A version of this post was originally published in June 2017.
A successful content marketing or public relations strategy requires custom content creation, attention to detail and making the most of the tools at your fingertips. Are you curious which ones are worth your company’s time and resources?
Here are the top 11 tools and resources we love at Three Girls Media; feel free to check them out, or if you want help managing your company’s content marketing or public relations efforts, contact us for a complimentary consultation!
Content Marketing Tools & Resources
1. Adobe Spark
“Transform your ideas into stunning visual stories.”
This convenient content creation tool allows you to easily create images and graphics, videos or web stories. You can use the free version as long as you don’t mind Adobe Spark adding their branding at the end of your video, or you can upgrade to remove it and unlock a few more customization options.
Adobe Spark has a wide range of templates you can use as a starting point to develop visuals that will complement your content marketing efforts, whether you plan to post them on your business’ social media channels, include them in a blog post or add them to your website.
Want examples of this tool in action? Check out this video about a day in the life of Effy, our Office Greeter, and watch the video below that explains the difference between a media pitch and a press release.
“Your secret weapon for stunning design.”
This is one of my favorite tools for creating custom images! I use it nearly every day for Three Girls and our clients. With Canva, you can start by picking out one of their design templates and customize it to fit your business’ branding. You can also upload your company’s images to add to the design.
I’ve included a few various Three Girls images that share content marketing tips and facts, all made using Canva; visit Three Girls’ Instagram page for more!
3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
“Write headlines that drive traffic, shares and search results.”
Do you ever wonder how strong your email subject lines or blog post titles are? There’s a tool that can help! CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer looks at the words you use, the length, the sentiment, etc. and provides a score to give you an idea of its strength.
For content marketing, this is a great way to make sure your e-newsletter subject lines and blog post titles are likely to appeal to your target audience. As you develop your content, plan to spend some time putting in different titles and testing which ones score well. In addition to the score, pay attention to why they receive each score. This will help you bolster your title-writing skills, plus a lot of the same principles can carry over to the social media updates you write.
This tool is also useful for public relations! When you write your media pitches, try a few different possible subject lines to see which ones score well and are likely to entice journalists to open your pitch.
4. Google Alerts
“Monitor the web for interesting new content.”
These email updates provide the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on the keywords you set. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
- Following specific industry keywords for possible articles and stories to share with your followers
- Monitoring a developing news story
- Keeping current on a competitor or industry
- Discovering potential articles about you or your business
As you set your Google Alerts, think about what terms you would type into Google to find what you’re looking for and set them as your alerts instead. This will prompt Google to send you an email when it comes across those words or phrases. You can also tell Google how often to email you your alerts – as they happen, daily or weekly.
5. Google Trends
“Explore what the world is searching.”
If you like understanding data with charts and graphs, this is the tool for you! With Google Trends, you can input a few different terms and compare them by popularity, region and more – including trend history and projections. Its data can help you narrow down your target audience to understand them better, which you can use to fine-tune your content marketing or public relations strategy.
“Manage all your social media in one place.”
One important component of social media marketing success is consistency. How can you make sure you post updates regularly? Save time in your content creation efforts by writing them in advance and scheduling them to go live at a later day and time! Hootsuite is a fantastic tool for this. They have various versions of free and paid accounts based on the way you want to use their services.
Although some companies simply take a “one and done” approach to their social media, where they push the same update through to all their platforms at once, at Three Girls we stress the importance of different updates for each social channel. Each network is different; an update that’s written for Twitter is not appropriate for LinkedIn.
Hootsuite allows you to connect your company’s various social media accounts and schedule updates to each one at various days and times. This means you can take an image or article you want to share on all your platforms, write a unique update for each one and schedule it out to go live different days and times. Then you don’t need to worry about remembering to push the update through. Just turn on your notifications and keep an eye on engagement so you can respond to followers’ questions or comments.
7. Keywords Everywhere
“Search volume, CPC & competition data on 16 websites useful for Internet Marketers!”
Effective content marketing begins with strong keywords. How do you know which ones to use? Keywords Everywhere is a helpful tool for researching the best search terms for your brand. This browser extension seamlessly integrates with Google, so when you perform a search it tells you the keyword’s volume (number of searches per month), CPC (cost per click if you were to advertise) and competition (based on other content/keywords out there on the internet).
In addition to providing these details about the term you search for, it also provides even more suggestions on the side of the screen along with their volume, CPC and competition.
“Stronger, faster connections with your customers.”
Research shows e-newsletters continue to be an effective component of content marketing. How can you manage your database of contacts while sending sleek, user-friendly emails? MailChimp is a cost-effective resource that provides a lot of helpful tools, and can even integrate your email campaign with social media advertising and more. When it comes to your email marketing strategy, MailChimp provides a lot of options so you can develop the best plan for your business.
Public Relations Tools & Resources
9. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
“HARO provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage.”
HARO is an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to securing media coverage! Everyone’s an expert at something. Sharing your expertise may land you that big media opportunity you’ve been looking for! With HARO, journalists post specific queries and you respond directly to them if you are a good source for their needs. From The New York Times and ABC News to Refinery29 and everyone in between, more than 55,000 members of the media have quoted HARO sources in their stories.
Every day, our team of marketing and public relations specialists carefully looks through their daily digests of media queries from HARO, searching for appropriate stories to respond to on behalf of clients. Contact us if you’d like help with these sorts of opportunities!
General Organization Tools & Resources
“Whatever work you do, you can do it in Slack.”
This tool’s usefulness goes beyond content marketing and public relations-specific activities and work teams. Slack is a resource for team members to stay connected on a more personable, human level – even if they aren’t physically in the same space. It’s designed to allow users to have numerous chats going at once, clearly organized with different channels. Whether you’re collaborating across the room or around the world, it’s incredibly useful for team unity!
“Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.”
Another helpful business tool that is incredibly useful for content marketing and public relations (as well as other teams!) is Trello. This resource can take some time to wrap your head around, but it’s worth it!
Trello is a project management tool that allows you to virtually share updates and progress with team members. You create different teams for each client or project, and within those teams you can create boards, lists and cards. You can post messages, upload files, set deadlines and more. This tool is a fantastic way to share resources and manage projects with team members that aren’t necessarily in the same location.
As you can see, there are a lot of tools that can aid with your content marketing and public relations efforts. Have you heard of any other resources you’d like an opinion on? Share them in the comments and I can offer some feedback! Or, if you need help with your business’ marketing and PR efforts, contact us today for a complimentary consultation!
Special Offer:Sign up for a complimentary consultation during January and receive an Email Marketing Guide valued at $375! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO, and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs - no strings attached. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!