As a content creator, you have thousands of tools at your disposal that make creating, publishing and promoting your content easier, more fun or better. But… there are so many content tools that you can quickly no longer see the wood for the trees. And some tools are more funny or fun than they are actually useful for a longer period of time. Which tools really help you create, publish and promote content properly and quickly? In this article, I’ll share my top 10 favorite content tools.
0. Canva as a basic content creation tool
Canva as a content creation tool is of course an open door and that’s why I don’t count it in the top 10 content tools. But still I want to mention it here because of the many possibilities that keep expanding. I have a strong impression that Canva is on track to push out all kinds of other tools that have, for example, one specific application. Sometimes by copying them, such as the function that allows you to erase a background from a photo. Sometimes by working together, as the library of stock photos and graphics shows.
Canva’s help in creating compelling and effective content goes beyond the layout of a beautiful visual, presentation or document. In my opinion, it is especially useful in content creation and content promotion if you:
- Want to have an image in multiple sizes quickly.
- Want to animate all or part of an image.
- Want to combine images into a PDF, so that you can place them on LinkedIn as an image carousel, for example.
- Want to combine images and short texts into a short video that, for example, provides a summary of an article.
Other content tools that may be less known, but which have proven their worth, can be found in the overview below.
1. Wisestamp for an up-to-date email signature
An easy way to promote a new blog post or your social media accounts is to add them to an email signature. From yourself or from colleagues. Then it would be great if new blog articles are automatically added to your signature immediately after publication. That’s exactly what Wisestamp is doing. It is not free, but with this you have already arranged the first promotion step of a new blog article without extra work.
The cost of Wisestamp depends on the number of employees and starts at $1.67 per user per month.
2. PrintFriendly to create PDFs
Some blog articles prove particularly valuable to the reader. Then you can hope (or specifically encourage) that someone will bookmark it of their own accord. The alternative is to offer the visitor of your blog article a free PDF of the article to keep.
Of course, just like with the bookmark, you run the risk that your article ends up in the endless digital archive and never gets out of it. However, a part is indeed reused and consulted. But then it is useful to have a quick tool that takes little time and you can find it in PrintFriendly† It’s a matter of plugging in the URL and your PDF will appear on the screen. You can then delete things before you download and use the PDF. PrintFriendly is free.
3. AddThis for share buttons (and more)
Share buttons for social media were gradually used less and less and you see them less and less prominently on websites. Yet on some websites I have the tools and buttons of AddThis still stand, because it clearly shows a website administrator which articles are shared with others. Whether through social media or by email. With this, AddThis can help you determine the most valuable articles on your site, or your content sweet spot.
AddThis also has other options with which you can promote your newsletter or lead magnets or show related content. It is a plugin, but as with any additional plugin on your site, it is important to consider whether the extra loading time outweighs the benefits it offers you. AddThis is free to use.
4. HappyScribe for Subtitles
If more than 80% of online viewers are watching your video without sound, then subtitles are a must for many videos. HappyScribe is a content tool that uses AI to create subtitles for your video for more than 60 languages. The subtitles are in principle up to 85% correct. That means that you make corrections manually for the rest, but it works very quickly and easily. If you want to do it more accurately and with less manual work, a human can take care of the transcription for you. In addition, you can largely adjust the layout of your subtitles to your wishes and house style. In addition to subtitling, HappyScribe also makes transcriptions. HappyScribe costs €0.20 per minute of subtitles or transcription if you choose the AI form.
Don’t feel like paying? This article will give you more useful apps and services that provide video captioning for you, including free versions. In addition, you still have Triple8 that subtitles for free (with watermark).
5. Loom for instructional videos
For instructional videos is Loom very handy. You make screen recordings with it and if you want, you as an instructor yourself appear small or slightly larger. That makes the instruction much more personal. Loom has added more and more features over the past year and gives you, for example, the option to directly edit the video, protect it with a password and branding or add a call-to-action button. Loom has a free version for videos up to 5 minutes. If you want to be able to make more functions and longer videos, you pay $8 per month if you opt for an annual subscription.
An alternative to Loom is the Chrome extension from Vimeowhich also allows you to take screenshots, but is less extensive than Loom.
6. Publishing and Promoting Podcasts
More and more companies and entrepreneurs are discovering podcasting. Of course you can use many tools for this. Basically, there are two main podcast tasks you’ll want a tool for: for recording & editing and for publishing, distributing & promoting. For the last time, recommendations from my network for my Contentdiva’s podcast led me to Captivate in the UK. Captivate is continuously expanding the number of features, but this is currently in addition to the basic function of publishing your podcast via an RSS feed to the main podcast apps:
- Link to a WordPress website or to a separate website
- Analytics dashboard
- Booking guest speakers
- Tutorials & Support
- Working in teams
- Numerous podcast promotion tools
With Captivate you pay from €17 per month for a maximum of 12,000 downloads per month.
Prefer a Dutch tool & provider? Look at Springcastwhich seems to have many of the same functionalities (from 4.95 per month).
7. Mock-ups maken met PhotoFunia
Usually you only need mock-ups now and then and Canva can help you quite a bit. But sometimes you want to do something special with a mock-up and in that case you can use the content tool PhotoFunia use (free). It lets you easily choose and apply from many different types of occasions, applications, filters and effects. So for this occasion I hung like a fly on the Kremlin wall…
8. Effect photos and videos
You can of course give your photos or videos an extra touch with Canva, but tools like Lumyer, Motionleap or Artleap have just that little bit more. With these content tools you can add extra (moving) elements to a photo or give it a completely different look, for example by making a drawn sketch.
Those effects can certainly be useful and fun, but I think a warning is in order. These tools have the danger that you may not use them strategically, because the effects are so fun and sometimes even amazing. Therefore, take a good look at your target group, your brand identity and your content goals or content strategy before you use them.
Apart from that, they are perfectly suited to, for example, give a photo for Instagram that extra charge or to do something different than usual. View on Lumyer or with the products of Lightricks if this makes you curious.
Below is an example of Artleap’s Sketchify effect. All these apps are free to download and have some effects that are free. For other effects you pay in the app, for example for a month (€6.49-10.49) or a year (€15.08-24.48).
9. Curate content with Feedly
Curating content is a solution if it is not appropriate to only share your own content. For example, because your own content stock is limited, or because it is part of your content strategy. Now searching for relevant sources takes a lot of time and fortunately it can be much easier. Use relevant sources of good content that is important to your target group Feedly and you can quickly see what has been published there recently and whether it is useful for you to share. The basic version is free. If you want to work with a team or more functions, you pay from $6 per month with an annual subscription.
10. Beacon for lead magnets & e-books
Beacon started as a tool to quickly create an e-book. They have now specialized in giveaways and the extra functions that are required for them. To this end, Beacon offers many templates and you can add text and images of your choice. It works even faster if you use the URL of an existing blog article, then Beacon imports the content. A combination of those two options is also possible.
You can then publish and deploy the final product in various ways. Beacon Analytics also keeps track of whether your lead magnet is actually being read and which pages are popular. Beacon integrates (obviously) with all kinds of newsletter software such as Active Campaign.
There is a limited free version. If you want more features, you pay $49 per month.
More handy content tools?
These are 10 content tools that have proven their worth and value in my work when creating a variety of content. I have deliberately left out tools for SEO and social media here, in order to keep the overview. But additions and suggestions for other tools are more than welcome, so put them in the comments!
Source: Frankwatching by www.frankwatching.com.
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