Content Marketing Tools

Do I Need Content Marketing Tools?

Absolutely, content marketing tools are now essential to the SEO The content marketing market size is set to grow by $269.24 billion during 2022-2024 according to a report from technavio. Your content tech proficiency will play a big role in whether or not you benefit from this increase in growth.

2022 content marketing is a lot different than it used to be. Before, you could publish a blog post on just about anything and expect to get some traffic. Now, you won’t get any without producing high-quality content. It takes a lot of time and effort, but by effectively using content marketing tools you’ll be able to work faster and smarter.

As a boutique agency, we’re able to produce results using our content marketing tech stack that far surpass the number of people we have in-house.

For each content marketing tool recommendation, I’ll distinctly call out which ones are in our personal content marketing tech stack at electrIQ (used by electrIQ) versus ones we’ve had experience with in the past or are taking a second look at.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain an audience. Think of articles (like this one), e-books, videos, webinars, and more. Ultimately, its goal is to drive profitable customer action. It’s by no means a novel idea in 2022, but it continues to become increasingly important for B2B and B2C businesses and brands alike.

The Content Marketing Tools Suite

Content Management Tools

HubSpot CMS (used by electrIQ)

HubSpot’s CMS allows you to build a powerful website that’s optimized for every device, incorporating smart personalized content using HubSpot CRM data and integrates with all of your other marketing tools.

The best part of the HubSpot CMS is the ability to tailor your content to individual visitors based on their location, source, device, language, or any detail stored in your HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot also has a robust app marketplace that allows you to tie in your favorite stand-alone technology products into your website.

Recommended For: Businesses looking for an all-in-one CMS solution that they can scale with.

WordPress

For the DIY’ers, WordPress is the pre-eminent content management system on the market.

There are millions of sites running on WordPress, and for good reason. Even if you have limited knowledge of blogging, you can get set up with a free WordPress site in minutes. From there, sharing your content is intuitive and low-friction.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

With WordPress.org, you host our own blog or website. WordPress.org is where you can find the free WordPress software to download and install on your own web server.

With WordPress.com, all your hosting and web server needs are taken care of.

Recommended For: WordPress.org is best for businesses who want unlimited customization, the ability to upload plugins, access backend code, and upload theme files. WordPress.com is best for businesses with little to no tech experience who are looking for an easy to use out of the box CMS.

Webflow (used by electrIQ)

Where content management meets visual design, Webflow was created to meet the needs of designers, editors, content strategists, and developers all in one tool.

Recommended For: Visual designers and creators who want to be able to drag and drop their way to a beautiful website but still maintain the ability to implement custom code.

Content Research Tools

Google Keyword Planner (used by electrIQ)

Google’s Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool that is meant to be used in conjunction with Google Ads, but it’s usage is not limited to only that.

Keyword Planner helps electrIQ in 4 main ways:

  1. Discover New Keywords: Words and phrases related to specific products and services to find the ones that will be most relevant
  2. Research Keywords: Insight into how often certain words are searched and how they change over time
  3. Get Bid Estimates: Estimated CPC
  4. Make Advertising Plan: Competition level

You can start by simply entering a keyword.

Google Keyword Planner

You’ll then get a graphic of that keywords volume by month as well as related keywords you might want to look into.

Google Keyword Planner

Recommended For: Everyone, it’s free! Especially if you don’t have an SEO tool like SEMrush, AHrefs, or Moz. If you’re running Google Ads, it’s a no-brainer.

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool (used by electrIQ)

Another very intuitive tool, albeit not free, is the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool. Similar to Google’s Keyword Planner, you can search for broad match, phrase match, exact match, and related keywords.

You’ll get actionable metrics like Keyword Difficulty % (how difficult it will be to outrank competitors), CPC, and more. You can pick your best keywords and save them in Keyword Manager, as well as export your selected keywords to other SEMrush tools.

Recommended For: Businesses who want to get very analytical with their content marketing ideation

SEMrush Topic Research (used by electrIQ)

Following off of SEMrush’s keyword research tool, their topic research tool allows you to create an effective content plan with specific subtopics, headlines and questions. Simply enter a keyword and you’ll be given a host of examples to ideate off of.

Recommended For: Businesses who need a helping hand when it comes to content ideation but also want to make sure their ideas have real search engine value.

AHrefs Content Explorer

AHrefs Content Explorer allows you to combine advanced operators to refine your search for link building prospects, low competition topics, and more.

AHrefs is a link builder’s dream. It allows you to find broken link building opportunities in seconds by filtering for pages within your search that only have broken links!

Recommended For: Businesses who are actively pursuing PR opportunities. AHrefs is the best SEO software when it comes to generating backlinks for your business.

Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword explorer is similar to SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool, and is not as robust as AHrefs Content Explorer, but allows you to explore by competitors sites, keywords, and keyword lists.

