Creating compelling content that people want to read, and also works for organic search, doesn’t have to be tricky or expensive. There’s a host of tools available, some with free capabilities, that can help you progress from planning a content strategy to actually creating your engaging content relevant to your industry vertical. These tools range from content discovery and gap analysis through to ideation inspiration assistance and creation itself. Below you’ll find a quick run-down on a selection of tools, but in this blog series we’ll be doing proper deep dives into what really makes these tools useful.
Keyword research may well have been completed during an initial research and strategy phase of your project. But, if you’re writing digital content, Google’s Keyword Planner will play an essential part. Using the ‘keyword discovery’ tool within keyword planner will allow you to find the best terms for your business, or else be used to look further into one specific subject, and how users are searching for it. This research will be invaluable for more than just your blog content, like your category and landing pages. But, for blog posts, it can help you find more niche long tailed keywords for you to target, aimed at the top end of the conversion funnel.
Answer The Public is ideal for taking your keyword research and adding nuance or intent. We’ve talked about Answer The Public before on this very blog. It’s got a simple (and free) functionality which allows you to enter a keyword of your choice. It will then highlight what this keyword looks like in a series of sentences and questions, such as ‘how to’, ‘what is’ etc. These are all backed up by search data, meaning each question is something that people are actively looking for online. This can help you form the title for an article, the subheadings in a piece of longer content or else help define your FAQs. This is a great way to find long-tail keywords to include in your content.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for a number of different aspects of content and outreach planning. For purely content ideation though, it’s got a couple of incredibly simple and useful features. If you’re just in the research phase and want to see what’s already out there around a subject you can use the ‘Content Analyzer’. This will let you see the ‘performing’ content around a particular keyword (to see what’s gone before or works well), or on a particular website (great for checking out the competition’s content too!). It will give you information on social engagement, websites linking to it and even gives it a unique ‘evergreen’ score. Content can also be filtered by wordcount, language and ‘type’ i.e. article, infographics etc. This is a great way to get inspiration for ideas.
Second is the ‘Topic Explorer’ tool, which is still relatively new to Buzzsumo. It works like a bit of a hybrid between the Content Analyzer and the previously mentioned Answer The Public, as it suggests relevant topics, along with ‘top questions’, related keywords and existing popular content that fits within these suggestions. This means it’s a great place to find ideas for articles, or to sense-check a theme you’re considering.
Canva is a brilliant content marketing tool that comes in at the creation end of the content journey. It has completely free functionality, with paid for functions if you want. It can be used for creating simple but effective visuals for both online and offline needs. Canva has a series of templates designed for different uses from social media through to flyers and other offline print material. These are dimension based so that you haven’t got to worry about your imagery being the right size. Each of these presets then has a series of different templates already created within them that you can customise, or you can make data visualisations completely unique to your brand.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what Canva can do, and the best way to get to grips with it is to play around yourself. Maybe try making a simple header image for a blog post, like the one above, and see where you go from there.
There’s a whole host of great tools available to help you create engaging content quickly and affordably throughout all parts of the content creation journey. We’d love to hear what your favourite content marketing tools are for when you’re coming up with ideas or creating content, so why not drop us a line on twitter with yours.