By Joe Pulizzi published July 7, 2009 Est Read Time: 2 min

Branded Content Tools: You Need One

I love branded content tools and applications.

If you aren’t thinking about creating one, you need to be…now!

What is a branded content tool? Simply put, it’s an online application that comes from a brand (i.e., Kraft) that solves a very simple problem or is incredibly helpful.  Most times, it’s free as well.

Why create a branded content tool/app? Similar to content marketing, where a company delivers valuable, relevant and compelling information in order to position that company as a trusted expert, a branded tool uses data content to do the same thing.

What are some branded content application examples?
Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Website Grader from Hubspot. Free and easy-to-use tool that measures how well a website is doing in terms of search engine optimization. Website grader has been so successful for Hubspot (over 1 million websites to date), that they launched a number of other graders, including my new favorite, the Gobbledygook grader.
  • The Webbed-O-Meter from Webbed Marketing. Free tool to analyze your “buzz” effect over 16 different social media sources.
  • iFood Assistant from Kraft. Recipes on the go via your iPhone.
  • Personal Budget Planner from Mint.com. Easy-to-use online tool that helps you create a financial budget.
  • Nike Plus from Nike. Track your running and training. Also, check out the Perfect Shoe Finder from Nike.  Very cool.

How to start? Think of this…what’s something very simple, and very helpful you could be providing to your customers for free, that ultimately positions you as an expert related to the products/services you sell.  The alignment of those two things could make for a killer app.

Some odd examples? If I’m a printer, I’d create a “design your own magazine cover” tool. If I’m an air-conditioning repair shop, I’d create an automated check up tool that emails key dates to tune-up the air conditioner. If I’m a dentist, I’d develop a teeth simulator that shows what happens to teeth if you eat certain foods for sustained periods.  You get the point.

What helpful tool should you be developing that your competition hasn’t thought of…yet?

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Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the bestselling author of seven content marketing books including his latest, Content Inc. He has founded four companies, including the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), and his newest venture, The Tilt. His podcast series, This Old Marketing with Robert Rose, has generated millions of downloads from over 150 countries. He is also the author of The Random Newsletter, delivered to thousands every two weeks. His Foundation, The Orange Effect, delivers speech therapy and technology services to children in 35 states. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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