There are so many useful apps, extensions and tools out there that make planning your content as easy as 1,2,3. But with all of these (mostly free or very reasonably priced) bits of software- it’s hard to know which ones to use and which ones to bin off. I probably still use too many, but the list has been significantly whittled down as of late!
The most important thing you need to remember is who you’re writing for. I usually go for three types of audience: potential customers, peers and competitors. Each post or piece of content will be aimed at one of those ‘personas’- that makes my life a lot easier and avoids trying to make something for everyone, which really doesn’t work!
1. Firstly we have Buffer, an ace little scheduling tool that helps you grab bits from different sources (including onsite rss feeds) and share them instantly or at a time that suits you! Buffer describes itself as: “The best way to drive traffic, increase fan engagement and save time on social media” It’s been around since 2010 and I must say, I think it’s won me over from Hootsuite…. Plus, their logo looks like a Liquorice Allsort, which I also like!
2. Right Relevance comes a close 2nd to Buffer- it’s great for tapping into topics that people are talking about and sharing your opinions. Find and follow your influencers and use this tool to plan themes in your content plan.
3. Mention is a great way of keeping your finger on the pulse! Monitor your brand and competitors in real-time across all your devices! My advice though- turn off the vibration notifications on your phone as it can get a bit much!
4. You can’t beat a good old content curation system and that’s where Feedly comes in…. Not only can you tailor your news feed- much like Right Relevance, but the Pro account allows you to ‘search beyond your Feedly’ and pull stories of interest from other sources.
5. The fail safe- Google Alerts is a fantastic place to start your content planning journey!
6. You can build your own or find a pre-made Content Generator Spreadsheet– either way, it’s a great way to cross reference news across your chosen channels.
A lot of the tools ‘on the market’ are specifically aimed at Social, apps like Topsy, Google Trends and forums like Reddit are like a ‘gateway drug’ to the wider expanse of content planning/generation tools. So go out, explore, see what works for you!