Let’s face it: content marketing is hard. Every business, from decades-old establishments to enthusiastic startups, are all fighting for the attention of their audience online to grow their businesses. Original, engaging content is in demand more than ever before, and every successful content marketer must find that sweet spot between understanding their audience and creating content that will attract and retain their attention and keep them coming back, while at the same time being educational and not too self-promotional.
Get measurable results from online marketing. Do SEO, content marketing, competitor research, and PPC from one platform.
Get access to the world’s largest archive of social engagement data. Be inspired by engaging topics and real-time trends.
Make a free project with Adobe Express that includes thousands of templates, design assets, royalty-free photos, and more.
A CRM tool with all the software, integrations, and resources you need to connect marketing, sales, and customer service.
(This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
Here are some content marketing tools to guide you through your content creation and marketing process, all the way from coming up with ideas to distributing your message to your target audience via your social media posts.
I am not a user of ALL of these tools, but I do want to especially recommend the content marketing tools that I currently use. I will do so by adding a “*” after the name to let you know.
For your convenience, I have organized these content marketing tools in the following categories:
- Keyword Analysis
- Idea Generation
- Writing Tools
- Social Media Content Distribution Tools
- Email Content Distribution Tools
- Analytical Tools
Now on to the tools!
Keyword Analysis Tools
Content marketing begins with the content creation process. Before you create a piece of content, you need to plan out what to create. Enter keyword analysis tools, which will provide you with a plethora of data to help guide you.
1. SEMrush *
As a content marketer, you need to create content faster and more efficiently without getting sidetracked. In this digital age, many powerful content marketing tools help you work better. One such tool is SEMrush, which offers a wide range of solutions for developing a successful content strategy and creating pieces of content that can keep your audience engaged. You can even find content gaps and audit the existing content.
SEMrush is an all-in-one toolkit that gives you detailed insight into everything you need to know about content marketing. How does your competitor’s search ad look? What keywords are your competitors bidding on? You can get answers to these questions with SEMrush. With this tool, you can also look at the keywords that your company is ranking for gradually. Just enter a URL into this content marketing tool, and you will have tons of keyword information that you may have never known existed.
You may even uncover keywords that your competitors might not know of yet. SEMrush offers various other features, such as checking your backlinks and even your competitors. With the SEMrush data-driven approach, you can make your content marketing efforts more effective and more comfortable.
I currently use SEMrush as the main tool for all of my keyword research and search engine optimization efforts.
2. Ahrefs *
If you want to outrank your competitors, Ahrefs is one of the best content marketing tools you can use. As a content marketer creating all types of content, you need to understand why your competitors rank high to develop a better content strategy. Ahrefs helps you in doing just that. You can monitor your niche and research your competitors. With Ahrefs, you can track mobile ranking, locations per website, keywords, update frequency, and more. Before you write any content, it is a perfect way to do research. You can also get insights on what is working for your competitors.
Once you create content and market it, Ahrefs can be used to measure how it fared–How often did the audience share content? Did you get any backlinks? This amazing content marketing tool searches five billion web pages every day to ensure that you have the latest information.
With Ahrefs, you need not be a pro in SEO marketing to get a higher rank and more traffic. This tool is a one-stop shop that offers free learning materials that will help you in optimizing your website, studying what your customers are searching for, analyzing competition, tracking your ranking progress, and will also help you to learn from the industry’s top-performing content.
If you’re on the sidelines about Ahrefs because of its price, did you know that Ahrefs offers a free webmaster tool that you can use for your website and limited research? You’re welcome!
I currently use the free version mentioned above and highly recommend it as a no-brainer tool to have in your arsenal.
Moz is another SEO tool that focuses on keyword research and competitor information. Moz has both a free version and a pro version that allows you to perform keyword research and receive real-world applications of those keywords to most effectively strategize and develop your content. No matter which social platforms you use and where your relevant content is posted, Moz helps you develop a solid content strategy. Among content research tools, Moz offers a fairly robust set of options, and is often preferred for its ability to provide applications of keywords, rather than providing keywords in a vacuum.
Moz is designed to make the process of improving your SEO easy. If you are a creator of visual content, or you are a content creator who focuses on blogs and landing pages, Moz can help you develop effective and straightforward optimization techniques and is a great content optimization tool for people who are not familiar with SEO processes as a whole.
Content Marketing Tools for Idea Generation
Now that you have a keyword strategy, get your creative content marketing juices flowing with these tools:
4. Google Trends
Google Trends is one of those content marketing tools that you’ll find hard not to use once you start using it as part of your overall Google package, such as Google Docs.
