time
  • The channel where the content is to be published
  • Person in charge (for marketing teams)

Remember to follow through to ensure your content strategy is going as planned.

The Frequency of Publishing

This is a tricky question, especially since feedback is essential in this matter and is often one of the toughest elements of a marketing strategy.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we will still provide some ideas in hopes they will help you make better decisions.

I.e., social media posts can be published more frequently, as they also include reposting of older content that new followers haven’t had the chance to see.

It is generally recommended to publish at least one new blog post weekly, as you’ll want to keep your audience engaged.

Recycle Older Content

As mentioned above, there will always be new customers and followers who haven’t seen all previously published content. Hence, it is always a good idea to recycle older content.

In addition, it is highly recommended that you update older posts with new information, so re-sharing the updated versions is simply a must.

Be clever in your approach. Even if there won’t always be new information to add, you can make an infographic using the existing blog posts. You can go one step further and turn them into video material, a podcast… ideas are endless.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to brainstorming your content calendar. It is an inspiring process, but don’t forget to simplify the steps that can be simplified.

It is of utmost importance to ensure that the entire content team is on the same page and that all new content is relevant.

Keep updating older posts and recycling the content for best results, and your marketing strategy will flourish.


Guest Author

Viola Eva is passionate about digital entrepreneurship, flow, and mindful marketing. As a marketing consultant and founder of Flow SEO, she has worked with clients ranging from individual digital entrepreneurs to software companies to multi-national corporates and government institutions. She is a speaker, educator, and specialist on all things SEO known from Search Engine Journal, UnGagged, Pubcon, Wordcamp Europe and many other events and publications.

As every brand meaning business knows, quality content rules supreme in terms of SEO and content marketing. However, even though there are many insightful and original posts around, not every one of them converts. In fact, the majority do not.

How come?

First of all, simply posting an insightful expert article is nowhere near enough to make certain it will drive traffic and help you achieve conversions all on its own. There’s so much more to marketing than just dropping a written piece — no matter how meaningful or rooted in your company values — somewhere on your website.

What you really need in order to achieve long-term results is product-led content marketing.

Simply put, it is aimed at generating qualified traffic and delivering significant organic conversions.

What Is Product-Led Growth?

In simplest terms, product-led growth implies that your business strategy dealing with converting new leads is rooted in your product.

The growth is driven by your customers liking your product, and not by ebook downloads, or any similar method you’re using to attract new customers. This provides a targeted, lean process with a clear agenda.

What Is Product-Led Marketing?

Product-led marketing takes this principle to the next level. To unleash your business potential, you need to define your content core. Everything you publish should deal with the customers’ issues and offer relevant solutions.

This approach is not novel by any means, but it is rarely used to its fullest. To ensure that you’re doing everything you can to drive success, focus on the following:

  • Explain in detail why and how your tools and services can solve customers’ problems efficiently and shortly.
  • Educate the customers how exactly to use your tools and services to achieve their goals.
  • Improve customers’ awareness and understanding of your tools and services.

One notable difference between product-led marketing and other types of marketing lies in the fact that the former is focused on the business potential of each marketing activity, rather than on the three main funnel stages (top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel).

This is to say that product-led marketing is a fusion of content marketing, product development and customer success.

Levels of Business Potential

As mentioned above, your product should be marketed as highly capable of solving customers’ problems. If it is unique in its characteristics, your business potential is potent. If it is capable of solving the problem but the customers aren’t convinced, then you should work on your product-led marketing.

Basically, there are three levels of business potential, as follows:

  1. The product is an irreplaceable solution to the problem (or as close to irreplaceable as humanly possible).
  2. The product is useful, but the problem can be solved without it.
  3. The product is hardly relevant to the problem.

Needless to say, in order to drive success continually, you should go for the first option. To do this and efficiently, you’ll need to brainstorm content ideas and bear in mind product-led marketing.

