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15 Content Creation Tools You Haven’t Tried Yet



15 Content Creation Tools You Haven't Tried Yet

Updated Feb. 23, 2022

The right technology helps content teams create more and better work.

That’s why 73% of B2B content marketers say they use content creation, collaboration, and workflow tools.

But they’re not always easy to choose. And always need more than one. Sometimes you need a tool to spark a new idea or help you write a headline. Other times, you need a way to find (or create) better visuals, make a meme, track the topics important to your industry, or find out how your content ranks in search.

I’ve updated this list of tools (some free and some with fees) to help with content idea generation, headline writing, video and visual production, topic and trend research, and more.

Noodle (and doodle) on content ideas

1. Portent Content Idea Generator (free)

Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a simple, creative blog title and topic generator. Just enter a keyword, and the tool creates unique titles for your post.

The tool breaks your headline into chunks, and you can click on it to learn more about why you should use certain elements in a headline and why the tool suggested specific words.

@Portent’s #ContentIdeaGenerator tool breaks your headline into chunks so you can learn more about why you should use certain elements in a #headline, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. BlogAbout by Impact (free)

This simple blog title generator from Impact helps you think of blog or article ideas (and the headlines to go with them). It’s easy to use: Add your topic, click a button, and get headline prompts. Fill in the blanks, then hit the refresh button to get a different prompt.

@Impact’s #BlogAbout tool helps you brainstorm article ideas and the headlines to go with them, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When you find a title or idea you like, press the heart icon to save it to a notebook. You can then email the list with the titles you’ve saved.

The tool also has a “writer’s block” feature that lets you doodle to help you visualize your ideas and, hopefully, get you past the block. You can even download the doodle from the site.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Ideas To Get Your Creativity Unstuck

Test your headlines

3. CoSchedule Headline Studio (free and fee options)

Headline Studio is a more robust version of the popular tool previously known as Headline Analyzer. The reinvention added new fee-based capabilities (including SEO guidance).

In either version, you simply enter a headline to start the analysis. The free version gives you a headline score (out of 100).

The headline score is based on:

  • Word balance (a mix of common, uncommon, emotional, and power words scores the highest)
  • Word and character count (titles with about 12 words and 70 characters earn the most clicks)
  • Headline type (a “list” post can increase the overall score)
  • Reading grade level, clarity, and skimmability (headlines that are easy for most people to understand score well)

The premium version of the tool provides an SEO score, information on your current rankings, suggested keywords and topics, and search competition for the keywords in your headline.

4. Sharethrough (free)

Sharethrough is a powerful headline analyzer that shows a quality score based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm using the rules of behavior model theory and Sharethrough’s neuroscience and advertising survey.

Discover and organize topics and inspiration

5. Feedly (free and fee versions)

Many people underestimate the value of RSS feeds, but they’re still among the most effective ways to track your vertical for content ideas and news.

Feedly is a helpful tool for keeping track of the magazines, blogs, podcasts, news sites, YouTube videos, and other online content you check regularly. It lets you teach an AI-based assistant (called Leo) what you’re most interested in and share your insights with the rest of your team.

@Feedly is a helpful tool for keeping track of online #content you check regularly, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

6. Flipboard (free and fee versions)

Flipboard is a great place to discover, gather, and share the content you care about. You can easily add your favorite blogs, social channels, and publications to keep up with the topics and people important in your vertical or industry.

7. SE Ranking (free trial and fee versions)

SE Ranking (full disclosure, I work here) analyzes your content’s uniqueness and search performance with its On-site SEO Checker.

@SERanking analyzes your #contet’s uniqueness and search performance with its On-site #SEO Checker, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

To get into this part of the tool, just click Tools -> On-Page SEO Checker. It gives you a detailed analysis of the landing page based on the main parameters and tells you if your content is SEO and keyword optimized.

Visual content tools

8. iLoveIMG (free and fee versions)

Memes offer a creative way to present your content. Many content marketers incorporate memes into their blog posts because they’re memorable and shareable. They’re also easy to make with the right tools.

iLoveIMG is an advanced image editing tool that helps you create funny memes to share online. You can compress, rotate, resize, and crop images of any format and add in watermarks.

@iloveimg_com is an advanced image editing tool that helps you create funny memes to share online, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


9 Key Trends for 2022

What will truly make your content stand out, be unforgettable, and speak to your audiences in 2022?

