Content marketing is the ultimate way to build brand awareness and connect with your customers. It lets you tell your unique story and build huge buzz around your products or services.
It’s also seriously hard work.
Fortunately, there are lots of great, time-saving tools out there that can dramatically increase the impact of your content marketing efforts. Here are 12 of the very best.
Coming up with electrifying content ideas is one of the hardest parts of content marketing. Luckily, no one ever said you have to do it alone—blogs, online magazines, and newspapers are all great sources of inspiration. Feedly gives you a single place to collect and read all of this content. Simply subscribe to as many feeds as you want, and Feedly will organize all of this content for you in a nice, easily digestible portal.
If you’re looking for an advanced customer analytics tool that you don’t need a PhD to use, then MixPanel is for you. Like many analytics tools, it has standard features such as funnel reports, retention analysis, and user segmentation. But MixPanel also offers a lot more. For instance, it lets you set up A/B tests in your mobile apps, create in-app surveys, and even send customized messages to users based on their behavior.
Do you want your content to be ahead of the curve? Trendspottr lets you tap into emerging trends on social media, giving you early signals about hot topics, popular hashtags, and rising influencers. It also gives you positive and negative sentiment measurements for each trend it identifies, right down to specific emotions such as fear or excitement. With Trendspottr, you can get in at the start of trends, instead of jumping on bandwagons that have already passed.
Emails are a great way of reaching out to your audience, and MailChimp makes it simple. You can easily set up mailing lists, run email campaigns, track responses, and handle unsubscribe requests. You can even set up an RSS feed from your company blog directly into MailChimp, so that your latest blog entries are sent automatically to your mailing list.
If you want to scale your blogger outreach, then Tomoson is the perfect solution. It has thousands of registered bloggers, and you can search by interest area as well as metrics such as website traffic, Facebook likes, and Twitter followers. You can post your products for giveaways and reviews, as well as connecting directly with bloggers for specific promotions.
Scaling content production can be a huge problem, particularly if you only have a small in-house team. Contently solves that problem. It’s not a tool, but a high-end content production company. Unlike generic content mills, Contently focuses on storytelling to build your brand, and it has some pretty impressive customers—including GM, American Express, TD Ameritrade, and Philips. It also has a powerful automation platform that includes editorial calendars, content management, collaboration tools, and approval workflows.
Do you want to give your content more oomph? Then try Atomic Ally. This easy-to-use tool from Atomic Reach analyzes your content and tells you how big an impact it’s going to have. It looks at over 20 different factors to come up with a rating between 0 and 100, and then gives you useful advice on how to improve different areas of your content. Simply make changes in the built-in editor, and see your impact score go up. You can also choose the level of your audience—from general to specialist, academic, or even genius—and the tool will tell you whether your content is too complex or too simple for your readers.
To keep your content plans well-organized, take a look at Evernote. This app lets you record all of your content ideas, clip web content for future reference, and even maintain your editorial calendar. It’s also a great collaboration tool—you can use it to share and discuss content in real time with other members of your team. The app runs on just about any device, from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones, so you can keep on top of your content no matter where you are.
An infographic can be worth a thousand words. There’s no better way of getting your ideas across than with a clear, visual message. Easel.ly does what it says. It lets you create and share infographics online, easily. The site has thousands of free infographic templates that you can use, along with drag-and-drop tools to fill in your own content. Or you can upload your own templates instead. The site has only been around for a few years, but it already has 800,000 users who have built more than one million infographics.
Audacity is an open-source audio editor—and it’s absolutely free. It’s great for recording and editing podcasts and interviews, as well as producing finalized content in a range of different formats. The tool has a huge range of capabilities, including normalization, pitch and tempo correction, multi-track mixing, background noise removal, and more. It can also scan your raw audio content to find problems such as clipping and long periods of silence, so you can produce great-sounding, professional audio content.
Nothing makes content leap off the page like great images. If you’re looking for a free alternative to image-editing tools such as Photoshop, then look no further than GIMP. It has everything you need to retouch photos, build composite images, and even create new images. Its powerful editing tools let you do pretty much anything you’d want.
Tagboard is more than a simple hashtag analytics tool. It tracks where your hashtags are used in real time, and then measures sentiment surrounding them. You can then create tagboards—collections of popular posts with positive sentiment that update automatically. These tagboards can be embedded in mobile apps and websites— you can even show them on large-screen displays. It’s a great way of amplifying your best and freshest content.
No professional is complete without the tools to do their work effectively—imagine a doctor without a stethoscope or a gardener without shears! Using the right tools won’t make you a great content marketer, but it will give you the best chance of getting there. We need ways to track hashtags, send emails, make infographics, find content ideas, and so much more. By using tools, we can automate the most tedious parts of our work and focus on what matters: creating awesome content. (highlight to tweet)
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