Are you ready to go “all in” with content marketing? Have you come to find that you need some help in reaching all your goals?
The nice thing about content marketing is that you can make big time progress in a short period of time. Even better is the fact that you can tackle many of the most important tasks on your own. Outside assistance is not mandatory for success.
At some point, you may come to find that you require a bit of help. This is when you should turn your attention to the many content marketing tools that are available to marketing professionals, small business owners, and pretty much anyone else who wants to take advantage.
But I don’t have the money to pay for several tools!
This is something that I hear repeatedly. It’s also something you don’t have to worry about, as there are a variety of free content marketing tools to choose from.
If you’re new to content marketing and/or haven’t used any tools in the past, you may be worried about taking the first step. Fortunately, you don’t have to take a leap of faith. Instead, you can turn your immediate attention to the 15 free content marketing tools outlined below.
You may come to find that you don’t need all of these, but there’s a good chance that a handful could have a positive impact on your results. Let’s take a closer look!
Overlooked by many content marketers, BuzzSumo is one of the best tools to discover what type of content performs best.
There is a nearly endless number of ways to use BuzzSumo. Personally, I always search three to five ideas before writing a new blog post. This gives me a clear view of:
- What else is out there
- What has worked best for others
- The influencers who may be willing to share the content
Although you can pay for the premium version of BuzzSumo, it’s not necessary when getting started. You’ll have access to more than enough to keep you busy for the time being.
Tip: Once you know what type of content is performing best for others – based on social shares – you can then create your content with the idea of making it 10x better. This is what content marketing is all about, and BuzzSumo makes it easy.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that Hootsuite is nothing more than a social media marketing tool.
Yes, it’s true that you can use Hootsuite to schedule social media updates, track social media results, and engage with your audience. But did you know that it can also be used to boost your content marketing efforts?
Think about it like this: There is more to content marketing than creating a blog post, hoping it ranks well, and waiting for others to share it with their audience. You won’t make much progress with this approach.
If you truly want every piece of content to be as powerful as possible, you need to share it with the world. This is where social media comes into play.
So, while you may have considered Hootsuite a social media tool in the past, it’s just as powerful when it comes to your content marketing efforts.
Tip: Use Hootsuite to schedule social media updates to announce fresh content, such as blog posts, videos, and whitepapers. This will save you time, while also ensuring that you don’t forget to share the content with your audience.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but entirely too many people are ignoring the power of Google Analytics.
You wouldn’t believe how many times somebody asks the following:
What is the best way to monitor my traffic so I can make changes to my content marketing plan?
While Google Analytics isn’t the only game in town, it’s the most popular. And for good reasons: It’s packed full of features, all in a manner that makes your life easier.
There are many ways to use Google Analytics from a content marketing perspective. For example, you can see what type of content is driving the most traffic to your site, as to ensure that you stick with a similar approach in the future.
It’s easy to install Google Analytics. Even better, it’s just as simple to understand the data that’s presented to you.
Tip: Don’t wait another day to install Google Analytics, as you want to begin tracking your traffic as soon as possible.
Let’s face it, some people don’t have what it takes to create high-quality blog content. They struggle with everything from generating ideas to putting their thoughts down on paper.
If you want to make your writing bold and clear, you need to use the Hemingway App to your advantage.
This is one of those tools that entirely too many content marketers are ignoring.
As you review your content, it’s easy to believe that it’s perfect from start to finish. Rather than guess and hope that you’re right, you can use the Hemingway App.
All you must do is copy and paste your content into the tool. From there, it provides feedback regarding:
- Use of adverbs
- Use of passive voice
- Number of phrases that have simpler alternatives
- Number of sentences that are hard to read
- Number of sentences that are very hard to read
You don’t have to listen to every suggestion, but there may be a few that can immediately strengthen your content.
Tip: The more you use the Hemingway App the easier it becomes to create better content in the future. In other words, it can train you to become a better writer.
If you don’t know what to write about or are struggling to come up with a killer title for your next blog post, HubSpot may be able to help.
It’s blog ideas generator tool is not only easy to use, but I have personally found it to be “spot on” regarding the types of suggestions it provides.
The only thing you must do is add anywhere from one to three nouns to the tool. From there, run your search and review the five ideas that it provides.
If you don’t like the first five results, you can try again with the same words or use different ones. Either way, the tool will continue to spit out ideas, with the idea of eventually helping you find the right one.
Tip: Even if you think you have the perfect idea for a blog post title, run your ideas through this tool before making a final decision.
The more content you produce the more difficult it is to stay on track. When you reach the point of churning out several pieces of content per week (or day), you’ll need a system in place to keep you on track.
Google Calendar isn’t as sophisticated as similar tools, but it gets the job done if you find yourself in need of a better organizational system.
As you come up with ideas, add them to your calendar based on when you want to create and publish the content. If things change, you can always move the content around to better fit your schedule.
Tip: you can share your calendar with other team members, such as writers, to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Do you struggle to understand where you’re spending most your time? Do you worry that you’re wasting time on marketing efforts that aren’t generating results?
