Content marketing is one of the most important marketing activities for businesses today.
And while the human element can’t be replaced, there are a variety of content marketing tools that you can use to help you come up with ideas, ensure your targeting is accurate, and rank highly in SERPs.
When I say a variety of tools, I really mean a wide variety. There are plugins, tools, apps, platforms and browser extensions to help you with every stage of the content marketing process — from research and content ideation to automated scheduling and promotion.
So without further ado, let’s jump in and take a look at the essential tools every content marketer needs in their arsenal.
Already have a tool in mind that you’d like to learn more about? Jump straight to:
- Google Search Console
- Social Animal
- Markup Hero
- Google Docs
- Google Analytics
- Adobe Photoshop
Your content marketing strategy has to start at keyword research. And that’s where Ahrefs comes in. You can use Ahrefs to find out information about your target keywords, how difficult they are to rank for, and who’s currently ranking for them. You can also use their content explorer to help you answer the questions people are asking most often. All in all, this is a must have tool for any content marketer.
The holy grail of search engine data. Google’s search console will help you identify the keywords you’re currently ranking for, and how well (or not so well) you’re doing. Better still, it will show you exactly what keywords people are using to find you, which will help immensely when you’re plotting out your content plan — there’s not much point targeting keywords that people don’t associate with your brand.
With content nowadays, it’s not enough to write for humans — you also have to write for SEO. This means optimizing your content to target your chosen keyword, weaving it and any secondary keywords naturally through your content. The balance you need to strike here is that the content still reads naturally to the human eye, but also follows a format that satisfies any bots that are crawling the page. Yoast is a fantastic tool to help you keep track of your SEO progress — it’s a WordPress plugin that checks your content for SEO compatibility while you’re writing it and provides feedback that you can use to improve it before you publish. Another must-have in the content marketing toolkit.
As much as we might not be willing to admit it, content writers sometimes make spelling and grammar mistakes too. And when it’s your job to publish error-free, pitch perfect content, that’s not something you can afford to happen. Grammarly is a great extension.
Once you’ve defined your content marketing strategy, you need to execute on it. And that’s what StoryChief is great at — they are the complete content marketing solution for B2B marketing teams and content agencies. With StoryChief, you can control your whole content marketing process from start to finish (or from content creation to content distribution). It’s a great tool to work with, especially if you like working in a collaborative workspace.
Find out what makes any content tick with Social Animal. This tool simplifies content marketing by helping you get trending content ideas, analyzing headlines and sentiments and track millions of top-performing articles.
You can also use discover Influencers based on the content they share, monitor brand and keyword mentions. Additionally, take a peek into your competition’s Facebook strategy. Uncover their posting schedules, engagement metrics, sentiment data and more.
Mention enables the world’s best brands and agencies to monitor the web, listen to their audience and manage social media. By tracking a brand, competitor, or industry topic – our platform empowers customers to compare and analyze online conversations, as well as create content based on important social and web insights.
Markup Hero is something you might normally think of as a productivity tool, but it’s actually quite useful for content marketing too. Any good blog post or marketing article should have compelling and sharable visuals. Markup Hero is a fast and easy way to make annotated images from screenshots or via file upload. And annotations often help explain your content better than just pictures alone. This is particularly true when writing technical documents, how-to’s and product reviews which are all great for content marketing. So Markup Hero is a two-for; use it as a daily tool to capture ideas, communicate clearly, and save time and use it for content creation.
Kred is a global community of leading bloggers, champion content creators, social-savvy CEOs, blockchain pioneers and the new movers and shakers. You can use Kred to find popular, verified influencers in your industry — scored clearly based on a number of factors to help you identify and choose the right one.
As a content marketer, where you choose to write your content will very much depend on your personal preference. But when you’re collaborating with other people — either within or outside of your organization — Google Docs is a handy tool to use. Within Google Docs, you can add suggested edits that the original author can review, tag collaborators in comments to facilitate easy edits and additions, and much more. You can also track version history and restore it to any previous version if something happens to accidentally get deleted (it’s happened to all of us).
Most blogs nowadays are hosted on WordPress, and with the number of content management systems available, that speaks volumes. With WordPress, you can quickly and easily set up a blog or website from a wide selection of their pre-built templates, and choose from their wide variety of plugins to help you with other elements of your content production, scheduling, and publishing.
Buzzsumo is a content research tools that enables you to run searches to quickly discover content ideas, uncover platform insights, identify passionate influencers and more. It’s also a great way for you to collect information about your competitors and what they’re writing about on their blogs.
While you might not think of Loom as a content marketing tool directly, it’s really useful for helping to visualize what you’re describing to your readers. If you’re looking to showcase a product feature or an element of a platform, you could just try your best to describe it to your readers in words — or, you could show them.
Vidyard makes it easy for content marketers to embed videos in other content—whether on webpages, landing pages, or blog posts—and share video everywhere across the internet. But, Vidyard offers more than video hosting and management. The platform also offers integrations with core tools in your tech stack, automatic optimization for SEO, video transcription, easy captioning, personalization tools, powerful analytics, and split-testing features so you can ensure that your content is the best it can be.
I obviously can’t speak to your experience with getting a blog post from idea to publish — and everything that follows — but in my personal experience, it takes a village. More often than not, you’ll have a few stakeholders involved in the process, whether they’re editors, contributors, account managers collecting valuable information for customer case studies — the list goes on. Trello is a great way for you to keep track of projects that involve lots of stakeholders. You can add your post to a card, add anyone from your team and assign them tasks. Once they’re done, you can tick it off the list and remove them from the card. It’s really simple to use, and saves you having to run around like a headless chicken trying to gather everything you need to get your blog written — a win/win, if you ask me.
As you know, writing and publishing great content is only half the battle. To be able to continue doing what you do best, you’re going to need to be able to produce results. And that’s where Google Analytics is going to be your best friend. This platform is an absolute necessity for anyone with a website, not just a blog. You can use it to track incoming traffic to your posts, time spent on the page, bounce rate and so much more. You’ll also be able to set up your own goals within the platform itself to keep track of conversions coming from your content — and more conversions means more budget. I know you like the sound of that!
Similar to Google Analytics, Hotjar is a tool designed to provide you with insights on how any page on your website is performing (which, conveniently, includes your blog posts). The tool builds custom heat maps for any page you assign it to, showing you exactly how far people are scrolling down on your posts, which links or CTAs they’re interacting with. So you’ll quickly be able to see if you’re writing 2,500-word posts in vain, or whether or not your CTAs are working.
This might come as a bit of a surprise to some content marketers, but it’s always useful to know how to make your own blog hero images — just in case! You don’t have to be completely fluent in Photoshop to be able to create something of this spec, you could even ask your designers to create templates for you to use.
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This article is about:
- Content marketing tools
- Best content marketing tools in 2020
- Content marketing software