Google Trends helps you understand your target audience’s behavior and interests. You can get a glimpse into the topics the world has been searching for since 2004. It has many customization options to help you with your personalized requirements. The trends can be sorted by types of searches, including news, image, web, YouTube, products, geographical areas, categories, and time span, and can allow you to compare up to 5 search items at one time.
You can easily find the volume of traffic from a related keyword phrase and gain insights for content marketing. Google Trends also offers features like Top Charts, Hot Searches, and Explore Trends. Top Charts (available for the United States only) include the most popular searches in Google according to the updated categories every month. At the same time, Hot Searches lists the top searches by the day, which is updated in real-time. With Explore Trend, you can search topics and terms against each other and add relevant news headlines.
Google Trends is a remarkably useful tool, and a little creativity can yield significant search marketing insights.
While you may not immediately think “content generation” when you think of the question-and-answer format of Quora, it can actually be quite useful as a way to generate ideas and content, because it can let you know what kind of information audiences are looking for, and how that information is being received. Content teams can utilize Quora to thoroughly evaluate different questions and thought processes surrounding their niche, products, or even the company itself, in order to deliver information on their sites and social media accounts to meet those needs.
Quora does not require a subscription or premium plan to use, but there is some caution to exercise when using this platform: while it may be tempting to immediately insert your site or products into questions presented within your niche, doing so can actually harm your credibility and damage your brand’s reputation. Instead, Quora should be used as a research tool in order to find the latest in questions and concerns from your audience demographics.
6. BuzzSumo *
BuzzSumo helps you identify the ideal content that will resonate with your audience. You can use BuzzSumo’s content discovery solution to discover trending content over time, from 12 to 24 hours, by the social network or domain that’s fueling it. BuzzSumo comes with a research and planning tool that shows you the most shared content formats to match your keywords, whether that’s photos, videos or slideshows to help you with your overall content marketing strategy.
I currently use BuzzSumo as the main tool for all of my content curation needs.
7. Portent’s Idea Generator
This is a convenient, straightforward way of generating ideas for the title of your content material. You may have the perfect content idea, but getting the right title can be a headache. That makes Portent’s Idea Generator an indispensable tool for your content marketing strategy. You enter your keyword, hit enter, and this tool offers you a range of titles for your choice. Granted, some ideas generated by this tool can be a bit over the top, so Portent advises you to use the singular version of your keyword, avoid capitalizing, and keep revising the title until you hit perfection. For example, if your keyword is “content marketing,” some titles generated include “Content Marketing in 14 Easy Steps,” and “The Unconventional Guide to Content Marketing.” Portent’s content curation tool can take a great deal of the pressure off of coming up with a compelling title.
8. Inoreader *
Inoreader is an advanced RSS reader coupled with a growing community of users and content curators. Content is organized within the tool in ‘Subscription Bundles’ allowing you to access all content about a specific subject in one click. Once subscribed, you can use their productivity-boosting ‘Rules’ feature which can tag and organize content for you in real-time to help with your content planning efforts. Unlike other tools, Inoreader also has a full RSS archive, which means you don’t lose old blog posts or articles after a year. If you’re looking for a new RSS tool, Inoreader could be the answer.
I am a huge fan of Inoreader and currently use it as my main RSS application.
Content Marketing Writing Tools
Once you have good ideas for content, here’s how to get the words down:
9. Yoast *
Yoast is a plugin that can be used to improve the SEO content of specific pages or entire websites. Although Yoast does utilize keyword optimization as part of its package, it also dives into the structure and delivery of your content to make sure that your pages and content are being shared on search engines as effectively as possible. Yoast is most commonly associated with WordPress, but you do not have to utilize a WordPress site in order to benefit from Yoast, as the plugin can be used directly through your browser. Yoast’s offerings are divided into different areas of focus, including local SEO optimization, news optimization, and more. These divisions allow you to target multiple areas of interest and exposure.
Yoast is easy to use, utilizing a three-color system to indicate how effective your pages are in scoring high on SEO evaluations. It also allows you to view how your site and individual pages are being displayed in Google searches.
10. Hemingway app
This free online tool checks your content for grammar and readability. You paste your content onto the page, hit the edit button, and Hemingway will highlight the use of adverbs, passive voice, and difficulty of reading. It offers suggestions along the way, such as what to omit, simpler alternatives for phrases and so on, all to make your writing clearer and bolder. Hemingway gives you an estimated reading time for your article so that you can gauge how long your audience will spend on your content, which is crucial for understanding audience engagement.
