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12 Technologies and Tools Content Marketers Can Get Excited About

We’re getting very excited about Content Marketing World next month in Cleveland, and we thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of our speakers. Over the several weeks, we’ll share some of our speakers’ opinions on all things content marketing – from B2B to B2C.

This week, they answer the question, “What technology excites you most as a content marketer?”

Easy: Email is the most underappreciated tool in the Content Marketer’s Arsenal.  Here are five amazing uses of email that almost no one is using:

  1. Email as content. Every day in every organization on earth, people send one off emails that explain the business, solve a problem, introduce a new concept etc.  With some minor tweaking, many of these ‘throw away’ emails can be imported to the kind of content that wins search, gets shared and is discoverable pretty much forever.
  2. Email marketing. This is close to the above, but more about newsletters.  Most email marketing is never indexed.  It sits in a silo, gets sent, then dies.  Pushing your email marketing content into your blogs gives you a terrific foundation for SEO.
  3. Email to solicit content. A lot of User Generated Content (UGC) strategies are based on hope. Email is the tool that makes things happen. Triggered emails to your customers asking specific questions, promoting contests, and encouraging the right kind of content are outstanding ways to get a constant flow of relevant content.
  4. Email to promote sharing. Sending triggered emails to the people who contribute content are sure fire ways to encourage sharing. Making it special (‘Dude, we just featured your story on our site!’)  and putting big Facebook buttons in the email are great ways to help drive traffic back to your content.
  5. Pulling email content from your blogs and other content marketing sources.  We have talked about ‘relevance’ in terms of email marketing for years.   Why has this been so elusive?  It’s not the technology,  it’s not the  lack of customer data … it’s the lack of content. Blogs are full of great content and are a terrific place to pull relevant content from.

I’m sure there are others, but these are five almost painless, almost free ways to use email to boost your content marketing efforts.

– Chris Baggott

Right now, I’m excited about any technology that makes it easy for marketers to extend their messages into various channels. We’re experimenting with at the moment, and we’re happy with the results so far.- Alison Bolen (@alisonbolen)

Video and the continued ease to film and post in near real timehas me excited. This allows for content to be created and shared from almost anywhere, and that has endless possibilities.- C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman)

SlideShare excites me most as a content marketer. The network attracts a professional audience and can be a hub for dialogue. Pro accounts are affordable, “brandable,” and supply deep analytics.  But most importantly: SlideShare can be used for lead capture. The company’s LeadShare tool allows publishers to insert a form into their SlideShare-hosted content. The fields and form placement can be customized, and Eloqua plug-in allows leads captured in SlideShare to auto-populate the demand generation database. For me, SlideShare is where social media and demand converge. It may just be the most important social outpost for content marketers.- Joe Chernov (@jchernov)

I’m closely watching new developments in the interactive e-book market. For example, the iPad version of Al Gore’s “Our Choice” produced by Push Pop Press is amazing. As the ability to create multimedia apps powered by touch-screen interfaces becomes as easy as desktop publishing, can you imagine what the boring old whitepaper will evolve into? Or fully interactive articles and blog posts that allow people to dig in as far as they choose, all the way to a product demo or a multimedia sales page. Really fascinating stuff coming right around the corner thanks to mobile technology.- Brian Clark (@copyblogger)

Content curation technologies are changing the way marketers generate content to help their brands.  Creating great content helps marketers build their brand, establish thought leadership and develop a sustainable flow of qualified inbound leads. Content curation is helping the way marketers produce, organize and share a continuous volume of high quality content using very few resources. Today’s curation tools help marketers focus more of their time on industry insights and analysis and less time on the block-and-tackle of content creation, organization and distribution.- Pawan Deshpande (@TweetsFromPawan)

Right now I’m really excited about technologies like Chartbeat and Newsbeat.  Watching users interact with the site in real time is addictive and highly useful.  Content marketers should be thinking about ways to harness that kind of data into real time decisions about different types of content to highlight based on popularity throughout the day.- Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval)

Content curation is one of the keys to building online communities of customers with shared interests.  When you combine content curation and community platforms with recommendation engines, the end users’ experience improves significantly. Customers keep coming back. My vote for one of the most exciting technologies goes to recommendation enginesCan’t wait to see more of them in B2B marketing.- Susan McKittrick (@ssmck)

There is no doubt that the tablet revolution is the most exciting technology development for the content marketer.  Gartner is projecting that there will be close to 500 million tablets out there by 2015.  We are all after higher levels of engagement, and we are seeing this platform deliver a greater depth of time spent with content (especially multi-dimensional content) and interactions across all channels.– Clyde Miles (@clydemiles)

Engage121 is incredibly exciting as a social media distribution dashboard. Distribution of content using social media and other tools is a critical piece in making the content marketing puzzle work optimally for your business, and the folks at Chicago-based Engage121 are way ahead of the curve in terms of providing content marketers with a way to easily distribute their content, respond to and talk with the audience that receives it, and then drill down to real ROI based metrics related to retail foot traffic and spikes in sales. They also have really unique tools in place that help brands who might sit in heavily regulated industries.- Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)

I recommend HubSpot to integrate and track marketing activities in inbound marketing campaigns.The HubSpot system enables content marketers to improve content effectiveness by providing the tools to:

  • Publish blog posts and identify the most popular and engaging content through analytics.
  • Monitor keyword popularity, search engine rankings and website traffic to identify popular topics and content opportunities.
  • Capture and nurture leads with content through dedicated landing pages, emails and lead-nurturing campaigns.
  • Create tracking URLs, which can be used in enewsletters and other content pieces, to determine what type of content drives traffic to your website.
  • Auto-publish content to social media profiles.

– Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer)

It’s still pretty underground, but I think this thing called the Internet has a lot of potential. I definitely recommend people check it out.The problem is, as a content marketer, ALL technology excites me. I think technology’s in very dangerous hands with marketers. We love shiny new things, and in just a few short years we’ve managed to find so many of them that we no longer have time left to brush our teeth. That’s good for dentists, but terrible for marketing. And with each new technology, we can create new ways of measuring it to keep one step ahead of those nasty ROI hawks. Click-thrus not holding up? Impressions are so much more relevant. Newsletter subscribers plateaued? It’s all social these days anyway. A big part of why we love technology is it gives us new places to hide.– Todd Wheatland (@ToddWheatland)
Good old fashioned video. I think the popularity of video marketing is going to continue to grow. Zappos is doing it right with video of each product that brings the product to life. You see the product in action, gives it 3 dimensions and someone is telling you about the product. I think it brings shopping online to a whole new level. Another example is a much smaller company using video to sell TV replacement parts.- Arnie Kuenn (@ArnieK)

What other technologies excite you as a content marketer? Let us know in the comments below!