Product-Led Marketing: Step By Step

Luckily, there is an efficient strategy when it comes to product-led marketing. If you follow all the steps, your efforts are certain to be successful.

These are the steps:

  1. Research problems and issues.
  2. Define your content core.
  3. Evaluate the business potential of each idea.
  4. Outline the article and weave your product into the narrative.
  5. Choose a proper CTA.

Research Problems and Issues 

This is the first obvious step. Your customers should easily discover your product when looking for suitable solutions to their problems.

In most cases, the customers are already aware of the issue. Their journey will, hence, go from problem awareness to solution awareness to product awareness.

To lead the customers through these steps, you should first research the problems and issues. There are a couple of ways to go about this, the two most notable of which are:

  1. Classic keyword research
  2. Customer feedback research

Compile a list of all potential problems. Refine a couple of them into content ideas.

Define Your Content Core 

But, what, exactly, is your “content core?”

The term was coined by Garrett Moon in his book 10x Marketing Formula. In Mr. Moon’s words:

Your content core connects the dots between what your customers care about and what you have to offer them. Notice that I said “what your customers care about,” and not “what your audience cares about.” There is a difference. Because if you are going to get really good at generating leads and converting traffic, you have to intimately understand the customers who are already paying you.

To define your content core successfully, be sure to write down the features and value propositions of your product, and then compare your content ideas from Step 1 with the values propositions.

Is it possible to mention the features and value propositions in an article? This should be a simple yes/no question; mark answers for each idea along the way.

Evaluate the Business Potential of Each Idea 

In your next step, the focus should be on the articles selected for your content core.  

Go through each of the articles and select the importance of your product based on the three levels of business potential mentioned above. Don’t expect to get a perfect score; the process should be observed as a scale, rather than a 100% relevance goal.

Separate the content ideas by product relevance. Focus on those where your product is irreplaceable or close to irreplaceable from the rest of the ideas. Add priority score to each of these ideas.

Outline the Article and Weave Your Product Into the Narrative 

If you need some clarity, here’s an example how this can be done, but feel free to use your own matrix:

  • Define the main and supporting keywords.
  • Define the content type.
  • Choose the word count.
  • Outline the headlines.
  • Brainstorm for internal links.
  • Compare your ideas to those of the best-ranked competitor.

To efficiently focus on the narrative, take your time refining your headlines. Here are some tips:

  • When explaining a concept, add a use case relevant to your customers rather than a generic one.
  • Use only the examples that speak to your target audience.
  • When explaining steps of a process, add screenshots and examples how that can be done using your product.
  • Consider using email templates to save time and create a cohesive approach to follow ups.

Keep in mind that this step shouldn’t equal a sales promotion. The article must be relevant and meet the search intent. The focus should instead be on how the problems can be solved easier and faster with the help of your product, as compared to other similar options.

Choose a Proper CTA

Product-led content is perfect for in-line CTAs (a.k.a. “native advertising”). For the best results, add a one in-line CTA and a pop-up or a button after the first and the last paragraph of the article.

All of these CTAs should lead to your product. No templates, no ebooks, no clickbaits. The CTAs should lead only to the product or the feature that perfectly matches the content of the article.

Conclusion

Everything considered, product-led content marketing is a perfect opportunity to increase retention and support acquisition, while still keeping your customers happy. Qualified conversions will naturally follow, as long as you stick to all the steps of the process and make use of dependable email management tools.

Always keep your customers’ problems and issues in mind for the best results. Do this for every product and service you offer, and results will quickly follow.


Guest Author

Viola Eva is passionate about digital entrepreneurship, flow, and mindful marketing. As a marketing consultant and founder of Flow SEO, she has worked with clients ranging from individual digital entrepreneurs to software companies to multi-national corporates and government institutions. She is a speaker, educator, and specialist on all things SEO known from Search Engine Journal, UnGagged, Pubcon, Wordcamp Europe and many other events and publications.