Good salespeople know that it’s not a great idea to try the hard sell on prospects the very first time you connect. First, you need to build a relationship and establish your credibility.
Marketers need to take the same approach. That’s where content marketing comes in. By creating valuable resources, information, tools, and other forms of content for your audience, you make sure you’re top of mind when it comes time to make a purchase.
Content marketing is a big job. Content marketing tools make that job significantly easier. They also allow for better collaboration, tracking, analysis, and communication. All of this can help bridge the sometimes difficult gap between marketing and sales, making both teams more effective.
Bonus: Download our free, customizable social media calendar template to easily plan and schedule all your content in advance.
A content marketing tool is any tool that allows content teams to improve, simplify, or better manage their marketing work. This includes a wide assortment of tool categories to help with the many aspects of marketing content creation.
From spurring ideas to implementing designs to automating social media posts, there are many great content marketing tools to make a content marketer’s day more productive and less stressful.
Let’s take a look at some of the best.
Rather than a single content marketing tool, Hootsuite is actually a suite of content marketing tools built with the unique needs of social marketers in mind. It can benefit content marketers at every stage of the content creation and management process.
So, let’s start at the beginning – with the spark of an idea. Or maybe you don’t have one? Either way, OwlyWriter AI can help. This AI tool that’s built into the Hootsuite dashboard just needs a simple prompt to create captions and post ideas that are appropriate for your brand.
Whether your content comes from AI or from the sharp minds of your team, you can then use Hootsuite’s composer to set up your social media posts. Add existing image and video assets, or choose royalty-free images from the built-in image library. There are built-in workflows and approval processes, too. These keep your team working collaboratively during this process.
You can create new custom visuals within Hootsuite through the integration with Canva. Or, fine-tune your text directly in the composer through the integration with Grammarly.
Once your post is ready to go, it’s time to schedule it with the Hootsuite calendar, a drag-and-drop tool that allows you to plan out your social content across multiple platforms. It even includes recommended times to post for maximum engagement.
Of course, reviewing your analytics is also an important part of your content marketing work, since understanding what works well (and what doesn’t) helps you improve your efforts over time.
Finally, to make sure you effectively drive traffic to your longer content pieces from platforms that don’t allow links (*ahem* Instagram *ahem*), you can create an easy-to-manage link in bio page using Hootbio.
Canva is an incredibly useful design tool for content marketers. From social media posts to email newsletters to videos and websites, Canva has more than 600,000 templates in their premium collection as well as thousands that are free to use.
It’s an intuitive and easy-to-use tool that allows even non-designers to create visually appealing content marketing assets.
Hootsuite users can access Canva directly through the Hootsuite Composer, so you can use their templates to enhance your content creation without having to switch between content marketing tools.
Source: Google Workspace
Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace is the business-oriented version of Google’s suite of tools. The tools are particularly useful for distributed teams, as the cloud-based tools ensure team members can collaborate effectively online. They’re also useful for ensuring multiple stakeholders can provide feedback without creating version control issues.
Google Docs is the primary tool for getting your content into a file and sharing it among colleagues, while Google Keep is an effective notes tool for jotting down content ideas. Google Meet, Google Calendar, and Google Chat allow teams to communicate both in real time and asynchronously.
Lumen5 is a drag-and-drop tool for creating video content. One important feature for content marketers: It uses AI to create videos directly from a blog post. You can then fine-tune the video using the detailed editing tools.
The built-in media library includes valuable content marketing resources like licensed photos, stock videos, and music to make your video content creation easier.
WordPress is an especially useful content marketing tool for small businesses. It’s a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to create, update, and manage content for your blog or website, even with no design skills.
WordPress architecture is SEO-friendly, and plug-ins can help you maximize the SEO impact of your content. WordPress sites look great on both desktop and mobile, too.
This content marketing platform is designed to track and manage your content from ideation through to publication. All your content projects are in one place so the relevant team members and stakeholders can find them and see where they are at in the creation process at any time.
Project dashboards include timelines, image assets, content briefs, deliverables, and messaging, so you never have to go digging through your email for project details.
Vidyard is a video creation and hosting platform that allows content marketers to integrate videos into email as well as web and social content. The interactive playback features mean you can incorporate video calls-to-action as well as in-video forms.
When developing your video content, you can record your screen or use your webcam to record yourself. Or, you can record both at the same time. The built-in analytics and SEO optimization help ensure your videos make the most impact on your content marketing strategy.
Ahrefs is a content marketing tool that helps you build content addressing topics your customers are already looking for online. The keywords explorer helps you find new keyword ideas, then analyzes each option to determine how hard it will be to rank for that term. You can also use the tool to track and analyze existing keyword sets.
For video content marketers, take note that Ahrefs allows you to measure the popularity of search queries in YouTube as well as the major search engines.
There’s also a content search engine to help you analyze content that’s already working in your niche, especially on low-competition topics.
SEMRush is another keyword and SEO tool to help ensure your content marketing assets connect with your audience. In addition to extensive keyword discovery and analysis tools, SEMRush helps you find popular topics and questions to address in your content marketing.
Once you get started creating, there’s an SEO content template to help you rank and an SEO writing assistant to check your SEO score and improve readability.
