Celebrities from all facets of entertainment such as Russel Wilson, Ciara, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Melissa McCarthy and Ellen DeGeneres were also present, sharing their support and reminding viewers to donate to First Responders Children’s Foundation and Feeding America. Eilish’s soft voice was accompanied by Finneas’ rhythm-keeping on his guitar and deep-toned background vocals. Before beginning her set, Billie sent her love to audiences. Alicia Keys began her intimate performance casually dressed and sitting at a deep-purple piano in her home. She sang her recently released power-ballad “Underdog.” The version she performed over the weekend was stripped-down with an emotional tone that her genuine, warm voice brought beauty to. Relaxed in a baseball cap and sweats, Billie Eilish and her brother-producer Finneas took to the stage from their living room sofa. The two sang “Bad Guy” from her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” This rendition was a hopeful one, fitting for the evening. John opened the concert with a touching message for the audience. After a slew of other performances, John closed the evening with “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” played on his son’s keyboard. With a strong, renowned voice, the power of John’s lyrics traveled far. He sang: “Don’t let the sun go down on me / Although I search myself, it’s always someone else that I see.” A master of the piano, John delivered a short performance with a powerful message resonating with viewers around the nation. Keeping it fun and lighthearted, a few band members brought in their kids for backup. Their performance brought old and new fans together through television screens. Hosted by Elton John, the iHeart Living Room Concert for America aired on Fox Sunday evening as coronavirus cases surged globally. Throughout the night, performers popped in to provide relief in the form of entertainment and shared their comforting words for the world. “Love to you, your families, your loved ones, everybody,” she said. “Let’s stay strong together. Take care.” “There’s a lot of grief out there, uncertainty and fear, but let me tell you what’s going to keep us together,” he said. “All the goodness that’s still happening in the world — those doctors, nurses and scientists on the front lines — they’re living proof that most superheroes don’t wear capes. It’s inspiring that once we get through these tough times, better days lie ahead.” Next on the screen were the Backstreet Boys, reunited. The group performed an energetic living-room rendition of their classic song “I Want It That Way.” Each joining in from their respective homes, one couldn’t help but to get up, dance and sing along. As if the melody didn’t speak for itself, Keys changed the lyrics to fit the occasion and sang to at-home audiences “She’s riding in a taxi back to the kitchen / Talking to the driver ’bout his children and wife / A first responder who was risking her life / To give us her love and give it right on time.” With the concert, listeners and celebrities together were able to raise nearly $8 million in donations to First Responders Children’s Foundation and Feeding America. While social distancing, hosting an event like this brought people together and created a sense of unity amid the chaos.
Every business discipline has its own unique tools that help people accomplish tasks more efficiently and measure their progress more accurately. For marketers like myself, there are a plethora of Web-based services and crafty new tools that help our content marketing and social media programs thrive. Whether it’s a tool that automatically optimizes your corporate blogs and content for SEO or an online platform that allows you to stay connected to your followers, each one serves a very valuable purpose. So which content marketing tools are my favorite? There are several that I’ve come to rely on, but there are a handful that have become critical to managing our everyday operation. At OpenView, they’ve helped us achieve our content marketing goals and measure our content’s impact in the marketplace.So without further ado, here are the content marketing tools I can’t live without:PitchEngineLet’s face it: the days of boring, plain and contrite press releases are dead. If you want people to read about your exciting product release or your company’s newest offering, you need to try harder to get their attention.PitchEngine is a great service that allows you to create and send social media releases to your networks, and personalize them with images, videos, bullet points, and graphics. Brandon Uttley provides a great slideshow on how PR has changed and why services like PitchEngine will be critical in the future.PRWeb/VocusIn the same way that PitchEngine helps companies create social media releases, PRWeb/Vocus is a tool that helps you distribute news releases to more traditional media outlets. The combined tools also submit releases to Google and Yahoo news services, along with industry blogs and influencers.WordPressAt OpenView, we use WordPress as the foundation of all of our sites. It provides a super-customizable content management system that allows us to organize, edit, schedule, and publish a variety of content to the site.Kevin Hendricks describes WordPress’s value quite simply: it’s free, it’s easy, and it packs a lot of punch. He also dives into WordPress’s key features a bit more.Google AlertsUsing Google Alerts is a great method for finding and following new resources on any topic. But it’s also a must-have tool for tracking what’s being said about your company, brand, people, and products or services.Google AnalyticsFor smaller, expansion stage companies, a free tool like Google Analytics can be life-changing. It offers a feature-rich platform to help marketers gain insight into all aspects of their content marketing and social media efforts.The folks at Marcel Media provide a quick Google Analytics how-to, drawing on anecdotes from their own experience using the tool with social media conversion tracking.CoTweetMashable’s Christina Warren agrees with me on this one. CoTweet is a great social media tool for helping companies stay connected with their followers.As Warren points out, CoTweet brands itself as a Twitter CRM tool. There have been major brands like Ford and JetBlue that have taken advantage of its usefulness, but it still has value for smaller growth stage companies (or the venture capital firms that invest in them!). The service is free, but there’s an enterprise version for major corporations that can cost more than $1,500 per month.Not familiar with CoTweet? No problem. David Turnbull at TwiTip explains why businesses should use the service and offers tips for getting started.ExactTargetEmail marketing is still a big piece of any good content marketing strategy, and ExactTarget helps OpenView stay connected with our newsletter and blog subscribers.And for those that think email marketing is losing relevance, think again. According to research, 93 percent of consumers continue to willingly receive emails from companies and sign up for newsletters that prove their value. ExactTarget has helped major corporations and small businesses alike reach targeted groups of customers with on-demand email marketing solutions that do just that.So there you go. Those are the must-have tools that have helped us propel OpenView’s content marketing and social media strategy forward. But there are plenty of other services out there.What are your favorite content marketing tools?Amanda Maksymiw is a marketing associate at OpenView Labs, responsible for content creation and strategy for OpenView and its portfolio companies. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaMaks.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis