A good marketer’s skills can only take you so far. These days, if you want to achieve content marketing success, you have to use content creation tools. Luckily, there are plenty of free content curation and marketing tools to leverage today.
A killer tool for research and ideation. Buzzsumo allows you to accurately track mentions, trends, and updates for your brand or any keyword.
InVideo simplifies video creation with ready-made templates that you can quickly customize even if you’ve never done it before.
Canva is no stranger to graphic creation. It’s a great and simple design tool that allows even non-designer to create professional graphics.
Another well-known software in the market that lets you create stand-out ads and graphics from its free templates!
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While there are many tools that claim to “do it all,” the truth of the matter is that no single tool meets every need to fill out your social media calendar. The best way to achieve the most effective results is to use a variety of content marketing tools to get you where you need to go.
At the same time, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make it all work. There are tons of free tools available to jumpstart your content marketing efforts. Below is a list of some of the fantastic free content marketing tools I use every week to support organic traffic and improve your reach.
Note that while these might have limited functionality compared to their paid counterparts, they are still completely FREE to use, so take advantage of them while you can!
I love writing – it’s my passion. However, even though I consider myself to be pretty skilled in using the magic of the written word, even I need some help to perfect my efforts.
Here are some of my favorite tools to make writing effective copy an easier process:
Use Notes to write down content ideas when they occur to you and later, you can flesh out the full pieces. It’s basic, but it works!
Bubble.us is a simple tool that allows you to develop a mind map to sketch out your articles or your content marketing campaigns.
Free functionality: Up to 3 mind maps, Image export, Share mind maps
3. Google Docs
Use Google Docs to collaborate with ease. Google Docs is only one part of Google Drive, which allows you to collaborate in many ways above and beyond mere documents, as well!
Edit your headlines until they become eye-catching masterpieces.
Free functionality: Personal Project & Task Management, Unlimited Marketing Projects and Content, Marketing & Project Management Integrations, Social Media Publishing Up to 2 Profiles, Basic Support
Improve your writing – as you write!
Free functionality: Online editor version only, Has full text analysis, No save and export, no direct publishing, no export format, and cannot be used offline
I will fully admit that I am not spectacularly graphically inclined (though I can draw a mean stick figure). That’s no excuse for not adding engaging graphics to my pieces. After all, there are multiple free content marketing tools out there to provide help to those who do not boast magnificent graphic design skills.
Here are a few of the ones I like to use:
Pull down awesome free pictures that you can use however you like–with no attribution.
Put together anything from slides to social media graphics to infographics in a jiffy.
Free functionality: 5gb cloud storage, limited to free templates, photos and graphics only.
8. Write Behind
Add words to your graphics and make it look like the letters are going partially behind the pictures (such a simple yet cool effect!).
Put multiple pictures together to make a fun collage.
Free functionality: Limited filters, Has ads
10. Adobe Express
Create impactful graphics even if you aren’t at all graphically skilled (previously called Adobe Spark).
Free functionality: Limited templates, fonts, stock photos and other features, 2gb storage, cannot convert to and from other file type
Annotate your pictures and screen shots with arrows, highlights, check marks, and more.
Free functionality: 60 MB monthly uploads, 25 MB max. note size, Can Sync up to 2 devices only, Cannot create custom templates
From videos to podcasts to presentations to quizzes, there are so many cool ways you can repurpose and then share content! Don’t just stick to the written word or cat pictures.
Be creative and use these awesome tools:
Produce short videos – complete with narration and music – in minutes using this powerful online tool.
Free functionality: Has InVideo Watermark, 40min video duration, 3M+ standard media library, 5000+ video templates
Easily develop presentations that are more awesome than any presentation you’ve ever created before.
Free functionality: Create and share up to 5 beautiful visuals
Survey folks before you create your content and share the results with this handy tool. Create a survey that visitors can complete while they check out your content and then email them the results.
Free functionality: Unlimited surveys, 10 questions per survey, View 40 responses per survey
Hold and record long-distance, voice-only interviews for podcasts using Skype.
Free functionality: Basic video calling features
This powerful tool provides the ability to add noises and music to your videos and podcasts using these sounds (but please provide attribution).
Free functionality: Cannot use sounds commercially, Limitations depending on licensing
Social Media Sharing Tools
My favorite social sharing sites include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Medium, but of course there are a gazillion other options out there. Choose the social media channels that work best for your business and content marketing team. Then use your free content marketing tools to quickly and easily share your content and convince others to share, as well.
Here are some tools to help you speed that process along:
Plan out your automated social media posts ahead of time.
Free functionality: Basic publishing tools, Manage up to three channels, 10 posts per channel to store in queue
Use this dashboard to allow your entire team to monitor social media activity, share your content, and respond to folks in real time across social media platforms.
Free functionality: Manage three social profiles, 30 scheduled posts/month
There are loads of link shorteners, but this is my personal favorite.
Free functionality: Bitly-branded Link-in-bio, 50 bit.ly links/month, Link history and reporting
Sumo has a lot of free tools that you can add to your website to encourage people to download and check out your content pieces, as well as share them socially.
