If you want to see the best Content Marketing tools in one place, you’ll love this guide.
I signed up, tested and reviewed 167 of the top Content marketing tools online.
My inbox is now OVERFLOWING with onboarding emails and other newsletters…You’re welcome ;)
You can filter by the list and get the best tools for you.
I want content marketing tools that help with:
- Social Media
- Content Creation
- Data for Content
- Ideas & Research
Type of Content I want to create (use with content creation filter above):
- Video / Slide
- Audio / Podcast
- Visual / Images
I want tools that are:
- Free Trial
Show only Nick's favorite tools:
CoSchedule is a editorial calendar for all your content, blog and social. The interface is sleek and easy to use. The app works well for individuals, but is especially useful for content teams. You can publish directly to your blog if it’s a WordPress site and CoSchedule lets you publish into a draft, so you can review your post before it goes live. You can also publish to Twitter, Facebook and more directly from the app.
Ahh Basecamp so simple and refreshing.
To help teams collaborate and keep on schedule.
If it’s just you publishing content, then it still may be overkill. But the schedule view is awesome.
At a glance, you can see what content you have coming up. Plus you can still sync to your Google, Ical or Outlook.
Overall it’s best used by a team because of the shared todo list, in-app messaging and team scheduling.
But still not a bad option if you’re solo because your first Basecamp is free.
Wrike takes a dashboard approach almost like what you’d expect to see from an analytics web app (in a good way).
The structure is very familiar because it's a file system. Projects are you folders and tasks are your files. But the real power of Wrike is it’s reporting.
If you’re managing a big team with lots of deadlines, you’ll enjoy.
The filters are powerful. And you can see your progress either in a table or a graph (keeps the bosses happy to see you hitting metrics)
Designed explicitly for content scheduling, Gather content has some helpful features for content marketers.
Of course, the app has a calendar view. But it also has a Content Map and the ability to show you content in different stages.
(Draft, Review, Final Edits and Ready to be published.)
You can create as many statuses as you need.
Good for teams, you can assign members to pieces of content they’re responsible for.
Google Drive & Google
Awesome for project management. And perfect for a running a blog because Trello uses a kanban board set up like a content calendar.
Create your categories. I use Idea, Drafts, On Deck, Published. You can drag and drop cards as they move through the pipeline.
Plus use the aging power-up to visually see how long something has been sitting there with no action.
You're either an Asana Fan or a Trello Fan.
Asana is a bit more traditional, letting you use familiar task list style organization.
But, it's much moer than a to-do app. You can add due dates, attach files, comment and assign tasks to team members.
Asana is made to allow you to successfully manage a project, beginning to end whether you're on a small team of 2 or a massive team of 100.
An end to end social media solution. Oktopost can help you find relevant topics, content and posts.
Schedule your own post across all the major networks. Track all mentions and analytics for your social media accounts and posts.
Though it’s not a cheap solution, it’s made with enterprise business in mind to be the ONE place where you can do everything for you social media.
One of the new players on the block Contentacle is already darn good and promises to be an AWESOME app. They've been featured on Product Hunt... Twice!
They are continually making updates and upgrades. They've added Kanban style boards for scheduling idea, drafts and posts.
Not only does Contentacle act as a collaboration and scheduling tool, but you can also compose within the app.
The markdown editor is great. The whole workflow is very clean.
Talking to the founder he revealed that they have predictive analytics in the works… so potentially you could see how popular your post on content marketing would be.
Might be worth jumping in early before prices (I would guess) go up once more features are added.
Moz has always been a leader when it comes to SEO. Content and SEO are almost synonymous. This tool is just as almost as their primary offering, MOZ content is a great tool at a reasonable price.
It breaks down a blog, both yours and your competition’s by topic, shares, average number of links and more.
Clicking on a piece of content opens more info about the most including topic analysis, social shares, and markup info.
Overall very useful and will probably only get better because the tool is pretty new.
Made for scheduling content. It has everything you need to schedule, collaborate & publish as a team.
The Ideas area is daily unique to Divvy and makes a lot of sense in the workflow.
The div dashboard is nicely centered around a publishing schedule giving you an overview of items coming due, published content and recent activity.
Clear Voice is a start to finish content platform. Though it won’t be your only research tool, it’s powerful enough to give you a good start in studying high-performing content and lets you do basic influencer research within the app.
You can also export all your results which makes giving a CSV to a freelancer or team member much easier.
For your content, you can store ideas, define your audience (avatar), create campaigns, and assign items to team members or freelancers.
It has all the requisites of a good content scheduling app…
Scheduling content is easy, and the calendar view is standard. The dashboard is clean and gives a reasonably good overview of upcoming deadlines. While it’s maybe not as powerful as other dashboards, you can’t sort by stage (draft, edit, etc… ) it’s not a big drawback.
The last interesting feature is being able to “recruit” writers for content. They’ve smartly (for their bottom line) integrated a content marketplace for ordering within the app.
Can’t speak to the quality of writers that you’ll find. But it may be worth a shot if you use the app and want to outsource some content… Keeping just about everything inside the app workflow is pretty appealing.
Content forest calls them SEO tools. Nah. I call them content marketing tools.
The content ideator is surprisingly good. I got a handful of worthwhile ideas for posts (‘course you’d have to look into it more to make sure they’re worth doing)
And also got suggestions for post titles that would only need a bit of tweaking.
