Top 21 Out-of-The-Box Tools for Effective Content DevelopmentBy Jessica Freeman on January 26, 2017
Reading Time: 12 minutes
Content marketing is a popular online promotion strategy which encompasses several different activities. You are educating your audience, offering value through content, and then proceeding to convert your audience into customers. It’s a way of reaching more people that are not really interested in buying something. With the help of your content, brand awareness increases and the chance of a purchase increases.
This strategy is only effective – obviously – if it can provide a positive ROI and an overall satisfying success rate. If it takes too much time, even if you’re not necessarily wasting money in the process, it’s not worth it. In order to improve your chances of performing a successful content marketing campaign, you must take advantage of all available resources. Presently, there are hundreds of content marketing and writing tools that could make your life easier. We have only selected the best out of the best.
What Sort of Content You Should Create
If you have a great piece of content you are really proud of but nobody reads it, it’s pretty much useless. In order to make your content more relevant, check out these tools and resources:
BuzzSumo is a brilliant tool which will help you identify trending topics in your niche, as well all the key influencers worth following. All you have to do is enter a keyword or phrase you want to research, and it will provide you with a list of most popular links containing your keyword. Their popularity is calculated based on the total number of shares they have received across all major social platforms: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Twitter. If it all seems a bit complicated, it really isn’t, because all that data displayed graphically inside BuzzSumo’s intuitive interface.
Even though you may have heard of Google Trends, you have probably avoided using it. This is a mistake, as Google is one of the biggest online platforms that gathers an enormous amount of analytics and statistics. The best thing about Google Trends is that it’s not only free, but you can use it right away, without even having to register. Google Trends tells you how a particular keyword or topic has trended over time. You can also limit the analysis to a particular geographic region, or view the changes in popularity with animated maps.
Quora and Reddit are probably the best two places online if you are looking for high-quality, in-depth answers to any question. It’s surprising that most content marketers have failed to see their value as keyword research tools. Because all of the content on Quora and Reddit is generated by users, they have already done your keyword research for you. All you have to do is take advantage of that and create trending content containing phrases your audience would use.
AtomicWriter comes in three different varieties: as a web app you can access through your browser, Chrome extension, and as plugin for your WordPress account. This tool helps you make your content more relevant and accessible to your audience. The way it does this is by providing suggestions on how to structure and format your writing so that fits your audience’s skill level, which you can choose using a convenient color-coded slider. You can also make use of its Atomic Insight features, which gathers traffic and shares data about your posts.
The percentage varies, depending on which study you consult, but around 80% of the people that come across your article will never venture past the actual headline. There can be many reasons for this, but it may be because your headline is problematic. But, that can be remedied with CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. Simply paste your headline into the app and let it do its magic. You will not only receive a score on a scale of 0 to 100, which indicates how well your headline might fare, but also suggestions on how to improve its impact on your audience.
Another useful tool which can help you improve the quality of your headlines, albeit in a different way. Title Case is especially good if you’re publishing articles on a consistent basis. The app’s role is to craft your title’s letters and words in such a way that it looks neat and professional. And your work can only look professional if it is consistent, among other things. The app analyzes your titles and allows you to convert your titles to upper case, lower case, and almost a dozen other conversions.
One of the best things you can do for your content is to enhance it with some killer visuals. This can be tricky if you are not a designer, or if you can’t afford hiring one. Fortunately, you can solve that by using Canva, which allows you to gain access to a huge selection of beautifully designed templates, which you can use for social media cover images, posters, slideshows, infographics, or just about anything else you can think of. And it’s so easy to use.
Infographics are all the rage because they are capable of displaying a large amount of information in a visually appealling and easily digestible form. And it’s also one of the easiest ways to engage your audience and get them to share your content. Piktochart provides you with access to a whole bunch of different infographics templates and layouts, crafted by professionals, so that you can create your own amazing infographics. Also comes with an entire library of design elements, shapes, fonts, and images.
Even though Evernote was primarily designed as an efficient note-taking application, it can also be used to come up with better content. Because it can be accessed from any platform, you will be able to capture your ideas at any moment, provided that you have your smartphone with you. Also, you can save your online research and pages which you will rely on later. It’s better than bookmarking, because you can add notes to your research. Finally, it features an integrated text editor, allowing you to write down entire chunks of text which will serve as a basis for your next post.