Recommended For: If you’re using Moz, use this tool, otherwise I’d look elsewhere.

KWFinder

When I first started out in SEO, KWFinder by Mangools was what I used with my initial clients. You can enter a keyword, filter by location, filter by location, and you’re on your way.

Recommended For: Businesses just starting out with SEO that need a simple interface and low-tech solution.

Content Ideation Tools

Quora (used by electrIQ)

Quora is a content marketers goldmine for coming up with topics and ideas to create content for. Quora is fundamentally a question site, where others come for answers in a particular industry or subject area.

Quora is one of the tools we use for coming up with general themes for content around questions people want answers to. As a bonus on Quora, you can even answer the questions on the platform itself and link out to your article for further guidance.

Recommended For: Anyone

Reddit (used by electrIQ)

Reddit averages around 150 million page views a month! It’s a search engine behemoth. If something is trending or is popular online, it’s just about a guarantee you’ll find it on Reddit.

Reddit has ‘sub-reddits’ which are specific to a set of topics. For example, the content marketing sub-reddit is a repository of content marketing questions and posts that can be super helpful when thinking of new topics for content marketing articles.

Just like Quora, you’ll be able to answer questions on the platform itself and post your own content. But, be careful, Reddit is notorious for bashing self-promotion, and you can even find yourself banned from certain ‘sub-reddits’ if you don’t abide by their rules.

Recommended For: Anyone

Feedly

Feedly is an RSS feeder which allows you to collect all posts published from multiple sources in one place. Once you’ve populated multiple sources into Feedly, you’ll get a stream of new posts that you can quickly scan the titles for to see which pique your interest.

Recommended For: Content markets who want a constant stream of new ideas.

Content Distribution Tools

PRWeb

PRWeb is the best when it comes to online press release services. Depending on your package, you can get in front of tens of thousands of journalists.

Recommended For: PR Agencies.

BuzzStream

BuzzStream is an all-in-one digital PR, link building, and content promotion software. To start, you can add domains or people you want to connect with and the tool will populate as much contact information as possible so you can choose how you want to reach out.

Recommended For: Businesses just starting out with SEO that need a simple interface and low-tech solution.

Content Collaboration Tools

Slack (used by electrIQ)

Slack is instant team communication at its core. You can create specific channels and assign users to each channel to collaborate on specific projects.

Slack allows for channels, shared channels, messaging, voice and video calls, workflows, app connectivity, file sharing, and so much more.

Recommended For: Everyone. The free version is incredibly robust as is for businesses just starting out.

Asana (used by electrIQ)

Asana is a work management platform that allows you to get organized, stay on track, and hit deadlines. Asana even allows for automation rules to automate routine tasks so your team doesn’t have to think about them.

They also offer a range of templates you can use out of the box for popular projects and processes like “Marketing Project Plan” and “New Employee Onboarding.”

Recommended For: Businesses with remote employees and are ready to take the time to invest in Asana and build out the workflows and project management rules that make it so powerful.

Trello (used by electrIQ)

Trello is another visual project management tool that takes the stress out of planning and collaboration.

At electrIQ, we create a board for each client we bring on, as well as a board for every internal function (i.e. “Sales” “Content Marketing”).

The ways you organize and implement your board are numerous and diverse, but below is an example of how we categorized a Trello board for a recent SEO client of ours, Health-Ade.

We created one “list” for all content, where we populated our content suggestions, as well as a card for each month of content. Within each “month X content” card, our monthly articles are uploaded for team collaboration and feedback.

Trello visual project management tool

This allowed electrIQ to organize our content creation effectively, receive prompt and direct feedback from our internal team, as well as the client, to produce tremendous organic search traffic and revenue results.

Recommended For: Businesses with remote employees that want a straightforward drag and drop project management system that is more user-friendly than Asana.

Conversion Optimization Tools

SumoMe

Add a variety of pop-up and opt-in forms to your site to start generating leads and grow your subscriber bases.

Recommended For: Businesses that want a free tool to easily start capturing emails on their website.

Just Uno (used by electrIQ)

Just Uno is a powerful conversion optimization tool that natively integrates with most major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, making it a no-brainer for small to mid-sized ecommerce brands.

Increase your sales conversions with product offerings like cross-selling, exit offers, upselling, banners, pop-ups, push notifications, spin-to-wins, and much more!

Recommended For: Any e-commerce business.

Optimizely

Optimizely is an experimentation platform that allows you to increase conversion rates by up to 5x with CTA, forms, copy, imagery, and personalization testing.

As a code-free visual editor, ROI data generated in real time, and best-in-class integrations, Optimizely will fit in with any content marketing tech stack.

