You have probably heard the saying “it’s all in the content and that content is the king”, right? This is absolutely the truth in both social media AND content marketing. In fact, using the right tools can go along way in helping your content marketing make all the difference in the world! There are many free and paid tools that can help you find, create and promote your content – and that will not only save you tons of time, but will ultimately mean better, more relevant, and more shareable content.
Following are some of my favorite tools that can help at every stage of the process: from coming up with new blog or social media post ideas, all the way to syndicating and promoting your content. The good news is there are countless marketing tools at your disposal to make things easier and more successful for you.
So whether you’re just starting to use content marketing or you’ve been using it for awhile, these tools will help you get the most out of your time and energy.
Please let me know YOUR favorite content marketing tools at the end of this post and if you use any from my ultimate content marketing tools list!
Finding Original Content Ideas
BuzzSumo – Do you know what kind of content is trending in your industry? Do you know what your competition is writing about and how they market it?
BuzzSumo is perfect for leveling the playing field, revealing the topics you should write about, and helping you find influencers in your industry to market your content for you.
Get content insights by discovering what content was most shared across all social networks and run analysis reports.
Find influencers who are industry leaders in any area, check out the content they’ve been sharing, and plan influencer outreach from there.
You can get content alerts to be the first company to see content that mentions your keyword. You can also get alerts when a competitor posts new content, so you’ll never miss anything.
With competitor analysis, you can track how your competitor’s content is performing and compare their results to your own performance. When you search any keyword, you’ll be shown a list of the top-performing content. BuzzSumo finds the most shared content for any topic! Very clever platform. You can filter by time period or network or content type such as infographic or video.
And that makes this tool perfect for editorial planning and scheduling. Use it before you even start drafting a blog post. Then use this next tool to organize your findings.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator – Type in a topic, and get tons of ideas for your next blog post.
Quora – Look through the questions, or ask your own. Use these Q&A’s to brainstorm issues or problems your audience could use help with.
Spezify – Searches images and videos across the social web to find content related to your keyword. Use this content to come up with new and creative topics to write about.
Quandary Content Idea Generator – Answer 18 questions about your business or products, and this tool will give you hundreds of ideas for your content marketing!
Google Trends – Search for some keywords related to your niche to see which ones are trending. Use the Hot Trends feature to see the most searched for news stories…and think about how you can incorporate these into your content marketing plan.
Soovle – Type in any keyword and find out which related terms are popular on sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, Google and Answers.com.
HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator – Type in a few nouns, and the tool will give you a week’s worth of blog topic ideas.
Promoting Your Blog Content
Obviously, much of your content marketing distribution and promotion will be through your own earned channels (your email list, social media, etc.). However, here are a few tools that can help you take your content promotion to the next level.
Outbrain – An advertising platform that allows you to promote your content alongside related content elsewhere online.
Outbrain is the world’s largest content discovery platform that aims to deliver and promote personalized, relevant online, mobile, and video content to audiences while helping publishers and businesses understand their audiences through data.
Outbrain thrives on the value of bringing audiences and content together, delighting its target audience while at the same time creating revenue, driving engagement and breeding consumer insight to publishers and businesses. As a platform, it helps bring publishers and marketers together into the world’s most vibrant content marketplace through its products Amplify (for marketers) and Engage. (for publishers) It serves over 190 billion personalized content recommendations every month and reaches over 561 million unique visitors from across the globe.
Through Amplify, Outbrain helps businesses reach an engaged audience through a flexible, pay-per-click model and grow traffic to articles, blog, and your mobile-optimized or video content. (ads are not allowed) Businesses can control the budget, and pay only for visits received, until a daily budget has been reached. Display video recommendations as well with leading video providers or use Outbrain’s API to increase video views.
BuzzStream – Software that allows you to conduct link building and PR campaigns to help you build relationships with influencers who can potentially share your content.
StumbleUpon – Share your blog posts on social bookmarking sites likes StumbleUpon to generate reams of free traffic to your site.
AllTop – Getting your blog listed on a popular Alltop page can help you consistently get tons of targeted traffic to your site.
Finding Content You Can Share (Content Curation)
PostPlanner – PostPlanner is one of my favorite content curation tools. I use it daily! What makes PostPlanner unique is that you can find proven content…content that is already resonating with audiences. Truly an invaluable resource for sourcing great content!
Post Planner is a system designed to enhance the social media marketing activities and campaigns of any business. Using this software, social media marketers find it easy to manage and share content consistently, and are able to achieve predictable, measurable, and remarkable results with their social media posts, especially on Facebook and Twitter.
