Let’s face it – content creation is not a piece of cake anymore. With the amount of content being published on the web every day, there is a chance that yours might get lost in the abyss. Marketing automation has made other parts of the process easy and more effective, but content still depends on how you handle it. The algorithms are ever-changing, and marketers have to make efforts to consider all aspects of a successful post when planning and writing content.
“Blog content is getting longer and more visual. The average blog post is up about 19%, coming in at about 1,050 words in length. Long-form content is becoming the norm instead of the exception. Rather than churning out short-form pieces of content, consider investing more time in longer, more in-depth pieces of content that deliver higher value to your audience. It can be difficult to pack much educational punch in pieces that are shorter than 500 words”.
In order to stay relevant and produce great content, you can make use of modern tools, most of which are available on the internet for free. These tools will make every step easier for you.
1. Planning and scheduling
Distributing responsibilities to each person means that every step will be handled with care and the more eyes look at the work, the better. However, the long string of emails which are sent back and forth to your team (also if somebody chooses to ‘reply all’) gets very difficult and kills a lot of creativity during the process. Waiting for a team member to read and reply to an email becomes time-consuming and often it’s frustrating when you are on a deadline.
Take a look at these planning tools below, which can erase your worry about communicating during the planning phase:
This tool has been designed to be handy during your content creation process. Divvy HQ is a popular co-working platform which is very easy to use and includes a wide variety of features. There is a dashboard which includes what’s due, what needs to be done and what’s in the final editing phase.
You can also keep an eye on your team’s performance every day. There is a shared calendar where you can mark all the deadlines and important events for the team to see. You can plan and create great content here and also save ideas to browse later.
One of the best features of Divvy HQ is that ensures productivity and efficiency for your team, no matter what size it is. Your team can use the content creation tool to stay on track and communicate effectively. Copywriting can be done on a single platform, editing can be handled by those in-charge, design and photos can be shared with the team and the boss can review the final product.
You can create a custom workflow template and include more handy features like creating multiple tasks for each member and logging hours for each team member. It’s a great content creation tool if your business requires lots of content creation with multiple team members. The cost is $25 per team member.
Hemingway Editor is a blessing in disguise for those who can’t afford a copy editor. Your text content can be checked by this tool and you will never worry about the quality of text in the final product. People who are experts in their field but don’t possess the expertise of a professional writer can enjoy the advantages of Hemingway Editor. You can write the best advice in your posts and the Hemingway Editor will make all the necessary changes to the text.
As you write, this app keeps grading your grammar and highlights sentences where there is a mistake. It can also point out phrases and sentences which are hard to read. If you know your niche very well but don’t have the writing expertise to explain it, use this tool. Hemingway editor is very different from other grammar checking software out there.
It doesn’t focus 100% on your grammar; rather, it measures the readability of your text using the Automated Readability Index. It sounds complex, but Hemingway weighs the features of text like phrases, simpler alternatives and unnecessary sentences to give the overall readability grade to your writing. Your aim should be to achieve below grade 10th. The app is free to use for everyone, so while you don’t have an editor, you are in good hands.
2. Visual content
You can’t deny the importance of visual content.
“When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%)”. –Hubspot
In order to incorporate more visual content in your posts, you should use the tools mentioned below:
If you want to produce beautiful visual content without using complicated software, Canva is your tool. You’ll love Canva because it takes very short time to work on it. You no longer have to worry about designing, paying for graphics, or looking for design assets that match your theme. Canva knows that you have a long to-do list and you want to have great results in no time. Browse through the extensive library of templates and assets that you can customize according to your needs. The best thing about Canva is that their free section of templates and tools has so many options that you won’t have to pay a cent if you choose wisely. However, if you want to unlock more premium features, you can pay $1 per asset. There’s plenty of choice for free.
Piktochart is a must-have content creation tool because it offers amazing visual templates. You can fully customize each section. For those who struggle with technology, it also has a drag and drop feature to put things in place.
When using Piktochart, the hardest task is to choose colors for your infographic – there’s so much to choose from! You are also spoilt for choice when it comes to design. Piktochart has over 400 design templates you can use to prepare your unique visual content. Spice up your images or create stunning infographics with this tool.
There is also a long list of charts, maps, icons and graphics to aid your design process. All you have to do is to get creative! Use the tool for free or sign up for the premium package in $15 a month.
3. GIFs and memes
Animated GIFs are the coolest trick on the block today. You can portray your message using short GIFs which replay after intervals and don’t take much time for the user to skim through. Social media posts can be explained better with GIFs. Use one of the most popular tools, called Giphy, to make animated GIFs. Most social media platforms also accept GIFs now. Who knows, maybe your post can go viral if you use the right GIFs.
Giphy is free to use. Choose from their own collection of trending GIFs or turn your own videos into GIFs through the platform.
Your audience wants to stay informed through your platform, but they also like a good laugh. Memes are a great source of information and entertainment. Use memes in your content to add an element of fun and humor to the mix.
The Meme Generator is your go-to tool for producing memes. You can add a photo and include text in it or choose a template from the collection. Everything is customizable on the platform. After you are done preparing the meme, it can be shared on social media through direct links or you can save the meme in your gallery.
Other features include moving text boxes and changing font size/color. When you use the meme generator, it won’t take much time to make a meme. If you have made a hilarious and relatable meme, it can even go viral, causing more publicity during the process.
Movies and audio content is surely a crowd puller nowadays. Videos are being incorporated by everyone into their content. Too often, the best of text content is lost between saturated social media content. Not only will videos be a fresh addition to your content, they will also be great for your website and blogposts. According to Forbes:
Sometimes, your audience is short on time. They don’t have ten minutes to read your articles. That’s why, Magisto can be a great addition to your content creation tools for video. Quality video creation was an expensive task, but not anymore. With tools like Magisto, you can also prepare amazing video content. You can turn photos and mini videos into one professional video by using Magisto.
There is a wide array of themes, templates, music and other tools to help you customize your video. The Smart Movie Maker option enables you to add your own logo and branding to the video. Add caption, music and different styles and layout to make your video truly stand out. The best thing about Majisto is that you don’t have to be an expert level editor to produce beautiful videos. The business edition of Magisto costs $9.99 per month.
In order to create attractive content, you can also make use of these cool design tools:
If you want your site, blog, e-books and other content to look beautiful with the latest fonts, Google Fonts is your tool. Most of us don’t know that Google has a directory of over 600 free fonts ready for you to download.
Go to their fonts directory and choose the fonts you like, download the fonts, click ‘use’ to get an HTML code which you can copy and use anywhere you like. Another way of using these fonts is to download them on your desktop to use.
For those who wish they could have a tool for making easy presentation slides in a short amount of time, Haiku Deck is the tool. This tool has a beautiful collection of simple layouts, beautiful images and fonts. You can use it directly on the web and on iPad as well. Haiku Deck enables you to create presentations which are impressive and different from others. However, if you want to create detailed slides, you won’t find this tool very impressive.
The tools and resources mentioned above will make your content creation process very easy, but it depends on how you use these tools. You need to know the theme behind your content, the kind of message you want to portray and understand that the content should be in line with the branding of your business. It all depends on the content creator; the tools are only there to channel your creativity.
Moosa Hemani stands out for many reasons, but one is simply for his exceptional desire to contribute to the SEO community through his writing and participation in social media. You would be hard pressed to find a highly-visible SEO site that he has not contributed to in way. He is also a truly nice guy, which always impresses me. There’s no ego, but there is confidence. I’d be honoured to have the chance to work with Moosa.