3 Tools That Guarantee a Better Content Marketing ROI

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

You blog. You regularly post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You run ads on Google and Facebook, and you regularly send out targeted emails for all the different segments of your subscriber list. Your content marketing strategy is top notch, but is it really helping you?

Sure, it might help your search engine optimization, but are you getting your return on investment?

When you are a small business and have a limited budget, every dollar counts. You want to see that every investment produces something positive in return. Even larger companies with more sizable budgets need to be certain they are investing their money wisely.

So how can you measure the ROI on of your content marketing efforts? We’ve put together the three essential tools needed to accurately track ROI and reveal the traffic to your website, the number of inbound inquiries and the amount of social media engagement.

With these tools, we know you can’t lose.


Based out of San Francisco, California, Topsy is like having a very trendy friend who is always on the cutting edge of what is new and what is popular. The site monitors the social web trends in links, tweets, photos, videos and influencers to show you what people are talking about all over the Internet. Simply type in a keyword or phrase and see how popular it is.

Topsy then breaks down the popularity of a keyword, showing its results in the past hour, the past eight hours, the past days, the past seven days and the past 30 days to show you how engaged other people have been with your keyword or phrase. If you own a restaurant, you might search for certain foods that are popular in the photos category and try to participate.

So how does this help your ROI? Topsy helps you stay relevant and on track with what people are searching for and talking about. If a lot of people are searching for “how to budget for a new home”, then your real estate agency might post a blog article providing tips on financing.

With Topsy, you will not be wasting your time talking about something that no one cares about. It will help you stay on track and help you build new ideas for your content marketing strategy. As the software is free, we highly recommend you take some time to play around with the search function and get to know it better. You will surely find something that will help you strengthen your campaign and better connect with the needs of your followers.


Have you ever wanted to create a graphic to go along with a certain blog? Or create an image for your company to go on all your business cards, presentations, flyers and social media sites? Canva is the answer.

Canva is a designer’s dream software. It houses thousands of free images and fonts and allows users to create their own designs for flyers, presentations, Facebook covers, blog graphics, business cards, posters and invitations. If your small business cannot afford to take on an in-house designer at the moment, Canva is the answer to all your problems.

The software was created to make it easy for anyone to become a graphic designer, regardless of their skill level. It is free to use and easy to access online no matter what type of device you are using. The software also provides easy collaboration tools and helps you edit your photos so they present the same consistent design, no matter what platform they are on.

Obviously, Canva does not offer any tracking options, but it does help your company and its image. In our visual society, your image is everything, and if the average user can recognize your image (think the golden McDonald’s arches) without ever seeing your name, then users will be more likely to remember your brand.

We prefer Canva because it allows you to streamline your image to make it more recognizable. As Canva lets you create Facebook images, blog images, presentations, business cards and flyers, you can use the same images across all your platforms, making your company appear more uniform and consistent.


Your marketers create engaging and educational content for your blog every day, but their talent is often unrecognized. After all, your company is smaller and tends to get overshadowed by larger websites, but what if your blogs could show up in the “related articles” section of say, Yahoo? Or what if your blogs were listed as related content on

Outbrain increases your visibility across the Internet and drives traffic back to your website. Your posts get the recognition they deserve, and they are distributed to the people who are most likely to read and benefit from your content. Outbrain posts your blogs as related content on some of the biggest websites, such as CNN, and provides plenty of predictive analytics and algorithmically-generated content to take much of the guesswork out of programming content.

Additionally, Outbrain will help you test your blog’s visibility in real-time and advise changes if needed. You will be able to test out your headlines and images to see what gets the best reaction from readers, and Outbrain will add plenty of suggestions along the way for increased audience activity. When you launch your content, the software will also provide you with a full, clear view of the social success of your work. Even if your content did not do as well as you had hoped, Outbrain will recommend your next steps and help you improve for next time.

Best of all, Outbrain can take your published works to the mobile frontier and gives you the tools to monetize any mobile asset you might have. Now that Google is taking mobile-friendliness into account when ranking search results, it is important that your posts be responsive and easy to find on any device.

Get more from your investment in content

Content marketing is essential for building your SEO and authentically interacting with your consumers, but there is no one right way to do it. A good content marketing strategy is developed over time and subjected to plenty of A/B testing. Take advantage of these free sites and start creating content your audience is actively searching for. Your ROI will increase and your website traffic is sure to go up.

Want to increase your content marketing team’s productivity? Learn how to 10x your team’s productivity in our free eBook.

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