For example, I looked up "content marketing" weeded out some of the crap, and came up with these gems:
- The Power of Visual Content in Your Content Marketing Strategy
- Content Marketing 101: Writing to Persuade
- Does It Work To Tie In Content Marketing And SEO Into Your Marketing Plan?
Not too shabby.
Also free is the content spy. It’s a watered down version of Buzzsumo or open link explorer, but again it’s free. Useful if you don’t want to pay for a more comprehensive tool.
I wasn't able to try the actual app. Though they do have a free trial available if you contact them.
BuzzSumo was an instant hit with content marketers and SEOs. Quickly get content & headline ideas from proven shareable, linkable content.
Easy to search terms as well as top performing content on a particular (competitor’s) domain.
And when it’s time to do influence outreach, BuzzSumo has you covered. Just click on View sharers and a list of influencers along with their metrics will pop up. Filter if you’d like then export to a CSV.
Tactic: Search the topic you’re writing about say content marketing. Grab the URL of a high performing piece and pop that into Buzzsumo. Click on backlinks and change the target to "page". You’ve now found more influencers who will love your content. (They may not have shared on social media so just clicking on view shares won’t work).
Portent Content Idea Generator
If you’re in need of a creative kick in the pants for you post title, give the generator a shot. You’ll need to adjust the ideas quite a bit but, they can jumpstart you in the right direction
Hubspot Topic Generator
it's a quick jolt to the brain to help come up with better topics to write about.
Frankly, I’ve included Ubbersuggest on my list because it popped up so many times in my research for this article. People love it.
About a month ago I would have disagreed.
But with the newest update, it's a damn good tool to start your keyword (ideas for content) research.
Plus it's free.
Worth a look even if you use a more comprehensive paid tool like semRush, Ahrefs etc…
The self-proclaimed front page of the internet.
Great for ideas & headlines. You can get proven upvoted topics for just about any niche.
There’s something for everyone on the site, and typically Redditors are an outspoken bunch. They won’t hold back from bashing a post if they don’t like it. For that same reason, you can’t discount a topic if it gets bashed on Reddit. They’re pretty protective of their community and it may not be the topic but the way it was presented that wasn’t great.
Reddit can also be an awesome source for promotion.
The ads are cheap to test out. If you do post, and you’re new to Reddit, because of what I mentioned, be sure to give value first. Make sure what you write isn’t too self-promotional or you may face some backlash.
Keep a swipe file?
’nough said. Evernote is awesome for notes, thoughts, and organizing research.
Some people love it sooo much that they've made a whole system, using evernote as an editorial calendar, storing ideas, drafts and published versions.
Pocket is another app that’s great for swipes. As a bonus pocket will also recommend articles based on what you’ve saved. Good for generating ideas.
Kifi is a newer tool for swipe files.
You can create “libraries” dos store any article that you’ve bookmarked from social media or search.
But what is new, is kifi’s slack integration.
You can automatically keep URLs from Slack. Nice.
Inbound is a marketing community.
It’s one of the most active inbound marketing forums out there.
You can share your articles, which can help give them initial traction.
And post relevant links to your posts (if they provide value and help people) in the context of a discussion.
Even if you're not writing about marketing, you can come here and ask the community questions.
I've gotten and given some great advice :)
You may not think of ProductHunt as a place to post content.
But that’s why it’s so great.
Especially if you’re a podcaster or doing live chats, it’s a great place to promote your content.
GrowthHackers is a marketing community and forum focused startup growth.
If you're in the marketing space, it can be a great place to find content ideas, get questions answered and promote articles.
Need content Ideas? Add a feed. You automatically keep up with any blogs you’re interested in because all the articles get fed into a convenient dashboard.
Pro tip: Not all sites provide an RSS feed. No worries. http://feed43.com will turn almost any site into an RSS feed. You’re welcome.
Want to know if your article has been mentioned? Or gathering content ideas?
Setup an alert in seconds and you'll get everything delivered to your inbox.
Ever come across a site and think it’s perfect for a post you have planned… But you’re not ready for the content yet?
Maybe you bookmark it and can never find it again.
Saved is an innovative take on the bookmark.
Just type saved.io/ in front of any URL and save it to the cloud. Even better type AListName.saved.io/ and now you’ve saved it to a particular list.
Almost like an rss feed. Lets you customize your interests and shows you trending topics. Do a search of your own to find popular lists on your topic.
Free to read publications. Something for almost every topic. Great to get inspiration and resources that not everyone else has access to.
Paid magazines so you probably won’t read too many. Mainly excellent for titles & post ideas. Check out how all the big magazines are structuring titles and what topics are trending.
Analyze what performs best for any Facebook page. Just enter the URL and you get top content back. #useful.
Measures the reach and performance of social media posts. Choose who to follow and see which of their post get the most reach. Repurpose or use the idea to create your own content.
Helps identify content & topics that are getting hot. Each is scored out of 100, and you can see if the topic is heating up and trending or cooling off.
Answer the Public
Killer keyword visualizations. In a lot of ways, it’s easy to use than lists of keywords. Answer the Public gives you a sort of mind map to help generate insight into what questions people are asking. Great for blog topics, titles and even for what info to include or questions to answer with your content.
Aggregates news from all over the web and displays it according to your preferences. Good for content Ideas.
