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March 1, 2016
Digital Marketing  |  7 min read

SmallBizLady’s 11 Essential Tools for Content Strategy Success

A short quiz for you:

What is the point of your content and social media marketing efforts?

a)    To build a following

b)    To drive traffic to your site to build your email list and generate sales

c)    To raise brand awareness and connect with influencers

The correct answer? B. Sure, a following is great, and social media is excellent for building brand awareness, but until you have a prospect’s contact information, closing a sale is very difficult. And isn’t the point of your business to convert more leads into sales?

There are three aspects of your marketing efforts that you need to focus on in order to entice a prospect to give you their email address. I call it SmallBizLady’s Three-Legged Stool Approach to Marketing: 

  1. Website/blog
  2. Social Media Channels
  3. Email Marketing Campaigns

Just like a three-legged stool, if one of these is shorter than the other, the whole thing tumbles over.  

Having the right tools in place to support your content strategy and marketing efforts can move these complex interwoven systems from unmanageable to enjoyable—and keep your three-legged stool upright.

Here are the tools I use in my small business to make sure my website, social media, and email marketing are functioning in top form, and three steps you can take to get your stool in place.

Step 1: Your website is your No. 1 sales tool

Before you do anything else online, make sure your website is tight.

1. Yoast Wordpress SEO

Yoast’s WP SEO Plugin is a complete SEO solution for WordPress sites, allowing you to analyze your content, and optimize your posts titles and descriptions for Google.  

2. WPEngine

WPEngine offers a fully managed WordPress hosting platform, focusing on loading speed fast enough to please Google, and a guarantee that they will never take your site offline for having too much traffic. 

3. Lead Pages

Lead Pages is a landing page platform that is unbelievably robust, simple to use, and requires no graphic design or coding skills. Users can quickly create professional, mobile-responsive landing pages that convert.

4. Pippity

Pippity is a pop-up tool and with the slogan, “People pleasing popups positively increasing signups.” (Say that one three times fast.) The tool allows users to create beautiful pop-up forms, maintain control over when the popup occurs and A/B test different options to see which offer higher conversion. 

5. Gravity Forms

WordPress can build powerful contact forms for websites with Gravity Forms. The plugin includes simple drag-and-drop placement, advanced features like quizzes and surveys, and integration with applications such as PayPal. 

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Step 2: Get a consistent plan for your social media

You need to use the right social media network to drive traffic to your website.

1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a management and engagement platform for small business social media and helps users find opportunities to connect and engage on social platforms, publish messages across social media, and measure analytics.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite provides a complete social media management system that lets you “promote your brand, generate leads, and increase traffic to your website, all in one place.” The application includes more than 35 popular social networks, advanced message scheduling, and solutions for both individual and team collaboration.

3. tchat.io for #Smallbizchat

Tchat allows users to chat on Twitter in real-time. For the popular #smallbizchat, users sign into twitter, enter the hashtag, and start chatting. The system filters out other tweets so you can focus and adds your chosen hashtag to each tweet.

Step 3: Stay in front of your customers with email 

The final leg of your stool is email. We’ve come a long way since the beginning of email marketing, and now we’ve got the tools to customize even further, delivering the kinds of content and product information each individual subscriber cares about.

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Automated email marketing and follow-up is a powerful tool that will save you time and automate your responses to convert more leads.

1. Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is an automated sales and marketing software that helps you automate your follow up, blast campaigns to boost sales, and increase conversion and is also a CRM tool.

2. PlusThis App

The PlusThis app “makes Infusionsoft awesomer” by providing A/B testing, GoToWebinar integration, video triggers, SMS messaging, smart links, event check-in, and more. 

With the proper balance focus on your website, social media profiles, and email efforts, you can stay in front of customers so that when they’re ready to buy you will be top of mind.  

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Melinda F. Emerson, aka SmallBizLady, is America’s No. 1 Small Business Expert. Sheis an expert on small business start up, business development, and social media marketing. Forbes magazine named her the No. 1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She publishes a resource blog and is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months and the ebook How To Become a Social Media Ninja.


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