In order to get people to visit your website, you have to make it worth their time. That means your site needs to be packed with high-quality content that entertains or informs the reader. If your content is good enough, readers will keep coming back and may even share your site with their friends.
Making top-notch content is easier said than done. Even if you come out of the gates with a slew of posts that perform admirably, you have to think about how you'll maintain long-term consistency. Your creative juices will fluctuate, but the quality of your content must remain stable.
Luckily, you don't have to come up with every idea all by yourself. If you're feeling stuck, there's nothing wrong with looking for inspiration. This could come from other content creators who are crushing it or content creation tools that make your life easier. You will find tons of free (or affordable) and easy-to-master resources online to give your content that extra kick.
Why use content creation tools?
The internet abounds with content creation tools. They help you generate ideas, give you templates to backdrop your existing content, and make it easy to share your creations with the world. With the right tools, you will be able to make the most compelling content to entice your followers and keep their attention.
Instead of wallowing in frustration when you run out of ideas, look for automated content creation tools to give yourself the push you need. The right resources will put you back on the creative track and keep your content calendar from lagging.
No matter your budget or skill level, there are plenty of tools to help you with easy content creation. There are resources for all kinds of content, from text and images to animated videos and presentations. Since there are so many, however, you should know which ones are worth looking into. Here are a few of the best digital content creation tools for various types of content, sorted by category.
Adding a blog to your website lets you offer readers valuable content for free—and helps improve your SEO ranking. Whether you're suffering from writer's block or overflowing with ideas, these tools make for easy content creation. Text may very well make up the bulk of your blog or website, so make sure yours is well-written, optimized for the reader, and generally worth reading.
Creative types are always coming up with ideas, but those ideas tend to get lost or disorganized if they're not jotted down and sorted. Evernote is a note-taking tool that automatically syncs data between mobile, desktop, and web apps. Your ideas are secure in the cloud and never more than a screen away. The tool also saves automatically so nothing slips through the cracks. Evernote comes in basic (free), premium, and business plans.
2. Blog Ideas Generator
Writer's block is more than an inconvenience when you have a content schedule to keep up with. If you've hit a wall, use HubSpot's Blog Ideas Generator. Enter a few keywords and the app will generate topics and titles to get you started. You'll find a list of ideas that you can use or rework to fit your needs. It's completely free, extremely simple, and a lifesaver when you need a jumping-off point.
3. Word 2 Clean HTML
Old habits are tough to break. You might still be using a word processor instead of your content management system (CMS). To avoid formatting headaches and easily transfer content from the word processor to CMS, use Word 2 Clean HTML. This free tool converts your draft into clean HTML that you can paste directly into your CMS, removing the annoying reformatting step from the process. Remember, the way your text appears makes a huge difference to the viewer, so you don't want to take any chances.
4. Blog Post Templates
This is just what it sounds like. HubSpot offers six free templates for different types of blogs, like how-tos and listicles. These come in handy when you have ideas on a page but you're not sure how to organize them.
5. Google Fonts
Font is an important aspect of brand consistency and should be the same on every piece of content from promo and marketing materials to internal memos. If you're looking for the perfect font to represent your business, try Google Fonts. Its library contains hundreds of free fonts that you can download or copy as HTML code.
Changing up the way you deliver content will keep readers' attention. Videos are often more attractive to users and provide a nice change of pace from blocks of text. You get to say a lot with a short video, and these content creation tools will help.
iMovie is one of the free content creation tools that any marketer with a Mac, iPad, or iPhone should get to know. It's a useful tool for creating and sharing high-quality videos and professional-grade trailers. Since the app syncs data across your computer, tablet, and phone, you can film your video with one device and edit it with another. It's easy to learn and won't cost you a dime.
Available on iOS and Android, Videoshop is a tool that allows you to personalize your videos and share them on your social media accounts. You can add audio effects like music, voiceovers, and sound effects, or visual effects like filters and transitions. Keep this in mind when you make a trailer, commercial, or any other video production that needs some small tweaks.
Videos should be smooth, interesting, and eye-catching. Powtoon makes it easy to create animated or live-action videos, presentations, and infographics. They walk you through the process and even provide templates so you can create stunning projects in no time. Even if it's your first time tackling animation, Powtoon makes you look like a pro. Both free and paid versions are available.
Social media content development tools help you create strong posts that you can easily share with your followers and colleagues. Use these resources to make shareable images for your social media accounts, blogs, and email blasts. From motivational graphics to witty memes, imagery is a must for any website.
An image sends a message, but to make that message crystal clear, sometimes you should add text. Pablo by Buffer is a free tool for combining text and images, so it's a go-to choice for sharing catchy one-liners or inspirational quotes. You can upload your own images or choose from a Creative Commons library of stock photos. You can also add logos and filters to stay visually consistent.
Canva is another simple resource that’s accessible to people of all skill levels. The tool is designed to help you create flashy visual content like posters, presentations, and media graphics. The free version is chock-full of templates and graphics, so you can create sleek-looking images with little to no design skills. If you want additional templates and more customization options, you can use Canva’s paid premium version.