Slideshare is great for a couple of reasons. First it’s now part of LinkedIn; automatically it gets you more qualified business leads to your content. Sweet.
A quick search of popular slides can tell you what topics professionals are liking.
Plus SlideShare offers a great community for extra distribution of your content.
Because I haven’t done much on SlideShare, I ran a bit of analysis. We took the top 5000 results from a search for content marketing. Plotted # of slides vs. Likes.
Typically you’ll see longer blog posts get more social shares. (sumo me research). That doesn’t seem to hold true for slide share (backed by some minor research below).
Full disclosure - the data is far from perfect. I did a search for content marketing and included the top 5000 results returned. Some of the search results that were returned have nothing to do with content marketing. But I didn’t scrub the data. So take it with a grain of salt.
The data is a bit all over the board.
There are a couple of outliers that have gotten shared a LOT
1. http://www.slideshare.net/randfish/why-content-marketing-fails 19,39,924 views and 1761 likes
2. http://www.slideshare.net/dougkessler/crap-the-content-marketing-deluge/49-Some_more_content_you_may 1,955,031 views and 1256 likes
3. http://www.slideshare.net/NewsCred/50-best-stats-presentation/28-22_People_spend_more_than 338,755 views and 1494 likes
Paper.li Lets you customize a mix of social & RSS feeds that end up making your “paper”. It’s a rollup of relevant content from sources you select. Great for content idea generation. Possibly even discover some new influencers.
Google results & Google suggest
Enter your keyword into google for content ideas and basic research of popular terms. Pretty self-explanatory. But they had to make the list because they work.
You can see what’s on the rise and base your topics around what’s getting hot or what will be soon. Scroll to the bottom and you can also see related searches ranked by trend score or see which are rising.
Google keyword planner
Research potential topics or narrow down your top and middle of funnel ideas by selecting those that get the right amount of searches.
Mainly a way to search twitter, because it searches by hashtag. The search is displayed in twitter card style Tagboard also gives you trend, posts per hour and overall sentiment about your tag. Nice tool for some content ideas.
With Jurn, you can find some great but little-used sources for your content. Because a lot of the results will be academic papers, they’re chock full of interesting statistics that most other marketers won’t be using, and the data is backed by sources… something you don’t find too often with blog posts.
The articles on google scholar are good. Even better is the ability to search case law. Who does that for a blog post? Not may people. But you can bet journalists do… And it can make for some compelling stuff if you can get the back story from some of the participants. Just look at the now uber-popular podcast Serial.
Depending on your topic this can be a gold mine. You can also setup a feed that will display papers on your dashboard. Though the search is not as robust as Google scholar or Jurn… don’t discount the site, because you can also more easily connect with authors and get experts quotes for your content.
You probably won’t purchase much from here. But click on any book and you get a table of contents with chapter previews. It can be the place to start focusing your research.
List of Academic databases
I could keep listing academic databases for you to use… Instead just visit the wiki.
Content strategy helper
I’ve gotta hand it to the guys at Built Visible, they made a hell of a tool. And it’s free… They don’t even ask for an email signup.
It’s the ultimate content marketing & SEO search engine built into a google sheet.
You get to search:
- google news
- hacker news
- yahoo answers
- google scholar
- how stuff works
And more. It can quickly become a go-to resource for Ideas, data, and content.
I can’t tell you how much I use and love this tool. It makes data extracting pretty darn easy (most of the time). Unbelievably it’s free. The tool has grown leaps and bounds… now with the help of their “magic”, you can press a button and extract data from a site. Magic works a surprising amount of the time. But if it doesn’t you can build a simple crawler or even query with an API. The data you got above about slide share and the Wikipedia list of educational databases … yep got it using import.io. The tool online is fine. But the desktop tool ROCKS.
R & RStudio
Frankly confusing to use… But can produce some remarkable results. R is a language for statistical computing. And RStudio is a visual interface that makes the R language easier to use.
R has an active community of users so you can usually find a tutorial to help guide you through.
Example: As much as I love Buzzsumo… It’s not cheap. Using R I was able to recreate most of what Buzzsumo does.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m still going to use Buzzsumo. But there’s potential for some really cool functionality. Including sentiment analysis etc…
Still this tool is for people who feel comfortable programming and Geek out over data… Moi :)
Mac only… My go to video software. I use it most for screen captures that need to be high quality. Online course for example. There is a bit of a learning curve. But overall it’s straightforward. And if you google tutorial, there are TONs of them out there on youtube… made using screen flow.
Originally a video editing and capture software just for windows, now there’s a Mac version too. Camtasia is very similar to screen flow. Both are excellent video editing tools. Both have great tutorials and strong community support. Check out both. Go with your preference. You can’t go wrong.
Jing is a lightweight screen capture (video or image) from the makers of Camtasia.
The free version is typically more than enough. You can record up to 5 mins of video and quickly share it by clicking to upload it to screencast.com.
Because it’s integrated with Jing, a shared URL is auto generated for you and ready to go.
Create animated videos… It’s a cool way to present content in an engaging and lesser used way. It takes more time. You have to create a story, do a voice over then add visuals with powtoon. So it’s good and bad.
Fewer marketers do it so you’ll stand out. But fewer marketers do it because it takes a decent amount of time.
