June 29, 2015
Unique, high-quality content is at the forefront of every marketer’s mind these days, and with good reason. Most of us have heard the words “content is king” more times than can we care to admit. Every marketing website, blog, podcast, and pundit stresses this point to redundancy. But the truth is, content really is the most effective form of marketing today, and the numbers prove it.
Content marketing is not going away anytime soon, so for those who have yet to adopt this strategy, now is the time.
So with top-notch content released onto the web at an unprecedented rate, how are small businesses supposed to keep up with the competition? By employing the most innovative and uniquely engaging content marketing tools available. Check out the valuable content marketing tools below to help further your brand awareness and base audience:
THRED is a standout content platform developed by the critically acclaimed and world-renowned game designer Will Wright.
Will is the mastermind behind the multi-billion dollar gaming franchises, The Sims and SimCity. When speaking on the app, Will was quoted as stating that, “THRED is a direct evolution of my interests in crowdsourcing, online communities and tools that amplify the imagination.” He went on to say, “In recent years, I’ve been drawn more and more to new entertainment forms – ones that lead the user to become more engaged with the world around them, rather than withdrawn from it.”
The THRED platform, which recently released its mobile app, provides users with a myriad of tools to generate and share multi-image stories, or “threds” as the company calls them. The tools that THRED provides allows even the most novice of content creators to develop unique and colorful expressions by simply grabbing a web image, a photo, or practically anything else to create and share a “thred” with friends and followers.
“Threds” can be created on virtually any topic and the platform will organize content into a single stream, allowing for smaller bits of entertainment to be consumed more often.
Additionally, the innovative platform also houses a massive linking ecosystem, entitled “StoryWebs” which allows individuals to connect topics, people, places, and other web content to keep conversations engaging for those involved. Not only can URL’s be added but hashtags, mentions, places, external links, and other “threds” can all be incorporated as well.
Mr. Wright may have summed THRED up best by stating, “… THRED is a better way to create and consume content… We provide quick and easy access to the sea of personal and global data we swim through every day as building blocks for the creative process.”
Canva is a visual content creation portal that eliminates all complexity out of the creation process. Essentially it is a graphic-design tool for people who aren’t graphic designers. Canva supplies users with a massive library of previously existing templates that can be manipulated while also introducing original imagery to the product. The system revolves entirely around intuitive controls like drag-and-drop features which makes adding, removing, or editing anything on your canvas completely effortless.
Canva streamlines the creation process by not overwhelming users with options. This sentiment is made clear with the built-in color picker tool. Users can alter the color used for text and some of the built-in glyphs, but initially a palette of only 5-8 colors is supplied. Canva brings sophisticated design technology to the amateurs, but make no mistake, this tool can be extremely useful to more seasoned designers as well.
While Canva does have a “premium” service for access to additional assets and graphics, it is not totally necessary because there are plenty of graphics to keep users busy.
Similar in nature to tools like THRED or Blogger, Storify allows users to compose text or upload images, and publish them as “stories” or posts through easy-to-use editing tools.
What makes Storify unique is that users can integrate sources from all over the web to tell stories. The media section can be customized to show other Storify users, tweets on Twitter, posts from Facebook, videos on YouTube, images from Instagram, Google, Tumblr, and loads more.
Additionally, Storify gives users a browser button that can be added to Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. This allows users to simply click a button and have new content added to your story quickly and easily from anywhere on the web. But, of course, the site does preserve the attribution and metadata for anything that is used or quoted. Storify also supplies the community with a built-in tool that notifies the original sources of being cited by a user.
As platforms like these continually reimagine the way content is created and shared, businesses and online communities are constantly evolving to keep pace. With more and more fantastic tools and applications appearing each year, individuals and small businesses are poised to have the ability to create content that can compete with much larger organizations.
As more of these tools become accessible to the public, the playing field for content marketing becomes more level for small businesses to play in the big leagues. Play around with these content creation tools and you just may find your next greatest ally for success.
Do you already employ any of these tools, and if so, how has it affected your content’s success rate? What are some other content marketing tools that have proven to be effective in your business?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.