Marketers get by with a little help from their friends – well let us introduce you to 32 new friends! These free and nearly free content marketing tool should help make your job a little easier.
Note: The aim was to only list free content marketing tools, but there are a few paid ones in the mix as well (freebies only get you so far). Unless marked as a paid tool, all content tools listed here have at least some kind of free offering.
- Content Curation Tools (finding great stuff to share)
- Content Creation Tools (create your own awesome stuff to share)
- Tools for Finding Content Creators (find folks to make custom content for you)
- Content Promotion and Management (sharing and managing your content)
- Content Analytics & Measuring (analyzing and measuring your content's effectiveness)
- Other Content Marketing Tools (random content tools we think are neat)
Tools to help you discover great content to read and share across the web
Storify: Storify is a great content curating tool that lets you collect various social media elements on a chosen topic and present them all in one sleek format. Alternatively, you can search a topic on Storify and see what other users have created.
Feedly: Feedly is a great RSS reader that lets you stay updated on the latest and greatest blog content. Feedly is stylish and streamlined, making it easy to add, sort, and organize content.
EverPost: EverPost is another great content curating tool, letting you find new stories based on your pre-selected favorite topics.
Tools to help you create awesome, original content pieces
Visual.ly: Browse their massive collection of infographics for inspiration, then enlist top-notch talent to create your own high-quality, customized infographic content pieces.
Prezi: Elegant visual presentations that can be edited and shared in the cloud. Free version allows for public presentations smaller than 100MB. Paid options allow offer more features and space.
Powtoon: Powtoon is an animated content creation tool to help you make custom animated videos - great for explainer videos. The paid version offers more images to use, HD quality, and the ability to create animations longer than 5 minutes.
SlideShare: View, upload, and share slide deck presentations with audiences across the web.
GoToMeeting: An online meeting/webinar platform with support for most popular desktop and mobile devices. A host of easy-to-use features makes GoToMeeting one of the most popular webinar platforms around. Recording webinars allows users to create and share video resources that can be used as valuable content pieces. If you're not sure how to do a webinar, check out Dan's post. [Free Alternative: Google Hangouts]
PlaceIt: PlaceIt lets you upload images of your product or website and insert them into high-quality photos. Small image downloads are free, larger files will cost you.
Skitch: Skitch is a free markup tool for Evernote. Easily add shapes, highlights, and call outs to your photos to create super sharable content.
Image from AndroidNova
Tawkers: Tawkers lets users host live web chats. Once the live chat is ended, conversations can be embedded and published on websites.
Listly: Create custom lists and have visitors vote on items. Very easy way to create fun, engaging pieces of content that can easily be shared.
Share As Image: Share As Image is a super cool free app that lets you turn any image you see into a custom content piece. Download the app (or use the Chrome plugin), find an image you like, click "share as image," and customize the image with beautiful text fonts or Instagram-esque filters.
Share As Image makes it easy to create cover images for your blog posts or quotable images that tend populate much of Pinterest. Once you've created your image content, you can save the pic or share it on various social media networks, all from within the app. Download the pro version and get a huge collection of stock photos, patterns, and the option to replace the Save As Image watermark with your own. This one is a must-have for content creators - check it out!
Quora: Quora lets users ask questions and receive answers. Content marketers can use it to discover what kind of questions their audiences are asking. Use Quora for blogging inspiration - answer Quora questions through a high-quality blog post and you’ve got yourself some content gold.
Paper.li: Create your own custom online newspaper featuring articles, photos, and videos from all across the web based on topics of your choosing. Share and promote your online newspaper via social media (sorry paper boy, you’re fired).
ThingLink – ThinkLink lets you create custom interactive images by adding clickable icons to links, video, text, music, other images, you name it!
Content marketing tools for finding and hiring content creators
Contently: Contently helps businesses find and collaborate with quality freelance writers.
oDesk: An easy-to-use platform that helps you find the right freelancer for the job. See a freelancer’s work history, portfolio, and reviews before hiring them. oDesk helps you confidently hire content creators, guiding and helping you along the way.
Content marketing tools for sharing and promoting your content
Buffer: Buffer lets you mark articles you want to share and puts them into your queue. Those articles are then shared across your social media accounts at various times spread throughout the day.
HootSuite: Manage all your social media accounts, track mentions, respond to fan interaction, and schedule posts with this social media management tool.
Tweetdeck: Manage multiple Twitter accounts, schedule Tweets, and track mentions and hashtags. Basically, your number one Twitter hot spot.
Mail Chimp: One of the most popular platforms for email marketing management, Mail Chimp lets you organize contacts, send emails, and track results.
DivvyHQ: An editorial calendar management system to help keep you stay organized and on task while collaborating with team members. [Paid. Free Alternative: Google Drive]
TrackMaven: Track all your content pieces across organic, paid, and social mediums, and easily compare your results to competitors. Plus, their logo is a really, really adorable corgi. [Paid]
Click to Tweet: Click to Tweet lets you easily create clickable, tweetable links with customized text.
PR Newswire: Send out press releases to a global database of over 700,000 journalists and bloggers. [Paid]
Tools to measure and analyze content marketing performance
Google Analytics: Track your website traffic, measure social media efforts, create customized reports, and much more. A free analytics powerhouse.
Buzzsumo: Lets users analyze content performance across social mediums. Just search a keyword or topic and see which articles on the web are getting it right. Observe the successful posts and replicate for your own benefit.
Ubbersuggest: A free keyword suggestion tool that gives you a very healthy assortment of keyword suggestions based on your input.
Addvocate: Measure and track your own employees and how they share your content. Lets you prioritize content you want employees to focus on sharing, and see which of your employees is having the biggest impact on customers. [Paid]
Optimizely: A tool that lets users easily A/B test any number of variables. [Paid]
Creative Commons: Search and discover creative commons licensed media (images, video, etc.) to use for your marketing purposes.
Gravity: Keeps track of what topics are hot on the web, and makes it easy for you to see which articles and topics will resonate with your audience. [Paid]