Post Planner provides information on the top performing content for any social account, hashtag, or topic that you can use in your social media marketing campaign, all ranked by virality so that you can confidently predict engagement on your content. All such content can be put in one location, adding at the same time accounts from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and your favorite hashtags, keywords, and blogs. You can then choose the best content to enhance interaction with your audience.
Trapit – ‘Trap’ relevant content from around the web, and then share it with your audience.
Google Alerts – Set up alerts for topics or keywords to be notified of any blog posts or news stories you can share with your audience.
Storify – Collect content from around the web to create ‘stories’, and then share these stories with your audience.
Scoop.it – Helps you discover and collect relevant content, add your own perspective to it, and then share on your blog or on social media.
Tagboard – Search and follow hashtags to see what’s being posted, and to find popular social media posts you can share with your audience.
Addict-o-matic – Enter a keyword, and get a list of where this term is being used online: on WordPress, Bing News, Ask.com News, YouTube and other popular sites.
Social Mention – Monitor keywords and hashtags across multiple platforms, allowing you to find trending content you can share on social media.
Finding Keywords for Your Content Marketing Strategy
Ubersuggest – Gives you hundreds of keyword suggestions related to the term you enter.
Most people who do SEO and content marketing use a pretty narrow selection of keyword research tools.
On the paid side of keyword research, you’ve got giants like Moz, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. On the free side, keywordtool.io (which also has a paid version), Answer the Public, and good-old Google have been popular.
A tool like Ubersuggest would enter the conversation—but from what I’ve seen, its use was declining in the SEO and content marketing community.
But things are changing.
Marketer and SEO expert Neil Patel recently acquired Ubersuggest and relaunched it as part of his site. The updated Ubersuggest pulls in keyword data from Google Keyword Planner and Google Suggest—and the result is a vastly improved keyword research tool.
I’m super excited to start using the updated Ubersuggest, so I encourage you to explore great features that make this new tool—which is free, by the way—potentially awesome.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner – Keyword Planner will give you data like related keywords, average monthly search volume, and the level of competition you can expect for a particular term.
SEO Book – A fantastic tool for finding related keywords, estimates for monthly search volumes and even the cost per click or a particular keyword (should you want to bid on the keyword in AdWords).
Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool – The best tool – hands down – for estimating how difficult a keyword will be to rank for. A paid tool, but worth every penny.
Wordtracker – Gives you an estimate of the traffic you could receive for a particular keyword, as well as the level of search competition. Offers a free trial, but a full membership will run you about $27/month.
For more of my favorite keyword research tools, see my post Best 4 Free Keyword Research Tools.
Finding Blog or Social Media Images
Hubspot’s Free Business-Themed Stock Photos – 160 totally free images, no attribution or link required.
Just about every part of marketing relies on visual content. But finding high-quality images that you can use without attribution, without licensing troubles, and without having to purchase each time is nearly impossible.
That’s why the gave away 75 free stock photos last month. The response was so incredible that they’re giving away 160 more free stock photos, this time with a business theme. You can use these photos on your blog posts, social media channels, landing pages, emails — wherever you’d like!
Creative Commons Search – Search for free images available on sites like Flickr or Pixabay. Many will require attribution, but hey…they’re free!
Free Digital Photos – Huge library of free images; attribution required.
morgueFile – Archived collection of photos, ranging from amateur to professional-quality. Free, and many do not require attribution.
iStock Photo – Professional-quality images. Not free, but worth it for the level of quality you get.
Managing and Automating Your Social Media Content
Hootsuite – One of the most popular social media management tools; allows you to manage and schedule all your social media posts in one place.
Anyone (and we literally mean anyone) can start off by registering for a free account with Hootsuite to explore its various features. Once you have registered for the free Hootsuite account with your preferred mail id and password, you can select the different social networking sites with which Hootsuite can integrate to view, schedule and post messages.
These sites could include Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn. It is important to note that Hootsuite is accessed directly from your web browser and you do not need to install any software on your system.
Sprout Social – Comprehensive social media solution that allows you to publish your social media content, and then tracks how well it’s performing with your audience.
Social Oomph – Social media management with powerful automation features like adding content to your ‘queue reservoir’ (allows you to promote popular content again and again in different ways).
Buffer – Manage multiple social media accounts, schedule your content and collaborate with your team, all in one easy-to-use platform.
For more of my favorite social media tools, see my posts 20 Social Media Tools that Will Save You Time and Provide Key Marketing Data
Which best content marketing tools are missing from this list? What’s the one content marketing tool YOU couldn’t live without? Share below!