Getting results from content marketing is no child’s play. Most marketers struggle with creating quality content at scale. Some lament the lack of resources and budget while others find it hard to craft a narrative that stands out. Content marketing takes time which we all know is scarce.
The good news is that there are tools that can assist professional content marketers to simplify a variety of tasks: research, content creation, quality management, promotion, and performance tracking. To understand which of these tools work best, I spoke to some content marketing experts on their favourite tools.
Here’s the roundup:
Content Creation and Quality
“I train companies on how to do content marketing in-house. The first tool I teach is Grammarly, and here’s why: the backbone of all content marketing initiatives starts with producing high-quality, engaging content that answers customers’ questions. The copy needs to be clear, concise, and well written. If the content is sloppy, all over the place, or riddled with misspellings, and poor grammar, the audience will miss the message.”
Content Marketing Consultant
For visual content creation and editing, we use Gimp and Canva. Canva is the most popular graphic design tool. GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop and helps us with quick image editing.
“Canva is an awesome tool for creating custom images! I use it every day. With Canva, you can start with their design templates and customize them to fit your branding, or you can start from scratch. I’ve used Canva for everything from creating images for Instagram or blog posts to designing infographics.”
Senior Director of Publicity
PR and Outreach
“HARO is an effective tool for building relations with journalists and bloggers for getting those high authority mentions and backlinks from large publications. We’ve experienced great success with HARO in 2018, and we are keen on using this tool, in 2019 as well.”
Content Marketing Executive
“BuzzStream is my favorite tool for prospecting and outreach. The tool discovers contact information, social profiles, and site metrics. The software provides a centralized database to work with. You can collaborate with teammates, share notes, and keep projects organized. The outreach tool allows to send personalized emails and schedule automatic follow-ups. It also provides customizable campaign reports.”
Content Marketing Manager
Content and Keyword Research
“For new pieces of content, I use Quora for doing research. I start by following niche topics. Quora can help discover diverse and unique resources for a topic. The community showcases a broad range of conversations and links to resources.”
Director of Marketing
“I recommend Ahrefs for its flexibility across a broad spectrum of content marketing activities. While brainstorming new content ideas, you can use Ahref’s content gap tool, for instance. Navigate to site explorer, enter your domain, select content gap, and enter up to 10 competitors to reveal keywords and topics that your competitors are ranking for.”
“One of my favorite content marketing tools is LSIGraph. The tool generates phrases that are semantically related to a focus keyword. In short, by using LSI keywords, you can help search engines better understand (and rank!) your posts.”
“We love creating guides and educational pieces. One of my favorite free content research tools is Answer The Public. The tool allows users to enter a keyword and find a bunch of popular questions around any topic.”
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“Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool. The tool also helps track website metrics such as backlinks, traffic, and top pages.”
Content Marketing Associate
“A tool like Feedly is great for keeping track of the latest niche topics and blogs. Frase.io is another helpful AI-based tool that’s helpful for content research and curation.”
Content Specialist and Growth Strategist
Content Management and Collaboration
“We use Trello to create a bucket list of content ideas and requirements. The tool comes handy for assigning content marketing tasks such as content creation, review or promotion. The team can take part and work from a single dashboard in this project management software. Google Docs is another tool we use for content creation and collaboration.”
Chief Marketing Officer
“CoSchedule is a tool that helps us create our content calendar. It has features that allow us to track all content related activities in a single dashboard. The software saves time in creating and executing a content marketing strategy. The tool complements weekly meetings and helps track team performance management.”
CEO & Co-Founder of
“Airtable is my content marketing lifeline. The tool helps me to document and organize content ideas and manage completed pieces. It’s also useful for planning, monitoring, and measuring content promotion. My Airtable workspace has six tabs: content ideas, created content, social media posts, advertising, content pick-up, (press) and media outlets.
“I use Outbrain. It’s a free platform and charges for every click. You can choose to promote specific URLs or your RSS feed. I like to go for the former because I prefer to run paid ads for high performing content. Outbrain is good for beginners because of its easy-to-use interface.”
“HubSpot’s automation tool helps us deliver personalized content to our target audience. We have seen a surge in our conversion rate after we started using this content promotion tool. The software’s also great for designing landing page templates, helping save tonnes of time”
“My favorite tool for content marketing management is HubSpot’s social posting platform. I enjoy the fluidity of posting to multiple social channels, with the ability to customize each one. I recommend having a stockpile of images and relevant hashtags to refer. The tactic makes the process faster and more efficient. It’s also good to have a cheat sheet laying out the different image sizes for each social platform.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Measurement and Analytics
“We use AgencyAnalytics to track keywords and search rankings. It’s an easy tool to track targeted search terms. Reporting and change indicators show how rankings have increased or decreased overall as well as for individual pages.
SEMrush is more robust and the tool I prefer. It contains keyword tracking tools, as well as the ability to track the gap between our clients and their competitors, so we can drill into the best areas to focus our content efforts. SEMrush also provides content analysis tools and suggestions for keywords, websites to target for backlinks, and even email templates to help marketers reach out to third parties.
It’s important to focus not on keywords and keyword volume when creating a content plan but to drill down into what the audience cares about. Look at common questions in the sales process, such as “How much does X product cost?”. Such content tends to get more views and shares. Focus on using tools to guide and refine your strategy, instead of the end-all, be-all. Content should focus on the solution to problems that potential buyers are facing, instead of keywords or company/product.”
Over To You
Tools can’t do everything for you but they can lighten the heavy load of content marketing activities. They can reduce the time consumed in mundane and manual tasks helping improve team creativity and productivity. For content marketers jostling to stand out and build a relationship with their audience, these tools can be of tremendous help.
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