Recommended For: Businesses that need to hyper-personalize and test their website constantly

Website Analytics Tools

Google Analytics (used by electrIQ)

Not only is it free, but it’s the industry standard of website analytics. Sure, it’s not as user friendly as some of the new analytics tools out there on the market, but with a little setup time you can get just about anything you need out of the platform.

Within Google Analytics, there are a variety of ways you can look at how your content is performing including metrics like:
Google Analytics

  • Number of page views
  • Conversions
  • Average bounce rate
  • Average time spent on page
  • Number of organic visits

Navigate to Behavior? Site Content to really drill down into your site’s content

We used a combination of SEMrush and Google Analytics to develop a content pillar page, Wine 101, and it’s articles for Wine Insiders. We’re now getting over 2,000 unique visitors a month to this content page alone.

Google Analytics

Recommended For: Everyone!

Google Search Console (used by electrIQ)

Typically used in conjunction with Google Analytics, Google Search Console is more useful from a technical standpoint.

Search Console allows us to identify broken links, 404s, and a host of other technical site issues that can contribute to a poor user experience and impact google search rankings.

We use Search Console to also dig deeper into content performance. Underneath performance reports, we can filter the data by certain URLs and see metrics like click through rate, the average position in search results, and what queries people used to find the content.

Recommended For: Everyone!

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a business analytics company that tracks user interactions with your web and mobile applications but also provides tools for targeted communication with them.

Imagine being able to send a push notification to an app user who interacted with your email messaging in a certain way.

Mixpanel starts at $89/mo but there is a free version as well as a free trial you could try first.

Recommended For: Anyone who doesn’t have a marketing automation platform but wants to be able to use customer behavior to send targeted communication.

Parse.ly

A measurement tool built specifically for content, Parse.ly allows you to easily visualize the performance of your content across all your platforms and channels so you know how to best engage with your audience.

Parsel.ly’s biggest advantage is how user friendly it is. Out of the box, there are great visualization dashboards that allow anyone to analyze how content is performing.

Parsel.ly is an advanced tool, and as such comes with a hefty price tag. Their starter package is $500/mo and only goes up from there.

Recommended For: Any business whose main concern is content (i.e. media and publishing companies)

Marketing Automation Tools

Pardot

Pardot is a salesforce software that focuses exclusively on B2B marketing automation. Pardot is a beast of a software that can be overwhelming for small businesses and isn’t a fit for any company that has B2C sales pipelines.

Recommended For: Enterprise B2B businesses with a dedicated marketing & sales team

Marketo

An Adobe software tool, Marketo is an all-in-one marketing platform that combines lead management, email marketing, consumer marketing, customer base marketing, mobile marketing, revenue attribution, account-based marketing, and more!

It is not the best tool for beginning content marketers, but it allows you to bring together your content, email, social media efforts, and more into one centralized hub to target your best leads, create content specific to your target audience, and measure performance.

Recommended For: Mid-sized businesses who want an integrated platform.

HubSpot (used by electrIQ)

HubSpot is the King of the Hill when it comes to inbound marketing, practically inventing it back in the early 2000’s.

Given how robust the platform is, it’s nearly impossible to do it justice here, so head to this link to learn more about it’s marketing hub.

We use HubSpot to manage Amora Coffee, Wine Insiders, ATAQ Fuel, and eMotimo’s inbound marketing efforts. It allows us to centralize data and reporting in one repository and allows us to produce significant results.
Recommended For: Any sized business who is willing to put in the time and effort to extract the full-value out of the tool. For example, do NOT use HubSpot just as an email service provider, it would be a huge waste of money!

Zapier (used by electrIQ)

Zapier allows you to connect your apps and automate your workflows without having to build the custom API integrations so that your marketing stack will talk to each other.

Recommended For: Anyone who needs to connect two disjointed apps or software solutions and/or anyone looking to automate routine tasks.

Email Marketing Tools

Mailchimp

When you think of email marketing, you think of Mailchimp. In the past few years, Mailchimp has tried to distance itself from it’s email service provider (ESP) days and focus more on it’s all-in-one marketing platform, but at its core it’s an ESP.

In Mailchimp, you can bring all of your audience data, marketing channels, and insights together. Promote your business across email, social, landing pages, postcards, pop-ups and more all from their platform. That being said, their marketing platform is still a bit behind, so if you’re going to use Mailchimp make sure it’s for their email marketing first and foremost.

Recommended For: Small businesses looking for an email marketing solution that has some additional marketing features.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a cloud-hosted marketing solution that provides marketers the essential features needed to run targeted campaigns. You’ll be able to design professional-looking emails, grow and manage your list, and track results. They’ve also begun adding additional tools for social campaigns, online surveys, and more.

Recommended For: Small or medium-sized businesses looking for an email marketing solution that integrates well with other tools.

Content Optimization Tools

Clearscope

Clearscope is an AI-powered platform that helps you create great content that isn’t just shareable, clickable, and readable, but that is highly relevant to what people are searching for.

