Digital transformation is about using digital technologies to accelerate your business by making it faster, more efficient, and more profitable. It’s both an opportunity and a major challenge. Not only that, it’s also mission critical. In fact, according to one study, 86 percent of decision makers feel that they’ve only got two years to make significant inroads in their digital transformation journey or they’ll suffer financially and fall behind their competitors. Meanwhile, 55 percent say that they’ve only got a year.
And while digital transformation applies to virtually all aspects of business — including customer experience and employee engagement, among many others — I’d like to hone in on just one: content creation. By now you’ve probably figured out that content marketing isn’t just some fad. You’ve probably come across some of the research demonstrating its positive effects (though if not, here’s a great infographic from HubSpot that captures a lot of it). You’ve probably read articles about it. And you’ve probably been doing it in one form or another for quite some time. But how many of you are looking at content from a digital transformation perspective?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that you’re using technology to enable your content marketing (cue the marketing automation, analytics, content management, and other tools that make up your content marketing technology stack), but how about your actual content creation? Just as there are technologies that can help you become a faster and more efficient content marketer (or accountant, or salesperson, or take your pick), there are technologies that can make content creation a lot easier.
Let’s look at some examples:
The first step in content creation is coming up with an idea. It’s pretty easy to do when you’re just getting started with a brand new topic. But if you’ve reached blog post number 200, you might be struggling to come up with fresh ideas. If that’s you, let me introduce you to ContentIdeator, a great tool from the folks at Content Forrest over in New Zealand. Simply enter a relevant keyword, and it pumps out suggested titles and ideas for your next piece of content. If you’re feeling stuck figuring out what to write next, it’s a great way to get some fresh inspiration.
Creating Visual Content
Everyone knows how engaging visual content can be. But not everyone has the skills to create it on their own. The good news is that there are tons of tools out there that can help you create visual content. Here are some of my favorites (and, since this is a section on visual content, I couldn’t resist adding some visuals):
- Piktochart is a great tool for creating infographics. Basically it offers you a library of templates that you can choose from to make some pretty impressive looking content. The free trial is fairly limited, but the paid subscription is worth the investment if you plan on creating lots of infographics and don’t have the design resources to do so.
- Meme Generator is a free tool that lets you add captions to images to create memes. Although that’s not something very hard to do if you’ve got some design skills, if you’re like me and don’t, this simple tool can be a real time saver. It took me all of three seconds to create this meme:
- Giphy is a free tool that helps you create animated GIFs. All you do is enter a URL of a video clip from YouTube, then select the part of the video that you want to make up the GIF, and then add a caption. It couldn’t be easier. Giphy also has an extensive library of GIFs that you can borrow from, which is where I got this one:
Last but not least, let’s talk about using tools to make writing easier. There are lots of them out there, but some are definitely better than others. If you’re an organization creating lots of content, and you want to make it easier to not only ensure that your writing is good, but also consistent, then Acrolinx is the tool for you. That’s because it makes it possible for lots of writers to not only write better, more lively and engaging content, but also to always adhere to the same standards and style guidelines. If you’re wondering how it works, our content optimization platform actually reads your content, evaluates it against your company’s personal preferences, and then ensures that every content creator in your organization adheres to those preferences. The result is better, more consistent content that’s always on brand.
How Will You Take Advantage of Digital Transformation?
There are many different ways to digitally transform a business. If you’re a content professional, I hope you’ll consider some of the ideas that I’ve outlined above as I can tell you from experience that they lead to faster, more efficient content creation. And that’s exactly what you need to survive and thrive in today’s increasingly competitive world.