Free functionality: 10,000 emails per month, No advanced analytics, unlimited subscribers
21. Twitter Lists
Use Twitter lists for creating groups of people who are interested in the topics about which you want to aim your content marketing efforts.
22. Click to Tweet
Try this great content marketing tool to easily add links to your pieces, so readers can quickly Tweet out the quotes you want them to share.
Free functionality: Create up to 5 links
Free Content Marketing Tools Galore
Now that you are a tool-using pro, check out these additional tools for even more free use-case scenarios!
Hubspot’s CRM platform is a free service that offers a basic way to keep track of your content marketing strategy, including how it is performing and who it is reaching. Hubspot’s free tools include email marketing, ads, and forms, and provides a single platform for content creators, marketing teams, and administrative staff to work within.
Whether you are looking to promote a piece of content, or you are a content marketer looking for a single jumping-off point for all of your marketing tracking and needs, Hubspot’s free tools may be a great option.
BuzzSumo is designed to be as far from a one-trick pony as possible, offering the ability to create content, find influencers, evaluate the reach and performance of relevant content, and generally improve your ability to develop an effective content strategy for your blog posts, social media posts, and more.
BuzzSumo hints at its purpose in its name: the platform can be used to monitor the types of content that are performing well in your particular niche or industry, in order to make sure you are staying on top of the latest trends and keeping abreast of your competitors. With as many different metrics to go over as Google Analytics, BuzzSumo can help you determine the best content to develop and best keyword ideas to chase based on time frame, social platform, and even type, such as video content versus images.
Free functionality: Includes 10 free searches a month
Grammarly is a service designed to help you craft compelling and well-written text. From simple changes, such as fixing passive voice, to more substantial changes, such as keeping a close eye on tone to make sure the tone of a piece (or multiple pieces) is consistent, Grammarly can be used to enliven your visual content’s corresponding captions, articles, or blog posts.
Although premium plans offer more substantial functionality, Grammarly’s free functions can be vital to spruce up your visual content and determine the avenues you should take to improve your content.
Free functionality: Free check on Tone detection, Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and conciseness
Feedly allows you to engage a content marketing process seamlessly that would take hours and a significant amount of manpower to complete on your own. By entering specific words or phrases into Feedly, you are able to browse through amazing content related to your keywords quickly and easily.
Feedly essentially weeds through all of the “noise” on all of your feeds to flag the items that are important to you. From content writers, to content management teams, Feedly can be an invaluable resource to make sure you are staying on top of relevant keywords and pieces of content.
Free functionality: Basic features which allow users to follow up to 100 sources
Mailchimp’s primary use is that of an email list resource. MailChimp is among the oldest and most frequently-used email marketing tools, because it allows users to create graphic design forward newsletters that are sent out consistently and neatly.
While it is not as easy as popping over to a browser extension, as might be the case with a product like Grammarly, MailChimp does allow you to develop an editorial calendar for your newsletter marketing campaigns, and provides the ability to do so from pre-made templates or templates you develop, yourself.
Free functionality: Monthly email send limit is 10,000 sends (daily limit of 2,000)
These include Google Analytics and Google Search Console for content performance analysis, Google Trends for content popularity analysis, Google Forms for survey collection, and Google Alerts for realtime keyword trends.
Got other suggestions for cool content marketing tool collections? Have other content marketing tools that you simply can’t live without? Let me know about them in the comments below or Tweet me up @HollyChessman.
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Holly Chessman is an expert on Content Marketing. Holly is the Principal at Holly Chessman Marketing. Named one of New England’s Top 40 Influencers in Content and Digital Marketing, Holly understands the power of building businesses online, as well as the skills necessary to produce and implement results-driven marketing processes and campaigns. She also love Science Fiction and owns a talking TARDIS.
Hero photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Free Content Marketing Tools FAQs
There are a number of ways to create content for free.
1. Repurpose existing content. For example, if you have a blog, you can turn some of your blog posts into an eBook or a video course.
2. Collaborate with other creators. For example, you could guest post on someone else’s blog or collaborate on a podcast or webinar.
3. Create original content by writing articles, recording videos, or creating graphics.
A content marketing tool is a piece of software that helps content marketers plan, create, distribute, and measure their content. There are many different types of content marketing tools available, each designed to meet a specific need. However, all content marketing tools share a common goal: to help content marketers drive more engagement and ROI from their content.
The 7 steps of content marketing are:
1. Define your audience.
2. Set your goals.
3. Understand what kinds of content your audience wants and needs.
4. Create a editorial calendar and publish regularly.
5. Promote your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels.
6. Analyze your results and adjust your strategy accordingly.
7. Rinse and repeat!
These are the 5 marketing tools:
2. Public relations
3. Direct marketing
4. Sales promotion
5. Personal selling
There are a number of ways to increase views for free. One way is to post high-quality content that is relevant to your niche. This will not only draw in organic traffic but will also encourage people to share your content with their followers. Another way to increase views is to use social media platforms to promote your content. Make sure to post links to your articles or videos on a regular basis, and try to interact with other users as much as possible.