Recommended For: Businesses that are creating content but don’t have an all-in-one SEO tool like SEMrush.

SEMrush Content Template & Writing Assistant

SEMrush content template is an incredibly easy to use content optimization tool. Start by entering your target keywords (which you should already have from the Content Research tools section above).

SEMrush Content Template

From there, you’ll get a host of recommendations to include in your article.

SEMrush Content Template

You can click on Real-time Content Check to use their in-app optimizer, or you can send it to google doc with their G Suite plugin (our preferred way).
The Content Analyzer will give you feedback on the following:

  • Target keyword usage
  • Recommended keyword usage
  • Alt attribute issues
  • Link issues
  • Title Issues
  • Readability
  • SEO
  • Originality
  • Tone of Voice

Recommended For: Businesses with someone in-house responsible for SEO or SEO Agencies.

Yoast

Yoast provides a variety of WordPress plugins that helps users optimize their website and blogs. While Yoast can be used for other sites, I only recommend it for WordPress sites.

Recommended For: Anyone on WordPress. The free version is robust.

Social Media Management & Listening Tools

Buffer

Buffer is a social media publishing and management tool that allows you to plan, collaborate, and publish content; respond to social conversations and customer support requests; measure social media performance with analytics reporting.

They have 3 separate tools, Publish, Reply, and Analyze, so it can start to get pricey if you need all 3.

Recommended For: Small to midsize brands and businesses.

Sprout Social (used by electrIQ)

Sprout Social is a powerhouse social media marketing tool that allows you to publish your social media posts to all of your channels, like Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram, while keeping a unified inbox to respond to customer comments and inquiries.

We used Sprout to amplify ATAQ Fuel’s social media strategy and really hone in on what sort of content was resonating with our followers versus what wasn’t. It allowed us to streamline our community engagement as well, making sure we were on top of all social media platform mentions, comments, and interactions.

You can view the full case study here.

Recommended For: Businesses looking for an all-in-one social media solution.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite used to be the preeminent social media publishing and management tool on the market, but a UI/UX that isn’t super intuitive can be troublesome for some.

Hootsuite does connect with more than 35 social media platforms, so if you’re looking for broad reach and distribution, this gets the job done.

Recommended For: Businesses looking for a cheap social media publishing and management tool.

Graphic Design Tools

Canva (used by electrIQ)

Canva is a creative’s dream. You can use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature to create professional layouts to design stunning graphics. You can even incorporate videos into your design work.

You get access to millions of stock photos, vectors, and illustrations, as well as photo filters, free icons & shapes, and hundreds of fonts.

We use Canva to create all of our infographics, PDF case studies and much more.

Recommended For: Businesses looking for unlimited creative flexibility and a shorter learning curve than Adobe Photoshop.

Easel.ly

Easlly is a simple infographic maker that lets you visualize any kind of information into pre-built infographic templates.

Recommended For: Businesses with limited bandwidth who need infographics created in a short amount of time.

Meme Generator (used by electrIQ)

Who doesn’t love a good meme? We usually create ours in Canva, but Meme Generator is a great tool to develop funny memes that are relatable to your audience. In today’s social media age, memes are everywhere and are much more engaging than your typical stock photography posts.

Recommended For: Businesses who want to connect with their customers and followers via humor.

Visual.ly

Visua.ly matches you with a talented team of designers, writers, developers, creative directors, and animators to get what you need. From there, you collaborate with them in real time via their platform for edits and final product review.
Recommended For: Businesses with zero or limited bandwidth for creative design.

Video Creation Tools

Animoto

Animoto allows you to create videos in minutes with their drag-and-drop video maker.

Recommended For: Anyone with no video editing experience looking to incorporate video into their website.

GIPHY Capture (used by electrIQ)

GIPHY Capture allows you to create GIFs on your Mac. We use GIPHY Capture to capture quick screen recordings we can embed in articles. It’s the best way to show examples in a how-to article.

Recommended For: Brands who want to make funny gifs to use on social and their website and/or businesses looking to embed short videos in an article.

Magisto

Magisto uses AI for its smart video editor! Simply upload your business videos and photos, choose an editing style and soundtrack, then let the AI power video maker analyze and edit the video for you!

Recommended For: Anyone with no video editing experience looking to incorporate video into their website.

Conclusion

Even if you already have a content marketing strategy in place, there’s always room for improvement. We’re constantly looking for new tools that will increase our efficiency and allow us to produce better results for ourselves and our clients.

After reviewing the above content marketing tools, you should have a better idea of which ones will fit best with you and your business. Remember, most of these tools offer free trials, so make sure to give them a go before you decide to purchase.

Remember, the tools will not do the work for you. Rather, these tools make content marketers jobs easier, by streamlining their processes, increasing efficiency, and allowing for greater scale than ever before.

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