23 Best Content Marketing Tools for Your Business

By Rhonda Bradley / 01 June 2018

Over 50% of businesses invest time and money into content marketing. What are the best tools to help your small- to medium-sized businesses succeed with content marketing?

A recent survey of over 500 digital marketers revealed that 53% of all businesses invest time and money into content marketing

How can small-to-medium sized businesses compete when they’re juggling so many other aspects of the day-to-day business?

In this article, we’ll show you some of the best content marketing tools to help organize your efforts and cut down on the time and financial investment of your content marketing. 

The tools also make your content more effective campaigns by helping you to:

  • Research
  • Create
  • Publish
  • Measure results

By focusing on quality over quantity and making the most of helpful tools, even small businesses can compete with tough competition.

Here are the types of tools you’ll find in this guide:

  • Tools That Help You Create Content
    • Research Tools
    • Topic-Generating Tools
    • Writing Tools
  • Tools That Help You Promote and Measure Results of Your Content
  • Tools That Help Your Team Collaborate
  • Content Marketing Tools That Do It All

Tools That Help You Create Content

Research Tools

Before you start creating content, be sure that it’s something your audience will be interested in. 

SEO keyword research tools help you discover what type of content people are searching for on Google. Competitive research helps you narrow the topic by studying what type of content is working for your competitors. Audience research helps you tailor content to specific buyer personas.

Most research tools offer a combination of research options to help you decide what content to publish. Here are a handful of popular research tools.

  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner helps you discover trends and keywords for your campaigns and content.
  • Spyfu helps you find profitable ads and keywords for paid and organic search results by simply entering your competitor’s name.
  • Ahrefs.com helps you find out what your competitors are ranking and how much traffic is being driven by organic search results. This helps you choose keywords and topics relevant and popular in your industry.
  • Buzzsumo shows you the most-shared content on social media right now.  Type in your topic to discover related content and statistics on what’s popular right now on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • Google Alerts is free and priceless. It’s a “content change detection and notification service” that emails you when new topics show up in Google search. You can also use it to monitor your brand name. Alerts are quick and easy to create, as seen in the image below.

Below is an example of Google’s free “Alerts” tool. It’s simple to use and you can start getting results immediately.

Google Alerts

Thorough research is often a key factor in determining how successful your content will be. So, it’s worth your time to investigate each of the tools above and find what works best for you.

Topic-Generating Tools

The following tools are great inspiration when you’re not sure what to write about.

  • HubSpot's Blog Ideas Generator offers you a week’s worth of blog post ideas by typing in your topic or keywords.
  • Portent Content Idea Generator gives you random, sometimes silly, headlines that get you thinking.
  • Feedly is an RSS tool that lets you build news feeds based on topics of your choosing. Use it to discover new and popular content related to your keywords and topics.

For example, typing in the keywords “chocolate cake” produces the following results in HubSpot’s idea generator:

HubSpots Blog Ideas Generator

Portent’s idea generator offers random, sometimes silly, headlines for a less-serious audience.

Portent's Content Generator

Feedly makes it easy to check on your industry’s trending topics with visual RSS feeds.

Feedly Screenshot

Topic-generating tools are a great way for you and your team to brainstorm when you’re stuck for ideas.

Writing Tools

When you’re ready to write blog posts, articles, or long-form content, here are the tools that will help you craft quality content.

  • Readable.io analyzes your writing for quality. This tool gives you data on dozens of writing points that affect reading quality, such as sentence length, percentage of adverbs used, and keyword density.
  • Yoast SEO analyzes your text and lets you know how well you’ve optimized your piece for SEO.
  • Copyscape is a plagiarism detector that lets you know if you’ve written any duplicate content. It’s also a great tool for businesses that hire freelance writers, so they can check their work to ensure that it’s unique content.
  • Grammarly is a proofreading tool that’s a handy way to double-check your content for spelling and grammar errors. Use caution because Grammarly doesn’t catch everything and it isn’t always correct. But when used as a backup proofreading tool, it can be helpful. 

For example, Readable.io analyzes your text and offers data to help you improve SEO and readability scores.

Readable.io example

To ensure quality, organic writing, use writing tools only after you’ve written and proofread your content.

Learn 8 tips for B2B content marketing. 

Tools That Help You Promote and Measure Results of Your Content

You want to promote your content across social media, and social management tools can help with that. Keep your content organized and cut your time investment by using social media scheduling software.

  • Buffer lets you schedule social media posts in advance and monitor analytics. Its interface is easy to use, and it can be integrated with other tools for social media monitoring.
  • Hootsuite is a robust social management system for managing all areas of social media marketing.
  • Sprout Social is “best in class” social management and engagement software. It offers advanced features and includes analytics, monitoring, and marketing.
  • Google Analytics allows you to view data related to your website. This is a required tool for any business wanting to measure the success and ROI of their content marketing campaigns.

Buffer lets you schedule posts in advance and track your social analytics all in one place.

Buffer screenshot

All of the tools above offer training to help you schedule, promote, and measure the analytics of your content marketing campaigns.

Tools That Help Your Team Collaborate

When you’ve got a full team contributing to your content, you’ll want a tool that allows you to collaborate. Here are some of the best team collaboration tools for your content marketing.

  • Trello offers visual boards and lists that you can share with your team. It’s a fantastic tool for managing content from a variety of writers.
  • Evernote lets you share notes and screenshots with your team.
  • Slack helps you communicate with your team and offers a Facebook-style simplicity in messaging and document attachments.
  • Google Suite offers low-cost, high-functioning software, storage, and communication solutions for individuals and teams. The free Google Docs and Sheets apps are an excellent alternative to high-cost word and spreadsheet programs.

For example, Trello lets your team share documents and move them through the publishing workflow.

Trello screenshot

If you’re working with a team of content creators, you’ll need a place to organize your content and communicate with your team. Collaboration apps can save time and money while keeping groups of individuals aligned in their primary purpose.

Content Marketing Tools That Do It All

Many tools offer multiple features, so you can manage almost everything from one dashboard. The following 3 software systems offer advanced content marketing management feature. They all offer similar features, but each specializes in a specific style.

  • HubSpot  specializes in growth and relationships with an emphasis on inbound marketing.
  • Marketo specializes in driving measurable results.
  • SEM Rush specializes in search engine optimization.

For example, Hubspot offers a wide collection of content tools alongside extensive training to help you succeed.

HubSpot screenshot

Content marketing tools that do it all can be time-consuming and pricey, so you should give them a trial run before choosing one.

Content Marketing Tools Save Time and Money

The right content marketing tools can give your brand an edge and help you compete with larger companies. Some require a fee, but the money you invest can pay off in the long run.

Take the time to get to know the features of your content marketing tools. Most of them come with training or blogs that offer helpful tips and tricks. 

Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways to promote your brand. The time and expense you set aside to get to know your tools may be a key factor in your long-term success.

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