TOP 8 CONTENT MARKETING TOOLS AND TEMPLATES
TOP 8 CONTENT MARKETING TOOLS AND TEMPLATES
Content marketing is recognized as a commercially vital strategy for interacting with customers and building brand loyalty.
New technologies have brought greatly reduced costs of reaching clients, most of whom have moved on to tablets, smart phones, and computers—media where digital marketers dominate.
For many businesses, the sometimes-chaotic world of content marketing can seem overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the more helpful content marketing tools and templates that your company can use to help develop, execute, and manage your content marketing strategy framework.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the development and use of relevant and useful content designed both to inform current customers and attract potential customers.
In short, the primary goal of content marketing is to attract an audience by creating engaging content they want to consume.
Why is content marketing important to your business?
Content marketing is increasingly recognized as one of most commercially important digital strategies, with approximately 90% of organizations marketing with content.
In fact, content creation is considered the top priority for 80% of digital marketers. So, what content marketing platforms can you use to organize your marketing campaign? Let’s discuss these next.
Content Marketing Campaign Elements
Content marketing takes many forms, invoking as many types of visual media as needed to reach and grab the attention of your intended audience. The following are but a few important examples:
- Online content marketing is any content you publish online, but it specifically refers to your web pages. With a robust content marketing process, including search engine optimization (SEO), you may rank higher in the search engine results pages and reach the right audience at the right time.
- Social media content marketing refers to any content you post in various ways on social websites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, for example. More than 4 billion consumers actively use social media worldwide, viewing photos, live and pre-recorded videos, and articles related to a business or a brand.
- Infographics combine concise language and clear graphic elements in a creative way to break down complex concepts, visually summarize information, or make boring data and numbers interesting and meaningful. Using infographics can help you get your point across without putting your audience to sleep.
- Blogs are a powerful source of sharable content, where you can combine product and brand information that includes social media sharing buttons. Within a blog, you can also use links to other blog posts and other relevant content.
- Podcasts are a relatively new, and very popular, platform for storytelling. According to TopRank Marketing, the average podcast listener stays connected for 22 minutes. More than 60 million people subscribe to podcasts on the Spotify and Apple Podcasts platforms.
- Videos are preferred by 73% of consumers to learn more about a brand’s product or service. Additionally, video marketing can improve audience relationship development and increase ROI and conversions, according to a 2022 Wyzowl study.
- Paid advertisements, as an adjunct to content marketing, can be shared in various venues, including social media, landing pages, banners, and sponsored content. However, there’s a fine line here. With content marketing, you’re creating content that’s meant to be actively consumed by viewers rather than being pushed at them, as advertising tends to do.
Top Content Marketing Tools and Templates
Content marketing tools can help you save time and money by improving the quality of the content you produce and streamlining your overall content marketing plan. They can offer you new topics to write about, help you reach potential buyers, get visitors to engage with your content, and even help them to make a buying decision.
Because there are tens of thousands of content marketing tools, templates, and plugins out there, we have compared a few of the most popular tools and types of tools to help you get started.
The three primary categories of content marketing tools comprise a wide range of complexity, cost, and effectiveness for individual business needs:
- Blogging tools, with a focus on editorial project management and search engine optimization (SEO).
- Collaboration tools, designed to help shepherd content projects from start to finish.
- Content tools combined with writer networks and/or plugins and templates, built to support the end-to-end content development process while providing access to a network of writers.
In the table below, we have summarized some of the key features of a few of the top content marketing tools, including relative cost—often a major consideration for smaller businesses.
Many of the primary tools listed in the table above rely on plugins to add functionality, and some are templates or plugins that can be used as part of an overall content marketing strategy. We’ll briefly summarize the key features, as well as the pros and cons of each of these below.
HubSpot is a complete customer relationship platform (CRM) that helps grow traffic, convert visitors, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale. With interconnected hubs for marketing, sales, customer service, social media and content management, and operations, Hubspot’s approach takes the critical elements of customer experience management and incorporates them into a single platform that’s built to grow with your company.
From a Starter Plan with limited features at $25/month to the Professional Plan at $800/month to the Enterprise Plan at $3600/month, Hubspot can be on the expensive side.
Being a truly all-in-one platform, HubSpot is considered the holy grail of inbound marketing by many users. In addition to excellent customer support, there are helpful tutorials available online and it’s considered easy to learn and use.
One major drawback, however, is that HubSpot is one of the most expensive CRM platforms. Another potential disadvantage is that HubSpot offers annual contracts only, which means a business would have to pay for the full year even if they terminate early.
While HubSpot is considered the premier CRM suite, there are other complete, less pricey CRM platforms that could be more suitable for your business. Among these are Salesforce EngageBay (free for 15 users), Marketo Engage (an Adobe product designed originally for B2B), and InfusionSoft (low entry price point).
WordPress is a popular website builder and blogging tool and is considered to be a user-friendly content management system.
WordPress itself is free and can be tailored to fit any CRM needs with the addition of plugins—additional software and apps designed to perform specific functions to your site.
There are literally thousands of plugins designed to work directly with WordPress for any need, whether it be widgets, social media integration, spam blocking, scheduling calendars, SEO, or landing page forms.
While WordPress is free and a powerful website builder, adding plugins for content marketing capability can quickly become expensive. And finding the most appropriate plugins for your needs, among tens of thousands of plugins designed to support aspects of content marketing, can be a daunting adventure.
