Information is the new advertising, because content (knowledge) engenders trust. A recent report from Nielsen found that when consumers found a new product via an online search, 67% of respondents were more likely to buy it.
That’s wonderful, but creating content takes time. And good tools. So let’s look at five great free content marketing tools which will help you to create content, and promote it.
1. Editorially: speedy content creation and collaboration
Content creation takes time. It takes even more time when others are involved.
If you’re using email to collaborate on content, you know the challenges and frustrations. Editorially takes the hassle out of content collaboration. Basically it’s a plain text editor. You write using Markdown syntax, which takes you two minutes to learn.
- You can invite people to collaborate on a document, or you can work alone. If you want someone’s opinion, just highlight some text, and click the New Discussion button.
- There’s a versions timeline, and you can save a new version, with or without notes, at any time.
- With just a click, you can send a document to Dropbox, or WordPress.
Editorially makes content creation fast and easy.
2. MozBar: X-ray Web pages to improve SEO
MozBar is a free SEO (search engine optimization) extension for the Firefox and Chrome browsers. There’s a paid update, but for casual use, the free version is all you need. It’s a wonderful tool: you can X-ray a Web page.
You can read the extensive tutorial to discover MozBar’s functionality, but I use it primarily to discover what’s missing with a Web page, by looking at the page elements, and checking the link data. You can check the headings, the meta data, alt text, and more. The link data shows you what authority the page has, and how you might improve it.
3. socialmention: track keywords and mentions
Socialmention is a real-time social media search and analysis tool. You can use it to search for keywords in blogs, bookmarks, videos and elsewhere, or you can opt to search everything. You can also use it to search for companies, products, or anything else you need to track. For example, if you’re promoting a product, you can check who’s talking about it, and where.
Once you’ve run a search, you can add the RSS feed to your news reader, get an email alert (like Google Alerts), or download a CSV file so you can analyze the data.
4. Buffer: share your content at the best times
You need to share your content on social media. Buffer’s a hassle-free way. Not only can you share on Twitter, you can share on LinkedIn, and Facebook and Google+ pages. Once you’ve shared, you can track analytics from the toolbar.
5. Evernote: your office in your pocket
Content creators and marketers store and track a huge amount of material. Evernote keeps you organized, so that you can access your information wherever you happen to be, on any device.
Premium members can even turn any content in Evernote into an instant presentation; it’s ideal for meetings, and whenever you need to share information quickly.
These five tools are powerful, and they’re free. They’re perfect for small business, and will help you both to create content, and to promote it.