At Foundry 360, we often write that good content marketing is both an art and a science. Ours is a discipline that involves creating engaging text and compelling visuals (that’s the art) to create content that’s informed by data and insights (that’s the science).
To that duo, we’d like to add technology — the software, SAAS platforms and digital plug-ins that help content marketers manage creation and measure performance, among other crucial tasks. The good and bad news: There are hundreds of existing technology solutions with new ones emerging all the time, all of which promise smarter, more efficient processes from planning and creating to publishing and optimizing — and beyond.
As with any piece of technology, the best choices are the ones your organization will actually use. Too often — in work and life — we invest in digital solutions that are ill-suited for our needs: WHOOP for the committed couch potato, say, or that streaming service we forget we’re paying for (too many to list here). So, while the tried-and-tested tools we list below are excellent, whether they’re right for you depends on your content strategy. (Need help with that? Get in touch here!) Note that all these tools perform multiple functions — we’re calling out the features we feel are especially useful to content marketers.
1. Airtable for Content Collaboration
This platform helps both traditional publishers and “brands as publishers” schedule, organize and access content throughout the production process. Remote teams upload timelines and assets all in one place. And the tool alerts members to tasks and status changes, taking communication out of email.
2. SEMrush for Optimizing Content for Search
A long-time SEO category favorite, this tool helps content teams identify and analyze the search equity around the keywords that are relevant to their brand. Thus informed, content creators can decide which keywords will help them best achieve both organic and paid search goals.
3. Knotch for Analyizing Reader Sentiment
This lightweight, easy-to-implement response tool gives content teams a real-time look at how readers are reacting to content as it’s published. Rather than relying solely on less nuanced “time on page” or “video completion” metrics, Knotch gives brands a way to measure reader sentiment — how much they liked an asset, found it helpful and more.
4. Google Analytics for Content Analytics
The category killer (as with all things Google, or so it seems) GA is one of the most readily available ways to measure a wide range of web site metrics — traffic, time on site, bounce rates, pages viewed and more. And while there are more complicated measurement tools, GA’s real advantage is this: It’s free.
5. Social Listening to Identify Trending Topics
Did you ever wish you could scrape the social web to listen in on only those super-specific topics that are relevant to your brand? With social listening tools, analysts can run searches and create real-time reports about how consumers are reacting to products, trends and the news of the day. Even better news: The Dotdash Meredith Data Studio has one of the best in the business. Based on a tool called NetBase Quid, our data analysts use it access public social media chatter, which we analyze to understand trends in consumer sentiment, attitudes, need states and behaviors.