CMI and PlayPlay interviewed 24 veteran content experts from companies like Nasdaq, SAP, Prudential, Zoom, and Convince & Convert to bring you this guide, which analyzes what you need to know about these important trends. Hear from digital marketing influencers such as Kim Garst, Matt Navarra, Joe Pulizzi, Mark Schaefer, Neal Schaffer, and more!

Download your copy today

9. Depositphotos (free and paid versions)

Depositphotos offers a collection of 200 million images, files, videos, illustrations, and music for every taste and budget. With its advanced search filters, you can search by image, season, color, location, contributors, and much more.

10. Envato Elements (paid subscription and monthly freebies)

Envato Elements offers a subscription to a library of more than 58 million digital creative assets. With everything from presentation templates and stock photos to video templates and music tracks, you can get everything you need for your project in one spot. Sorting features make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

@envato Elements offers a subscription to a library of more than 58 million digital creative assets. Sorting features make assets easy to find, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

11. VistaCreate (free and paid plans)

VistaCreate is a helpful resource for design-challenged content creators. This graphic design tool can help you create impressive visuals, animate your designs, and store your brand assets (logos, typography, and color palettes) to keep all projects consistent with your brand identity.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Brand Style Guide: How To Write One

12. InVideo (free and fee versions)

InVideo helps you create powerful ads, YouTube videos, and promos. It comes with more than 5000 templates, a music library, filters, and transitions. Its voiceover feature offers a choice of different languages, voices, and accents. The video rendering works fast and lets you easily redo the same templates in different dimensions.

13. Placeit (free trial and paid subscription)

Placeit is a handy design tool for creating mockups, logos, and videos to showcase your brand. It includes a massive selection of mockups, from different clothing ideas to e-book covers, packages, and other products. You can easily save your designs as drafts and come back to them for download without having a premium subscription.

Check for plagiarism

14. Copyscape (fee)

Copyscape is an inexpensive and effective best plagiarism checker. Each search costs 5 cents. The tool also helps you view whether the content is being “lifted” and used elsewhere. Copyscape is a requisite tool for anyone who outsources content creation activities or guest blog posts.

#Copyscape is a requisite tool for anyone who outsources #content creation activities or guest blog posts, says @irinaweber048 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


15. GatherContent (free trial and fee versions)

GatherContent is an all-in-one platform for creating content, collaborating with other writers, providing edits, and getting your content published. You can leave comments for writers, assign changes, or overwrite content. A rollback feature lets you check out what changes have been made and decide whether to keep them.

Build a stronger content creation process

Try the tools I’ve listed to strengthen any weak points in your content creation process or simply find new ideas or inspiration. I hope they help you create high-quality, engaging, and informative materials for your target audience.

All tools included in the article are suggested by author. Feel free to suggest tools (from your company or ones you’ve used) in the comments.

Want to learn how to balance, manage, and scale great content experiences across all your essential platforms and channels? Join us at ContentTECH Summit this March in San Diego. Browse the schedule or register today. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 



Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 


Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 


Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 


Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 


Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 


Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 


Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 


So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  


Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  


Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 


Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 


Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | 


Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts



Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers



5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

Who doesn’t like to have a good experience consuming content?

I know I do. And isn’t that what we – as both a consumer of content and a marketer of content – all want?

What if you create such a good experience that your audience doesn’t even realize it’s an “experience?” Here’s a helpful mish-mash of easy-to-do things to make that possible.

1. Write with an inclusive heart

There’s nothing worse than being in a conversation with someone who constantly talks about themselves. Check your text to see how often you write the words – I, me, we, and us. Now, count how often the word “you” is used. If the first-person uses are disproportionate to the second-person uses, edit to delete many first-person references and add more “you” to the text.

You want to let your audience know they are included in the conversation. I like this tip shared in Take Binary Bias Out of Your Content Conversations by Content Marketing World speaker Ruth Carter: Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns.

Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns, says @rbcarter via @Brandlovellc @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

2. Make your content shine brighter with an AI assist

Content published online should look different than the research papers and essays you wrote in school. While you should adhere to grammar rules and follow a style guide as best as possible, you also should prioritize readability. That requires scannable and easily digestible text – headings, bulleted text, short sentences, brief paragraphs, etc.