If you have a killer piece of content, that did really well… you might think about repurposing it with Powtoon. Here’s a bit of repurposing from a killer Slideshare done by Rand Fishkin of Moz.com
Better than writing about it.
Great way to repurpose content. Let’s say you’ve had an infographic made… with Tawe, you can now take that image and quickly turn it into a video. Tawe makes it easy to zoom in on any part of the image, then add a voiceover. And voila you have a video.
Best to produce video compilations. You can piece together video, images, and text. All the editing is done online. And Animoto provides templates which help organize your productions.
Audacity is an open source, free software for recording and editing. This guy has been around for a long time :) Don’t discount it because it’s free. This tool is still one of the great ones and is used by some big name podcasters.
Full fledged podcast hosting… On most plans you get unlimited storage and as much bandwidth as you need. The killer feature of pod bean is that it can handle a mix of premium content that your users have to pay for either by subscription or by individual item and free content. So if you want to start monetizing right away, this might be for you. Plus their pricing is super reasonable.
Cast is VERY easy to use. The interface is awesomely simple and made for podcasters. You get 3 choices, either you record, edit or publish. That’s it. Guests (up to 3) can join you to record when you share a link that cast automatically creates for your session. Once your session is finished, you can open the editor and clip out your ummms… Add an intro or outtro, then publish with a click. The only downside here is that you have no choice but to record using Cast. It’s really not made for uploads.
With SoundCloud, not only can you upload and share your podcast, but because SoundCloud is made for people to discover content, you have a built-in amplification system. It’s used by more music artists than podcasters. But could be a solid choice if you’re looking for built-in exposure.
Lybsyn still looks like it’s stuck in the 90’s. But it’s features are second to none. So don’t let the web design turn you off, this app will host all your audio, create an RSS feed and automatically make embeddable video/audio players for you to use on your website. Plus you can even opt in to have Lybsyn monetize your show with their ad platform.
With Canva, you can easily create all sorts of images for social media, blog posts, ebooks and more.
The online tool is easy to use because it’s specially made to display text over pictures.
It has a good number of preset layouts and filters. Canva has a good bank of free images and icons you can use and premium images for a small price.
You can also upload your own which is free.
All you designs are saved automatically. If you have a layout you like, duplicate it with one click, edit, and download.
Here’s what I quickly created with Stencil (formerly share as image) in literally one minute.
You can do more complicated stuff. But you get the idea.
Free online photo editor. Has more advanced features. Not a replacement for Photoshop or an advanced photo editor, but it’s free, lets you do a bit more advanced editing and has a pretty good feature set.
PicMonkey is a cool editor. It’s not for the Photoshop guru or very advanced edits. But it has a sweet spot letting the photo editing novice step up their game. The interface is sleek and easy to use. The tool set is easy to use.
Made specifically to display quotes. The options are minimal. But you have a lot of font and color choices. If all you need is a quote… it’s not bad.
All these images that I've included in the post with arrows and some text… yup, that’s skitch. Great screen capture with editing ability and automatically syncs to your Evernote account. You can download images or share them directly from Evernote. Should be in every marketer’s tool bag.
Pablo from buffer deserves a mention. It’s a lot like Share As Image, but a bit less powerful. BUT, it’s free. So it gets props :) You can easily style text or quotes to overlay an image background. There are only two text spots and sizes available. For basic quotes, it works really well.
Pencil could be really cool if you have a bit of artistic talent. Quick hand drawn images can really add to the personality of your content and make it more attractive. Off hand, the only person I can think of that does a damn good job of this is Neville Medhora. He does it on the majority of his posts. Check it out here: http://www.nevblog.com/
Moleskine Evernote notebook
If you're a pen a paper type person, then you'll love taking notes and organizing your content ideas in this notebook. It’s designed to become searchable & shareable when you capture the page with Evernote.
Gimp is the open source & free alternative to Photoshop. It’s extremely powerful in its own right. But it’s functions can be extended with a library of plugins that are created by an avid user community. If you’re doing serious image editing you’re likely already using Photoshop. But if you’re not there yet, Gimp is an excellent alternative that is almost as powerful.
Pictochart is one of the leading tools to make awesome infographics without the help of a designer. The interface is intuitive and it offers lots of remade designs that can be customized. OR you can start from scratch and mix and match elements as you want.
Visme is interesting because it lets you create all sorts of visuals. Not only infographics but presentations, banner ads, and soon wireframes. Though it doesn’t yet have as many templates and isn’t quite as robust and doesn’t have as many infographic templates. But it shines with a variety of types of visualizations.
Infogram is best to present and create data-driven infographics. It also allows you to create charts with by uploading spreadsheet data that you can integrate into your infographics.
Vengage is one of the more advanced infographic creators. You can integrate polls, form fields, youtube videos and more. Plus it has a LOT of icons and images that you can use to make your data visually appealing.
Gliphy is interesting. More than anything it’s probably best for app and website mockups. Possibly for demonstrating page layouts. The creators say it’s a diagramming app. Which you could use it that way to show relationships between data.
Part content creation tool that lets you plot data and display graphically or on a map. But also a great resource for data because they show off and let you search user created charts.
It’s the computational knowledge engine. Type something in and you get all sorts of data and graphs. Type in soybean futures and you’ll get everything you want to know. It’s not a typical search engine, it’s all about the data. Type in content marketing and you won’t get a single result back.
Interactive data visualization tool. Very cool.
