As we’ve discussed previously on this site, marketing is all about content in some shape or form. So, what tools do you need to create the desired content?
Depending on the content you intend to create you are bound to find a range of tools that are either free, cheap or really expensive to meet your needs.
Every web page is made up of an HTML file. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. This language defines how your web browser must format and display the content. Most content creators do not need to know how to code in HTML to create web pages.
If you want to build content for a website you can write your content in a word processor like Microsoft Word or Pages for Macs. An alternative to these is open-source software such as Apache Open Office which is a suite of office software that includes a word processor.
If your website is built using a Content Management System, you can simply copy your text from your word processor into an editing window. Alternatively, if you are using a good system such as WordPress you can write your content directly into the editing window and spell check as you go.
There are still some websites on the web that don’t run on a CMS and require specialist tools such as Dreamweaver to build the HTML pages.
There are a lot of powerful image creation and manipulation tools available such as the Adobe collection: Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks. These tools are available for both Mac and PC. You can use the Adobe suite by taking out a monthly subscription and cancel anytime. This can, however, work out to be expensive for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. Depending on whether you want to edit images or organise them, there are free tools available. Free image software includes MS Paint, GIMP, Serif DrawPlus starter Edition and Picasa.
Video editing tools come in many flavours and your requirements will be driven by the quality of video you want to create, the hardware available to you and your budget.
If you have a Windows or a Mac computer then Adobe Premiere Pro is an option. It is an industry-standard video editing software.
For a Windows PC, Movie Maker is free software that can help beginners get a feel for editing videos. Two paid alternatives are Pinnacle Studio and Vegas Movie Studio.
For an Apple machine, iMovie is a good starter option but Final Cut Pro will have you producing production quality videos in no time.
More and more people are creating podcasts as an alternative to video and written content. Podcasts can help you create a personal relationship with your audience. Audacity is the standard for free audio-editing. It’s available for Windows and Mac and is extremely powerful. Adobe Audition is the paid alternative to Audacity.