Use a text-polishing aid such as Hemingway Editor (free and paid versions) to cut the dead weight from your writing. Here’s how its color-coded review system works and the improvements to make:

  • Yellow – lengthy, complex sentences, and common errors
    • Fix: Shorten or split sentences.
  • Red – dense and complicated text
    • Fix: Remove hurdles and keep your readers on a simpler path.
  • Pink – lengthy words that could be shortened
    • Fix: Scroll the mouse over the problematic word to identify potential substitutes.
  • Blue – adverbs and weakening phrases
    • Fix: Delete them or find a better way to convey the thought.
  • Green – passive voice
    • Fix: Rewrite for active voice.

Grammarly’s paid version works well, too. The premium version includes an AI-powered writing assistant, readability reports, a plagiarism checker, citation suggestions, and more than 400 additional grammar checks.

In the image below, Grammarly suggests a way to rephrase the sentence from:

“It is not good enough any longer to simply produce content “like a media company would”.


“It is no longer good enough to produce content “as a media company would”.

Much cleaner, right?

3. Ask questions

See what I did with the intro (and here)? I posed questions to try to engage with you. When someone asks a question – even in writing – the person hearing (or reading) it is likely to pause for a split second to consider their answer. The reader’s role changes from a passive participant to an active one. Using this technique also can encourage your readers to interact with the author, maybe in the form of an answer in the comments.

4. Include links

Many content marketers include internal and external links in their text for their SEO value. But you also should add links to help your readers. Consider including links to help a reader who wants to learn more about the topic. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • You can link the descriptive text in the article to content relevant to those words (as I did in this bullet point)
  • You can list the headlines of related articles as a standalone feature (see the gray box labeled Handpicked Related Content at the end of this article).

Add links to guide readers to more information on a topic – not just for SEO purposes says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

You also can include on-page links or bookmarks in the beginning (a table of contents, of sorts) in longer pieces to help the reader more quickly access the content they seek to help you learn more about a topic. This helps the reader and keeps visitors on your website longer.

5. Don’t forget the ‘invisible’ text

Alt text is often an afterthought – if you think about it all. Yet, it’s essential to have a great content experience for people who use text-to-speech readers. Though it doesn’t take too much time, I find that customizing the image description content instead of relying on the default technology works better for audience understanding.

First, ask if a listener would miss something if they didn’t have the image explained. If they wouldn’t, the image is decorative and probably doesn’t need alt text. You publish it for aesthetic reasons, such as to break up a text-heavy page. Or it may repeat information already appearing in the text (like I did in the Hemingway and Grammarly examples above).

If the listener would miss out if the image weren’t explained well, it is informative and requires alt text. General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text. That’s a short sentence or two to convey the image’s message. Don’t forget to include punctuation.

General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text, says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For both decorative and informative images, include the photo credits, permissions, and copyright information, in the caption section.

For example, if I were writing an article about Best Dogs for Families, I would include an image of a mini Bernedoodle as an example because they make great family pets. Let’s use this image of my adorable puppy, Henri, and I’ll show you both a good and bad example of alt text.

An almost useless alt-text version: “An image showing a dog.”

Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.

It wastes valuable characters with the phrase “an image showing.”

Use the available characters for a more descriptive alt text: “Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.”

It’s more descriptive, and I only used 112 characters, including spaces.

Want to learn more? Alexa Heinrich, an award-winning social media strategist, has a helpful article on writing effective image descriptions called The Art of Alt Text. @A11yAwareness on Twitter is also a great resource for accessibility tips.

Improve your content and better the experience

Do any of these suggestions feel too hard to execute? I hope not. They don’t need a bigger budget to execute. They don’t need a lengthy approval process to implement. And they don’t demand much more time in production.

They just need you to remember to execute them the next time you write (and the time after that, and the time after that, and the … well, you get the idea.)

If you have an easy-to-implement tip to improve the content experience, please leave it in the comments. I may include it in a future update.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

If you have an idea for an original article you’d like to share with the CMI audience, you could get it published on the site. First, read our blogging guidelines and write or adjust your draft accordingly. Then submit the post for consideration following the process outlined in the guidelines.

In appreciation for guest contributors’ work, we’re offering free registration to one paid event or free enrollment in Content Marketing University to anyone who gets two new posts accepted and published on the CMI site in 2023.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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