I presented all the data points for the SlideShare info above in a Google chart.
Well, here it is in a Slik chart. Possibly even presented better. Let me know what you think.
Awesome Timelines... Here’s what I created for you…
JS Sequence Diagrams
Kind of the same idea as hand drawn characters, except easier to do. It’s not something that you need in every blog post. But I could see this being GREAT in a tutorial or to accompany a screencast.
Create heatmaps to display your data. e.g. Show the concentration of polution per geographic area with a heat map. This is not visitor tracking software, though that is something you may want.
D3 is one of the leading data visualization libraries. It’s very flexible and there’s an active community of users that have built plugins to make development easier.
Not only that but D3 looks GREAT because it uses SVG graphics… perfect for retina displays.
Need an interactive map for your content? Leaflet has you covered. Not only that but it plays well with heat maps.js So you can have a customized interactive map that’s also a heat map. Nice.
Whereas leaflet is better at displaying interactive Google map type visualizations, Cartob shines in being able to show multiple layers of data. You can get some fascinating maps with layers of data the otherwise would be hard to display.
Not going to tell you about it… just take the quiz and you'll see what Qzzr can do
Easy to make presentations. It’s a stripped down, web version of powerpoint. In a lot of ways, it’s better and takes less time to use. Because when do you really need most of Powerpoint’s options. You usually don’t. With Haiku, you can make simple, good looking presentations, with images and charts.
Prezi is interesting. You create a static image. Then with your Prezi, you can zoom in on parts of the images. Paired with a voiceover and some scree recording software (see that section) Prezi can make some nice content. It also may be a nice change from the standard powerpoint slide that everyone does for a presentation.
Stipso is an interesting concept. Interactive infographics. Your visitors actually contribute to your infographic data by interacting with it.
Picking between multiple choices. Not going to make one for you… but you can check one out here: http://www.thedatalab.com/big-data-live-survey/
Not sure of the quality of the data, but it’s cool.
One of the downsides I see is that it’s not a pdf so people can’t download it and share it in that way. And after all, isn’t that a big draw of an infographic?
Otherwise the same thing could be accomplished using HTML & CSS, possibly some static images. Just a thought.
Anyhow this one would be cool to test out and see how shareable it is.
It might outperform a regular infographic because of the interactivity.
Once a user contributes they may feel more ownership and want to share it more.
Anyone care to test?
Roomjoom is almost like an online magazine or guided tour. They have some impressive positive statistics from case studies. The basic idea is because it’s a guided “content-journey” users are lead down a path of your choosing, designed for engagement and conversions.
I’m a little in love with the idea of creating cartoons as content. Pixton is one of the better tools out there. And it has a community of users that contribute characters that you can use. That said, I still find it hard to do. I’ll probably be outsourcing it if I end up wanting a cartoon done. But work a look if you want a tool to create your cartoon.
Make your content interactive. You can add overplayed links usually circles that link to photos videos and more.
Hemingway has one feature that makes it stand out above the rest. It makes your writing better by making you simplify. Hemingway in editing mode will highlight hard to read sentences and sometimes suggest simpler alternatives. Even though I don’t compose in Hemingway, sure as shit I paste my writing in and edit before my post goes live. The online editor is free. The desktop version is only 10 bucks.
Ia writer is a good app. It’s very simple. You just write. You can’t customize much of anything… Which is good and bad. Good because you can’t waste time messing around, bad if a small change in appearance could help speed up your writing. In all, it’s an opinionated app. IA writer tells you “this is how it is”. If you like it… then this is the app for you. If not, don’t go into the relationship thinking you can change it. Syncs to iCloud or Dropbox.
Ulysses has quickly become my favorite writing tool. The interface is simple & clean. But customizable. I write in Markdown. Ulysses is perfect for that. Also, the file structure and folders are easy to use. All my writing is available to search in the sidebar library. All docs are saved regular intervals. And you if you use your iCloud library you can sync across devices. Really the perfect balance between features and letting you write.
Scrivener is a VERY complete writing program. It’s got a spot for research, outlining, folders for writing. There is a learning curve… so much so that people have published highly successful courses on how to use Scrivener effectively. If you plan to do very sophisticated writing like a book, for example, Scrivener may be for you. That said, it can be overly complex and offer so many features that it’s sometimes hard to use. Worth considering.
Website (affilate link):
A project with potential. It’s just in a beta release… so you may not be able to get it yet. It’s writing for teams. Plus the editor looks great, with the ability to pull in web content right into your writings to create better content. Part of the team behind Airstory is Joanna Weibe of Copyhackers… Joanna puts out a lot of content so if she’s using it, you know it’s good.
Ilys is an unusual writing program. It’s based on the idea that when you write, you shouldn’t edit… Not one sentence, not one letter. Because of that, there are 2 modes, writing, and editing mode. When you’re writing only the letter, your typing appears on screen. You never see whole words or the document. Once you hit your target writing goal, the program switches over to edit mode and becomes more of a typical word processor. Try it if you have trouble just writing. (which all writers do at one point or another).
Quip is a collaborative workspace with an emphasis on being able to write. The editor is markdown friendly which is a big plus. Also quip integrates with my favorite storage programs like Evernote, Dropbox and more. If you write with multiple people on your team, quip is a strong choice. Also Quip gets the recommendation of Walter Chen of idonethis.com.
Paste in your headline to get a good barometer of just how attention getting and sharable it is.
It’s a useful tool to make you reevaluate what you’ve written.
And it comes up with darn good suggestions. Still you have to know when it’s best to ignore the advice.
Lots of word processors will give you the readability score of your content. But if yours won’t, paste it in here. Aim for a 6th- 8th-grade level.
Grammarly is great. It catches grammatical errors and suggest corrections that standard spell check wouldn’t bat an eye at.
It makes my writing better and clearer. But I also like to ignore it, because grammar eh… sometimes overrated - sometimes.
Only thing, I wish it integrated with my writing programs. Still it does work in the browser (WordPress) and in word.
Draft gives you control over your writing if you’re working in a team.
The version control is excellent. And you can add collaborators.
The editor is clean and easy to use.
As a bonus it will even attempt (and often succeed) to simplify and better your writing.
The founder and uber developer of Draft, Nate Konty has put a small army of robots at your disposal.
They scour over your writing, suggesting edits that make your work better.
Of course it saves the simplified version as a draft so you can incorporate the changes or not.
Ok, so Post Scripting isn’t a tool. It’s a service for copy editing and proofreading. It occurred to me that most solo bloggers don’t have editors for their content. And there are some things that tools like Grammarly just can’t do.
That’s where a service like Postscripting can come in. I've talked to one of the owners Maarten, and he's awesome. They'll even tailor delivery and the plans if you need.
If you have content created for you, you need to know that it’s original. That’s where Copyscape can help. Input any URL and it checks for plagiarism.
Medium is both a writing platform and distribution. A social network for readers and writers.
By itself, it won’t get you too much extra traffic. But as soon as your content starts getting liked and shared it can be easy to build momentum and have your content more widely distributed.
If you do post on your blog and also on medium, make sure that your content is indexed first on your site. Only after that, post on Medium to avoid a Google penalty.
Want to toss ideas around with the team? Mindmeister offers collaborative mind mapping.
Still good if you’re the only one using it because you can have access to your mind maps in the cloud.
Though it’s supposed to be mostly for teachers and students, it’s a darn good mind mapping app.
Easily insert photos links and more.
Aimed at teams who collaborate to create content, this is a darn good content production platform.
Really nice markdown editor. And the calendar is fine.
The real strength of this program is if you’re writing in a team.
You can see who’s editing which files. Though you can’t edit the same file at once.
A different take on creating ideas. Not note taking, not mind mapping. Sort of a hybrid.
Create ideas with a team and save them in the cloud.
Oh slack - You're awesome :)
Slack is team collaboration at it's best. And SOOO many programs integrate with it.
Keeping on top of your content creation team has become much easier.
Click to tweet
Make it easy for visitors to share your content. Create already filled out tweets for them to use with one click.
Leadpages is a list building machine. It’s now the big dog in the landing page creator space.
Create landing pages from templates or just add content upgrades (lead boxes) on pages that you’ve already created.
Get analytics on everything. See how your Leadpages or lead boxes are converting.
Website (affilate link):
With Sumome, you can grow your website traffic. To amplify your content the have two excellent options. Use their social sharing tools and their version of promoted content.
As a big bonus, you can also grow your email list using their list builder smart popup and welcome mat features.
Radiology is a list building plugin for your wordpress site.
But you can also create banners on the top of your site to promote your content.
And once you build your list you can promote to them.
Made by Neil Patel, Hello bar puts a bar across the top of your webpage that displays messages, email signups and can help promote your content.
More recently they added a "welcome mat" full page message display option.
Don’t let your visitors leave without joining your email list… or having a chance to see your best content.
Bounce exchange is a highly effective popup based on exit intent. Some very big sites use them, but it is on the pricier side.
Find out what your visitors think of your content and convert them to email subscribers.
If you have a wordpress site, install the plugin for and get heatmaps, visitor recordings, funnels, polls and more.
Useful to see how much of your content users are actually reading or consuming before dropping off.
Maybe you’re just not that interesting ;)
Or maybe you are :)
Display a targeted on page message to your visitors to get them to convert. Could be promoting your Facebook, email list, or a purchase with a coupon.
What sets 40 nuggets apart is that if a visitor declines your first offer, you can present a second.
Thrive is made to help wordpress users build their email lists.
You get popups, sticky ribbons, inline forms, 2 step opt-ins and screen overlays.
One standout feature that most other list building plugins don’t have is the content lock… only revealing content once the visitor signs up.
Basically everything you need to build your list from your content.
Plain ole email
Yup. That's right, email. Don't forget about the power of reaching out to the right person.
Typically I'll use yesware to track and the email and make sure I followup if I haven't heard back.
No pictures, no website for this one.
Quora is outstanding for two things. Idea generation and content promotion.
You can search topic and see the most upvoted and followed questions and answers.
To promote your content, answer relevant questions. Don’t be overly self-promotional. Look to be helpful first, and if it's useful put your link in the body of your post. If you can't or shouldn't link within your answer, then just sign off at the end with your name and a link to your site.
Help A Report Out (HARO) connects reporters and sources.
Signup as a source and fill out your bio. Source requests go to your inbox… answer those that are in your wheelhouse and you could end up in some big name publications.
Buzzstream is an all in one platform for influencer relationships. Sort them by domain authority, inbound links and more. Then create templates to do outreach.
Measure response and set followup reminders.
Content marketer can automate part of your influencer outreach.
Here's the deal... To get value out of this tool, you already have to create great content.
If you do, you'll get a TON of value.
Because CM can save you a lot of time doing outreach.
CM is really two tools: Notifier and Connector
Notifier can scan your post and tweet to everyone that you mentioned or cited in your article.
And it integrates with buffer, so you can schedule the tweets.
Connector can help automate your email outreach.
CM gives you proven email templates that you can use (or tweak), upload contacts, personalize each email and send.
Connector really shines because of the automated follow-up. You know what they say - more deals are closed on the second and third emails than the first.
Yesware might be the ultimate tool for influencer outreach for Gmail users.
(if you're willing to use another platform outside of the Gmail interface, there may be better options)
Track all your emails, see when they’ve been read. But the best part is multistage mail merge.
You can personalize batch outreach. And automatically follow up with another email if you don’t get a reply. It’s sweet.
With Ninjaoutreach you can do lead-gen, find guest posting opportunities and do content promotion.
You have access to the database of influencers with social and SEO metrics.
You can create an outreach list right in the app.
Setup outreach templates and track the relationship within the app.
Klear is both a social analytics platform and influencer research platform.
It monitors the popularity of your tweets and profile.
And you’re also able to search for influencers, sort by keywords, profile stats and more.
Though the intent of Tomoson is for brands to be able to send bloggers products to try… You can use it to do influencer research.
Given everyone and their mother wants free stuff, so you have to be more selective by filtering for total reach, months website traffic or social media reach in order to find your influencers there.
Need to find influencers’ emails to do outreach?
With Emailhunter, all you have to do is put in the domain and it does the rest. The emails are verified automatically by Emailhunter.
Rapportive was once an all powerful plugin to help find email addresses.
LinkedIn acquired it and it’s become a bit watered down. Still, used alongside another plugin like full contact, it can help catch email that your other plugins miss.
Full Contact for Gmail
Full contact for Gmail is a powerful plugin for Gmail. Find out everything about your contacts on your Gmail sidebar.
It’s what Rapportive used to be. Very useful for finding influencers email addresses and connecting on social platforms.
More than just a social analytics platform for Twitter… FollowerWonk can be used to find and do influencer outreach on Twitter.
You can search Twitter profiles based on keyword searches. Sort based on followers, social authority, etc..
Follow influencers directly from the app… or just grab their profiles to do manual outreach from Twitter.
Platform for influencer outreach. Search based on keywords and get metrics about your influencers and their sites sites, visibly and engagement.
InkeeBee integrates with Moz so you can sort based on Moz authority and domain authority.
Plus you can setup automatic discovery to search for new relevant blogs for your keywords.
Buffer is one of the premier social media sharing platforms. Full fledged suite of analytics.
But even better is the ability to schedule content to be shared across your social media. Easily promote your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
Possibly the only downside is that Facebook tags your posts with via buffer.
Pitchbox is a great prospecting and outreach platform that can automate a substantial portion of your outreach.
The keyword search for influencers is one of the best I've seen.
Because it filters duplicates, blacklisted sites, and sites that don’t meet you metric requirements.
Plus it aggregates data from other pitchbox members to show you a contact success rate.
Once you get to inspect the site, a list of contact emails are generated for you. Typically there will be more than one. Then you have to filter out the “role” email address (info@, support@)
Use templates to personalize you outreach.
The thing I LOVE is the ability to have followup messages automatically sent according to the outreach schedule if you don’t get a response.
Can’t tell you how many more replies you get just because of a bit of automated followup.
See what hashtags and mentions you community is taking about. Take advantage of trends or use the visualization of your network (plus related) to reach out to new influencers
Use Kred to find influencers on social media. Plus once you earn enough credit… you can post “missions” (get people to share your messages and posts)
BTW Kred comes recommended by Rand Fishkin of Moz
Find live events related to your content, search presenters and possibly even guests if that info is available to do influencer outreach and promote your content to an eager audience.
The good ole standby for keyword research.
There’s a reason people still use it today because it’s still one of the best ways to come up with keywords, content ideas and finding out what content could be best for converting visitors to buyers.
This one is great for SEO & content marketing.
You get a peek behind the kimono of all your top performing competitors.
The tool shows you what they're ranking for letting you use the insights to construct profitable campaigns.
Find profitable keyword opportunities and content topics, track rankings and metrics in real time.
Website (affilate link):
Considered by a lot of SEO savvy marketers an essential tool.
It’s also a sweet tool for a content marketer.
Ahrefs offers significant insights into competitors, which can make outreach and finding guest posting opportunities much easier.
You can see what content is successfully attracting backlinks (yes, still very important for content marketers).
And see what domains are linking to similar content you're producing (great targets for outreach).
Majestic is again primarily an SEO tool that can be used by savvy content marketers. They say that they have the largest link database to search. Could be true. I’ve yet to put in a site that didn’t turn up results.
Similar Web has a clean dashboard and displays simple metrics. Check out the top referring sites to get ideas for your influencer outreach.
You can see the search terms for an individual site along with popular words within the search terms. Nice for content Ideas. Even better, if your competition is running search ads. See what terms they’re paying for… So you have a superb clue that these are top performing, customer getting topics. Can anyone say guest post opportunity?
