Carrying out tasks in content marketing gets easier with the right tools. There are tools for each and every segment of the process, but this does not mean that you need or have to use all of them. What you need is to choose a set of tools and apps that really do make your job on day-to-day basis easier. You should feel comfortable using these tools, and preferably they should save time and make things easier for you.
While we will suggest a certain part of tools and apps you will find beneficial in content marketing, most of them have alternatives. This means that you need to focus on features the tool provides. Then explore different versions and similar tools that are available on the market, and choose the one you prefer. Some of the tools are free, while some require a payment to gain access. Some offer a limited amount of features for free, with a paid upgrade to gain full access. With paid tools, there is usually a trial period during which you enjoy a free access to all of the features for a limited period of time.
When it comes to small businesses, starting out with free versions is a great way to explore the options that are available. At this point, the number of needed features is not as extensive, which usually means that free versions will suffice. You also have to be able to recognize the growing needs of your business and when it is time to upgrade and move on to a more complex, and often more expensive, tool or app.
Content creation tools and apps
The following list of tools will help you with different aspects of content creation. It includes tools for written, visual, and audio/video content.
This tool shows suggestions on how to write a better title. For each title, you get a score, and the score changes as you modify the title. You will see how the tool helps you choose the optimal title or even get some new ideas.
If the rules for title capitalization are a bit blurry, here is a tool that does the work for you, without the need for you to remember the rules.
Evernote is an organization tool that helps you keep track of all your writing projects, notes, ideas, and files.
This tool helps you improve your writing by focusing primarily on the style. It highlights complex or confusing sentences and it shows word alternatives to make the text more readable.
Grammarly is another tool to improve your writing skills. The primary focus of this tool are grammatical and spelling mistakes, for which you are offered suggestions on how to fix them.
If you need inspiration along the way, take a look at this resource that offers a set of writing templates which you can customize based on your own business.
Keyword Planner and UberSuggest
You will need to use keywords when creating content, which is where these two tools can help. Basically, they give you keyword ideas related to the keyword you enter into the search box. Besides content creation, these keyword suggestions are also helpful for SEO and SEM campaigns.
Since visual content can greatly improve the performance of written content, here are a couple of tools to help you with designing images. These are quite handy even if you are not a professional designer.
Jing allows capturing and sharing images and video. It also provides some basic visual elements, such as adding text, arrows, etc.
Nimbus screenshot and screencast
This tool is the alternative to a previous one. It comes as a software to download or it can be used as a browser extension. The key features include capturing screen as images or videos, which can be very helpful with content creation.
Skitch is Evernote’s app that provides the tools to share ideas and collaborate on projects. It allows adding shapes and text to the existing or captured images, adding annotations, etc. It is linked to your Evernote account, where you can store design projects alongside writing projects and notes.
Canva is an extraordinary tool for designing your own images and graphics using plenty of ready-made templates, shapes, and layouts. It uses drag-and-drop method to combine elements and a set of tools to customize each image or infographic. It is quite straightforward and versatile, a perfect tool if you want custom designs.
This tool enables you to make infographics and charts using predesigned images, icons, and layouts which you can customize.
Stencils offers tools and features to create engaging images. The features include more than 960,000 background photos (including royalty-free ones), over 200,000 icons and graphics, numerous templates, Google web fonts, etc.
You can use this tool to create the word clouds. You simply paste the text or words you want to appear in the cloud and the tool does the work.
Matching colors is an important part of image design, so here is an awesome tool where you basically upload an image, click on the color on the image, and the tool shows you the color code.
Placeit is a great place for product mockups. All you need to do is provide a screenshot or a URL and the tool will generate the mockups across different devices.
If you want to create presentations, this tool is a good choice with lots of features to polish and style your presentations. Templates are available, as well as access to free creative commons images.
Photo sharing websites
Photo sharing websites offer free or paid images that can be used for visual content marketing. This option is very helpful when you are not able to make your own images. Here are several websites that provide images and graphics to download.
The purpose of the following tools is to help you with audio and video recording and editing.
Audacity is a multi-track audio editor and recorder.
Screenflow is a software for Mac that enables screen recording, screencasting, and video editing.
Camtasia enables easy video editing, with a drag-and-drop editor. Besides importing and editing videos, it also enables screen recording.
A subscription-based resource, Audioblock offers royalty free music, sound effects, and loops.
This community offers over 500,000 tracks and sounds to download.
Content optimization tools and apps
Within this group, you will find tools and apps that enable content optimization. These are mostly SEO tools because one of the essential parts of search engine optimization is optimization of content.
In case PDFs are part of your daily work, you will find this tool quite useful. It offers features to convert from Word to PDF, JPG to PDF, Excel to PDF and vice versa. Other features include merging, splitting, rotating and compressing PDF files.
Over-optimization of the anchor text can be an issue and it may have a negative impact on your SEO, which is why you will benefit from this tool. It basically identifies the anchor text diversity and it shows if and where your website is at risk of anchor text over-optimization.
Convert the Word documents to HTML using this converter. It strips the text from the invalid or proprietary tags, leaving you with clean HTML.
