In this episode of our brand new content marketing podcast, Wilson goes through some of…
We’ve grown a lot in the past year and no longer could we rely on scrappy tools to run our content marketing agency. As we started working with bigger clients, we needed more tools to manage the process and make operation more smooth for both the client and us. Over the past few months, we spent a lot of time figuring out our internal operation and testing a bunch of different tools out there to see which ones will help us improve our workflow.
Our philosophy behind this is simple, the better tools we have in place, the better results we can produce for our clients.
In this article, we’ll be sharing with you the tools that we are using now to power our content marketing agency.
Coming from a sales background, I like a minimalist approach to building out a sales stack. I’m not a fan of using complicated tools like Salesforce. Don’t get me wrong, Salesforce is awesome and very powerful, but it’s meant for bigger organizations and quite honestly we don’t need it now and we’re not there yet.
For CRM, we like to keep things basic and use Pipedrive. Here’s what I like about it:
- Simple and straight forward
- The board style is awesome
- Easily view all incoming leads as well as notes all in one place
- Automation is made simple through our contact form into auto import
I’ve tried many many different CRMs out there and constantly test new ones, but nothing is more simple and straight forward than Pipedrive.
Related Read: “What are the best CRM for agencies and freelancers?”
We use Calendly for scheduling all of our sales and consulting calls. We’ve tried multiple scheduling tools and nothing is easier than Calendly. They also have an option for you to collect payments via Stripe. We don’t use that feature, but I can see it as a good addition to have for consultants.
What I love about Calendly:
- Easy to send links for leads to schedule calls
- Syncs easily with Google Calendar
- Allows leads to pick a time that works for them
- Sends reminders to both parties
- Very easy to set available times based on your Google calendar schedule.
As our business grew, we no longer could rely on traditional spreadsheets for managing client projects. We needed a robust project management app that can alert us with the deadline, notes, upcoming tasks, and deliverables.
We used to use Trello in the earlier days for managing writing tasks and upcoming topics etc. , but we needed something more robust that was more than just a project management tool.
A good friend of ours recommended us to check out Notion and we never looked back. It’s simple enough for anyone to learn, yet you can customize it as complicated as you like. More importantly, it allows us to use it for multiple purposes such as company goals, revenue tracking, light-crm, internal wiki, and many more.
What I love about Notion:
- All in one system
- Easy to customize and easy to use
- Has a good mobile app for on the go
- Can be used for multiple purposes (HR, CRM, Project management)
Communication is key to success and it’s one of our main focus when it comes to running our content marketing agency. This doesn’t just go for internal communication, but for our clients as well. In order for us to deliver the best results for our clients, communication is key and having a good app in place for that is very important.
Yes! We friggin LOVE Slack. We use it as our main form of internal communication and it literally replaced email. We also use Slack for client communication and prefer it as the main form of communication. Without going too deep into the details, you can read our other blog post here on, “Why We Use Slack As The Main Form of Communication For All of Our Clients”
What I love about Slack:
- Best communication tool
- The integrations are awesome
- Freemium, but we pay for extra storage etc.
- Can be fun with Giphy integration
- Clients love us
- Improves communication
Most of the calls with clients are made through Zoom. It’s easy to send our clients a link for weekly updates and marketing meetings. We also use Zoom for internal team meetings because we have staff across the globe and Zoom makes it easy for everyone to join in a single call.
What I love about Zoom:
- Easy linking
- Very high quality
- Allows for guest and team members to join
- Makes brainstorming and communication a breeze
- Can be used for recording webinars etc.
As a content marketing agency, SEO is our bread and butter. We do a lot of ongoing SEO research for our clients and it’s a huge part of our topic suggestion and ongoing content strategy. Traditionally, doing SEO research was a painful process, but luckily nowadays we have a set of tools to help with that. Yes, we’ve tested a bunch and these are our go-to solutions.
We switched over from SEMRush to Ahrefs. This isn’t a comparison article and I’m not saying one is better than the other. Matter of fact I love both. Some of our clients use SEMRush internally and we’ll have access to their crawls etc. through their accounts, but when we do our own research on keywords etc. we use Ahrefs.
What we love about Ahrefs:
- Very straight forward interface
- Not as complicated as SEMRush
- Very easy to navigate and get the information you need quickly
- Monitors projects really well
- Awesome educational videos and tutorials
This software isn’t perfect and is kind of a “jack of all trades” type of software. We don’t use it a lot but it is apart of our research and planning process. The main use case is for finding top content ideas that are getting the most shares. The second use case would be for influencer outreach, content promotion, finding guest post opportunities etc.
What we love about it:
- Easily see who shared top articles
- Quickly identify viral topic ideas
Moz was actually one of the first SEO tools that I’ve used way back and until today I still love it. It’s not as powerful compared to Ahrefs when it comes to SEO research etc., but what I really love is their “Moz Local”. We do work with a handful of SMBs that target local areas and Moz Local helps a lot on that end.
Another one of those tools we use for finding trending topics. It’s as simple as it can get. Type in a keyword and see how well it’s trending. We use it as apart of our research process.
There are a lot of SEO or content marketing reporting tools out there, but we like to keep it simple and stick with one that works. For that we use Google Data Studio.
Google Data Studio
What we love about it:
- Data can be simple or complex
- 100% customizable
- Integrates with Google analytics/sheets to pull in data
- Beautiful charts/data/graphs
- Easy to use
There are a lot of other tools that we use to power our content marketing agency such as invoicing software and more, but the ones above are the main ones off the top of my head. Another one that’s worth mentioning is Grammarly.
There’s a paid version and a free version for this, but you can literally use it anywhere. You can login their dashboard and paste in your content for their suggestion or you can use the chrome extension. We use both and love it. Obviously, the quality and context of the content that we provide for our clients are important. Even though Grammarly isn’t perfect and still misses a lot of things, but it gets the job done.
Wrapping it up
These are the main tools that we use to power our content marketing agency and we’re always looking to explore more options. We do like to keep it as simple as possible especially since we don’t want to waste too much time in learning new software and training new employees on it. Having a solid process and operation in place is key to growing so we could focus on providing more value to our clients.
Did we miss anything? If so, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll look into it! I hope this article helped you!