You only have so much time in your day, so you must make every minute count. If you’re struggling to keep your content marketing efforts on schedule, you need a tool for tracking everything you do. This is where Harvest comes into play.
As you gain a better understanding of where your time is spent, it’s easier to adjust your approach in the future to get the most out of every day.
Tip: Harvest allows you to take notes on each task, providing a system for tracking exactly what you have worked on.
It’s only natural to spend a lot of your time creating blog content. While this is important, don’t overlook the power of visual content. For example, the use of infographics could have a big impact on your marketing efforts and company.
Venngage allows anyone, regardless of design experience, to create high-quality infographics.
Thanks to a simple three step process, more than 21,000 businesses are already using this tool.
You may not create visual content as often as more traditional blog posts, but it’s something you should think about doing on a regular basis.
Tip: Take advantage of the many templates provided by Venngage. All you must do is plug in your information and you’ll have a beautiful infographic you can share with the world.
There is no denying the importance of writing for your audience, as opposed to the search engines. You want every piece of content to provide some type of valuable and unique information.
Even so, there is nothing wrong with creating content with keywords in mind. This can go a long way in helping you generate a high level of search traffic.
Google Keyword Tool provides search data for your keywords, giving you, a clear idea of which ones have the best chance of driving the most traffic to your website.
With the help of this tool, you can more easily choose your primary and secondary keywords. This is better than the alternative of simply choosing keywords with the hopes that they have a high search volume.
Tip: If you want to advertise via Google AdWords, this tool can help you better plan your campaign.
There is no right or wrong answer in regard to how long your blog posts should be, but the days of thin content have come and gone.
If you want to reach the top of the search engines, you need to invest your time into creating valuable content, which typically checks in at 1k words or more.
This study shows that the average content length of the top 10 search engine results is more than 2k words.
If you want to hit your word count every time, WordCounter is a tool that can help. As you write, your words and characters are counted on the screen, giving you a clear idea of where you stand.
Tip: Pay close attention to the keyword density data, as it tells you if you are “keyword stuffing.”
A high-quality blog post starts with high quality, valuable content. Your goal is to provide readers with unique information that they can’t find anywhere else.
While your primary focus is on the words you write, you don’t want to stop there. You should add graphics to each post, as this helps to break up the content, provide value, and boost your search engine rankings.
Taking this one step further, do your best to use unique graphics as opposed to those that you find online. With the help of Canva, you can create graphics from scratch, even if you don’t have any design skills.
There are many other design programs out there, but none are as simple to use as Canva.
Tip: Give yourself plenty of time to become familiar with the many features of Canva. You may be surprised at how powerful it truly is.
Above, we talked about the many benefits of Canva. While it’s always preferable to create unique graphics, this isn’t always possible. I know there are times when it’s easier to grab a stock photo, with Pixabay among the best places for doing so.
In addition to more than 1.1 million stock photos and illustrations, you can also search Pixabay for videos.
The more you dig around the more you’ll find, so don’t use the first image that you come across.
Tip: Searching by category allows you to review a broad scope of images, which opens your mind to additional options.
Although unique content is the name of the game, it doesn’t mean you want to ignore what your competition is doing. Also, you never know so much that you stop learning.
The Feedly tagline says it all:
“The content you need to accelerate your research, marketing, and sales.”
If you want to stay current with your industry, while also keeping track of your competition, you can use Feedly to save time. With this tool, all the content you want is brought together for you to read. Gone are the days of jumping from one site to the next.
Tip: You can use keyword alerts to monitor news about your company, your name, your product, or anything else that is important to you.
If you want to create and share great content – and you should – Klout is a tool that you absolutely need to use.
It can do many things for you, such as:
- Provide shareable content that your audience hasn’t come across
- Help you create content that resonates with your audience
- Track the impact of your content
Building your brand is important, and Klout can put you on the right track.
Tip: Use Klout to find influencers in your space. From there, contact these influencers to see if there is an opportunity to work together.
Are you the only person involved with content marketing? Are you working with at least one other person to reach your goals?
As more people get involved, it’s essential that you do whatever you can to stay organized. This can be the difference between success and failure.
Trello is one of the best tools for collaboration, making it simple for every member of your content marketing team to know what’s going on at all times.
You can use Trello to organize every part of your strategy, from assigning projects to tracking progress and everything in between. If you need everyone on the same page, you need Trello.
Tip: Learn how to use the many features of Trello, such as Cards, so that you’re able to take full advantage.
There are many benefits of content marketing, including the ability to build organic traffic and connect on a deeper level with your audience. If you aren’t using this marketing strategy, you’re missing an opportunity to do big things.
If you want to achieve greater success through this tactic, it’s important to learn more about the many tools that are available to you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you must part with hundreds of dollars per month for access to the best tools. You can get everything you need without spending a dime.
What are your thoughts on these 15 free content marketing tools? Which ones do you use? Which ones will you experiment with soon? Share your past experiences and future strategy in the comment section below.