Grammarly is another writing tool that helps you polish your writing. Grammarly’s free Chrome extension checks what you’re composing directly on your website and integrates into all sites with wGrammarly is another writing tool that helps you polish your writing. Grammarly’s free Chrome extension checks what you’re composing directly on your website and integrates into all sites with which you interact. You can be sure that whatever content you’re putting out there is flawless, from contacting influencers via email to posting content on Facebook and Twitter. Grammarly has an optional weekly progress report to monitor your writing skills as you execute your content marketing strategy. Grammarly Premium offers you the extra option of detecting plagiarism to ensure that your content is 100% original. Whether through Grammarly or another service, a plagiarism check is a must-have tool.
12. Copyscape *
Copyscape is a simple online plagiarism detection tool. By typing in any URL it allows you to check whether or not similar text content appears elsewhere online. Aside from checking your posts, you can also utilize Copyscape to see if your work has been taken or duplicated by other bloggers!
As I have a lot of contributing bloggers on my website, I use Copyscape to ensure that all content is 100% unique. If you work with freelancers or outside services to source content in whole or even partially, I highly recommend that you use Copyscape to ensure that all of your content being published is 100% unique and will not negatively impact your social shares.
13. Adobe Express *
Adobe Express is a visual and graphics design tool, but it also serves as a content marketing tool in this category, because Adobe Express can be used to generate headings and images to embed within the body of your images, design newsletters and pages, and develop text-laden images that meet SEO requirements. Adobe Express improves your pages and social media platforms by combining eye-catching and arresting visuals and SEO-rich text, and helps complement any content that you have already developed or put into place. Adobe Express is a free service, though you can pay more for additional features, and boasts a library of images and templates to help create SEO designs and images that can help elevate your content.
Adobe Express can be particularly useful for anyone who is already familiar with Adobe’s products, as the layout and structure may be more familiar than similar programs.
I currently use Adobe Express as my main graphics editing app.
14. Canva *
You all should know that Canva is a design tool for graphic-style content. With Canva, you can design newsletters, infographics, web banners and ads, as well as graphics optimized for Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to be a graphic design expert to create graphics and banners for your content marketing strategy. Canva makes it incredibly easy to create beautiful, engaging content for your website by providing preset image sizes, endless customizable templates and fonts, and best of all: it’s free. If your main content marketing platforms are Pinterest and Instagram, where images are king, try Canva.
I currently use Canva together with Adobe Express above.
Social Media Content Distribution Tools
You have your content ready. How will you get it to your key audience? These tools make content distribution a breeze.
Hootsuite is a management tool that allows you to keep tabs on multiple social media profiles and maintain consistency across your brand’s social media presence. Using Hootsuite, you can communicate with team members, develop a content calendar, keep in constant contact with your team, and keep a close eye on all keyword optimization strategies and efforts. Hootsuite also allows you to hold onto your messages in one place, and provides you with the ability to analyze your posts to evaluate what must be changed and what in your content strategy is currently working.
Hootsuite is primarily a team tool, with pricing options that start at only 1 member, but continue with more options and more accessibility for 3, 5, and an unlimited number of users.
Buffer is a social media management tool that allows you to complete your content marketing campaigns from start to finish. Buffer can be used to plan and create social media campaigns, post those campaigns, and engage with your audience and analyze the campaigns that have been published. Buffer is somewhat unique in its ability to provide a single point of contact for audience communication and engagement, as it allows team members to interact directly with their audience through the Buffer platform.
Buffer also allows you to build pages for your site within the platform. This makes it a truly unique management tool, as it is a true one-stop shop for all of your content marketing wants and needs.
CoSchedule and their variety of marketing products can be your one stop shop for content management & distribution for everything from daily blog posts to monthly emails. Focusing on their distribution capabilities, the CoSchedule calendar function allows you to see all scheduled content for the month at a glance & assign different related tasks to team members. Need your freelance writer to edit their last blog post? You’re able to note that and see when they’ve completed it, so you know the post is ready to be published. CoSchedule integrates with or has plugins for most content publishing platforms, including WordPress (which this blog runs on).
CoSchedule is an invaluable, useful tool for content creators.
Email Content Distribution Tools
Social media isn’t the only place that you can distribute your content. Email is another great option to market your content, so here are some recommended email tools to consider:
One of the standard techniques of content marketing is email marketing. Email should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy, and Mailchimp offers a perfect solution for this.