Source: Hemingway App
The Hemingway App is a powerful free content marketing tool. You can just copy and paste your content into the Hemingway Editor, and you’ll get a reading level score. (Hint: aim for a grade 8 reading level to get the most impact from your content.)
You’ll also get tips on how to improve the readability score, with problem areas highlighted for your attention. The reading level updates in real time, so you can keep going until you reach your target level.
Looking for some free content marketing tools you can use right now, without even having to create an account? We’ve got you. You can use all of these content tools directly from your web browser, no credit card or sign-in required.
This is one of Hootsuite’s free content creation tools for social media. Need to create content for Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter), TikTok, Instagram, or Pinterest? You can do it here with just a few quick inputs. Choose your network, select a style and language, and enter a short description and keywords. This tool will create the caption you need for your social post.
The style options range from cheeky to grumpy, from casual to formal, and even include specific tone options like makeup influencer or true crime podcast host.
Since I’ve got the Yule Log playing on my TV as I write this and I’m sipping a cup of tea, I thought I’d ask the tool to create a relevant caption in the voice of an 18th-century poet. And did it ever deliver.
For longer content pieces, this blog ideas generator is incredibly helpful. Choose your language, then enter up to five nouns and your primary keyword. The tool will suggest a few blog titles along with subtitles or short content descriptions.
Need ideas for a content platform other than a blog or social media? This is your tool. Using the same process as above, you can generate content ideas for white papers, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more.
Let’s say I’m so motivated by this fireside writing thing that I want to start a podcast:
Keep in mind that while all of these content tools are powered by the same chatbot AI behind OwlywriterAI, they are essentially “lite” versions of the tool. For instance, OwlyWriterAI allows content marketers to choose from post types such as “problem, agitate, solution” and “attention, interest, desire, action” posts.
Here’s one last free content marketing tool for you. This one’s not powered by AI, but it is powered by the social media experts at Hootsuite.
It’s technically called a social media dictionary, but really it’s a good place to look up any term that’s entered the zeitgeist but may not yet be fully understood in corporate environments. Use it to explain to your boss why that reply guy gives you the ick.
Less than half of B2B or B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Thinking strategically about your content marketing plan gives you an automatic head start. Digging into how your content marketing tools can support that strategy and open up new possibilities gives you even more advantage.
Strategic planning should be involved in every aspect of your content marketing, and the tools listed above are all designed to help.
Content marketing gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience so you can gain their trust and loyalty over time, rather than jumping in and trying to make a sale right off the bat.
The best content marketing tools offer detailed insights into your audience that help you understand how best to connect. Social media content marketing dashboards with advanced analytics tools (like Hootsuite) can help you understand the demographics of your audience, as well as where and when they spend their time online.
You can also learn what subject areas they’re most interested in, and what content types are most effective for sharing the content you create.
This all feeds back into the strategic planning we talked about in the tip above. When you have tools that help you understand your audience, you can better hone your strategy for effective content marketing.
Once you have a strategy and your audience research in place, it becomes much easier to plan ahead.
Sure, every content person is always thinking about marketing campaigns for the big annual events like back to school and the winter holidays. But what about all the smaller events throughout the year that could spark content creation ideas? Planning in advance gives you the opportunity to peg your content to events that resonate with your audience, increasing the chances they’ll be reshared.
Hootsuite’s calendar has holidays and events built in, so you’ll never miss an event like International Tea Day. And if you have no idea what on earth to say about an event like International Tea Day, you can just click on the name of the holiday and OwlyWriterAI will create appropriate social media posts for you. The posts might even spark ideas for larger content pieces.
Planning ahead also ensures your content marketing strategy is aligned across platforms, from email to your blog to your social channels.
Creating your content in batches allows you to stay focussed on one task at a time, then move on to the next. This is much more effective than constantly worrying in the back of your mind about the TikTok you absolutely must create at 12:05 p.m.
Working in batches also allows you to make the most of keyword research and content themes. As you uncover interesting new information relative to your next content marketing project, you can weave it into blog posts, email newsletters, and social media posts.
A content marketing tool allows you to frontload your effort by creating multiple pieces of content in one work session, then loading into the appropriate time slots on your content calendar. Social media content management tools will post the social content at the pre-set times without any further input from you, so you can focus on getting out your blogs and drip campaigns.
When you’ve got multiple people creating content, things can get … complicated. Great content creation tools have built-in workflows that allow your team to create and collaborate more effectively.
Workflows that include appropriate approval systems mean that even the most junior team members can create content directly in the tool from which it will eventually be posted. Senior team members can review, provide feedback, and sign off when the post is ready. Everyone gets to do their best work without any copy-and-pasting, version control issues, or concerns about content going live before it’s approved.
This makes life easier for all content marketing teams, but it’s especially important for teams working in the regulated industries. Content marketing tools like Hootsuite (which is FedRAMP-certified) allow you to build specific compliance requirements and principal approval into your workflow so everything is always done by the books.
Content marketing tools can help ensure your team is always using the latest brand assets. For example, Hootsuite’s content library is a good repository for approved product and editorial images, logos, templates, and videos.
Once your content goes live, you can give employees access to the full approved posts through Hootsuite Amplify so they can share with their own networks in just a couple of clicks. This ensures that your content marketing efforts have an extended reach and your team is always on brand when they share about the brand on social.
Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.