Google Trends: getting a handle on topical conversations.
Post by Daniela McVicker
Content creation is a critical part of getting exposure and spreading awareness for your nonprofit’s message. While content creation may sound challenging with a limited staff and resources, it can pay off in a big way if you use the right tools.
Below we outline seven tools and resources you can use for free or minimal cost as part of your organization’s content creation strategy.
1Let’s start with the basics. Google Trends is a tool that helps us find the inspiration we need for writing appealing and interesting content.
Our target audience will want to read about topics they’re interested in. This means we need to do some research to see what are the trending and most searched topics or keywords — and how it may tie to your nonprofit’s mission.
Google Trends is a tool that can help us do just that. You can:
- search for a term or topic
- analyze the interest for that term by region and period of time
- find out which subregions are interested in the term the most
- get the data necessary for choosing the perfect topic
This tool will make the brainstorming phase more guided and results-oriented. It helps you arrive at a decision about which topics to focus on and backs it up with evidence and data.
2Similar to Google Trends, BuzzSumo is another tool that can help us understand which topics are trending online. It can also help learn what people are searching for the most.
The tool allows us to:
- explore ideas and get inspired
- track the current situation within our cause or niche
- find influencers and see what they’re doing
- analyze popular articles and posts to get insight
The tool does all the analysis and all that’s left is to draw conclusions and apply them to your content. It’s a valuable tool that provides the right data for your content or marketing team to draw from.
3When we search the Web, we look for interesting blog posts or social media posts to read. So your content team will want to make sure your posts are accompanied by an appealing visual.
A visually arresting image can make potential readers stop scrolling and pay attention. This is why it’s highly important that you make your content rich in visuals.
The No. 1 tool people from around the globe enjoy using is Canva, a free graphic design tool.
Canva makes it easy to:
- create stunning social media posts
- create attention-grabbing infographics
- make your content visually rich
- add brand identity to your content
The tool is easy to use. It has endless options and features that are simple to master. So it’s a worthy addition to help with executing your content creation strategy.
4If we want people to take us seriously, we need to act like true professionals. That means that the quality of our written content needs to be a top priority.
A tool that analyzes and helps you polish your sentences, Grammarly should be a part of your team’s content workflow.
Here’s what Grammarly does:
- corrects spelling mistakes
- corrects grammar mistakes
- suggest sentence structure corrections
- suggest synonyms
- gives an analysis of the written content
Every nonprofit needs content that is impeccable and highly professional. All we have to do is upload the Word document to Grammarly. Then, we correct the mistakes and download the improved version. While the basic version is free, Grammarly Premium costs $19.98 to $29.95 per month.
You have other options as well, such as the online service Top Writers Review, which can provide professional help for more demanding tasks.
5Another brilliant tool you might consider to make your content more readable and suitable for your target audience is the Hemingway app.
The app lets the users paste the text and then analyzes the following features:
- number of adverbs
- passive voice usage
- complicated phrases
- sentence structure
- sentences that are hard to read
The tool suggests changes to beef up content to make it leaner, to the point and digestible.
6When we think about content rich in visuals and appealing to the eye, we can’t imagine it without beautiful images. Not every nonprofit can afford to hire a professional photographer who can create images specifically for its needs.
Luckily, there are royalty-free images you can use, and Pixabay offers a wide range of these photos.
All you have to do is:
- visit Pixabay
- type the term you’re looking for
- choose an image you find most suitable to accompany your content
A wide range of royalty-free images is available for you to snag, download and use in your content.
7SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the key elements of any content creation strategy. When writing articles or blog posts, you’ll want the content to rank high in Google searches. This will bring more organic traffic and expand the number of people who’ll see your post.
That means that we have to pay attention to SEO and how to improve our content to make it perform better.
SE Ranking is a tool that can help improve your SEO efforts and make the content more SEO friendly. Here’s what it does:
- analyzes keywords
- provides insight into search volume and popularity
- suggests other similar keywords
- shows popular keyword ads
By using this tool, you’re gaining valuable insights into the terms that help you gain more visibility for your content.
How about you? What strategies have you used to streamline your content production process?