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Kickstart your blogging with the content marketing toolbox

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach, which is concentrated on creating high quality content in a variety of forms with the aim of creating conversation, and awareness, around a brand.


It is a fast paced mistress: turning sharp corners, waltzing with ever more creative thoughts. It can be a challenge to keep pace, particularly for small businesses who have less resources to fling at her fancy.


Fortunately, there are a wide range of programs to help create, and proliferate, excellent content with ease, and without breaking the bank. We’ve pooled our resources to come up with the ultimate content marketing toolbox for the eager self-starter.


Keyword research


Keyword tool


Keyword Tool, a free alternative to Google Keyword Planner, generates up to 700 suggestions for every keyword, allowing you to measure keyword value and get a better understanding of what your target audience are searching for.


Your keyword list can be easily exported and used for content creation, SEO and PPC.


Podcasts and other audio content


Audacity


This old timer remains a great tool for audio editing. Simple, easy-to-use and free, Audacity is ideal if you want to create sound bites or podcasts on a low budget.


Interactive content


Knightlab


This fantastic free resource will help you build interactive content with minimal effort and maximum effect.


The clever beings over at Northwestern University Knight Lab are on a mission to advance news media innovation. They are creating technology, which you can use for free, that will help make information meaningful and promote quality storytelling.


So far, Knightlab have created tools to make interactive timelines and story maps, as well as a program to make audio overlay more simple – you can add a link onto specific words, which will play a song when clicked. For example, here’s a timeline we knocked up to illustrate a company directors’ responsibilities.



Shareable images


Gimp


Don’t let the name put you off – the GNU Image Manipulation Program is an excellent free alternative to Photoshop. Gimp is particularly useful for changing image dimensions and file size quickly and with ease.


It also has a range of tools that can be used to enhance images, and create nifty share cards and photo collages, which will help make your content really stand out on social media.


Canva


Another fantastic image tool, Canva, allows you to create collages and share cards in just minutes. The tool has a range of templates, images and fonts and a helpful how-to guide, which will have you producing high quality graphics like a pro.


This is particularly useful for social media, as you can use Canva to create share cards, promotional visuals and competition adverts. You can also use them to say a bit more about your content, freeing up your limited characters for a well-crafted Tweet.


Content ideation and analysis


Buzzsumo


Discover who the major influencers in your industry are, what content is working well and which industry topics get the most attention with this easy-to-use tool.


Buzzsumo is a fantastic resource, especially for growing businesses, as it helps to streamline your content creation process. Cut straight to what your target audience are relating to and make sure your content is always well-targeted, relevant and widely shared.


Google Analytics – IQ


Google Analytics is an absolute must. There’s no better way of seeing which of your content is performing well, tracking and analysing traffic and using the results to create even better content, every time.


Google also have a nifty free course – Google IQ – which will get you up to speed and analysing like a pro, an essential part of content marketing.


Distribution


Slideshare


Get yourself a Slideshare channel and start sharing.


Any time you do a talk, put your slide deck on your channel. Any time you create a piece of content, turn it into a slide deck. Creating visual slides is a great way to recycle content and get it out across different platforms.


The Content Marketing Institute is a fab example of a successful Slideshare channel.


Mailchimp


A company newsletter is a great way of getting your content out there, building an audience and analysing which content is most engaging.


Mailchimp allows you to custom design your emails, is simple to use and has an excellent reporting functionality. You can also target specific followers through social media and design campaigns for email courses and lead nurturing streams.

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