In the last post, we spoke about “The Who, What, Where and How to Cost Effective Social Media Marketing”, and learned a little about the platforms associated with social media marketing, and benefits for entrepreneurs and small businesses using these in their social media strategies. Today, we’ll talk a little about what content is, how it ties into social media marketing, and how you (the who) can create it.
What Exactly is Content?
Content itself is what the end-user derives value from. Thus, “content” can refer to the information provided through the medium, the way in which the information was presented, as well as the added features included in the medium in which that information was delivered. The medium, however, provides little to no value to the end-user without the information and experiences that make up the content (Wikipedia).
Content is the message you, the entrepreneur wishes to convey to the consumer, and is most commonly found in the form of photos, text, video, audio, etc.
Where Can I Find Tools to Help in Content Creation?
We live in an age where content is being created and shared by brands, businesses and everyday people constantly. Lucky for you there are tools out there to help you stand out among the masses. Listed below are a few worth noting:
Snapseed: is a complete and professional photo editing application developed by Google, available for iPhone and android devices. At the price of free.99 Snapseed is a powerful editor that allows the more experienced photographers to create some amazing photos all from their phone. It can be a little overwhelming for those less experienced, but has a very helpful user interface to help smooth that learning curve.
- 26 Tools and Filters, including: Healing, Brush, Structure, HDR, Perspective (Vertical and Horizontal)• Opens JPG and DNG files• Use the “stack” to re-adjust edits later• Selective filter brush
• All styles can be tweaked with fine, precise control
VSCO: is a leading creative platform empowering people everywhere to create, discover & connect through images and words. VSCO too provides photo editing software that includes a nice standard set of filters (free.99), but has the option also to purchase additional filter packages and download exclusive filter collaborations with brands like Nike, Hypebeast, and Levis. What VSCO also offers is editing software for film (VSCO film), and a community within the application to showcase your work, while discovering others. It’s my personal favorite because it doesn’t require a photography background to produce nice quality photos.
- Over 120 filters and suggestions for how and when to use them
- Tools to give your photo that extra flair including Structure and Vertical / Horizontal Perspective
- Allows easy sharing from the app to your favorite social media platforms, email accounts, and cloud storage systems
- Allows you to share your content with the VSCO community while exploring and curating others content
Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe Creative Cloud gives you the entire collection of Adobe desktop and mobile apps, including well known essentials like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom. No matter your profession or end goal, Adobe is sure to have the tools necessary to create it. Being that Adobe Creative Cloud is a cloud based software, it allows your applications to remain up to date at all times, and accessible virtually anywhere. There is a monthly subscription fee, the standard individual coming in at $49.95, but for students the price drops down to $19.95.
- With an expansive product lineup, Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to create virtually anything from polished photos, unique websites, Oscar worth films, screen-print ready vector images, page layouts and more.
- Tons of tutorials so you spend less time learning and more time creating
- The Mobile App portion of Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to begin an idea on your phone, finish it on your tablet and refine later on your computer
- Provided templates allow you a base to expand on (super helpful if you’re a beginner)
Audacity: Audacity is a free open source digital audio editor and recording computer software application, that allows users to record audio from multiple sources, and can be used in post processing of all types of audio. Audacity is great for musicians, “YouTubers”, and those who podcast.
- Importing and Exporting of WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files
- Multitrack Mixing
- Noise Reduction software to allow your product to sound as professional and polished as possible
- Ability to install a vast number of available plug-ins
- Works across a majority of platforms including Windows, OS X, and Linux
WordPress: Started in 2003, WordPress is the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, it’s resources used on millions of sites and seen by millions daily. It is also an open source project, allowing anyone with the ability to code to contribute ideas and improvements. This format allows anyone free use of the site without worrying about a licensing fee, a huge plus if you’re a newbie and don’t want the pressure of a fee hanging over you. If this isn’t your first rodeo blogging, there are subscriptions available that allow further personalization of your site, more storage space, and less branding from WordPress.
- Simplicity: makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly.
- Flexibility: WordPress allows you to create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites.
- Extend with Plugins WordPress comes full of features through tools referred to as plugins. With a directory of thousands of plugins, add complex galleries, social networking, forums, social media widgets, spam protection, calendars, fine-tune controls for search engine optimization, and forms.
Who Can I Go to If Content Creating Really Isn’t My Thing?
If you aren’t of the creative variety, or don’t have the time to plan, create, and implement content yourself, there are individuals and businesses available that will take care of the whole process for you. Depending on level of services needed, these individuals and businesses can create content, run your social media accounts, and keep track of your engagement over these channels so you make the most impact. My favorite local agency is called The Creative Exchange, run by Anna Sullivan, a young creative making a name for herself across the Triangle and Triad areas. Look for my interview with her coming soon!
For a much more in depth look at types of content and how to use them checkout Tami Briesies’ 101 Different Types of Digital Content
Until next time,