Content marketing is still relatively new as a digital marketing discipline, yet marketers already have hundreds of tools to help make their campaigns more effective. Some of these tools are new generations of existing online marketing tools, while others have been created to support the very specific needs of content marketers.
In the content marketing space, marketers invest most in curation and aggregation, content creation, and workflow (Altimeter). As for the greatest challenges facing them today, content marketers identified lack of time/bandwidth to create content, producing enough content variety and volume, measuring content effectiveness and lack of budget as their top concerns, according to a LinkedIn Group Partner survey.
Finding the right tool to address these specific issues (or more likely, a group of tools that play well together) should be at the top of every content marketer's list for 2015.
Curata recently compiled an epic list of content marketing tools in the infographic above, segmented into the following categories depending on the type of challenge you're having:
- Optimizing Conversions
Within these very broad categories, you'll find content marketing tools for dozens of purposes including social media management, blogging & CMS, analytics, personalization and a whole lot more.
I wanted to share a few of my favorites from their Ultimate List of Content Marketing Tools.
Content Marketing Tools for Content Production
Larry's Favorites: The tools I use for producing content depend on which type of content is being produced.
Curata is my preferred tool for content curation (which is how I came across their infographic!). Their discovery engine searches feeds, sites, social networks and more to find relevant content for you.
For audio content, I use Audacity, which is a user-friendly open source (and free!) audio recorder and editor. You can't beat Camtasia for screen capture videos, or simple editing of videos you've made with a decent camera.
One more of my favorites for content creation is Evernote, which has a super useful app I can use on the go.
Other content production tools to try: If you're looking to increase and/or ease your production, check out InboundWriter for optimization, Google Docs for collaborative content creation, or Kapost for an end-to-end solution. (Also, check out Meg's tips for repurposing your existing content.)
Distribution Tools for Content Marketers
Larry's Favorites: SlideShare is listed as a syndication tool in Curata's chart and it's definitely up there as one of my personal favorites, especially for sharing conference and webinar content. You can easily embed SlideShares on your other web properties, but they have a healthy audience of their own there, too.
Other content distribution tools to try: There are a ton of options here, both organic and paid. On the paid side, Outbrain is a super popular service for promoting your content across their publishers network. Traackr, Kred and Klout are useful for identifying influencers in your niche.
Tools to Get Your Content Efforts Organized
Larry's Favorite: MarketMuse is a fantastic tool for identifying which content topics and specific keywords can generate the most traffic to your site.
If you find some keyword tools heavy or difficult to use, definitely give this one a shot – it's super easy. The first time you use it to crawl a new site, it can take several minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how many pages the site has. Once the site has been crawled, it moves a lot faster to search on specific keywords.
Other content organization tools to try: Enterprise-level brands and marketers might want to try a solution like Adobe's Experience Manager, for cross-channel organization and integration.
Not big enough for Adobe? Try a tool like digital asset solution Canto, which offers cloud-based plans as low as $49 a month for single users. You'll then be able to find, upload and share all of your digital assets from the cloud, which is great if your staff work from remote offices or different locations.
Tools for Optimizing Content for Conversion
Larry's Favorites: Optimizely is pretty advanced, considering the relative lifespan of content conversion in general. You can use it to track a variety of actions – clicks, engagements, conversions, etc. – and run A/B tests on dynamic pages. When you find something that's working, you can point all of your traffic to that variation immediately. It integrates with most major analytics tools, as well.
My other fave in this arena has to be Pippity, a popup and lead capture plugin for WordPress.
You decide when popups should appear and can test variations to find the winner. Their WYSIWYG editor for creating your popups has a lot of templates and customization options, too.
Other content conversion optimization tools to try: BrightInfo is another solution that tracks user behavior and optimizes your site content in real-time, in order to increase conversion through more relevant content delivery.
SumoMe (from the creators of AppSumo) is another interesting option that offers free apps for list building, heat maps to see where people click on your site, and social sharing. It's as easy as adding a piece of HTML code to your site, or installing a WordPress plugin. Oh, yeah – and it's free!
Content Marketing Measurement Tools
Larry's Favorites: While I'll never find Google Analytics entirely replaceable, HubSpot Analytics is a must-have, too. Sure, you'll find a lot of the same information in each, but HubSpot's revenue and marketing channel analytics are a must for enterprise-level marketers. Their funnel analytics are also super helpful and enable you to easily visualize contacts by lifecycle stage:
Ironically, Alexa and Quantcast aren't my favorites for our own analytics, but I use them often to gauge the relative popularity of others when I'm doing research for blog posts.
Other content marketing measurement tools to try: There are some really niche measurement products available now, like Docalytics, which tracks people's interactions with your downloadable content. Parse.ly is another smart content analytics platform worth checking out.
How Content Marketing Really Works…
I've yet to find a single tool that does everything in content marketing from end to end, but those are a few of my favorite solutions for different types of tasks! Try different combinations of tools to find the right mix for your content marketing needs. Look to Curata's compendium of tools for inspiration – it's the most comprehensive list of content marketing tools I've ever seen!
Or, if you have a personal favorite, please share it in the comments.
Then check out this presentation from my 'How Content Marketing Really Works' webinar with Rand Fishkin, or click here to get the full webinar on demand: