With content marketing now taking over the world, there is a huge amount of content being created on a daily basis. With brands determined to stand out from the crowd, creating fresh and regular, high quality content can be time-consuming, which means content marketers need to be as productive and efficient as possible.
Unique, shareable content is crucial for driving traffic, generating links, and increasing levels of engagement, but it can be easy to get bogged down by the daily crush of content requirements. By using the right tools, you can ensure your content creation process starts off on the right foot and delivers the results you need.
The list below has been divided into steps, depending on where you need a productivity boost in your content marketing process.
Editor Note: All links to tools are nofollow to ensure integrity. We didn’t get paid or perked to include these tools, they were chosen by the author.
Feedly is a really simple news aggregator that allows you to collect a range of existing online content and categorize it depending on your requirements. You can use keywords to search for various content feeds and then organize them in whatever way works best for you. Feedly helps you stay up to date with a range of different topics, helping you keep an eye on your industry and come up with new, relevant content ideas.
There are lots of different ways to use Google when it comes to content research, including Google Alerts and general Google searches. Google Trends allows you to see real-time trending searches, topics, and stories, allowing you to filter by country and category, helping you narrow down the perfect content idea. By using a real-time tool, you can ensure your content is timely and relevant.
The great thing about Buzzsumo is that it lets you see what content is currently getting the most social shares in a range of different topics. All you need to do is type in a key phrase and Buzzsumo will give you a list of all the best performing content in that area. You can discover what content works best in a certain industry and make sure that the content you are producing will hit the social media nail on the head.
Teams often end up in brainstorms pulling ideas from the top of their head or sitting quietly as their colleagues reel off a list of quirky ideas that can take up much of the allocated meeting time. The great thing about Stormboard is it allows all brainstorm participants to pop their ideas in one place and read, comment on, and up-vote other people’s. This cuts down on a lot of wasted time and makes sure everyone arrives at a brainstorm session with plenty to talk about.
This headline generating tool cannot only help you come up with the perfect attention grabbing title for your content but can also help you come up with suitable content ideas to start with. It’s very easy to use – you simply enter a keyword into the search bar and press submit. When the results come through you will see an abundance of headline ideas that could be the perfect place to start your content creation.
Once you have had an idea, it’s important to write it down and share it with others in your team. Mindomo allows you to map out your ideas, timelines, and project details using a range of colourful visuals. Choose from org charts, idea trees, and mind maps, and make sure you plan out every step needed for your content marketing project. The free plan gives you 3 different maps and is available on desktop and Android/iOS devices.
Many content writers create content using either Microsoft Word or Google Docs. The problem with these comes when you try to copy and paste your text into the back-end of a CMS like WordPress. The formatting can often go wrong and you may need to go back time and time again to remove additional code or spacing. Word2CleanHTML is a great tool for cleaning up your text – simply copy and paste it in, and the tool will provide you will clean code that will translate properly into the CMS.
Text is a huge part of content creation, so it is it important to make sure your writing is top-notch from the start. Grammarly, as the name suggests, helps you learn how to write better by pointing out any spelling and grammar mistakes in written text. The Microsoft plugin is fantastic for checking Word documents and emails on Outlook, and you can also use the Chrome extension for any online content. The only downside is that you need to pay for a premium account to see any advanced mistakes, but the free version is still great for keeping an eye on the basics.
If you are creating content to be read or viewed by others, it is important that they find it easy to share, otherwise they are unlikely to share it or link to it. Readability is the basis of a strong content strategy, so it’s important your writing is up to scratch. The Readability Test Tool uses established formulas including the Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, the Gunning Fog Score, and the Automated Readability Index to determine a range of different statistics about your content.
Digital marketing, and content in particular, is becoming more focused on visuals than ever before. This means content marketers need the tools to help them create their own visuals without having to turn to a designer each time. Piktochart is a very user-friendly tool that allows you to create simple infographics, reports and presentations with the assistance of a range of pre-set color themes, icons, and symbols. You can also upload your own graphics to really personalize your visuals.
Interactive images look great, but can often require a lot of work. ThingLink helps you to bring your images to life in a quick and easy way. All you need to do is upload an image and add little icons that appear once the user’s mouse hovers over them. These icons can then be clicked and will allow the user to follow a link, watch a video, read a box of text or see another image. ThingLink offers a quick and efficient way to create fun and engaging content, without the hassle of coding an image from scratch.
As mentioned above, images are now an integral part of content creation, so any tools that can help with the production of them will come in useful. Canva is an online image creation tool that provides non-designers with a streamlined platform on which they can create simple yet eye-catching visuals. With lots of different templates to choose from, all you need to do is change the text, font, colors and icons, and make the picture your own.
There really are so many tools out there that can boost your productivity in the world of content marketing, it’s just finding out what works for you and your team to make your processes as efficient as possible. From conducting research to collating your content and producing it, there are so many different steps that make up a successful content marketing strategy. Once you have your content plan in place, these tools will significantly help to improve your output and maximize your success. Are there any other tools you would recommend?
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!