The public relations mantra of the 2010s?
Content is king.
Whether it’s a viral video, hilarious meme, or informative article, when it comes to public relations, content is always the main focus.
Blatant ads don’t enjoy the reach they once did. Cable customers have switched to Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube TV. People are increasingly willing to pay extra money just to avoid hearing or seeing ads as they continue to invade our entertainment spaces.
Even when we can’t pay, we’ve learned to ignore them. Got a flashy banner on a Forbes or Huffington Post? Most millennials won’t even notice it’s there. Such is the nature of our ability to tune out all the thousands of ads we’re bombarded with online and off every single day.
In time, companies learn that in order to attract customers’ attention, they first have to create content consumers want to see, and then market that content to reach a wider audience. Here are 13 content marketing tools to help make that happen.
Twitter is one of the most frequently used content marketing tools online. Businesses use this social media platform to communicate with potential and existing customers by sharing sales, deals, blog posts related to their services, and entertaining tweets.
Twitter has also proven itself a worthy ally for crisis communications, though it’s often also the fount from which crises flow. In addition to this, Twitter matches almost always shows up in Google searches, so remember to include your website, logo, and a brief bio on what your company does.
MailChimp is a marketing software tailored for small businesses. This content marketing tool helps you to up your email marketing game through automated messages, and targeted campaigns. It even provides detailed reports to help users identify shortcomings, modify campaigns, and yield better results over time.
SlideShare is often underestimated and underused as a content marketing tool. But for those who know its secrets, SlideShare is a great place to upload and distribute your memes, info-graphics, and presentation versions of your blog posts.
If you’re also looking for a great place outside of your website to host portfolios, resumes, and other important documents you can link to, SlideShare is your best bet. Users can also use SlideShare to create campaigns that generate leads.
Hubspot is an inbound marketing and sales software helping brands all over the world to increase website traffic, convert visitors to leads, and turn leads into customers. It does this by providing tools for content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media, and marketing analysis.
Canva makes it easy to create everything from memes to event posters right from your phone. The app provides templates, stock photos, and more fonts than you can count. This is helpful for adding some variety to your timeline or promoting your products and services.
Another underestimated and underused content marketing tool, Quora is a social media site with a question-answer format. Aside from the fact that Quora has its own blogging platform, it’s also a great way to find out what customers are talking about in a particular industry, or even about your brand and competitors.
In addition to great social listening and social monitoring opportunities, questions asked on Quora provide interesting topics to make videos, info-graphics, blog posts, and even memes. For companies big on personal branding, Quora is also a useful platform for demonstrating professional expertise.
Used by some of the most recognizable brands around the world, this content marketing and SEO tool helps users to identify what content works best for their business. It also identifies who the major influencers in their field are. Brands can then partner with these influencers to create and distribute content that will reach a wider and more engaged audience.
Typos are an everyday reality in business and our personal lives. It’s what happens when our brains and fingers momentarily disconnect mid-text. For writers who tend to succumb to a personal bias causing us to miss typos, Hemingway helps you catch them.
Hemingway also helps writers to keep text direct, simple, and at a suitable reading level for a wider audience. Best of all—it’s free!
If you need convincing that images are becoming the future of content marketing, look no further than the popularity of Instagram and Pinterest. Even on the Facebook platform, a promotional post without a picture isn’t one worth publishing.
But unless you have pictures you’ve taken stockpiled on your computer, finding some to use can prove tricky. For free, high-quality pictures in the public domain, try Pexels.
Facebook is no longer a standalone company, since Facebook products now include Instagram and Whatsapp. Facebook is a great place to boost visibility and your social media following through paid promotions.
Instagram is useful for companies in industries where photographic content is most beneficial, such as:
- Real estate
- Pro photography
As for Whatsapp, this is a great place to keep family and friends abreast of what’s going on on your blog or with your business, by sneaking them the occasional link. If you’re good at what you do, you’d be surprised how many of them become customers over time.
InShot is an app available for Android and iOS that allows you to create professional-grade videos right from your phone. The app allows you to trim and piece together footage from several different clips, while also adding music and visual effects. Do you often struggle to find music for your videos? The app provides this too. Just remember to credit the artist. Here’s a travel video I made using InShot.
Another video app worth considering is Quik. It was built specifically for GoPro, but it will accept video footage from virtually any source. The videos it makes are really short. These are great for a short ad or a brief announcement. If you plan on making a video that is as long as the one above, you’re better off using InShot.
Many tweet scheduling apps have come and gone, but how many of them are free? TweetDeck is one of the most cost-effective options you will find for scheduling tweets on multiple accounts. It even allows you to add images. In addition to this, you can use TweetDeck to check your DMs, keep up with mentions and see what your followers are up to.
The absolute best group of content marketing tools comes from Google. These include Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Adwords, Google Photos, and Google Analytics:
- Google Drive allows teams to create and use virtual share drives.
- Google Docs lets multiple users edit the same documents on these share drives simultaneously.
- Google AdWords help brands reach the right customers.
- You can use Google Photos to make videos, just like InShot, though with less features.
- Google Analytics help brands to measure and analyze data related to website traffic, and their consumers.
Other useful Google apps for businesses include Google My Business, where you can add your business free of cost, along with pictures; and Google email, for those who aren’t ready to switch to branded email addresses.
Too much for you to keep track of? Hire Alexis Chateau PR for all your content marketing needs and leave the headaches to us.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.
*This article was originally published in 2017, but has since been updated for 2019.