In the ever-evolving practice of marketing communications, “content marketing” is the word of the day. There are multiple software as a service (SaaS) tools available in this arena, and each of them performs a different task. The key is knowing when you have the right combination of elements that justifies the investment in merchandising content to your target audience. CMD recently checked out two new tools that we believe have potential.
Don’t let the name deceive you; SpotInfluence (still in beta) is about locating influencers, but not in the way that you might expect. When I talked with cofounder Rich Grote, he clearly said: “We’re a data company.”
SpotInfluence offers two intriguing services:
- Data mining of existing customer lists based on specified criteria. For example, a major home improvement retailer might ask SpotInfluence to find California residents who are planning a major renovation in the next year among its existing opt-in list.
- Data mining of social following. For example, SpotInfluence might find influential users in your Twitter (or other publicly searchable) community, again based on criteria that you specify.
SpotInfluence was the research engine behind the Digital Power Index recently published by Newsweek and The Daily Beast. The company compiled the list by calculating individuals’ reach, relevance and impact via information available on the “entire public web.” In contrast to services like Klout, which is an automated analysis applied universally to any user, SpotInfluence applies custom criteria to each search. And voila, Jeff Bezos ranks as the #1 Visionary.
What’s the winning combo here? SpotInfluence is worth a look if you are trying to better profile your community and really “go deep” with the followers or proprietary lists you are already working with.
The second worthy tool is PostRelease. If you’re a PR person who issued mat releases back in the day, this tool is definitely worth a look. PostRelease allows campaign administrators to upload content and self-publish it to an inventory of blogs, forums and communities that have prenegotiated editorial space. It’s important to note that this is editorial space – within blogs and forum discussion threads – not ad space on a website. Your content plays within the “conversation layer” of sites that meet your contextual criteria, such as high-tech, power sports or parenting.
Results are returned to campaign administrators in the form of budget spent and impressions generated. A winning combination for using this tool is highly visual content, such as a how-to video, that delivers information of value to readers within a specific lifestyle category. Be warned that PostRelease isn’t strong in all categories; before starting a campaign, make sure that there is sufficient inventory in your category to deliver the results you’re seeking.
What tools have added to your success in content marketing? Conversely, have you encountered any SaaS “duds” lately?
Tags: blog, CMD, Content Marketing, Data mining, Digital Power Index, Forum, Influencer, Marketing Communications, postrelease, pr, public relations, SaaS, social media, social media strategy, Social Media Tools, Software as a Service, Spotinfluence, Twitter