10 Free (or Cheap) ...


Contrary to popular belief, content is not king.

Compelling content is king; i.e., content that offers fresh insights or educates or informs in a way for easy consumption.

As discussed in previous posts, most B2B content falls into the dreadful content bucket. Too much “me, me and here’s a little more about me” as opposed to an outward perspective.

One person who has labored over B2B content, what works and what doesn’t work, is my good friend and colleague Steve Farnsworth. In short, Steve knows content marketing and the nitty gritty of lead generation.

With this as the backdrop, here are his top 10 tools and resources that he applies to content marketing campaigns. Beyond developing the content, many of the tools address how to distribute and magnify the reach:

– 99designs: A marketplace for graphic design including logos and websites.

– Buffer: Great tool for quickly scheduling and sharing updates for social posts. BTW, the Buffer blog serves as a poster child for thought leadership.

– HootSuite: A social media dashboard for keeping an eye on people talking about your brand, responding to mentions and tracking keywords. It helps you understand how your content is being shared and by whom.

– MailChimp: Online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results. I plan to implement this tool for subscriptions to my blog when the new design goes live.

– OBS: Open Broadcaster Software is free, open source software for video recording and live streaming.

– Facebook Advertising: Accelerate findability — yes, it’s a word — of blog posts and digital assets using Facebook ads to drive traffic back to your site. I never considered this for B2B marketing, but the price point allows for experimentation. The Content Marketing Institute published a chart that shows Facebook advertising is definitely a value play:

 Av. Cost Reaching 1000 People 04-15

– ShareX: Software for screen capture and screen recording (screen casting). I plan to experiment with this one. Based on the introduction screen, it looks like the Windows Snipping Tool on steroids.

– SlideShare: Offers the ability to upload and share PowerPoint presentations, Word docs and PDFs. I often refer to SlideShare as “the poor man’s video” because in the right hands, you can bring an emotional bent to the content at a fraction of the cost associated with video. It’s an ideal platform for visual storytelling

– Triberr: Called a blog amplication platform, Triberr allows you to connect with other like-minded bloggers and share each other’s work with your social neworks.

– Visual.ly: You can think of this as on-demand creative services for deliverables ranging from videos to infographics. While we’ve built a creative services group within our company, here’s a tool for outsourcing design work. One way or another, all content marketers need to embrace visual storytelling.

With new tools coming on the scene every day (literally), there’s something to be said for those that have been battle-tested.

We’ve been kicking the tires of what’s called the MozBar, which automatically captures SEO metrics as you search the Web. I plan to publish a post on this tool soon.

In the meantime, feel free to add your favorites to the list. I’ll make sure they get passed to Steve.


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