There’s hardly a shortage of tools that claim and aim to make content marketers more effective, efficient, even more creative. Some aim to automate the entire content marketing lifecycle while others pinpoint a specific pain point (from visual design to better analytics) — and while the big boys like Contently, NewsCred, Percolate and Kapost will be familiar to most readers and there are more startups you can shake a stick at entering the space every day, with this post we thought we would compile a small set of lesser known tools we’ve been looking at, playing with, or just plain interested in.
Now, to be clear “lesser known” is relative — each of these platforms has live and loyal customers, for sure. Some are even pretty well entrenched in one vertical or another, but might easily be missed by marketers in another. A few have even gotten nice press recently. But they’re not necessarily the same old suspects. Besides — to paraphrase an old NBC promo — if you don’t know them, they’re new to you. Take a look — you might find something to help you build a better content marketing program.
1. Rallyverse — We’ve been watching this one since early-on. Rallyverse is a Percolate-like (sorry guys) content discovery, management and publishing platform that helps brands (especially brands with highly distributed content teams or true cultures of content in which everyone is creator, curator or conversationalist) map company assets and brand-relevant topics to audience conversations, then suggests what content can be shared when and where to maximize reach and engagement. In a sub-specialty of content marketing management that is dominated by high-ticket enterprise tools, Rallyverse is notable for its newly priced entry-level service that lets small businesses get started for just $100/year while higher-tier professional and enterprise licenses offer more bang for bigger bucks.
2. Nutshell (by Prezi) — Visual storytelling is hot and with the popularity of Instagram and Vine short, sharp storytelling is becoming a must-have skill for brand marketers. Nutshell’s promise is clear (“Life’s little stories, short and sweet”) and the process couldn’t sound simpler (snap three pictures with your phone, add captions and graphics, the app turns it all into a cool mini-movie perfect for social sharing). The secret to Nutshell’s movie magic is that, while you think you’re taking photos, the app is actually recording video so that your finished piece is more motion than montage — and the easy effects product a pretty polished product even if you no visual chops whatsoever.
3. Visage — Got data? Visage gives you data visualization. While Visage isn’t likely to impress the seasoned data scientists among us, as marketers we can sometimes use a quick and easy way to turn numbers into clean, clear visual microcontent our audiences can understand at a glance. With plenty of charting options (bars, pies, donuts, areas, scatters and more), and an intuitive process, anyone with a dataset can punch in the numbers, choose a layout, customize copy and colors, and add a logo and/or background image to produce (in minutes) a simple, social media-ready chart.
4. Onalytica — If you’re going to do content marketing, then you’ll also need to market your content. Upload that epic blog post or informative article you just wrote, and Onalytica provides detailed profiles of influencers who might find your content relevant. From there you can use their software to listen, engage, seed or look for paid promotional opportunities among these top influencers.
5. Olapic — Often the best visual content comes from your customers. Olapic lets brands find the best consumer-generated images their fans are already sharing on social, curate it for use on their sites, and get permission to feature it in advertising. You can also tag your products in these customer-created images to make them shoppable.
6. Candid — If you’re looking at Olapic, you may want to check out Candid as well (and vice versa, of course). Integrate real customer Instagram photos into your product pages to add authenticity and increase conversations. While they sell licenses to brands, they see themselves as working for the Instagrammers, helping them monetize their brand-love. For something similar, also see Foursixty.
7. Plyfe — Quizzes, trivia, polls, Tinder-like swiping. Your audience probably loves interacting with content but creating custom interactivity can be time-consuming and costly. Enter Plyfe (full disclosure: I’m on their advisory board), a web app that allows anyone to create rich, interactive experiences with zero coding, then distribute those experiences on social, on their sites, on mobile, even in advertising. They’ve amassed some mighty impressive big brand results, and recently reworked their solution to make it affordable for everyone with a variety of freemium and premium models suitable for consumers, bloggers and small businesses too.
8. Pressly — With the success of big brands like Red Bull and Coca-Cola, and recent content marketing dynamos like mattress maker Casper, more and more marketers are getting more and more serious about creating a content brand (not just doing branded content.) But if the idea of building a full-on branded content destination seems daunting, this tool might be for you. This tool allows you to quickly and easily create a content hub, then populate it with carefully curated goodness from the best sources on the topics that matter to your audience. Add your own original content to the mix and you have an instant discovery engine that positions your brand as a go-to source of information.
9. Written — We had an opportunity to demo this tool recently and were impressed. Written automates the process of finding, licensing, and publishing third party content that is already ranking well and attracting massive amounts of traffic. While this sounds similar to NewsCred (to pick one example), the main difference is that the content you license is yours exclusively for as long as your license lasts. You won’t find that same Forbes article popping up on every other blog in your sector. Using a combination of technology and human curators, Written uses your requirements to find relevant posts from high authority bloggers — posts that are already Google Page 1 rankers — and arranges to ‘move’ the content and the resulting traffic to your site. Pretty cool for companies looking to attract qualified visits and committed to using content to make that happen.
See something you like? What have we missed? What content marketing tools do you have on your must-have list? Let us know.