Nevertheless, WordPress remains the top content marketing tool when used as a basis for designing and building a complete platform tailored to your business needs.
Trello is a visual project management tool designed to manage any type of project, workflow, or task tracking. It’s great for small businesses looking for an accessible, free system to get started. A Trello social media calendar can help plan content for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, all in one place.
Trello performs well mostly for general project management. Any highly specialized project that involves complex workflow or larger teams may find the software lacking. However, there are lots of upgrades and third-party customizations available, for additional cost. While Trello may be perfect for smaller content marketing campaigns, it can get cumbersome as projects grow.
Airtable is a simple project management tool that offers a content marketing templates that can help brainstorm new content, manage your content marketing campaign, and track your content’s success. It also allows for building your own template from a blank base.
Airtable is not a dedicated content marketing tool, but it can be used as one. It’s useful for content calendars and team organization and is relatively inexpensive compared to more complete CRM platforms.
Google Analytics is probably the most popular content marketing analytics tool in the world. Common reports that content marketers use include traffic sources, popular landing pages, bounce rate, conversion rate, and page views.
By default, Google Analytics captures the URL and page title dimensions for the pages visited by your users.
But as a content publisher, you may need deeper insights, such as author, publication date, or category of article. By allowing metadata uploads, Google Analytics provides a richer view of your site’s performance.
Knowing who your audience is and what they expect from you enables you to tailor your content to their preferences. Google Analytics is well suited for any company, of any size, that wants to improve their content marketing results. And it’s completely free.
BuzzSumo is a cloud-based platform that can generate content ideas, research keywords, optimize SEO, and help distribute your content for maximum engagement. It’s primarily an influencer marketing platform focused on influencer location, author reports, content analysis for locating trends, and domain comparisons—useful for competitor analysis.
BuzzSumo has a free option for new users but becomes more expensive with additional functionality and number of users.
Yoast is a plugin tool, one of many that can be added to platforms like WordPress, that improves your website’s ranking in search engines. Once installed on your WordPress site, Yoast SEO analyzes the page’s content and provides suggestions on how to improve it.
Yoast is best suited for small businesses, and is inexpensive, from about $100/year.
DivvyHQ is a cloud-based tool built specifically for content, marketing, and communications teams. As opposed to a one-size-fits-all system, DivvyHQ is a content marketing platform created specifically for your business.
DivvyHQ’s functionality combines web-based calendars, content management, and workflow automation to help global content teams capture content ideas, assign and schedule content projects, produce any type of content, and stay on top of production deadlines. However, if you’re using content to fuel a more significant SEO strategy and want your content calendar to integrate with other tools, DivvyHQ might not be your best option.
Because this platform is tailor-made for each client, there is an initial set-up fee of $1500, plus $29/month per user for the very basics. The “Pro” version includes a content planner, bills $105/month per user, and upwards from there—a high price point for large teams.
How to Choose Tools/Templates Best Suited for Your Business
What is the best platform or toolset for your business? The answer is, “It all depends.”
The Content Marketing Institute suggests the following important considerations to help your business simplify the decision-making process when choosing the appropriate content marketing tool(s) to best fit your specific needs. While your requirements may vary, the following set of questions can help you with the selection process:
- Do I need to support the development of only blog posts or all content types?
- Does it provide access to outside writers?
- Does it provide guidance on content marketing best practices?
- Does it support my unique workflow(s)?
- Does it integrate with my existing blogging and/or content management platforms?
- Can I see a display of the editorial calendar in multiple views (such as by month or content theme)?
- Is there a central spot for managing projects, drafts, and related communications?
- Does it support multiple languages?
- Does it offer built-in support for keyword research and search engine optimization?
- Does it include access to vendor personnel who can assist with content strategy, content development, and/or writer management?
- Does it help manage my content budget and payment to writers?
- Does it simplify content publishing and distribution?
- Does it provide for client retention analysis?
What about a spreadsheet calendar to plan your content?
A content planning calendar is a tool that organizes social media content by categories and dates.
Desperate to bring some measure of order to burgeoning chaos, many marketers may turn to spreadsheet calendars, whether Excel (for PCs), Numbers (for Mac users), or Google Sheets (cloud-based).
For ease of online editing and version control, creating a content calendar in Google Sheets offers multiple advantages over other spreadsheet apps.
Nevertheless, while relatively simple and easy to use, as well as being free, there are some concerns with using spreadsheets to manage your content marketing plan.
For example, spreadsheets don’t allow for easily assigning content to writers, nor for tracking workflows. Also, it’s not possible to create content inside of a spreadsheet, nor can a spreadsheet publish content for you.
If you are a business owner and a marketer, it is important to understand that your content management process is a key piece of an overall content marketing strategy. Basically, one can think of content marketing as promoting content—like social media posts or podcast episodes, while content management is creating your channels—like websites and blog posts.
Whether you are publishing a blog post or white paper, shooting a video, or creating an infographic, the process can be complex and tedious, especially when you are churning out lots of content and working with numerous writers and designers.
In addition to utilizing the most appropriate tools for executing your content marketing plans, hiring a writing agency can help tackle the heavy lifting, particularly in creating, repurposing, and managing your marketing content.
- 0 Comment