When companies start email marketing, Mailchimp is usually what they choose because of their ease of use and free plan for up to 2,000 contacts.
This email marketing tool allows you to access your personalized dashboard from both desktop and mobile. It comes loaded with features; however, the most popular ones let you build an email list with subscribers who are genuinely engaged with your content.
Moreover, you can even track them. Another useful feature is that it allows you to monitor metrics such as click and open rates, along with your average rate of email subscription and opt-outs. With Mailchimp, you can bring your audience data, insights, and marketing channels together to reach your goals faster from a single platform. It will help you reach the right people and create better content. You can add a personal touch without much effort through automated messages that will reach your customers at just the right time.
When you’re ready to outgrow Mailchimp and you want some additional functionality and automation in your email marketing, you’ll want to transition to GetResponse.
As a content marketer, you know that email marketing brings you a great ROI and is also a key to customer retention. Most companies overlook the fact that it costs more to gain a new customer than to retain the present one. GetResponse offers various features that have put this content marketing tool ahead of many other email marketing providers. It uses automation to trigger emails or events based on a specific time frame or actions requested by a recipient.
With GetResponse, you can create professional emails and landing pages conveniently. The email intelligence features can analyze the performance of your content marketing campaign. GetResponse provides you with accurate customer targeting to assist in generating more leads and improving the conversion rate. It is undoubtedly one of the best email marketing tools, since it offers a plethora of options at a reasonable price. You can even automate and use the CRM functionality to help in boosting your brand.
Check out the lead magnet webinar I did with GetResponse.
Other Content Distribution Tools
These content distribution tools incorporate email, social, and more. For larger businesses and enterprises, you’ll want to investigate these tools if they aren’t already a part of your marketing technology stack.
20. WordPress *
WordPress is one of the giants in website and blog hosting. This is due, in large part, to its accessibility and varied functionality. From simple sites focusing on blog posts and basic landing pages to more complex sites describing services of a company or brand, WordPress can be used to create it. WordPress offers built-in analytics and is utilized in conjunction with a truly dizzying number of plug-ins and outside apps, making it an incredibly customizable web platform.
WordPress sites are also useful, in that they offer a basic dashboard and different web hosting capabilities. WordPress is easy to use, and is beloved by novices and IT professionals, alike. With a seemingly limitless number of customization options and a wide array of pages and designs available, WordPress can suit the needs of most websites, companies, and brands.
Wordable is essentially a content project management tool that allows individuals and teams to work within Google Docs and create content across multiple computers, spaces, and platforms, which can then seamlessly and easily transport those projects to sites, blogs, and more. Wordable also has some SEO functionality, and it helps ensure that posts and content have all of the necessary components prior to publishing (think alt text, titles, images, and more). Wordable functions as a project management tool, too, in that it helps automate processes, making sure that content is delivered on time and consistently, and is delivered while adhering to all preset formatting and requirements. Google Docs has become a frequent player in content creation, in part for its ease of use, and in part for its ability to span across different teams and endure edits from multiple disciplines, and being able to export from Google Docs to all necessary platforms can be a boon to many content creators and brands.
Of all of the email tools here, Hubspot is by far the most comprehensive and offers the most general content marketing functionality.
Since its inception, HubSpot has continued to grow. It can be used by content marketers of all experience and skill levels. This content marketing tool offers a complete CRM platform and all the integrations and tools required for a highly effective content marketing campaign. Whether you are looking for an increase in lead numbers and sales, or want to streamline customer service, or even if you want to build a website, each HubSpot tool is powerful enough to cater to your requirements. However, it gets even better when used together. Many of its content marketing tools are free to try, such as popup tools, chatbots and live chats, a powerful form builder, and an all-in-one WordPress plugin for marketing.
HubSpot offers one of the best CMS and is a powerful marketing platform that allows you to centralize the whole thing to a CRM. This means that at each level of the company’s growth, HubSpot has a solution that can help you build an effective content marketing program. It also offers products for service and sales teams. In other words, it can be a ground control for the entire business. As a content marketer, if you are looking for resources to create content, optimize it, and want to make sure that it reaches the right audience, HubSpot is the answer.
Uberflip is one such content marketing tool that helps you take charge of your buyer’s journey. As a content marketer, you can create optimized and customized content at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Uberflip offers a platform for marketing automation that can help you bridge the gap between demand generation and content. This tool provides a collection of valuable content marketing tools, account-based marketing, lead generation, and sales enablement. You can easily manage videos, blogs, e-books, and more from a single location, and this means that your workflows are in one place.