11. Quotes Cover
You'll never have to create an account or log in to create shareable images with Quotes Cover. This app is free, allows you to make simple quote graphics, and comes with sample designs. Quotes Cover is the type of tool you can use to create high-quality images without any previous experience in design.
12. Nimbus Screenshot
This Chrome extension allows you to capture screenshots, mark them up, record video from your screen and webcam, convert video to GIFs and MP4s, and even scroll if you're capturing an entire webpage. You can crop, edit, and share to Google Drive, all at the touch of a button.
Combine the benefits of text and imagery with an infographic. These flashy graphics present information in a way that's easy for people to absorb and interpret. You can even repurpose content from a blog or video to create an infographic recap for your social media accounts.
Easel.ly offers pre-made infographic templates and allows you to add your own images. The free version comes with 10 templates, but the affordable Pro Account gives you access to hundreds. Easel.ly takes the frustration out of putting together clean and effective infographics.
Like Easel.ly, Infogram helps you create and publish professional-looking infographics under free or paid plans. This platform has plenty of templates and customization options. It also offers the unique feature of interactive maps.
15. Infographic Templates
HubSpot offers a set of infographic templates that are ideal for content developers who specialize in writing but want to venture into graphics. You'll find 15 templates that you can tweak to your liking, taking the heavy lifting out of infographic creation.
GIF and Animation
GIFs are all the rage in today's social media environment. They express emotions, responses, or sentiments in concise and often clever ways. Animated videos are great for explaining complex topics, and they're helpful when there's a lot of information or steps to process. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to create GIFs and animated shorts of your own.
A GIF gets your point across more emphatically, and there are countless GIFs that are appropriate for any given scenario. If you want to create your own, use LICEcap. This tool lets you turn screen captures into GIFs for free, so you can express yourself in exactly the right way. Use LICEcap to nail your social media interactions.
Making an animated video may seem like a daunting task, but Animaker makes it easy even for beginners. It features a huge library of stock photos and videos, an easy-to-use system, and an extremely in-depth character creator function. This tool is a must-have for content marketers who want to use animated videos but don't have experience making them.
If you're on Instagram, you've undoubtedly come across a Boomerang or two. The tool isn't just part of Instagram, however—it's open to anyone. Use Boomerang to create short stop-motion videos for your blog, website, or social media accounts. If you're creating an Instagram post or story, this tool is a no-brainer.
You’ve likely used Giphy to search for the perfect GIF to share with friends on Facebook. If you’re a Chrome user, there’s a free Giphy Chrome extension that allows you find just the right one, whether it’s a dancing cat or a gently rippling pond. Forget copying and pasting code—with this app, you just drag and drop to create fun blog posts and exciting listicles. It's so simple to use! Not only will your work be more engaging, but your social media game will go way up.
Your fans and followers want to feel connected to your brand, and interactive content like quizzes and polls go a long way in terms of engagement. They also provide valuable insight that you can use to make decisions for your business. Check out these content creation tools and pull your fanbase a little closer.
As important as anchor text is for SEO purposes, you may want to use something other than text for your link. This is where ThingLink comes in handy. ThingLink allows you to embed images, video, and 360-degree or VR content on your website. You can also add text, links, and icons that viewers will see when they hover over it.
The more you interact with your followers, the more they feel like part of your brand. Playbuzz lets you create all kinds of interactive content like quizzes, polls, games, and stories. The content creation tool is simple and easy to use, and you can create engaging content without taking up too much time.
PowerPoint isn't the only tool for creating high-quality presentations. Whether you want to create materials for internal use or walk your loyal followers through a rebrand, these content development tools make the process easier.
Creating a presentation can be nerve-wracking if you're not savvy with design. Prezi was made with this exact situation in mind, and it will make your viewers think you’re a design pro. This presentation design tool offers niche-specific templates, helps you adapt to your audience, and lets you adjust your presentations on the fly. It even gives you audience interaction stats so you can optimize your lecture based on the crowd.
More audience interaction and viewer activity typically mean a more successful and engaging presentation. Like Prezi, Slides provides this type of data so you can find out what you're doing right and what's falling flat. Slides is a browser-based presentation design program, so you don't need to download any additional software.
Creating professional-looking business presentations can be time-consuming. That's where Xtensio comes in—this service allows users to easily create, collaborate, and manage presentations. It offers a drag-and-drop function that works like a web page builder. In addition, Xtensio offers a wide range of marketing templates for users to choose from.
When you boil it down, content marketing is rather simple—better content gets more engagement, and the original poster gets more attention as a result. If you want to increase your exposure and interactions, you have to publish high-quality content on a consistent basis. Whether you need a writing prompt or a custom GIF, these digital content creation tools give you the inspiration, structure, and resources you need to step up your production. Use these tools to bring your blog, website, or social media presence to life.
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Travis Ryan.