A major challenge you face as a content marketer is having to consistently produce new content, a challenging and tedious feat especially when you are restricted within a certain range of topics. What do you do then when you encounter writer’s block? Instead of stoning at a blank screen, why not make use of handy online tools or sites to help you generate and compile ideas for blogs!
For starters, utilize Google Alerts to keep you in the loop for potential blog topic ideas, by setting up alerts for specific keyword phrases related to your niche. You can also check out Quora, a popular question-and-answer site to search for blog topics, by taking note of questions asked that are related to your area of expertise and repurposing them into blog posts.
For all writers, your folders are probably filled up with research notes, half-written idea logs and to-do lists. Stay on top of your writing process with useful apps that allow you to keep a list of ideas in an organized manner, such as One Note by Microsoft Office. Evernote is another note-taking software, which enables you to archive relevant articles and plan your publishing calendars. Both of these free softwares have mobile, desktop and app versions that save your work and sync data automatically with internet connection, an important feature for content creators. During the editing process, you can make use of free editing tools such as Grammarly and Correctica to catch grammatical errors that even you might not have noticed.
Visual content creation
With 65% of the population being visual learners, visual content is now more relevant than ever. There are various software available that can help you with creating beautiful visual marketing collaterals. Apart from the usual posters and images, you can create presentation or slides that can be uploaded onto Slideshare or your content blog.
Prezi allows non-designers to make aesthetically pleasing presentations, which are highly customizable, interactive and easy-to-use. You can also produce infographics and charts, by using softwares like Piktochart or Infogram, which is compatible with Microsoft Excel and responsive to mobile devices. Give your slides and graphs a more professional feel by using free icons from websites such as Iconmonstr, Flaticon, Themify and Smarticons.
Video marketing can be extremely useful in capturing and retaining consumer attention. While it might be expensive to engage professional videographers or editors, you can make use of free automatic movie makers produced by tech giants. Examples include Memories by Apple, Movies Assistant under Google Photos, and Facebook Slideshow. Jazz up boring words and less-eye-catching pictures by composing them into videos with transitions and themed music.
Facebook SlideShow. Photo credit: TechCrunch.
Creative new media
Storytelling possesses a crucial place in content marketing, and creative new media is increasingly becoming an integral part of this marketing technique. With visual content currently dominating the web, it has opened a new world of interactivity between businesses and consumers. In relation, methods such as GIFs (or animated images), live-streamed videos and "in-the-moment" applications (such as Snapchat, Instagram Stories), are increasingly utilized in marketing campaigns due to the high success rates attributed to these mediums.
There are many ways you can make use of these platforms to enhance interactivity between companies and consumers, especially when tools such as live-streaming and Stories allow brands to drop their corporate veil. Live streaming is possible for any smartphone user, with all the popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram supporting this broadcast function. With these social media giants aggressively promoting their live-streaming features, how do you differentiate which channel you should utilize for your marketing campaign? Here's a helpful link that can help you better understand the pros and cons of each live-streaming option.
While Snapchat reigned the Storytelling platform since its founding, other channels such as Whatsapp, LINE, WeChat, Facebook and even Clips by Apple and Medium's Series have since joined the game. The most prominent competitor however, is Instagram Stories, which is fast surpassing the popularity of Snapchat although it was basically a clone of Snapchat Stories. Albeit their similarity in functions, both of these channels have their unique qualities that can benefit a business' social media presence.
Bringing boring words and data to life can also be done through creative new media such as GIFs, which can be extremely useful to capture the attention of your viewers, especially if they are thoughtfully employed and timed. There is no shortage of sites that allow you to create or find GIFs that best suit your posts. The following tools are some of the more popular sources you can turn to that can guarantees you access to an unlimited supply of animated images and videos:
Cinemagram makes your photos move. Photo credit: Brit.co.