Content marketing is an ever-changing game. With competition growing stronger every single day, it has never been more important to work smarter and find the right tools that can help you publish content more efficiently. If you’re on the hunt for some new productivity hacks, here are seven critical content marketing tools that you can't go without:
- Brand Statement
A brand statement is a short, memorable, and somehow cohesive phrase that tells anyone who hears it (and even those who don't) exactly what your business is about. The most common context in which you'll hear this phrase is when you're dealing with the help of a business consultant or someone who's going to be helping you with marketing—while they're trying to get a sense of what kind of business you are, they want to know the core idea behind your company. It's important in defining what makes your company different from others and will help develop your company's personality.
- Brand Style Guide
A brand style guide has a lot of names but put simply, it’s a document that codifies the visual elements you use to communicate your brand—including fonts, colors, and other visual elements. A style guide is essential for ensuring your brand remains consistent, even as it changes and evolves over time. It will provide a consistent aesthetic and help streamline your visual identity. Most companies create their style guides in the form of a document that is distributed to everyone who handles any kind of marketing or advertising work. Whether you're designing a website, a print piece, or an email campaign, having a solid style guide will make your creation look professional and polished.
- Content Archives
Content archives are a great way to make a content marketing strategy even more powerful and effective. Create a list of your company's content archives—newsletters, videos, reports, sales materials—and indicate the target and purpose of each piece. This list helps you determine what's worth writing about or referencing for supporting information. By reviewing what you have already produced, you can figure out what topics and ideas merit further engagement. For example, if you know your most-read piece is about marketing to multicultural millennials, you might want to share that with your social media audience.
- Image Library
Images are a vital aspect of any digital marketing campaign, and they're especially important when it comes to content marketing. They can help you tell a story, add visual appeal, and even increase conversion rates. If you're looking for an easy way to add images to your blog posts and social media posts, you should consider using an image library like Canva. Free image libraries like this one will give you access to hundreds of free images that you can use in your content marketing efforts. You'll find that some free image libraries include a limited selection of options. Others offer many more choices but charge for premium accounts. The key is finding the right balance between quality and quantity so that you don't waste time searching through irrelevant photos or paying too much money for what's available in the free version of the site.
- Idea Generators
Content marketing is all about creating quality content that people actually want to read. It's not about spamming the internet with low-quality posts that no one will ever read. And it's not about just pushing out whatever you think will get shares. You can't just write something and hope that it stands out from the crowd of other blog posts on the same topic. You need to research, plan, and execute your ideas in a way that will make them as shareable as possible. How do you do this? With an idea generator! An idea generator is something that helps you come up with ideas for new blog posts and other types of content (like infographics, videos, etc).
The idea of proofreading may be daunting to most people. It can seem like a lot of work and take up precious time. However, it’s not as complicated as you think, and the benefits are worth it. Proofreading is an important step in the content creation process. It can help you catch mistakes or inconsistencies in your writing that you may have missed while working on your own. But, don't trust spell checkers or grammar checkers alone; they don't always catch everything! It's best to have someone else proofread your work as well just in case something slips through the cracks (even if you think you've caught everything).
- Editorial Calendar
So many people are talking about the importance of an editorial calendar for content marketing—and it’s easy to see why. An editorial calendar can help you create more compelling content with higher quality. It allows you to plan ahead so that you can get your content on time and avoid mistakes. This is particularly important if your brand publishes many pieces of content at once – without an editorial calendar, it’s easy to miss the mark. But the benefits don’t stop there: using an editorial calendar also helps you save time and money by eliminating unnecessary steps in the process. Finally, it ensures that all members of your team are working towards a single goal – which means more collaboration between departments.
In the end, how you implement all of these tools is going to depend on your own specific niche. The important thing, though, is that you do implement these tools. As long as you keep in mind who your audience is and what they want, who they hang out with, where they hang out online, and what they're looking to consume, the rest of this stuff will take care of itself. And more important than any tool or tactic is this one key piece of advice: listen to your audience and deliver exactly what they want. Do that and everything else will fall into place.