Copyscape is probably the best-known tool for analyzing a text for plagiarism. This helps you check the originality of the content before it is published.
Varvy is a great SEO tool to assist with complete website analysis, including page speed, accessibility, etc. When it comes to content optimization, this tools can detect the issues such as the validity of HTML, image optimization, page headers, etc.
Search engines have created structured data called Schema. Schema.org provides the vocabulary of formats necessary to add information to your website content. As a result, this enables you to markup your pages and make them better optimized for search engines.
The tool provides real-time content analysis with features to optimize your WordPress website and the content you share on the blog.
This is a plugin that detects broken links in your blog posts, pages, comments, etc. Since broken links have a negative influence on SEO, this tool can help a lot with optimizing your website. It also detects missing images and redirects.
Content management tools and apps
When it comes to content management, you will need tools to help you organize your content creation activity, as well as to monitor content performance. Management tools and apps offer a lot of interesting features including automation of certain tasks, scheduling, the collaboration between team members, etc.
Basecamp is a tool to organize your projects and communication with team members. Features such as to-dos, chats, scheduling, file exchange, etc. are all helpful with project and content management, especially if those involve a collaboration of several people.
Divvy a platform that supports content creation and workflow. It helps you stay organized, streamline the process of content creation and collaborate across teams.
Mintent is a content automation platform which helps you with content management providing tools such as content workflow automation, project management, measuring content production, targeting messages and customers in the buying cycle, etc. It integrates with commonly used platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics, social media, etc.
Curata is a CMP platform that assists with content management, analytics and measuring content impact. It also supports curation software which enables you to find, curate and share great content to completely define your social media strategy.
Centralized content production, especially if you are working with a team, is the best way to stay organized and keep up with the clear workflow. This software enables such collaboration. Planning, organizing and managing content creation is much more productive with this kind of management tool.
Content distribution tools and apps
Content distribution is the process of sharing your content online through different channels, and the most important tools you will need here should support publishing content simultaneously on several platforms and scheduling. These are real time-savers when it comes to content distribution.
TweetDeck assists with management of Twitter account or multiple Twitter accounts. It contains columns to display specific content such retweets, messages, tweets that contain a specific word or phrase, etc.
Hootsuite is a leading platform in the realm of social media management. It provides a dashboard for managing the social profiles, as well as analytics to monitor trends and how content shared through social media is performing. The premium plans support numerous app integrations, custom branded URLs, contests, and many other features that can help you fully master social media and take advantage of the possibilities this kind of content distribution offers.
This is another social media management platform you can explore in the attempt to optimize your work online. Besides integrations for the most popular social networks, post scheduling, link shortening and tracking, other features include timing tool, social analytics, calendar, etc. All of this combined helps you manage and monitor your presence on social media.
This platform’s main features include social media scheduling, social media calendar, analytics and team collaboration. These are all perfect for optimizing content distribution and making content marketing strategy more efficient
Storify allows creating and sharing stories within an app that support features such as drag-and-drop re-ordering, social sharing, commenting. Advanced features include custom CSS styling, SEO optimization, automated content curation, content approval workflow, etc.
Tools to find influencers
As influencer marketing can take part in your content marketing strategy, you will benefit from the following tools used to look for influencers. Through these tools, you basically search for people who are associated with certain keywords.
When you search for a specific topic, you get the list of influencers and bloggers related to the topic ranked based on the metrics such as page and domain authority, the number of followers, retweet ratio, etc. The platform also offers some advanced features such as assistance with outreach, filters, and reporting tools.
This software helps you search for influencers on Twitter. It allows sorting the influencers using different filters as well as comparing them using “Compare Users” feature.
This is the hashtag and keyword tracking tool that helps you find relevant content and influencers.
It allows analysis and measurement of the individual’s influence on social networks, which is expressed with Klout score, a numerical value between 1 and 100.
This tool uses an algorithm to calculate two scores called “influence” and “outreach”. Twitter and Facebook activities contribute to the score and are measured to calculate the influence.
How to choose the right tools?
First of all, explore the options you have. Sometimes you might not even be aware that there are tools that can be of great assistance in your daily work. Explore the tools based on the different section you need help with, and check out the most common features they include. Think about how you can benefit from these features. Think about which features would you consider must-have. Your goal is to optimize your work by saving time and getting some valuable insights into the performance of the content you create.
Many tools that are mentioned in this ebook, as well as their alternatives which might not be mentioned at all, offer similar features. In this case, choosing one over the other might just be based on your own preference. The good thing is that most of them do offer a free trial. This is the best way to make sure a tool is right for you before you decide to purchase a particular plan. Make sure you explore features that are available with a free plan or a free trial, and check if the particular tool is something that you can use in your daily work.
Not using any tools can mean that you are missing out on many possibilities and opportunities to grow your business. On the other hand, using too many of them might be a sign you are wasting your effort and budget on the tools you do not actually need, nor is your business gaining any benefits from those. Ideally, you should focus on a selected few. For example, select only one content management tool and take a look at how you can use it in a way that it optimizes content management for your business.