12 ways to polish and elevate your content marketing efforts

Sign up for webinars, listen to podcasts, and publish posts on LinkedIn. Also, try creating custom images and meticulously fine-tuning your SEO.


Are you tired of producing mediocre, half-hearted content marketing?

It’s time to refine your strategy, discover new tools and analyze results with a more discerning eye.

Here are 12 ways to up your content marketing game:

1. Subscribe to this free magazine.

Content Marketing Institute offers a free subscription to its magazine.

It’s loaded with news on current and emerging trends, as well as interviews with prominent industry players.

Subscribing to this complimentary magazine is an easy start toward making content marketing work for your business.

2. Listen to content marketing webinars.

Want to improve your skills and forge new connections? Sign up for free webinars that pertain to your industry and strategy.

Most webinars are pre-recorded, so there’s no excuse to not work them into your schedule.

To find out about upcoming webinars, keep tabs on:

3. Become a podcast addict.

If webinars aren’t your thing, try listening to podcasts.

These programs will make you a smarter, more effective marketer:

4. Give interactive content a try.

Apester lets you create fun polls and quizzes to keep your audience entertained and coming back for more. You can also use it to get valuable information about your audience and as a method for crowdsourcing.

It also integrates easily with platforms like WordPress and Facebook Instant Articles.

5. Analyze your content marketing efforts.

It’s all wasted time and money unless you track what’s working and what isn’t. Sumo can help you do this with its suite of (mostly free) tools.

From a heat map that tells you where people are clicking to customizable pop-ups that collect email addresses, Sumo has a lot to offer savvy content marketers.

6. Stop relying solely on spell-check.

Plug your content into the Hemingway App to tighten your copy and give your readers a better experience.

Hemingway points out passive voice, weak sentences, jargon and run-on sentences.

7. Try publishing your content on LinkedIn.

Now with more than 500 million users worldwide, LinkedIn continues to assert itself as the go-to social media platform for professionals. If you have a blog, consider republishing your posts on LinkedIn. Writing original content specifically for the platform is another savvy move.

Pro tip: Tweeting at the LinkedIn editors to let them know you’ve published a post increases your chances of getting on Pulse, which is where you’ll get the most views, comments and shares.

Use this format:

8. Fine-tune your SEO efforts.

If you use WordPress, Yoast is your one-stop SEO shop.

This handy plug-in walks you through vital SEO components such as keyword density, metadescriptions, readability, links and tags.

9. Try your hand at creating images.

How do you cut through the clutter in today’s hypercompetitive messaging landscape? These resources will help you stand out by creating stunning custom images:

  • Try PicMonkey for swift image editing and resizing, fun overlays and photo effects. It’s a small fee per month for a subscription, but its ease of use and bountiful features make it worth an investment.
  • Check out Canva to create images from scratch for your social media posts, email marketing and blogging efforts. Canva offers loads of free icons, overlays, fonts and photos for you to play around with.
  • Want to create a text-based image? Give Pablo a whirl.

10. Get a stock image subscription.

The last thing you want is legal trouble, right? Keep your marketing above board with a subscription to a photo purveyor such as iStock, or try a free site like Unsplash.

11. Analyze your headlines and email subject lines.

CoSchedule has a helpful tool that will analyze your headlines (and subject lines) based on length and word choice.

Is your headline too long? Are you using too many bland words? This tool will point you in the right direction.

12. Automate your emails.

MailChimp recently released four free email automations that will let you send things like welcome emails, as well as a lead-nurture series. Automating some of your email marketing efforts will save you a great deal of time.

Shannon Willoby is the director of content marketing for Scott’s Marketplace. A version of this post first appeared on The Drive.

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