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While content marketing is a staple in the communications toolkit, the nuts and bolts look much more like journalism. Content involves storytelling, interviews, SEO, photography and video, not to mention strategy, measurement and massive organization.
With all the responsibilities — including those that are not in the typical PR job description — it’s easy for content marketing to feel overwhelming. Fortunately, new technologies like transcription software and simple video editors make content virtually foolproof for PR professionals.
Here are seven of the best tech tools to help new and veteran content marketers succeed.
Whether it’s public relations or journalism—or any other industry—proper grammar is of utmost importance. That’s where Grammarly, a free Google Chrome extension, comes into play. This extension reads through all online documents, emails and social platforms as you’re writing. If it finds a problematic phrase or misspelling, then it’s highlighted so you can make a quick fix. This plug-in has saved me from one too many typos; I almost never turn it off!
If brand journalism is part of your content marketing strategy, then the extremely affordable Temi transcription tool will be your best friend. Unlike many transcription websites that cost $100 or more, Temi charges .01 cent per minute. That said, you pay for what you get when it comes to transcription. The final Temi product is hardly as accurate as paying a transcriber, but I use it as a starting point to get my interview on paper. Temi’s timestamps and playback platform make cleaning up the transcript simple.
Like journalism, content marketing comes with a slew of deadlines. That’s why the free list-making platform Trello is a must-have for editors and content leads. While many sites offer list-making functions, Trello’s multiboard, color-coded software makes it one of the most commonly used organizational tools for editors and brand journalists. You can tag colleagues, set deadlines and get notified when a deadline is missed, as well as add images, links and comments to each assignment to guide your writers.
(4) Yoast SEO:
Strong content isn’t the only goal in the world of content marketing. Driving traffic to your business’s website is equally — if not more — important. That’s why optimization is essential to get the most from your content investment. The Yoast SEO plug-in, which syncs easily with WordPress, provides a simple SEO checklist to help you optimize your articles with the most Google-friendly titles, keywords and meta descriptions before they get published.
Yes, Pinterest has been around for ages, but its functionality as a search engine versus a social platform has evolved in the past few years. In fact, many bloggers find Pinterest is a top traffic driver to their websites. As long as your images are vertical and your captions are keyword-rich (yet engaging), your brand could have the same Pinterest outcome, too. The best Pinterest categories are travel, health, home, style, beauty, and food/drink, according to HubSpot. But given that it’s free to post pins, it’s worth a try no matter what industry you’re in.
Professional video-editing platforms like Final Cut require training and practice, but novice editors can still make great videos for social on free platforms like Veed. You can trim films, add filters, include text or subtitles, and add shapes on Veed, with tips and tools to help you navigate ad and meme creation. Does the film look as high quality as a professional’s? No. But it’s a great alternative if you have a tight content budget.
Speaking of budgets, it’s wasteful to throw your money at a content strategy without measuring the outcome. That’s why website measurement tools like Google Analytics — which is now a common measurement tool across public relations — is essential for your content marketing efforts. Analyze which articles drive the most traffic and which platforms refer visitors that stay the longest. (Or better, click through to buy!) Then, you can focus more on what’s working, and save money by nixing what’s not.
Stephanie Vermillion is a content marketer and journalist in the New York City area. She’s the founder of Stephanie Vermillion Studio, and you can follow her work at @StephanieVermillionStudio on Instagram.