10 tools for creating compelling content for social media
How do you create social media content that grabs your audience's attention? Columnist Jordan Kasteler outlines 10 tools that will help you with images, videos and more.
Social media has changed a lot over the last five years — and truth be told, that’s the understatement of the century.
New platforms have come into the mix. Veteran platforms continue to evolve their algorithms, rules and layouts. There are constantly new things to learn about how to use social media to get the highest coveted asset of all in this space — attention.
One thing that never seems to change about social media marketing is the need for something eye-catching. Marketers have argued over whether one-liners beat several paragraphs. We’ve talked about the importance of hashtags.
But what also doesn’t change, despite the constant ebb and flow of social updates, is the need for the content to compel a fan or follower to stop, look and react.
What makes something compelling on social media?
Social media is a noisy place. Your content is shoved between moving objects (videos) and GIFs (the hottest trend in commenting these days). To capture the attention of the person who’s often mindlessly scrolling through the newsfeed, you need something just as catchy.
Does that mean your job is to pump out content that’s just as “loud?” Far from it.
To get someone to stop and engage with your business on social media, you need to create compelling content that promises something in exchange for the person’s time. Once YOU know the key takeaway (I can’t decide that for you), then you can get to work creating images, videos and more that beg to be engaged with.
And when you’re ready to do that, I have 10 tools that you can use to put your message together in a beautiful-looking post that’ll stop a scroller in his or her tracks. Let’s take a peek.
I’m kick-starting this list with a tool that’s relatively well-known but often not maximized to its full potential.
Canva is the go-to tool for non-designers because it’s so easy to use. Yes, you can create some fun social media graphics using its templates, but there’s more to it. You can also design advertisements, infographics, brochures and more. Those pieces can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, which means you can get more out of every type of marketing collateral you design — even what’s meant for offline.
LinkedIn owns SlideShare, so it’s a natural platform to include on this list because it automatically syncs with one of the largest social media networks used today.
On SlideShare, you can upload your presentations, so they don’t gather digital dust sitting on your computer after you’ve given them. Sharing them with your audience is easy. Simply press a button, and you can distribute them to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
You can also embed your SlideShare presentation on your website using IFrame or WordPress shortcodes (depending on what you use to house your website).
Take your presentation uploads a step further and add your voice overlay to them with SlideSnack.
With this presentation-sharing tool, you can upload past presentations, put your voice to them, and then share them on Facebook or YouTube. You can also embed them on most websites, including those that use WordPress, Blogger, Weebly and more.
Video is the holy grail of social media marketing because it incorporates both visual movement and audio interest. If you have a stellar idea for a video, turn your concept into a reality with PowToon.
You don’t have to be a video master to use PowToon. This platform offers several templates to choose from that you can customize and brand according to your business. Then, all you do is plug and play your content and share.
With your video in place, you can use it to promote your business on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and just about any social network.
Magisto is another video editor that makes it easy to put together professional-looking and -sounding videos, regardless of your skill level. Once you have your videos uploaded and a theme selected, you can drag and drop scenes and add your logo, captions, music and narration.
The free version is limited but still quite robust. With the commercial version, you get several more features, including the ability to custom-brand your video and use commercially licensed music.
What’s an easy way to get engagement? Ask a question. But sometimes, just asking a single question isn’t enough to get a healthy response from your audience. That’s where Typeform comes into play.
Typeform is an easy-to-use quiz builder that lets you ask your audience questions. Use the drag-and-drop builder to put together a variety of styles of questions, including multiple choice, image-based, yes or no answers, short or long text answers and more.
Once you have your quiz created, share the link on any social network to encourage participation in a unique way. You can also embed Typeforms on your website.
Perhaps you want to have a little fun with your audience. Interactive quizzes with results you can instantly share are hotcakes on social media these days. Your company can create one, too, using Playbuzz.
Playbuzz lets you put together a series of tests or questions for your audience. Once the respondent is done answering them, they’ll either get their end result (10 out of 10 correct!) or find out a fun fact about themselves (for example, which character you’re most like on a TV show).
It’s a simple way to engage your followers and make your brand fun. These are also great types of content because they encourage your followers’ friends to engage with your brand, too.
Piktochart lets you take survey results, stats and other tidbits of knowledge and turn them into an eye-catching (and scroll-stopping) infographic.
This type of social media content often scares many non-designers because it feels so rich, and thus hard to create. Piktochart simplifies the process by offering you over 600 templates to choose from.
With your template in place, you can add your own text, fonts, colors and logo. When it’s done, you can share it quickly with built-in social media options. It’s fast and easy.
Visme is another tool that lets you put information together in a beautiful way. This platform offers several options for how that information is displayed, including in presentations, infographics, reports, wireframes and more.
Once created, you can share your content on your website, from a URL or on social media.
Podcasting is a huge trend these days, but if you’re new to the world of audio content, production can be a roadblock. Podbean changes that by giving you an easy way to create professional podcasts in minutes without high-tech software or equipment.
Once created, you can publish your podcasts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Or you can upload and promote your podcasts with a Podbean paid plan.
Which tools will you use?
At one point, a lack of technological knowledge was a good excuse for not offering stellar social media content. These tools change that.
Once you have your content format in mind — images, videos, quizzes, infographics or audio — choose the tool that best matches your goals and get to work.
What other tools have you used to create compelling social media content your audience can’t wait to consume?