Tools simplify a task. In today’s world of shiny objects it’s easy to fall for one simply because of its cool factor, but if it doesn’t make you more efficient, it’s not worth your time.
Content marketing tools encompass a broad range of software and apps. There are tools for scheduling posts, finding and curating content, creating content, and analyzing content performance and search engine optimization (SEO).
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What You Need to Know Before Adopting Content Marketing Tools
Before deciding which tools you want to use, make sure you have a content marketing strategy in place. Knowing what you want to accomplish can help you better understand how you need to do it and what tools will make that easier.
Before selecting any of these tools, decide whether there are any pieces of software you are married to in your operation. Do you use SalesForce, for instance, and do you need something that will work with that or are you starting from scratch?
We’re going to assume you already have your profiles and places to publish content mapped out. You should use the social media platforms your customers are using, and you should be creating valuable content on your blog.
One of the easiest ways to do that is through WordPress. Once you have these platforms down, you need to streamline the content creation and curation. These tools can help.
We’ve divided these tools into categories, so it will be easier to find what you need. Most of these categories have several options, and many of those options include free trials.
Before paying for anything, make sure you like the way it works. For instance, there may be several scheduling apps to choose from, but you may prefer one over the other because it allows you to recycle content. These little features can make a big difference in how you use a tool.
Best Tools for Content Marketing
Unless you want to sit on all of your social networks and continuously press the publish button throughout the day and night, you need a content scheduler.
Here are some of the most popular. Many of them contain useful analytics platforms. Each of these offers a free trial or free level:
Content Tools for Finding Content
Sure, you could peruse your social streams to find good content -- and you should when it comes to strategic shares from a particular account (like if you wanted to share your most loyal customers’ tweets) -- but you’ll also need sources of useful content that can help you find it quickly.
If you’re already using a post scheduler, check the functionality on that as well. Many schedulers, like PostPlanner and Hootsuite, make content suggestions for you. Other content curation tools include:
- Quora - this is a site, but it is rich in content that can help inspire ideas
- Paper.li - a newspaper platform
If you want to be seen as a good source for content, and an industry expert, you’re also going to need to create your own content. For adept content marketing, you want content your audience will find valuable. That usually means creating a variety of forms including images, videos, and written content. Here are several tools to help you do that:
- Adobe Spark - perfect for the non-designer
- Meme Generator
- GIMP - like a free version of Photoshop
- Issuu - creates digital magazines
- Vimeo - hosting
- PowToon - create animated videos
- Camtasia Studios
- Animoto - for video picture montages
While these won’t write the content for you, they can make it better.
SEO and Analysis Tools
You don’t know if you’re succeeding with content marketing if you don’t measure your performance. These tools can help you analyze results and create effective SEO strategies.
A Final Word About Content Marketing Efficiency
The key to successful content marketing is identifying and creating content your audience finds valuable. You never know when ideas will hit you or when you’ll stumble across valuable content. When you do, it’s not always a convenient time to add it to your publishing queue or create original content from the idea.
You need a system in place for when this happens. Tools like Evernote, Trello, Pocket, Google’s extension Save to Keep, or Microsoft’s Onenote can help you keep your brilliant ideas organized and they are a lot more efficient than the back of a cocktail napkin.
What tool do you use and love? Share it with us below.