Written by Annie, iPage Marketing Team on November 4th, 2015
If you’re a small business owner, your website is often your first means of connecting with potential customers. It can really be the first impression people have of your company. This means it’s really important that the content they find there is clear, effective and in line with your business voice and mission.
Creating quality content can be one of the bigger stress-inducing tasks for business owners as not everyone aced their writing classes in school or feels confident with words. Obviously, if money were no object, everyone could just employ a marketing and PR department to do the leg work. They would come up with new ideas for content for your website and social media platforms, and then create engaging copy, interesting images, and fun videos that are ready for publication.
Unfortunately, in the real world budgets are usually tight, especially when you’re first starting out. This means you’ll likely have to do this yourself. But don’t worry — this doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty tools that can help.
Here is a list of the best content creation tools you can use in your business:
Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo is a tool that you can use to find content on the internet that is trending on social media. If other people are reading about these topics, you may want to think about creating similar content for your website too. Just make sure that your content has a different spin than everyone else. As far as cost of this tool, it is a premium service, but you get a handful of free searches per day.
Feedly – Feedly is an RSS service that you can use to stay on top of topics related to your specific business. Setting it up is easy and straightforward. Once you add your business information, you will get a regular stream of articles from across the web which you can use as a springboard for your own ideas. If you’re one that struggles to come up with topics for your blog or website, this might be the perfect tool for you.
Evernote – Unlike the other two services in this part of the list, Evernote does not generate ideas itself. Instead it is a digital notebook that you can use to jot down notes, save links, save entire web pages, and more. It syncs across your devices and makes it easy for you to save content ideas that you come across for future reference and use. Sometimes, it’s helpful to have a backlog of ideas built up so that when you sit down to create content, you’re not working with a totally blank slate.
Giphy – Giphy is an extension for Chrome that does two things. First, it is a powerful search tool to help you find GIFs for any search term. These can be great options for creative, visual content on your site. Second, it allows you to drag those GIFs directly into various social media platforms. This makes it easy to share your content in multiple places, as well as adding it to your site. Quick tip: Make sure the GIFs you choose are professional and of high quality. If you only use funny, light-hearted animations, you run the risk of not being taken seriously.
Canva – If you want to create professional looking images without spending months and lots of money learning how to use Photoshop, Canva is the perfect solution. It is a free image creation tool that allows you to create just about anything, from Facebook cover pictures to restaurant menus to infographics and more. It’s super easy to use and it even provides templates for you if you don’t want to start from scratch. We definitely recommend checking this out if you’re in need of unique images, banners, presentations and more.
Nimbus Screenshot – Nimbus Screenshot is another extension for Chrome. We like this one so much that we’re willing to bet that once you start using you will wonder how you ever lived without it. It allows you to quickly and easily take screenshots of any web page – or any content that you can view in a browser. You can capture whole pages or parts of pages, plus you can crop, edit, and annotate. Thanks to it’s rich editing options, Nimbus Screenshot allows you to create great images, full of helpful content for your site.
Visual.ly – While images are a must-have for your website, evidence shows that infographics are sometimes even more popular and regularly get more shares and higher levels of interaction than just text or graphics alone. Readers love the combination of good design and concise, useful information that is easily digestible. Visual.ly is one of the best repositories of infographics on the internet. So if you don’t have any infographics on your site or blog yet, we highly recommend checking this tool out.
Powtoon – Research shows that videos are often customer’s favorite medium for absorbing information from the web. So we really recommend your site has at least one helpful, creative, or informational video. Now, if you think that creating cool, animated videos is beyond your technical capabilities, think again. With Powtoon, beginners can create professional and interesting videos without any technical expertise at all. And the best news is that as long as your videos are shorter than five minutes, it is free. Yes, free!
We hope the tools listed above will help ease the stress that comes along with creating great content for your business website. While none can create all your content for you, they will help you come up with ideas (which is often the most time consuming part of the process). And they will help you create some unique and meaningful content that will certainly help to bring in business.
Need more help creating content for your website? Feel free to reach out to our support team and we’ll connect you with the right people.