Your content is really only as good as its context. Would you read something about a 2012 political election, or best practices for using MySpace? Probably not. Humans have an innate craving for trending news and breaking stories. Being able to blend your branded messaging with relevant topics will significantly increase the virality of your content marketing. However, as content marketing expert Marcus Sheridan believes, “many businesses...are missing the mark big time.”
Being the third or fourth business blog in your niche to cover an industry-related trend will probably win you a small surge of traffic, but it’s far superior to be the first. The modern marketer needs to be incredibly quick on their feet, which is why developing a tried-and-true list of content creation tools and resources is critical to winning success and SEO benefits beyond your wildest dreams.
1. Google Alerts
Almost everyone is familiar with the magic of Google alerts, but are you truly using them to your full advantage? It’s a really great and efficient content creation resource, particularly if you invest some time in initial set-up. Monitor a list of keywords relevant to your industry and common synonyms, and be sure to select the app’s “How Often” option to “As They Happen.” Additionally, adjust “Result Type” to “Everything.”
Sure, you could find yourself receiving an abundance of extraneous email messages, but there’s nothing better than being the first to know.
2. Twitter Keyword Streams
The only thing quicker than Google’s capacity for crawling and indexing content is Twitter, one of the world’s fastest-moving social media networks. Even if you’re not currently using HootSuite to manage your brand’s social media presence, the app’s automated keyword stream is a powerful content creation tool. Use the dashboard to curate content in real-time.
Image source: Luna Metrics
3. Twitter Lists
There’s a lot of noise on Twitter, which is why it’s smart to build lists of social experts in your industry. In the end, if your Twitter list isn’t among your go-to content creation tools and resources, curating a thorough list of thought leaders can give you a significant social media boost.
There’s some serious pluses and minuses to Reddit. For the uninitiated, it’s a pretty hard-to-hack website that defies definition; combining principles of both bookmarking and social media networks. The trending topics aren’t always safe-for-work. That being said, the average Reddit user tends to be young and tech-savvy - and there are about 71 million unique visitors monthly.
If you’re brave enough to join, it can be a formidable content creation resource. As Marketer Kendra Mack points out, it’s a particularly powerful tool if you’re looking to start creating branded memes. The website has been dubbed a “meme breeding ground,” and it’s the perfect place to discover images and concepts that are just beginning to gain steam.
B2B buyers typically love conferences, and you can fulfill their hunger for details on professional events, even if your business budget didn’t have room for you to actually attend in-person. Conferize curates leading conferences, and the content and social media surrounding these events. Add it to your arsenal of content creation tools and resources, so you can curate the most brilliant recaps as they’re happening, even from halfway across the world.
Blending all the brilliance of a social network and custom RSS feed, Newsgrape connects writers with ideas in real-time. Specifically, you can customize your feed to reflect your industry, and gain exposure to relevant content as soon as it’s published. Perhaps best of all, your work can also attract new attention.
The software behind Trapit never stops searching the web for the topics you care about. You can access a live stream of news in your industry 24/7, completely personalized to your preferences. Not only is it a valuable content creation tool for creating custom blog posts in real-time, it’s a pretty bomb tool for boosting your content curation strategy.
Remember Yahoo Answers? Quora is 2013’s answer to the crowdsourced question-and-answer forum. The social network holds loads of potential as a content creation resource for startups or companies just beginning to build out their persona insights. Due to the fact that anonymous users are forbidden, you can quickly tap into real-time conversations about concepts that matter in your market.
Contextually perfect content creation doesn’t always have to be centered around breaking news stories, and the geniuses behind Copyblogger have built a content creation tool to help you peer deep into your buyer personas. Scribe specializes in recommending topics that are relevant to your target audience, based on their social sharing and other data.
If a marketer is the first to newsjack a story their buyer personas don’t care about, will it do the company any good? Unfortunately, no. Lucky for you, Marketing.AI can tell B2B marketers precisely whether or not their content is targeted enough. This content creation tool compiles details on website visitors, like the size, location, and industry of their company.
Image Credit: Marketing.AI
The closest thing to a crystal ball may be Parse.ly, a “predictive analytics” tool that lets you be the first to know about the topics and keywords just beginning to trend on social media. It even recommends subjects in real-time, so you can newsjack faster than Twitter can say “trending.” This content creation tool isn’t free, but it’s got the potential to function as a powerful sidekick for enterprise brands.
If you’re constantly writing content to be published the next day, or have a corporate approval policy that takes four days, you’re going to have a pretty tough time getting the context right, no matter how great your Google alerts are. Percolate Co-Founder Noah Brier bemoans the fact that “[companies are] not used to creating content in real time.”
Effective newsjacking requires agility, which means your content calendar should have at least a few extra articles in store, and you should have the ability to collaborate with a coworker on spelling and grammar. Agility is tough, but your CEO will certainly appreciate it if you’re able to produce a viral piece of content in record time.
Excellent content marketers have learned how to balance quantity with quality, and create blog articles quickly. The very best in the business have a well-stocked arsenal of content creation tools and resources which ensure they’re always the first to know about breaking news. Ensure you’re set up to be well-informed, and the relevance of your content will soar.
What are your favorite tools, resources and tactics for real-time content marketing? I’m sure I’ve missed many helpful resources, so let’s discuss your tried-and-true tools in the comments below.