What if a marketer was only as good as their content marketing tools?
I believe there’s actually much more truth to that statement than many of us realize. The brands that succeed at content marketing are those that take an agile stance. Not only should you constantly evaluate and re-evaluate your approach, you should take a long, hard look at how you’re getting there.
While some of the content marketing tools trending in 2014 are familiar, many of the rest are brand-new and probably worth adding to your program.
Much like our recent blog on tools and apps for rapid visual content creation, I personally believe that everything on this list has immense value to offer brands of any size. Here are the very best:
Image credit: evernote
I’m well aware that pretty much every list of content marketing tools ever includes Evernote, but did you know you can use it to record audio and turn it into text? Yes, that’s right – and it’s free. Who knows, perhaps even your most writing-averse colleague could be convinced to blog.
For an explanation of how to accomplish this, I recommend Here’s How I Wrote this 1,000 Word Blog Post in 10 Minutes.
Image credit: fastco
To be clear, this isn’t a cheap tool. However, it’s part of the genius behind the content marketing at some brands you’ve definitely heard of, like Redbull, General Electric, and Pandora. In a nutshell, it’s a hub for creating socially-relevant content for multiple channels, from Tumblr to WordPress, and keeping everything organized and measured along the way.
There are a few blog title generators out there, and I love and use each and every one of them. ContentForest’s Title Tool is an excellent sidekick for content calendar creation. All you need to do is add a keyword, and it will suggest relevant and engaging topics to match.
Image credit: semrush
When it comes to paid tools for keyword research, SEMRush is pretty much the best of the best. Not only are you able to check your own keywords, you can gain insights into the terms your competitors are currently optimizing around. With the help of their platform, you can perform competitive analysis and determine the highest potential keywords in one easy swoop.
For a sneak peek into how we approach our keyword research process from start to finish at Writtent, I recommend Keyword Strategy the Right Way. Here’s How to Do it.
Image credit: WordPress
While it’s certainly questionable just how efficient it would be to create content on a mobile device, you definitely need the WordPress App if you’re using this CMS and own an Apple device. You’ll be able to respond to comments, check your metrics, or save ideas directly into your drafts, even if you’re not right in front of your computer.
You’ll never forget an amazing idea again!
Image credit: focusbooster
Productivity and focus are immensely important aspects of creating effective content, which is why everyone needs at least one or more content marketing tools to help them buckle down when necessary.
FocusBooster is a free app that relies on the Pomodoro technique, which is based on 25-minute sessions of working. While you can adjust your focus periods, the point of these content marketing tools is to help you develop periods of intense focus with intermittent breaks.
Image credit: allthingsd
Answering customer FAQ in your blogs is crucial, but what if you’re a brand new startup? Or you haven’t been keeping close tabs on your customer questions? That’s where these content marketing tools come in, by helping you discover the right questions to answer even if you don’t have much customer data to go on.
InboxQ is one heck of a smart search engine, which takes your industry keywords and connects them to questions that are being asked in real-time on Twitter.
I’m a firm believer that writers can never do too much research on the conversations that are currently shaping their industry. There’s currently reports that Google Alerts aren’t working as well as they used to, which is why SocialMention is an incredible search engine for getting a quick glimpse into trends, breaking news, and important stories to shape your content.
Image credit: toprankblog
A free, open source tool for capturing and recording audio files? Yes, please! Audacity is sufficiently robust for fantastic-sounding auditory content, and simple enough for sound editing newbies to pick it up in just minutes. It’s undoubtedly one of the best-respected platforms of its kind, and a powerful place for you to start if you’re considering a podcast.
Image credit: mailchimp
This is among the most well-respected and best-known tools for creating socially integrated blog posts. Adding the right Tweets to your articles is as easy as doing a search within the platform, and clicking-and-dragging your selected Tweets to embed the content right in your blog.
Most of the tool’s functionality is free, but the paid version allows you to create content on breaking stories that’s updated in real-time.
Many experienced content marketers prefer drafting their articles in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, and for good reason. The spelling and grammar check capacities on many major content management systems (CMS) exist, but not all are up to par. However, it’s rare to get a clean copy and paste off a word document.
One of my favorite tools for simplifying your blog formatting process is Word2CleanHTML, an easy-to-use editor for rapid-fire formatting, even if you can’t code.
I firmly believe that every content marketer needs an easy-to-use mind mapping app in their arsenal of content marketing tools. Bubbl.us is a fantastic platform for outlining blogs, illustrating a marketing campaign, or simply breaking through your writer’s block.
If you’re staring at a blank document, it’s certainly worth moving to another format, and seeing where that takes you. Plus, you can’t argue with the fact it’s free!
Image credit: unspace
Want to turn your articles into a visual feast? Look no further than these content marketing tools, which allow you to assemble collections of curated and native content, which can be shared across social media. It’s like being able to promote a custom-designed Pinterest board across multiple platforms, including directly in your blog articles.
Image credit: eloqua
If your content promotion strategy doesn’t include your own employees, it’s time to start! GaggleAMP is a platform where brands can centralize their content promotion efforts, but allowing interested employees to sign up for simple social sharing of their latest articles.
Image credit: angel
Brands of all sizes can benefit from Influitive’s “advocate marketing” approach to content marketing tools. With the help of their platform, it’s easy to recognize and reward your brand’s biggest promoters, who are sharing your articles and singing your praises. It even includes gamification features!
Image credit: optimizely
It’s easy to make the plunge into A/B testing your content with Optimizely, which is one of the most straightforward platforms for testing on-page elements. You can optimize your headlines, calls-to-action, and much more – and it even integrates with WordPress!
If you’ve been scared to begin conducting marketing experiments, it offers a fantastic introduction to this invaluable practice.
It’s easy – and free – to create engaging, interactive presentations in this program, even if your graphic design skills are minimal at best. While some templates and functionalities are paid, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish (fast) without spending a dime.
You can promote your final product on Slideshare, or even publish it as an eBook!
Image credit: content marketing experience
What if you could have a customized list of content topics delivered straight to your inbox every morning? Not only is it possible, it’s free with ContentGems, a service which provides custom suggestions around your keywords in response to web trends.
You can also import the suggestions directly into your HootSuite or Buffer account for social sharing.
Image credit: springwise
This brand-new, remarkable app does the legwork on analyzing your metrics on your behalf. You’ll receive alerts on your content performance, and more importantly, actionable tips on how you can optimize your existing content assets’ performance.
This product has only been on the market for a few weeks, so you may need to wait a few days to receive your official invite.
This paid, remarkable website plug-in provides automated suggestions to your website visitors on which content they should read next, based on their historic usage of your website – a concept not unlike Amazon’s product recommendation engine.
Be warned, however – it’s still in Beta, and memberships are still being rolled out.
Image credit: buzzsumo
Find your tribe, credible sources, and digital influencers to work with by signing up for BuzzSumo. It’s like a really sharp search engine that provides outstanding suggestions on topics or key phrases of your choice, including the option to filter by freshness of the content and social sharing data.
Have you tried any of the content marketing tools on this list? Share your current favorites in the comments!
21 Content Marketing Tools To Use In 2014