Let’s begin today with a little trip down memory lane…
In part one of WordPress Plugins for Successful Content Marketing, I covered off the first two phases of any content marketing program. Plugins for phase one (the strategy, planning and organisation phase) included those designed to assist with content curation, powerful editorial calendars that enable seamless collabration, and even tools to assist with content marketing research.
Plugins for phase two (content curation and audience engagement) featured tools that enable you to create easy-to-use content templates, interactive list posts with audience voting enabled, and even e-marketing campaigns.
Today, I’ll take a look at the next three phases of any content marketing program: social sharing, content amplification, and monitoring and evaluation.
WordPress Plugins for Content Marketing Social Sharing
There is no point in creating consistently scheduled, insightful, engaging, informative content, accompanied by awe-inspiring images if you don’t distribute it to as many people as possible. Social media platforms are one of, if not the, most effective and all-pervasive ways to disseminate content. So, plugins that bridge the divide between WordPress and social media sites are incredibly important when it comes to content marketing.
Designed with the objective of increasing website traffic, the Revive Old Posts plugin tweets old WordPress posts. Basically, this plugin breathes new life into your old posts, re-sharing them on your behalf. You can also use it to share new posts, set specific amounts of time between sharing posts on social media, set a custom schedule, and use hashtags to associate your posts with particular subjects. It is a relatively popular plugin, with over 380,000 downloads, and (at the time of writing) it was updated just last week and had a 3.9 star rating.
Created by the team at Co-Schedule, this plugin has been dubbed ‘the easiest way to get more shares for your content’. Basically, it enables you to embed click-to-tweet boxes within your blog posts. You can fill these boxes with pull quotes or any other custom message that you believe is appropriate for a tweet. Then, your readers can quickly and easily tweet this to their own timeline. It makes social sharing of your WordPress blog content much simpler, and much more likely.
To ensure as many tweets, shares and likes as possible for your content, you have to make social sharing as easy as possible. There are quite a few social sharing plugins on the market. The main difference between all of them is their look and feel. Although, according to WPBeginner, the team behind the Floating Social Bar plugin, the point of difference for this plugin is that it does not impact the speed of your website. This lightweight plugin allows you to add a floating social sharing bar to blog posts and pages. Its floating-ness is quite eye-catching. If you opt for this plugin, keep in mind that, in order to keep it lightweight, it only supports the main social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest). The other means by which Floating Social Bar is kept light is through the fact that it only loads script when absolutely necessary; if it’s not needed, it shows a replica image of all counts on your page or post. Scripts are only loaded if someone actually hovers over the floating bar. This plugin is updated regularly and with over 100,000 downloads, it has a 4.3 star rating.
Just in case you’re not keen on the Floating Social Bar plugin, I thought I’d cover Digg Digg, another social media sharing plugin. Designed by the team at Buffer, this plugin does offer sharing to a greater number of social media platforms (Twitter, Buffer, Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, dZone, TweetMeme, Topsy, Yahoo Buzz, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Sphinn, Designbump, WebBlend, BlogEngage, Serpd, Pinterest, Pocket and Tumblr). It also allows you to customise the display of the sharing buttons, and supports both printing and email. With 900,000 downloads, Digg Digg’s star rating of 3.5 stars is a bit less than Social Floating Bar.
WordPress Plugins for Content Marketing Amplification
With any content marketing campaign, once you’ve got readers hooked, you want to keep them on line for as long as possible. That’s where our next type of plugins comes in handy. All these plugins all share the same objective: to encourage your readers to keep reading, to click on another link, to check out another blog post.
Generally speaking, once a post is published, it tends to disappear into the ether, only to be seen if you really go digging for it, or happen to link to it in a more recent post. Not so with this plugin. It is able to match keywords, titles and categories, and provide a list of related blog posts at the end of each new post or in your website’s sidebar. It goes some way towards lowering your website’s bounce rate, and helps your old posts see the light of day once more. It even offers detailed reporting on your entire related content list. With such powerful benefits, it’s no wonder that it has been downloaded more than 3.2 million times.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer to highlight popular posts (rather than related posts), then this plugin is probably the way to go. You can set how you want ‘most popular’ to be determined: by views, the number of comments, or even the average number of views per day. Using this plugin you can even determine a timeframe (say the last 24 hours, 7 days, or even 30 days) and will display either on each post, or in a widgetted area of your site. It also offers a range of reporting features. With almost a million downloads, Popular Posts currently has a star rating of 4.1.
WordPress Plugins for Content Marketing Monitoring & Evaluation
Last, but by no means least, we come to WordPress plugins for content marketing monitoring and evaluation. As with any type of marketing program, monitoring and evaluation are essential. Without them, there is no way for marketers to demonstrate return on investment, to justify (and have increased) their budgets, or improve on marketing campaigns the next time around.
Google Analytics by Yoast can be invaluable in terms of evaluating what content worked best (and what bombed), as well as planning what sort of content to write as part of your content marketing program. This plugin helps you track just about every website statistic you could ever need. You can keep tabs on demographics, downloads, search results, acquisition, and so much more. Using this plugin, you can determine if you audience is comprised mostly of females or males, and then tailor content to suit. You can see what type of content is performing best, and then create more of this type of content. You can see when posts perform best, and publish more around that time of day. With over 7.5 million downloads and a 4.3 star rating, Google Analytics by Yoast is one of the most popular plugins on the market. If you haven’t already, install this plugin today.
If, for whatever reason, you’re not 100% on Yoast’s Google Anlytics plugin, then take a gander at Google Analyticator instead. This plugin automatically adds all the code needed to make Google Analytics talk to any WordPress powered website. Some of its other features include: an administrator dashboard widget which displays all your stats for the last 30 days, outbound link tracking, site speed tracking, and is available in a number of different language translations. It does only have half as many downloads as Yoast’s plugin, at 3.5 million, and has a 3.7 star rating.
Content marketing is an extremely varied and expansive type of communication, so I have tried to be just as varied in my plugin choices, covering off all the main phases of a content marketing program, from strategy and planning, to content creation and evaluation. No doubt I’ve missed some particularly handy plugins along the way though. So, please feel free to add any other plugins in the comments below.