Writing your posts inside a word processor of your choice, instead of doing the same in your content management system (WordPress, for example), is usually the right way to go because you have more formatting options. The problem is that some of that formatting might result in a weird-looking text in CMS. With Word2CleanHTML, you can simply paste your draft, and let the app do its thing, after which your text will look neat and tidy in your CMS.
How You Should Write It
There are also plenty of tools out there which allow you to polish your work, and at the same time, improve your writing chops. Make use of the following writing tools:
If you’re truly serious about content marketing, you need to understand that no one enjoys reading a poor quality text. Perfect grammar and spelling are two of the most important requirements that must be present in a writer’s content. Grammarly app searches through your text, finds the mistakes, and it provides good suggestions for fixing the errors. It’s free, and you can add it to your word processor, use their online platform, or add it to your browser’s extensions.
Your readers definitely enjoy consuming valuable and unique content. If your content contains clichés, it’s just going to blend in with all the other content out there that is bland and generic. Cliché Finder is a tool which purpose is to find clichés within your text and help you come up with a different, more original way of conveying your ideas. This way, you can make sure that you’re not filling your content with irrelevant expressions and concepts.
HemingwayApp is useful for any type of writer. As a reader, you expect to encounter easy-to-understand and easy-to-digest content. This app offers a “readability score” which is rated from 1 to 10. If you’re above 7, it means that you must modify your sentences to make them more readable. The tool gives all the suggestions and marks the problematic sentences and paragraphs.
If you’re tired of using the same words over and over again, take advantage of Thesaurus. This online platform is just like a dictionary, only that it offers so many synonyms and suggestions for alternative word usage. Definitely useful for any content marketing campaign and writing activity!
When you’re planning your content strategy, you must take into consideration who you’re writing for. In case you’re writing for a US demographic, and you’re a UK native, you must find the differences and change your style according to your audience’s needs. This tool helps you find the most common mistakes that UK/US writers make, and provides relevant suggestions on how to improve upon them.
As the name suggests, HelpMeWrite is useful for writers that are struggling to come up with new content. Instead of brainstorming on your own, let the community help you with ideas. You can simply share your ideas with your community and also with your target audience, and find out what people are interested in at the moment.
Reedsy is an awesome community which connects writers like you with editors, publishers, designers, and also marketers. In case you’re only writing your content but have issues with other aspects, I’d suggest joining Reedsy community. Things will become way easier the moment you have all the necessary resources for an effective content marketing campaign.
How to Be More Productive
Finally, there is the issue of productivity. Content marketing is time-consuming, and if you’re at least little prone to procrastination, you can easily get in trouble, However, the following tools might help you with that:
Stayfocusd is a browser plugin which acts as a guardian of your time. It pushes away distractions by blocking access to them. For example, it can limit or fully block your access to social media channels. It’s quite flexible as well. Take a look through their examples page to see what it can do for you.
This app is probably the most destructive writing app out there. The concept is simple. First, you set a specific timeframe in which you want to write without pause. When you stop typing, the text changes its color, letting you know that in a few seconds, everything’s going to be deleted. If you stop writing for too long, you’ll lose all of your text and will have to start again. I’d only recommend this to fast writers!
Focus Writer is a distraction-free writing environment application. Some writers need to have no distractions at all when they’re in the writing process. If you’re one of these writers, this software should be really useful for your activity. The app has a hide-away option (more like an interface) which you can access by moving your cursor to the edges of your screen. It’s available for most of the operating systems.
Zen Pen is another distraction-free writing tool. The interface’s color is pure white, and its objective is to help writers stay sharp and focused on the task at hand. The software can be accessed online, so you only need a PC and an internet connection. It’s free to use.
Smart businessmen understand the importance of their time; therefore, they are doing everything possible in order to leverage it. I believe that this is truly essential for anyone, including you! If you’re a content marketer, a writer, a businessman, or even an employee, you should start thinking this way. Start taking advantage of these tools and you’ll see your productivity skyrocket.