It’s 2017 and content is still king. But now more than ever, marketers are pressured to produce content that adds value and differentiates their company’s brand online. That’s a tall order, especially when stacked against other challenges, like finding time to create content, making it engaging, and measuring its effectiveness.
Writer’s block is another issue marketers face in the age of content marketing. It’s seemingly more and more difficult to find relevant ideas and put pen to paper. A recent study found that 75% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing investment in 2017, but only 29% use content ideation tools – the exact thing marketers need to beat writer’s block and share valuable content with their audience.Have Writer's Block? Try These Content Ideation Tools for Marketers. Click To Tweet
Good thing the investment is small. Here are seven content ideation tools that are low cost and easy to implement.
Zest serves up valuable content for marketing experts that is recommended and corroborated by marketing experts. In fact, only about 1 percent of suggested content is made available through the tool. The free Google Chrome extension searches over 10,000 manually reviewed and approved articles, videos, and infographics. It delivers results based on your preferences and filters them by most recent, most shared, and most clicked.
Zest is the place where marketers discover extremely relevant, quality content. This digital marketing community removes the need to scour the Internet for hours. Here, you get it all in one place and it’s easily shareable to social media and popular project management tools. Download Zest to get powerful content marketing help at the click of a button.
We didn’t think it was possible for content to get more ubiquitous. Refind tackles the constant push of information with its bookmarking feature that lets you grab links and save them for future reading or sharing. It also supports content discovery, showing only relevant articles and tuning out the noise.
In addition to the new tab dashboard, Refind reintroduces saved links as the third Google result when you search for similar topics. It’s also a social tool. You can see what others are saving, tweet articles, and participate in conversations.
Marketers, rejoice. Refind delivers pertinent content and keeps it organized until you’re ready to use it. Download it for Google Chrome and request an invitation to join.
We love the Nuzzel app because it elegantly delivers relevant news based on what your friends on social media are talking about (and because of their mascot, a darling hedgehog).
Available in the App Store and Google Play, Nuzzle aggregates a personalized feed based on your interests and your network. This is great for marketers who have circles with similar interests or follow industry professionals with valuable insights.
Nuzzel supports “The Best of Nuzzel” trending topics feed, which makes it simple for users to expand their content discovery efforts and find news shared by top influencers.
Even easier, marketers can create a personally curated newsletter to share with customers, expanding their audience with a personal touch. Nuzzle is the best tool for busy professionals to share-worthy content with their followers.
Anders Pink is another great tool to find and share relevant content with your audience. Marketers build keyword-based content streams for real-time content discovery. It also studies your Twitter profile to see what topics you share most often and then creates a briefing with similar content. You can use this tool online or download the iOS or Android app.
What’s unique about this ideation tool is the ability to create teams and collaborate on a content dissemination plan. Your colleagues can take action on the briefing by commenting, tagging team members, upvoting, or sharing on social media. The team view also shows insights on each user’s activity. This is part of a paid subscription, which starts at $39 per month.
When it comes to creating good content, all you need is a little inspiration. Product Hunt finds the next big thing in mobile apps, software, or hardware and compiles it into a list that updates daily. Marketers can sort by categories, like games, wearables, or AI to see products specifically related to their industry.
Find a product you like? Product Hunt encourages its users to participate in conversations, upvote, or share on social media. Show your customers you’re on the cusp of the next big trend or introduce them to a must-have product. Product Hunt gives marketers unique, valuable content and positions them as thought leaders in the marketplace.
Sharing user-generated news can bring a unique perspective to your content marketing strategy. Medium calls it “daily news reimagined.” Bloggers and marketers alike use Medium as a platform to share their perspective on current affairs or their ideas for startups, concepts, and more.
Medium serves a dual purpose. Not only is it an online tool for content creation and consumption, it’s also a place brands can unleash creativity and amplify their message to a captive audience.
Readers can subscribe to certain authors, blogs, or tags so they see the most relevant content first. Medium is different because it puts marketers in charge of creating the message, which isn’t possible with other ideation tools.
Short for Help a Reporter Out, HARO is a database of resources and story ideas for journalists. It aims to help writers spend more time developing content rather than searching for reliable sources. Journalists or bloggers submit a request for assistance with their story and HARO connects them with qualified sources that have related expertise.
By subscribing to HARO, marketers get media opportunities delivered via email three times per day. If any of the topics are relevant to your business, you can be interviewed as the subject matter expert in the story. Also, you can use the journalists’ topics to get ideas for new content that’s relevant to your target audience.
Now Go Forth and Produce Content
Any of the tools above are great low-cost options for sourcing content and developing ideas. In the online marketing world, content is still king. Thanks to tools like the ones above, getting ideas for content is far from a royal pain.
This post was written by Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. He was previously the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, where he spearheaded the launch of several innovative services in the live video and mobile social networking areas. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.