Developing memorable, mind-blowing content is a HUGE part of any successful marketing strategy. What does your audience WANT to read? What sort of message converts the story of your brand most accurately? Whether it be for a blog, social media post, or website – coming up with the right content is key.
Here are some valuable, kick-ass tools all content writers should know and use.
When trying to come up with a topic or theme, you should know what people are currently talking about.
What has your audience buzzing? What are they interested in learning more about? What will catch them mid-scroll through their feed to stop and read what you have to say?
Your words may be perfectly crafted, carefully planned and extremely well-written, but what’s the use if no one wants to read what you’ve chosen to write about? When developing a content marketing strategy, here are some useful tools to discover what’s trending.
Buzzsumo is a useful research tool that will show you popular content being shared on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+). Search for keywords or ideas in the “Most Shared” tab to see what sort of articles are floating around each social media platform. You can also see up-to-the-minute trends under the “Trending Now” tab where you can search for content in different categories and how much has been shared in a recent timeframe.
2. Google Trends
Google is the #1 search engine in the world with over 3.5 billion searches every single day. Where else would you go for up-to-date trending keywords for any topic? Google Trends is an obvious tool to use for any marketer or blogger. See how keywords are trending in specific locations, how they do seasonally and use your findings to help create your content calendar throughout the year. There are a lot of ways to utilize this gold mine of information.
With so much noise on the web, even if you have researched a trending topic and your content is on point, you want a headline that will catch the attention of your target audience. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest, so you’ve got to make the headline count!
Take those trending keywords you found on the sites above and put them into these handy little topic generator tools that are perfect for crafting catchy headlines and titles for your next blog or article.
3. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
Just pop in 3 keywords (preferably nouns) into Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator and it will come up with 5 fun eye-catching blog titles! They will not only help your content get more attention, it may also help you structure the way you write it. They do add a disclaimer that you may have to tweak the titles to make them more relevant or grammatically correct, but it’s a good place to start. Try it, it’s fun!
4. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Try Portent’s Content Idea Generator for an addicting tool to help you generate headline after headline. Just type in a keyword and hit enter. They will come up with a catchy headline, and give you tips with each one – like why certain words are better than others. Keep hitting enter and they will keep coming up with more. With a hip, attractive (and user-friendly) platform, this tool is a must-try for content writers.
Follow Your Favorites
With content marketing trends constantly changing, you’ve got to stay up on the latest.
A colleague once told me she skims through 10 blogs every morning before she gets out of bed just to stay up on the latest trends! Following popular blogs or websites is a great way to come up with new content that will engage your audience. There are a few tools that make it easier to skim through all your favorites and save information you find on the web in one place.
Instapaper is an amazing tool for people on-the-go. While browsing the web, you can easily save anything you find (articles, videos, quotes, recipes, etc.) and read it on any device you want later. While checking your email on your laptop first thing in the morning, you stumble across an article you really want to read, but you’re already running late. Save it on Instapaper and it will be waiting for you on your iPhone to scan through on the train ride into work. You can also make notes or comments on the interesting things you find.
Sick of having a million tabs open in your web browser? Instead of navigating to each of your favorite blogs or websites individually, Feedly allows you to save all your favorites in one place. This allows you to scan through popular websites and see what types of articles are being published without wasting time flipping back and forth.
You want your content to not only stand out for its eloquent words and spot-on topic, you also want to look the part. Social media posts that include an image are way more likely to be clicked than those without. According to Hubspot, tweets with images are 150% more likely to be clicked and Facebook posts with images got 2.3 times more engagement. Here are a few tools to help your content POP.
Although there are many free stock photo websites out there, Unsplash is one of my favorites. You get high quality, creative images, with 10 new photos being added to their repertoire every day. Search through thousands of collections of beautiful photos gifted from a community of photographers. And they are all free!
Looking to vamp up your blog post with an image or design, but lack the design skills yourself? Canva makes it easy. Canva allows you to add text or graphics to an image to make it uniquely yours. You can select designs for different social media layouts and blog templates so your images are proportioned for all your content marketing needs. It’s also incredibly easy to use, and your images will look amazing.
Now that you are properly equipped, go and write content that counts! Get the clicks, views, shares and opens you are looking for by utilizing these kick-ass writing tools.
Becky Martin is a freelance writer and "boy-mom" to Charlie and Lucas. When she's not writing or taking care of her little ones, she can be found binging on coffee, Netflix and young adult fiction. She and her husband reside in the bustling suburbs of Philadelphia.