No marketer can do their job well without a well-stocked tool box. You may start out thinking you can hack everything together, run campaigns on the cheap and do everything manually.
However, technology should and can enable human creativity, so where it makes sense, implementing the right tools can help you reach more people, on the right channels, and faster than you could on your own.
Here’s my rundown of the top marketing tools you need to execute your content strategy effectively.
CoSchedule: The editorial calendar I always wanted but never thought existed
I think I might have cried the day I first started using CoSchedule. Not only is the interface delightful and intuitive, it does everything I need it to.
If you’ve been using Google Calendar or project management software to plan your content, stop. Just stop right now. CoSchedule has everything you need and is worth the price point.
Why I love it
Number 1 – as a content person, I’m a sucker for great content and CoSchedule has some of the best. They’ve managed to crack the secret to helpful content that makes you want to buy from them.
If you need to know just about anything about creating marketing content, they are your people. Even if you never buy from them, you can use their free headline and subject line analyzer to make sure you are grabbing your reader’s attention at first sight.
Number 2 – did I mention it was easy to use? Other than a brief sales demo before I bought, I think this may be the easiest tool in my tool box to use. I didn’t need extensive training and could find just about everything I needed quickly and easily. If you don’t have time to learn a new platform but need something to streamline your content, this is the solution for you.
When you boil it down, Coschedule is an editorial calendar. It does lots of other cool things, but it is the best solution I have found for keeping content on track and on time as well as bringing your team into the loop.
You can see different views of your content planning process, and from recent updates they’ve been making, they appear to be bringing a project management feel to the product which is cool, but I will always love it for how organized it keeps my blog and social media content.
My favorite best kept secret
My favorite favorite thing about Coschedule is ReQueue. If you already have a seamless editorial calendar figured out, then Coschedule is worth it for this one feature.
ReQueue will automatically repost posts you choose for you after an amount of time that you set. This is a great tool for evergreen content to make sure you have posts going out at all times, and are keeping your content in front of your audience.
Hubspot: Marketing automation that is oh-so-human
Hubspot, the champion of inbound marketing, is every marketer’s dream. There is so much you can do in the platform and so much flexibility available and, of course, so much automation capability.
Like many other marketing software products, you can start using Hubspot’s CRM for free up until a certain number of contacts. If you’re just getting started and need a place to store, email, and track your contacts, this is a great place to do it.
They also offer a few different tiers in pricing. Marketing Starter is a steal at under $100 a month. The next level up – Marketing Pro – jumps to $800, but for the functionality you get and the fact that you won’t need much else in the way of marketing tools, this price point makes sense.
My recommendation: if you’re not sure what you’ll use, start small with Marketing Starter, get a feel for what you can do on the platform and move up if it makes sense.
Hubspot offers really great onboarding with Marketing Pro on up and Hubspot Academy for all customers (even users on the free plan). Even if you only use the free features, Hubspot Academy can help you learn marketing best practices and tactical strategies.
We would be here for a long time if I started naming off all the features, so I’ll just do my top 3.
Lead capture: Because the CRM, landing pages, forms, and email marketing all live on one platform, capturing leads is much more streamlined than if you’re trying to send leads from your WordPress forms to Mailchimp, for instance.
Lead monitoring: Being able to monitor what actions leads take on your website is helpful to see what stage of the sales cycle they are in.
Workflows: This is where the full power of Hubspot’s marketing automation comes into play…figuring out how to use workflows can take some learning; however once you do, there’s so much more you can do here that goes beyond drip campaigns.
My favorite best kept secret
Hubspot has this really cool content strategy feature that helps you plan content by pillar topic, not just by keyword. SEO is moving away from just keywords to topics, so this tool will help you become an authority on a topic.
What I know you’re all thinking
Why use Hubspot when you have Coschedule or vice versa? And you’re right, Hubspot does have a content calendar and Coschedule has some automation features or integrations.
However, while Hubspot is a leader in marketing automation, their content calendar and social media publishing features aren’t as robust as Coschedule, so if possible, to get the best of both worlds, use both. They do have an integration that should make your workflow fairly seamless.
SEMrush: All the data you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without
I do not and cannot claim to be an SEO expert. I’m a content person. I love writing great content, love reading great content, and get goosebumps when I see great content marketing.
In fact, in the past, I turned up my nose at SEO…it seemed like one of those things you did to get traffic when you didn’t want to invest the time into creating great content.
Now, however, I believe otherwise, in part because search has moved from favoring content optimized for computers to content optimized for humans, which means using SEO to make your content more human-centric content just means you’re putting out even better content.
SEMrush is an incredible tool to not only help you optimize your website for search, find gaps, and build an SEO strategy, it’s become instrumental for me and my team to help us create content that humans want to read and engage with.
At around $100 per month for the first user and $70 for additional users, you’re probably wondering if this tool should be included in your marketing budget. The answer is, if possible – and if you have someone who can learn how to use it well – YES. SEMrush will make your life easier, your content better, and your website more likely to be found.
Like Hubspot, SEMrush has far too many features to describe in a short blog post. And to be quite honest, I don’t even think I’ve begun to scratch the surface of all this tool can do. However, here are the things I use and love:
Analyze my website and my clients’ website for gaps and SEO opportunities
Do topic research to find which topics in our categories get the most engagement
Discover keywords relevant to topics we want to rank for
Create content templates based on that on all that research so my team and I can write content that converts.
My favorite best kept secret
Hands down, my favorite part is the SEO Writing Assistant SEMrush created for Google Docs. This tool is a lifesaver. You can either import content templates you’ve created in your SEMrush dashboard or start fresh in Google Docs by inputting the keywords you would like to rank for.
SEMrush then creates custom recommendations for the exact piece of content you are creating. They seem to be adding new features to the Writing Assistant often as it’s evolved into a more robust tool the longer I use it.
Get the most out of your marketing tools
The key to each one of these tools is learning how to use them. Coschedule is by far the simplest to use and learn, and I could do what I need with SEMrush after one onboarding call. I believe SEMrush also has an academy, but I have not yet explored it.
Hubspot is a much bigger time investment to learn, however. Fortunately, depending on the plan you purchase, you either have access to Hubspot Academy to learn on your own or an implementation and customer success team to help you learn how to get the most out of your investment.
Health tech needs good marketers
We are living in an era when health tech companies are seeing massive traction. To continue to get your message you, the way I see it, you need a few things (in this order):
A strategy focused on your customer as the hero
Human-centric content plan
Once you have those things in place, your marketing will always be somewhat a process of trial and error, yes, but you’ll have what you need to get your message out.
Are your marketing strategies failing?
Heal your health tech company’s marketing with this customer avatar and brand messaging guide.
PLAN CONTENT THE EASY WAY
Discover how to plan content that optimizes your marketing funnel and nurtures prospects through the buyer journey.
WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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