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Small businesses can use content marketing as a powerful tool to compete with the big brands by leveraging online platforms and social media sites where their target audience is most likely to be hanging out.

But it’s not enough just to post updates on your company Facebook page or Twitter feed and hope that people will come to your site. You need to go out there, find the places where your audience hangs out, engage with them in conversation, and get in on the discussions they’re already having about topics related to what you do.

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To help small business owners do this easily, we’ve compiled 7 of our favorite tools for helping you create high-quality content that gets noticed!

1. Buffer

Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that enables you to post updates at the best times for your fans so that they’ll see it as soon as possible. You can schedule posts across multiple networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest all from one central dashboard. If you’re not sure what kind of content to share on social media, Buffer’s Content Idea Generator can suggest content that might be relevant to your audience.

2. Storify

Storify is an easy-to-use tool for curating and telling stories from multiple sources in one place. You can use Storify to bring together tweets, Facebook updates, photos, videos and more from people who are talking about a specific topic or event. For example, you could use Storify to create an “experience” page that helps visitors gain a better understanding of how it feels to work at your company. You can include photos and videos and quotes from employees and customers!

3. Canva

As the founders of one of the world’s most wildly-popular design tools, Canva has been a breath of fresh air for content creators and marketers, with its simple drag-and-drop interface. The tool offers over 1 million stock images and can generate literally billions of unique designs from them — all perfect for creating things like:

* social media covers * Facebook ads * blog images * infographics

4. Quora

Quora is a question and answers site that connects people looking for specific information with those who have the knowledge to answer them. The best part about Quora is that you can follow people in your industry, search their profile to see what questions they’ve answered in the past, and even see who they follow to get an idea of other experts within your industry.

5. ScribbleLive

ScribbleLive is a free web-based content publishing and interactive engagement platform that lets you write posts on any topic and then embed them on existing content sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or your own website. What makes ScribbleLive unique is that it allows you to add polls, quizzes, videos and images as well as offers advanced publishing options like auto-publishing across multiple sites so your readers will see the post in their Facebook feed at exactly the same time without you having to do anything extra.

6. Quotify

Quotify is a simple tool that allows you to create eye-catching images out of text in a variety of formats like lists, quotes or even Twitter messages. This can be great for things like blog posts, presenting money-saving tips or promoting something special you are offering your customers. You can choose from their pre-generated templates to make it even easier (or you can create your own, if you like!).

Pick the image that’s relevant to what you’re posting about and then add your text. Once it’s perfect, just click “Generate Image” and a link is produced that can be used right away!

7. Vizely

Vizely is an online tool that provides a full suite of tools to help you build, manage and analyze your campaigns. It enables you to easily create slideshows and presentations out of text or images, add call-to-action buttons to the bottom so people can ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ your post with just a click, upload videos directly into it so that you can call people’s attention to them, and even embed your slideshow or presentation right on your blog.

* SlideShows * Presentations * Videos * Text Posts * Call-To-Action Buttons

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How can small businesses use these tools to their advantage

As a small business owner the best way you can use these tools to your advantage is by using them strategically.  By developing a plan around the content you will be publishing you’ll not only get more eyes on what it is you have to say, but help build an even stronger relationship with your customers.  I hope these tips helped!

Be consistent and do what you do best. Don’t allow your business to become “that place” that everyone talks about, but can’t get a hold of when they really need something. Show up consistently with engaging content and you will see the results build over time.

Remember these tools are there to help you grow your business. Your content, your message, and your customer service are what will keep it going.

If you’re struggling to find the time or have questions about how to get started I’d be happy to help! Send me a note anytime: matt@webpagefx.com .

A Few Last Words You’ll notice that most of these tools require some sort of knowledge in order to use them effectively. If you’re not familiar with how to create stunning images or videos for example, there will be a learning curve as you develop skills and your own strategies for using these kinds of tools in your content marketing efforts. But remember: the better it looks, the more people will want to share it! So don’t be afraid to experiment and learn along the way.

If you have any questions or thoughts about how this list could be improved, please leave a comment below! I read every comment and respond to as many as I can.

If all of this sounds intimidating or if there are parts that still need clarification, don’t hesitate reach out anytime: offer@optymizer.com . You may also want speak with one of our experts about hiring Alignment Online Marketing who can assist with all of these content marketing efforts. We’re here to help you succeed in your business!


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