MindFire Communications, Inc.
9 useful tools to make content development easier
December 2, 2011 | Inga Rundquist

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the important role content marketing plays in the new world of marketing. (If you’re playing catch-up, the long of the short of it is this: if you, as a brand, consistently deliver valuable information to your audience, they will eventually reward you with their business and loyalty.)

If you’ve ventured into the world of content marketing yourself, you know how excruciatingly difficult it can seem to generate content on a consistent basis. It is unbelievable the amount of things you "suddenly” find yourself needing to do when you should be writing that blog post or whitepaper. Facebook hasn’t made this any easier. It is like a giant big hole when it comes to procrastinating.

What’s more – coming up with creative new ways to disseminate your content can often be even more challenging. The truth is that there is much more to content marketing than blog posts, articles or whitepapers. Other content platforms include photo slideshows, videos, presentations, animated content, eBooks, webinars, live chats, etc.

The good news is that there are countless tools and websites out there that can make it much easier to pull together content in creative ways. We’ve pulled together some that we find particularly useful:

  • Visual.ly lets you explore, share and create infographics. This could be a great tool to creatively display content with numbers and stats.
  • Animoto is essentially a slideshow maker that enables you to turn pictures, video clips and music into pretty sweet-looking slideshows.
  • Xtranormal - This site is a little different but fun! Generate your own mini-animated movies. Choose your animated characters, type up some dialogue, pick a background and you’re done!
  • Instagram – Snap a photo with your iPhone, choose a filter to transform the look and feel, send to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. This is a very useful tool for jazzing up behind-the-scenes pictures of your facility or office.
  • Prezi is basically a "zooming presentation editor.” It’s a little hard to grasp, so we suggest you visit the site to check out their introduction video. Great tool to generate presentations that really cut through the clutter. Power Point has got nothing on this!
  • Storify is a way to tell stories using social media such as Tweets, photos and videos. You search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements into your story. Many news organizations have started using this approach. Check out this New York Times storify page.
  • Chirpstory is similar to Storify, but reserved for Tweets only.
  • Many Eyes is a data visualization tool from IBM. The site lets you upload data and then produce graphic representations for others to view and comment upon.
  • Camtasia lets you record webinars, and can be a great tool for generating training seminars.

This is just a small collection of all the tools and sites out there. What are some of your favorite go-to assists?

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