The marketing-technology landscape (often referred to as “MarTech”) has absolutely exploded over the past few years, leaving marketers with more options than ever to help them execute successful marketing campaigns. Though this is a great problem for marketers to have, it means that as marketers we need to be more careful when selecting which tools we use to build a successful marketing stack. Choose too many and you can get overwhelmed, while too few can leave you at a competitive disadvantage.
In today’s post, we’re going to look at 13 proven tools that can help streamline your marketing, provide great insights, and make you a better marketer overall. Before we dive in, a word of caution: At the end of the day it’s not the tools that make great marketing, it’s the experts shaping the strategy and execution behind the tools.
13 of the best tools to leverage for SaaS content-marketing success
Keyword research and effective SEO are critical for any inbound marketing strategy. Though Google AdWords might be the tried and true tool, newer tools such as keywordtool.io can help you find those hidden gems. As Neil Patel has suggested, when it comes to keyword research, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
When you type in a keyword, the tool automatically completes the autosuggest and gives you an alphabetized list, where you’re sure to find at least a few good targets.
Of course, content marketing isn’t just about SEO. It’s also really important to survey the competitive environment and see what types of posts, tones and styles are resonating with your target audience. Fortunately, social media is a great way to gauge this. Enter: BuzzSumo.
BuzzSumo allows you to analyze content by domain or topic to see which posts are being shared the most. It’s also great in helping you find key influencers whom you can contact once your content has been published as part of your promotion strategy.
3. SEOmoz & the MozBar
With a defined content strategy in place, it’s important to track and report on your keyword rankings, continue to find new opportunities and build your linking profile.
Pro tip: If you organize your keywords by a campaign, whether that’s “Q4 blogging,” “on-page,” or “branded,” you can get better insights into which aspects of your SEO strategy are performing the best and which need more work.
In addition to Moz itself, the Google Chrome plugin, MozBar, is extremely useful. The plugin gives you quick at-a-glance metrics for page and domain authority as well as search difficulty for any given term.
4. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
According to CopyBlogger, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 of those people will read the rest of the article. This means that even great articles that have poor titles can go unread, and nobody wants that.
Fortunately, the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is the best headline analyzer tool that I’ve found to help subjectively analyze the quality of a headline based on SEO best practices, word choice and structure. It’s aim is to make sure your post will be one of the two that get clicked, not one of the six that are passed over.
One of the most complex challenges that content marketing teams have when scaling is managing the requisite volume of content. At New Breed, we’ve completely solved this problem with GatherContent, and it’s awesome!
GatherContent allows you to create your own content workflow and manage production from ideation through final review. It even has an easy HTML copy-and-paste to bring it into your CMS. If you’re using WordPress, GatherContent’s native API allows you to push the content directly to your CMS, no sweat!
There are a lot of marketing-automation platforms from which to choose, and though I’ll be the first to admit I’m biased, HubSpot is my platform of choice. Of course, there’s also Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua and more.
There are a few reasons why I prefer HubSpot. The biggest is the all-in-one analytics setup, including blogging, site pages and email nurturing. It allows me to see the larger picture and tie all the different assets together into holistic campaigns.
Regardless of which platform you choose, having an automation platform is so important when scaling a marketing engine. If you’re a startup trying to determine when it’s time to invest in marketing automation, here’s a post of written on just that topic.
I think the new buzzworthy saying, if you’re into that kind of thing, is that, “if content is king, promotion is queen.” All clichés aside, the importance of content promotion can’t be underestimated. In fact, it was one of the key elements that allowed us to double our blog leads in just six months.
ContentMarketer.io is the best tool that I’ve found to streamline content-promotion efforts. It allows you to build an outreach list, automate emails and aggregate and research contacts all by simply scanning a URL.
According to Insight Venture Partners, webinar conversion rates are substantially higher than conversion rates for white papers (20–30 percent compared to 10–15 percent). So there’s no question why 61 percent of B2B marketers are using webinars to generate demand.
GoToWebinar is an easy-to-use and reliable tool for hosting your webinars. It allows integration with the main marketing-automation platforms and email tools, making segmentation and nurturing after a webinar a cinch.
Seventy-six percent of B2B marketers are investing in video as a marketing tactic, and its usage has consistently trended upward over the past few years:
This is because video is a great way to convey a complex message or product and generate leads quickly. Just check out these examples to see how companies have used video to grow and capture an audience’s attention and business.
Wistia has a few distinct advantages as a platform to accomplish this because it allows you to place calls to action and email-collection forms in a video. Additionally it provides analytics and engagement graphs of videos so that you can see which pieces or types of videos are working.
Now that you’ve got an audience engaging with your content and are driving traffic to your site, proactive live chat is a great way to help encourage that next step. In fact, Bizible has found that 25 percent of its new monthly revenue is attributed to live chat, and that the lead-to-opportunity rate for those leads outperforms other channels by 50 percent!
That’s a pretty compelling use case to test chat as a channel for your business, and SnapEngage is a great tool for this. It covers all the core features you’ll need such as integration with your CRM, marketing automation and support-ticket platform, and can be customized to match the look and feel of your website. Bonus: it’s mobile-optimized.
Even if you have great targeted content and are as proactive as possible, not every site visitor is going to convert. This is where remarketing/retargeting can be a great solution. When it comes to pairing retargeting with a content marketing strategy, we’ve seen the most success in segmenting audiences by funnel stage.
PerfectAudience is a great tool to help you do this as it allows you to work across channels (mobile, Web and Facebook) to manage and segment these initiatives all in one place.
I’m a big fan of Filament for content analytics and quantitative tracking on how well any content published on the New Breed blog is being received. By looking at metrics such as share ratio, most shared content and scroll percentage, you can gain a better understanding of which content is receiving the highest engagement and track these trends over time to measure improvement.
Now that you’re growing your traffic and building an audience and corresponding email list, it’s time to test and optimize your website to ensure that you’re consistently delivering a great user experience. As a SaaS content marketer, this might start with looking at your landing page conversion rates for ebooks, webinars or whitepapers, or if those are performing well looking further down the marketing funnel at your pricing page.
Optimizely is super easy to use, and allows you to create A/B tests in a drag and drop interface and of course provides insightful testing analytics so you can make informed decisions about your website optimization program.
The slew of tools available to marketers today is growing, and it’s really important that marketers carefully choose the tools they’re going to use to build an easy-to-use and effective technology stack. Let us know what tools you’ve found to be the most helpful in the comments below!