You can also see the popular pages on a site by traffic %. Unfortunately, it’s a feature reserved for enterprise customers, so it’ll set you back a bit.
Linkedin is as a content amplification tool is often overlooked by great marketers… and sometimes spammed by some not so great marketers.
While you may not have the reach of Twitter or Facebook, a huge advantage is the audience.
If you content is compelling, then they’ll remember you when looking for a service.
Also remember to take advantage of industry specific groups.
Sometimes it’s not how many people you can reach but who you can reach.
Babbly is a social sharing site. Post your URL, users will share your content. The more you share other people’s content, the more you can request that they promote yours.
BizSugar is a social network aimed at small businesses. The network isn’t huge. But if your audience is the small business market, then you’ll want to post and promote your content here.
Hootsuite simplifies sharing your content across social media channels.
Easily schedule and share to Facebook, Twitter and more.
Plus get metrics on how your content is preforming.
If you do a lot on social media, hoot suite lets you create pre-written responses (that can be customized if you want) to save time and keep your message consistent no matter who on your team responds.
Socialsprout does everything a social sharing platform should. Schedule and post content across networks and measure performance.
Plus automatically monitor feeds so you can engage in conversations with people that want your product or will be helped by your content.
Narrow does the grunt work of creating a Twitter following.
Based on your keyword selections Narrow will automatically follow people, like tweets and send retweets.
The really cool part is you can see how many followers a certain keyword is generating and the conversion rate.
It even lets you drill down and see who’s following you because of that keyword (or profile) and what actions have been taken.
I love it because it lets me be lazy and proactive. Like any automation, you still want to monitor to make sure the actions it’s taking are what you want.
A very slick social media, semi-automation tool.
You can compose and schedule content across all the big social networks.
But the real genius of Edgar is that you even if you haven’t created content for a scheduled post, the app will repost some of your best content automatically.
Considering that most people probably didn’t see the first post anyhow because of declining organic reach… reposting content is a great way to increase the reach of your posts.
Also a big bonus… most tools won’t post to Facebook groups (different that Facebook pages) Edgar does.
Yes, of course, you can use Facebook ads to promote your content… But have you thought about it for competitor research, topics that interest your audience and influencer outreach?
Facebook has introduced tools that let you see what your audience is interested in. Upload a custom audience and you can get info about their interests and what they like.
Even better is the audience overlap feature. Once your custom audience is uploaded, you can compare it to the audience of another site… if there’s a big overlap, that’s a good indication that you should be targeting those people in your amplification campaigns.
Or create a small custom audience (has to be 1000 people or more) produce an ad for and influencer you’re targeting and advertise just to them. Sure it’ll reach a 1000ish people, but who cares. Your influencer should see it if you’ve done your job correctly.
Content Ad networks
Here’s the disclaimer… I haven’t tried any of these ad networks. There are more of course. The biggest probably being Google display network… But the examples I included serve “native” content. Meaning it looks like content that would be on the site anyway, but it’s sponsored.
It’s kind of the content marketer’s version of a newspaper advertorial.
Worth taking a look if you want to drive traffic and amplify your content.
If you do use any of these, let me know and I’ll add specific info.
Quill Engage analyzes your Google Analytics data and puts into an easy to understand summary in plain English.
Quill Connect analyzes your followers and reach on Twitter.
It takes all that data and creates a report in English that gives you a big picture view of your pool of influence.
Respond (by buffer)
Respond tracks twitter mentions and puts all your mentions and messages into an email inbox style interface that helps you keep on top of everything... And respond in real time.
Atomic is a content scoring and intelligent scheduling platform. Each article you write gets a score based on who you’re writing for. The tool analyzes the style, structure and words that you use to see if it’s a fit for your audience.
It can also schedule your content based on the times that it’s likely to be most shared.
This is a social insights and analytics platform. You can monitor what people are saying about you or your brand in real time. Get show an influencer score, and even get sentiment analysis of your brand mentions. The tool lets you reach out directly to customers as mentions come in. Or even research praising opportunities on the social web.
A great resource for finding influencers and expanding your network. Klout assigns a score to each person based on how influential they are.
The tool also shows their areas of expertise.
Not only that but you can search based on topic to find the experts in the area and their latest tweets.
Quuu lets you put your social media on autopilot. You can choose from categories of content (all approved for quality by the Quuu team) and schedule that content to go out on your social media.
Publishers can create content to promote and pay from $5-25 bucks to get a full month of promotion.
Twitter analytics and engagement.
Audiense helps you from a social media plan by:
Understanding your audience and competitors.
Giving detailed insights into Demographics, interests, best times to tweet and more.
Unsure if your twitter growth is good or bad? Use a benchmark report.
And get a nice tidy report delivered to your inbox with key metrics.
Find out the best time to tweet based on your followers.
Twitter analytics Track keywords, phrases, #hashtags, @mentions and more!
Twitter analytics Track keywords, phrases, #hashtags, @mentions and more!
2 thoughts on “Content marketing tools: The Complete List (167 Free and Paid Tools)”
Great super-post, Nick!
Thanks for putting this together.
I’d recommend to use Shakr for “Content Creation”, I used it for my Facebook ads (I’m managing a small e-commerce) and it saved me a lot of time. Was a bit surprised you didn’t mention it!
Have you heard of Shakr?
Anyways thanks for sharing!