5 Underrated, Ultra-Useful Content Marketing Tools For 2021 

March 20, 2021// Category: Digital Marketing // Author: Caroline Ruhland

Content Marketing and drawing on notebook with glowing light bulbs

Today, your online presence is more important than ever. People simply aren’t browsing brick-and-mortar stores the way they used to, and most purchases are made online.

And what are they looking at? Your content and your messaging. That’s why getting your content marketing right is key to establishing and maintaining your online presence in 2021 and beyond – and that requires unique, ultra-relevant, compelling content directly at your audience’s point of need.

It’s a lot to get right, and it can be a confusing and intimidating process. But it all ultimately boils down to five main things: your website, email, social media, online targeting, and persona personalization – and there are lots of tools to help check these boxes.

Here are the 5 most useful and underrated marketing tools you should consider in 2021.


1. The Right Website Builder/CMS/Hosting

You can’t underestimate the importance of a user-friendly, intuitive, feature-rich website – and this can often be difficult to achieve.

The Wrong Web Platform Can Cripple Your Business 

There’s a lot that can go wrong with a website. From a user and customer perspective, the wrong website platform can lead to:

  • Difficulty to update and require complex coding, particularly if the site doesn’t offer easy-to-use templates or add-on website elements and widgets.
  • Lack the features and modules that you need for your business. For example, many users today expect links to social media or reviews of your products, and some web platforms make it impossible to add these features.
  • Inconsistent branding decisions and lackluster logo, color palette, and visuals (though you can read more about how to get these things right here).

From a more technical perspective, the wrong hosting platform can also lead to:

  • Slow page load speeds, which can cause you to lose your audience.
  • An inability to scale as your business grows and gets new traffic.
  • Poor site security.
  • Skyrocketing costs as you try to scale.
  • Poor search engine optimization (SEO), which means that Google – and, by extension, your customers – will never find you.

Tricks to Getting the Right Platform 

That’s why the right website builder is key. If you’re a beginner or you’re looking for a foolproof option, you can’t really go wrong with WordPress. Today, around a third of websites on the internet are WordPress sites, and there’s a good reason for this: it’s free, open-source, and really customizable, and easy to use.

In fact, WordPress comes with a built-in updates management system so you can update security, plugins, and themes quickly and easily from one administrative dashboard.

Plus, it’s super customizable to meet your needs, whatever they might be. You just need to find the right “theme” for your business – which will dictate the look and functionality of your site – and you’ll be good to go.

The Solutions

That said, there are a few extra plug-ins and considerations that will add key functionalities and features. We recommend, in particular, that you consider:

  • An SEO plugin like Yoast
  • Adding contact forms and analytics to help you grow your contact network and continuously improve your site over time.
  • Choose a site that allows for images, video, GIFs, and interactive media. On average, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text, and 72% of customers would rather learn about a product via video. So adding video and images is a super-easy way to maximize your engagement.
  • Your broader branding


2. Email Automation Tools 

Next thing to get right? Emails. Believe it or not, emails are one of the most effective content marketing tools you have in your toolkit. In fact, it’s estimated that, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42, and 80% of professionals link emails directly to customer acquisition and retention.

This, in large part, is simply because people like emails and they open them regularly. In fact, the average open rate for a welcome email is 82%, and a simple abandoned cart email can result in 69% more orders for a business.

In short, this is low-hanging fruit that’s easy to get right. This requires an effective, easy-to-use email automation tool.

The Solution

Here, a great and less widely-known tool is Omnisend. It’s less complicated than many of the top choices out there like HubSpot and Marketo, and it provides users with pre-built templates and automation to build abandoned cart emails, welcome series, transactional emails, and more.

What’s more, the tool helps users easily segment their customers – so they’re always sending the most relevant message to the right people – and it offers SMS text options so you can reach your audience in more places. Plus, it integrates with existing tools and platforms so you’ll have a totally synced technological ecosystem.


3. Social Media Scheduling Tools 

While email is the most effective way to get in touch with the people you already know, social media is the best way to get the attention of people you don’t know so you can introduce them to your business. After all, 53% of the world’s population is on social media. By generation, that breaks down to 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers – which means that you will find your audience online.

But it can be difficult to get right since the most effective social media messages have to be targeted, relevant and timely — and this requires a lot of background information.

The Solution

A great tool like SocialPilot can help. SocialPilot is a cost-effective, straightforward, comprehensive social media scheduling tool that allows users to:

  • Create customized posts on all the major platforms, including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
  • Track performance with analytics, monitoring, and reports to understand what posts are really resonating.
  • Use a centralized inbox to respond to all comments, messages, and posts.
  • View and incorporate content suggestions when you’re just not inspired.

This can simplify social media management so it’s one more thing checked off your list.


4. Accurate Persona and Keyword Targeting Tools 

If you want everything else to go right – including your social media posts, your emails, and your website content – it’s important that you always understand your personas and your keywords. In other words, who is actually interested in your business, and what search terms are they looking for that relate to your business?

Here’s a little example that illustrates why this is so important and how things can go poorly with the wrong information:

Case Study

Emily is a baker who opened her business, Emily’s Neighborhood Bakes, last year. She loves the wedding industry, and she’s hoping to get a lot of business making wedding cakes, so she creates a lot of content targeting brides and newly engaged couples.

Well, Emily doesn’t realize that most of her business actually comes from families looking to offload some work for neighborhood bake sales, and she’s getting 60% less business because she’s not talking to these people or marketing all the bake sales goods she can make. This is all because she has the wrong idea of who her customer is and what information they want to hear.

It’s an overly simplistic example, perhaps, but it highlights the importance of getting your actual personas and keywords right.

The Solution

For persona building, a simple tool like Make My Persona from HubSpot can help guide you through the process and create complete, accurate personas for your business.

For keyword research, a tool like BuzzSumo can help you understand what content is performing best for a certain keyword. This can help you understand, at a glance, if competitors in your industry are using particular phrases, how they’re doing it effectively, and — by extension — what you need to do to beat them.

It’s not foolproof, and it’s by no means a comprehensive keyword strategy. But it’s an easy tool that will help you understand if your targeting and your content choices are on the right track.


5. Personalization Tools 

Final note: don’t forget to personalize.

Consumers today only want to see messages and content that are hyper-personalized to meet their needs. You can blame Amazon and retargeting tools that show you exactly what you’re looking for even when you’ve just mentioned a product in conversation (scary, but undeniably effective). That’s why personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates and why personalization is shown to decrease acquisition costs by as much as 50%. 

So personalization is something you can’t forget in 2021. Luckily, all the tools we mentioned above help with personalization, so there isn’t another one to add to your list. However, it’s important that you take advantage of these personalization capabilities and never let them fall off your radar.

Follow these tips, and you’ll have more effective content marketing in 2021. Need some help? Reach out to one of our experts and learn how Off the Lip can make a difference for your business.

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