Your work as a library marketer is no walk in the park in the best of circumstances. But it’s especially difficult right now.
I started compiling a list of tools for library marketers before COVID-19 turned our world upside down. Now I want to share them.
Each tool is free. And I hope they make it easier to do your job, wherever you are.
But first, I have a question.
Tools for Writing
Grammarly. Grammerly is a plug-in. It scans what you are writing as you write it. It points out common grammatical mistakes, like subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement. You can also upload documents for scanning. For remote workers or library marketers handling all the work alone, it’s a lifesaver.
Hemingway Editor. The Hemingway Editor grades your writing for readability and points out the excessive use of adverbs, passive voice, and complex sentences. Use it to improve your social media posts, web content, blog posts, and press releases.
I have a love/hate relationship with this website. I love it because it forces me to become a better writer. I hate it because every time I use it, it’s clear what an awful writer I am without it!
BrainyQuote. A directory of inspirational quotes for web, email, and social media content. This is a great site to visit when you’re feeling creatively drained. They verify all quotes. There are plenty of quotes about literature, books, reading, and learning.
The Secret Language of Books by NoveList. This little guide helps you create engaging emails and social media posts about books. It can help you craft language for genres, mood, and styles. It expanded the vocabulary I used to entice readers to check out our collection.
Disclaimer: I work for NoveList. But, I got my first copy of this handbook last year, before I worked for them, and it changed my life.
Tools for Graphics, Videos, and Photos
Emojim. This website is my go-to source for finding emojis. I search what I need and then hit copy. Then I insert the emoji in my platform of choice. The selection on this site is better than Emojipedia.
Use of emojis on social media platforms like Instagram increases engagement by 48 percent. My own data from my time at my former public library job showed that the use of an emoji in an email subject line increased open rates by as much as 60 percent.
HTML Color Codes. Use it to find the exact HTML color of any section on an existing graphic or photo. Upload a photo or graphic, then hold your mouse over the section you want to match and click. The HTML code will appear in the box.
When I worked at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, I would use this to create a call to action button for my emails that matched the accompanying graphic or photo.
Iconfinder. Iconfinder is a database of almost one million icons. Don’t be fooled by the priced sets at the top of the page. Scroll down to find their selection of free downloadable icon sets. Right now, they have lots of free choices for hand washing, social distancing, and public health.
Trace by Sticker Mule. This tool will let your library remove a background from a picture.
Giphy GIF Maker. This site allows you to easily create animated video GIFs and GIF slideshows with captions.
Lumen5. Lumen5 is a video content creator. There is a free version that lets you create five videos each month. You can choose clips from a standard video library and get access to free music.
RecordScreen.io. This site lets you record your screen and your webcam at the same time. There are no bells and whistles and no other features. It’s great for demos and tutorials you might want to create to help patrons learn how to navigate your digital resources.
Tools for Organization
Otter. This cool app is a transcription service. It lets you record meetings or conversations on your phone or browser and then turn those conversations into notes that can be shared. The free plan lets you record 600 minutes of conversations per month.
Andrew and Pete’s Content Editorial Calendar. Andrew and Pete run a marketing agency in the UK. I had the pleasure of meeting them in person at Content Marketing World in 2018. They are sweet, funny, and smart. They created this free template for download. I know many library marketers who can put it to use to organize and manage their editorial calendar.
URL List. This website is a revelation. It creates one URL for a list of pages. For instance, I entered all the articles I’ve written on Super Library Marketing about COVID-19 before today and created this URL: https://www.theurlist.com/covid19. It also generates a QR code for use on print materials. To keep your URL lists, just create an account. Use this to promote multiple blog articles or programs happening at multiple branches in your library system.
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