Additionally, Uberflip allows you to build sales streams or content hubs to ensure that your visitor interaction with your brand remains uninterrupted and consistent. Regardless of size, Uberflip allows every marketing team to launch campaigns faster and distribute relevant content. What is more amazing about Uberflip is that it is an easy-to-use platform that can help create personalized destinations quickly. It offers AI-powered content recommendations that encourage buyers to speed up the decision-making process. To sum up, it is one of the best tools to create mega-hype for your content and give a seamless content experience to your customers.
Tools to Analyze Your Content Marketing
How successful is your content marketing? There’s a tool for that!
24. Google Analytics *
Tracking analytical insights for your published content can be an overwhelming task. Your target audience prefers different content types, and many will read your content for years before they hit the ‘buy’ button.
Enter Google Analytics, a tool that can help you understand whether your content marketing strategy is worth the effort and time. Google Analytics makes tons of data available at your fingertips that can help you in understanding which type of content is most popular, which content format performs best in search, how often you should publish new content, the times of the month, week, or days that people are visiting, and whether your content results in conversations.
For a content marketer, Google Analytics can be a best friend, and it offers endless opportunities with the data. Google has built a very robust platform to gather all the data and update it in real-time. All you need to do is use it effectively, and Google Analytics is already there in your toolkit and is free to use. To make full use of this tool, make sure that you take time out to set up goals for your website to track insights that are most important for your business.
Hotjar is quite similar to Google Analytics and has been designed to provide insights on any page’s performance on your website–including your blog posts. Hotjar is one content marketing tool that enables you to see how people interact with your content. It combines a bunch of helpful features with heatmaps to allow you to visualize how users are actually using your website. This means you can easily tweak your content marketing strategy so that you show people what they actually want to see.
In other words, you can enhance the user experience on your website by identifying the hot areas that require improvements or need some changes. Heatmaps can be customized for any page that has been assigned to this tool and shows you exactly how far people are scrolling down on your content, with which links or Calls-To-Action they are interacting with. As a result, you can see if your 2,000-word post is a waste or whether your Calls-To-Action are working or not. The bottom line? Hotjar offers some high-quality and really valuable tools that can make content management smooth and more straightforward. The basic plan for individuals is free, so you must give this one a try as a content marketer.
With all these indispensable content marketing tools at your side, create your content marketing strategy with the highest confidence that your content is catchy, optimized for your audience, flawless in grammar and style, and reaches whom you need it to for maximum impact. Before you know it, you will be a content marketing guru!
Looking for more content marketing tools? Check out this other post on free content marketing tools as well as my definitive Digital Marketing Tools Guide PDF!
So, which of the above are your favorite? Which are missing? Please chime in!
All of My Clients
Hero photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
Content Marketing Tools FAQs
They are market research, target markets, product positioning, pricing strategies, and promotion.
Each one is important in its own way and contributes to the overall success of a marketing campaign.
Plan your marketing efforts wisely, and you’ll be sure to see a positive return on investment!
Here are the 4 main marketing tools that play an essential role in any of your marketing campaigns:
These are the 7 marketing tools:
1. Content Marketing
3. Social Media Marketing
4. Email Marketing
5. Pay-per-click Advertising
6. Affiliate Marketing
7. Lead Generation
Examples of content marketing are:
5. White paper
6. Social media posts
Marketing tools are basically tools that help marketers achieve their marketing campaigns and goals. In choosing what marketing tools to use, it is critical to consider what your goals are and what you want to achieve with your marketing campaign. Once you have a clear idea of this, you can start to narrow down the list of potential marketing tools.
Nice blog, thoroughly explained content marketing and the importance of tools in content marketing.
Appreciate the comment!
I totally agree with Neal, today’s content marketing is almost incomplete without using right tools for content creation. Every content creator has different content creation tools as their best friend.
Amen Steve! What are your recommended tools of late?
Hi Neal, It is true content marketing definitely hard. In this day and age it is practically impossible to become successful content marketer without using correct content marketing tool. In this blog post you listed some of the best tools every content marketer needs to use to be successful. Using canva has made it very simple for me to create professional looking images for my blog. I blogger friend has introduced me to canva and since then i have been using canva for creating images for all my blogs. Buzzsumo is a great tool for content discovery.
Thanks for the comment Sajan, and, yes, I believe every content marketer I know probably uses BuzzSumo!