Karine Joly No Comments

Great content in higher education requires good ideas, planning, talent, expertise and time.

While no tool will ever turn a bad boring story into a successful, engaging one, they can help jazz things up or save a lot of time with your content work.

That’s why I asked the 12 speakers of the 2019 Higher Ed Content Conference to share their favorite content tool(s).

12 Favorite Higher Ed Content Tools In 2019

DJi Ronin-S Gimbal (Derek DuPont – The Ohio State University)

Derek DuPontMy favorite tool for content, specifically content creation, is the DJi Ronin-S. This DSLR gimbal makes it incredibly easy to capture highly professional content with a skeleton crew and a small gear investment.

Our team uses the DJi Ronin-S along with the DJi Osmo Pocket for social video shoots, which allow us to be flexible and mobile. While it is always helpful to have experience in video, these tools make it easy to take your social production level up a notch without having to dive too far into the technical details.

Planoly (Corie Martin – Western Kentucky University)

Corie MartinOne of the tools that our study abroad ambassadors use regularly for Instagram management is planoly.

It is a really nice planning and calendaring tool for Instagram that they have had a lot of success allowing multiple students to use simultaneously to plan, post and analyze the success of their posts. It’s super cool and free!

Airtable & Frame.io (Jeanna Balreira – Trinity University)

Jeanna BalreiraAirtable has completely transformed the way we manage and produce content collaboratively. We’ve been able to customize our workflow so that it works for us for all of our different distribution points, from publications to press releases, web stories to social media. We’ve been able to loop in content producers from across campus and even train our interns.

Runner-up is Frame.io which allows collaborative comments and threads for video feedback. Makes video review a snap, especially with other peoples’ comments in perspective!

Be Live (Andrew Cassel – University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Andrew CasselI am enjoying using Be Live, a Facebook Live tool that lets me sit at my desk and interview people and broadcast that on the Facebook page. Be Live lets me schedule the Live events so people can join them and get reminded about the upcoming broadcast. I spent a little money on the tool, so I can add some branded colors and backgrounds to the broadcast. It’s great and I look forward to seeing what else I can do with it!

Filmora (Salma Nawlo – Florida Southern College)

Salma NawloI am really into “hacks” or looking like a pro without having to have the knowledge of the pro. Video has been in for quite some time, but my video editing skills are only intermediate. Wondershare Filmora has solved that issue for me. This video editor makes it easy to produce little video ads in no time!

In-Shot (Kelly Bennett – Miami University Ohio)

Kelly BennettA tool I have absolutely loved using for repurposing content is called “In-Shot”. Essentially, it’s an app that allows users to resize photos and videos to fit various platforms. It has saved a lot of time and headache by having the ability to customize content at my fingertips and size it for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Instagram stories in minutes. Did I mention it’s also free?

GIPHY (Jon-Stephen Stansel – University of Central Arkansas)

Jon-Stephen StanselGIPHY, of course! I love being able to easily create and share university branded GIFs.

And because GIPHY is used for GIF search on almost every platform, including text message, our audience can use our GIFs almost anywhere.

Canva (Janet Gillis – USF College of Engineering)

Janet GillisCanva enables me to be creative when I’m generating boring and tedious lists, agendas, etc. I can make colorful and appealing documents without putting too much effort into them. At meetings, people comment when they see a new design or a new way to display info. The only downside is I sometimes waste too much time on the Canva website looking at design templates.

Google Tag Manager (Shay Galto – University of Denver)

Shay GaltoWe recently started using Google Tag Manager with all of our new websites. We love this tool, because it gives us an easy way to measure the success of our content without having to utilize the skills of our developers. This tool makes it easy to track the success of content and to run A/B testing.

Google Search Console (Jeff Bunch – Gonzaga University)

Jeff BunchMy favorite tool over the last year is an old one: the new Google Search Console.

After the relaunch of our website, we better connected our platforms to it. Instead of using it only for technical SEO, we now use the full power of its web query and site search functions to better track the performance of our website content. It has also enhanced the richness of reporting with Google Analytics. I’m finding this tool can meet most of our needs for analyzing our content’s organic SEO performance and identifying opportunities.

Siteimprove (Emily Mayock – Case Western Reserve University)

Emily MayockWe’ve been using Siteimprove for a while, but in the past year, they’ve launched an SEO tool that has been incredibly helpful not only to my direct team but also to the content creators across the university. Working in a decentralized environment, it’s almost impossible to keep track of where everything stands and how we’re doing—and it’s incredibly difficult to give SEO the time it deserves, especially across hundreds of sites. But Siteimprove allows people across our university to get regular reports about how they’re doing and how they can improve, putting the power into their hands and taking a little pressure off my shoulders.

Moment (Rebecca Stapley – Nazareth College)

Rebecca StapleyMy favorite new content tool might be controversial: it’s the moment app, which helps me monitor my phone/app usage and be more intentional about my relationship with tech. You might have wanted a recommendation for that perfect app to help with photo editing on the fly. But, I have come to realize that one of the biggest threats to my ability to focus and churn out creative, quality content is distraction and burnout.

Therefore, I have been making an effort to limit digital distraction and be more intentional about why, when and how I am interacting digitally. Tools are great, as long as they serve you. For me at this moment, being more mindful and aware about my own digital habits is helping me carve out more space and energy for creative thinking and overall happiness in my life. If you’re reading this and thinking, “yeah girl you might be onto something,” I highly recommend the book “Bored and Brilliant” By Manoush Zomorodi.

A conference focusing on higher ed content?

The Higher Ed Content Conference (now available on-demand) is a must-attend event for higher ed content professionals and teams looking for new ideas and best practices.

Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Content Conference say about the experience.

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