In the beginning, there was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. And it was not good. By 2017 standards, it was barely a phone. Virtually zero coverage, a price tag that translates to almost $10,000 of today’s dollars, and completely devoid of apps. It also had a 10-hour charge time that only translated into about a half-hour of use. Truly a pinnacle of technology.

From town criers to SMS
While 1983’s big breakthrough was a far cry from the iPhone X, it was a harbinger of things to come — a personal telecommunications device that could be carried outside the hardwired home. It took another 10 years to make cellphones that you could comfortably — well, somewhat comfortably — carry in your hand. And it would take a few more years still before the advent of the flip phone. Ultimately, it was almost 25 years after Motorola’s original mobile phone before smartphones appeared and mobile marketing as we now know it began in earnest.

Admittedly, forms of “mobile” marketing existed before the iPhone went on sale in 2007. Centuries ago, young boys called town criers — the millennials of the Middle Ages — called out news as they scurried the streets of Europe. In the 1800s, door-to-door peddlers were a mobile sales force to be reckoned with. But, of course, these weren’t phones. And it wasn’t until the early 2000s that SMS (short message service, aka text messaging) — as well as web access via mobile browsers — took off. With these factors now in play, connecting with consumers via handheld devices began to really take hold as a viable mass marketing tool.

Bracing for inbound
But we’re not just talking phone tech today, or mobility, for that matter. The idea of using phones — smart or otherwise — as a way to reach out to prospects and customers has been around since the early 1900s. It took until the 1970s before call centers and what was quickly dubbed “telemarketing” emerged. The industry exploded as technology made it cheaper to set up outbound call centers; by 2000, the 10 biggest telemarketing agencies were making a million or more calls per hour. It was also by the turn of the millennium that essentially all businesses had now equipped themselves with toll-free numbers and braced for the rise of inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing, in simplest terms, is waiting for consumers to call — or text, or visit, or click through to — your business. But waiting doesn’t do it justice — inbound isn’t passive. It’s active waiting; or, more correctly, encouraging consumers to contact you. And it’s important to note that inbound isn’t a battle for prospects’ attention. It’s not a hard or aggressive sale as much as it is a strategy for presenting your business. Through social media, blogs, search engines and so on, you encourage the consumers who find your offering relevant to their needs to reach out to you.

Inbound is often broken out into a customer journey — from being total strangers to having an awareness of your business, then moving through stages of familiarity with you to consideration of your products or services, and finally the decision, or conversion, that converts them into customers. A good inbound marketer will present content in the appropriate channels to suit the interests of prospects throughout this journey, with each piece intended to propel the buyer toward conversion.

The trick is knowing if and how the content and the channels are actually moving the customer along in his or her journey. That’s done with data.

Media Trust

By Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms.

Looking to level up your content marketing program to grow your business? Creating a successful strategy can be time-consuming. However, by adding the right tools to your arsenal, you can save your money and time while helping you grow your business.

Our main customer acquisition strategy is content marketing. In this post, I’ll show you some cool tools and explain how to use them effectively.

BuzzSumo shows you what type of content performs online and breaks down that performance by different metrics across domains, keywords or topics. It is an excellent tool that helps you gather valuable insights into the success of your content on different social networking platforms. It also allows you to analyze how headlines are working for you and your competitors.

To find a highly performing headline, you just need to enter the topic you’re working on. It will provide you a list of all the most popular titles for the topic ranked by the number of social shares.

Evernote is a perfect brainstorming tool for content marketers. It lets you easily collect and organize all of your ideas in a single place. Whenever you need it, you can quickly pull it out without a hassle. With its browser extension, you can capture only the information you need as you browse through, so you can better organize them in your Evernote app by using categories and tags. For example, you can clip certain a paragraph from a page, bookmark a link, save an article or save an entire page as it is. With its powerful search functionality, you can find your saved items when you need them, quickly and easily.

With a business account, you can organize all your content marketing resources of your entire team in a single place so you can collaborate and submit feedback.

I think Grammarly is the best grammar checking tool available on the web. Grammarly is more than just a grammar checker –it even helps you identify correctly spelled words used in the wrong context.

While it is the best grammar checker available in the market, it’s not meant to replace a human proofreader. It may overlook grammar mistakes. However, if you’re after an online tool that adds an additional layer of editing to your writing, Grammarly is the answer.

You can use the Grammarly Chrome extension to help you write mistake-free nearly anywhere on the web including email, social networks, blogs, etc. With a premium version, you can install the Grammarly add-in to your Microsoft Office products, which makes it easy to edit your content without having to log into the app.

Hemingway App
When it comes to content marketing, readability and contextual structuring are important. Hemingway App helps you make your content more readable by finding superfluous words, passive voice and hard-to-read sentences that can get in the way of clear writing. It judges the reading level of a particular selection of writing and provides you with a readability score, so you can make your content more readable.

It is built around fast and easy text correction. It’s a perfect revision tool.

Headline Analyzer
The headline of your content is often the first and last chance you’ll get to impress a potential prospect. It determines whether or not someone engages with your content or purchases your product. The Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule helps you craft a perfect headline for your blog post that drives more engagement, shares and traffic. It capitalizes on the type of headline that converts. It shows you the type of your headline, analyzes the words in it and generates you a preview of what your headline will look like in Google search.

Content marketing can be time-consuming and hard to scale. With the right tools, you can boost your return on investment on content marketing and amplify your results. The above tools will help you simplify the content marketing process, maximize your results and stay ahead of the curve. You can start by trying out the tools one by one, and then apply the tips we’ve shared above to grow your business in no time.

Jared Atchison is the co-founder of WPForms, a drag and drop form builder for WordPress that’s being used on over 400,000 websites.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of


A performance-driven Global Digital Marketer with 10+ years’ experience, Casey is a thought-leader in a notoriously agile industry. When it keeps its promises, audience targeting can be the best friend a digital marketer ever had.