Companies are defined today by their unique story. Anyone can sell a product but why buy that product over another? Creating radio spots and billboard ads are not enough in today’s consumer centric marketplace to connect with customers, it’s content that helps craft a story about your business, drive home your unique value and inform potential customers why they should buy your product or service over others.
Jumpstarting your content marketing efforts can be an uphill battle if you don’t have the right tools in place to get the job done. It’s time to think like a journalist and a marketer to offer your audiences content that is both useful and entertaining, similar to the value a publication brings to its readers. Here are 50 tools to help bolster your content marketing strategy for the future:
Tools for Content Discovery & Ideas
1. Flipboard – Flipboard curates the stories and news that are happening today. Use it to see what’s trending, which can give you ideas for writing topical content.
2. Feedly – Since Google Reader has shut down July 1st, Feedly has become the best option for RSS having grown to 7 million users in recent months. Add your favorite blogs and websites to start filling up your feed with content.
3. Pulse – Purchased by LinkedIn not too long ago, Pulse is an app that serves as a RSS feed from other sources allowing users to curate based on their interests and topics of choice.
4. Quora – The popular social network is a platform for question and answer discussions. Identify trends from consistently asked questions to inform your content creation efforts.
5. Trapit – This content discovery app personalizes the content feed based on your passions and interests, designed just for the iPad. The app learns from your feedback, giving you better content each time it’s used.
6. Inbound.org – Use Inbound.org to find great content from the world of inbound marketing from other marketers, curated by the community.
8. Alltop – Content is indexed from a variety of top publications, categorized by topics like Work, Health, Culture, Interests, Tech, People, Good, News, Geos and Sports.
9. Twitter – Search trending topics on Twitter to see what is popular worldwide or in a specific region to gain insights on what content to develop. Also search hashtags that are relevant to your expertise and industry to research what subjects of our interest to your existing audience and potential audiences.
10. Reddit – Discover what’s trending worldwide on Reddit for content inspiration on a variety of topics from across the web. Observing which headlines are more effective on Reddit can bring insights to the subject of your next article, infographic, video or other type of content.
Tools for Marketing & Distribution
11. Buffer – Use Buffer to schedule your content across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for posting at the best times optimized for your account or at the times of your choosing. Buffer helps streamline the process of distributing content to each channel quickly and effectively.
12. Slideshare – An often overlooked tool for content marketing, create a deck to draw attention to a resource or service on your website. Like this deck on YouTube Virality, that drove 20,000+ views to the creator’s content.
13. Yoast – The best search engine optimization plugin for WordPress that helps bolster your website and its content to its full potential with all the major search engines. It simplifies the process making it easier for website owners of all levels keep their web properties inline with SEO best practices.
14. MailChimp – MailChimp is one of the easiest email marketing platforms to use to market your content to your email list. Don’t have an email list? The exclusive content your business will create and distribute using this platform will help fuel new subscribers to your email list.
15. Promoted Posts on Facebook – Facebook advertising can bolster the visibility of your content in the newsfeed far greater than it would reach on its own organically. Pay per post to get your content featured in front of a larger audience on Facebook with your fans and non-fans alike.
16. Inbound Writer – This content optimization application lets your business monitor topics of interest, understand your readers and reach your readers by providing insights on what type of content to create that match’s the passions of your audience.
17. PRWeb – Use this syndication platform to send SEO optimized press releases about your most valuable content to 30,000 journalists, 250,000 opt-in news subscribers and to the 3 million monthly visitors on PRWeb.com. The platform is easy to use and allows many effective tools to create your press release, distribute it and monitor its success.
18. Edgar – Similar to Buffer, the difference with Edgar is that the user puts in a library of content they want to share on various social networks, they create a schedule for sharing, and Edgar will automatically share it. It’s more “set it and forget it” than Buffer.
19. Tweriod – Twitter tool that helps determine the best time to tweet your content for your business. The tool gets your content in front of more tweeters and comes in the form of a free simple report that outlines the best times to tweet.
20. StumbleUpon Ads – StumbleUpon Ads are a great option for a company with some money to spend on their paid budget.
Tools for Organization
21. Trello – A completely free tool for organizing everything from media to ideas on neatly organized cards. Streamline your content ideas and collaborate with your other team members by gathering votes on particular cards to have real time feedback on the best content to pursue further.
22. Evernote – Evernote is the multi-use organizational platform that’s widely known as the way to remember everything from your business to personal life. Use Evernote to keep track of your content ideas and editorial calendar from the computer or your mobile phone on the go.
23. Google Calendar – One of Google’s many helpful tools, the Google Calendar is an effective way to organize and collaborate on your editorial and production calendar for your company’s content.
25. Wunderlist – Create beautiful and more importantly, powerful lists that outline your content strategy, content ideas from your desktop at work or on mobile while you’re on the go.
26. Pinterest – Use Pinterest to organize your resources, the content from others and your favorite websites for content marketing inspiration. Utilize the secret board function if there’s anything your team doesn’t wish to curate to the public.
27. Pocket – Save videos, articles and other helpful resources away to check out later. The Pocket app helps keep your favorite resources organized from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse, Zite and 300+ apps.
28. Remember That Milk – Manage all your tasks with this app that seamlessly integrates with Gmail, Outlook, Twitter, Evernote, Google Calendar and more. Think of this app as the to-do list reinvented.
29. Harvest – The time tracking tool can help keep your content marketing efforts on schedule with accurate and effective software to help make smarter decisions for your business. Understanding where your time is spent and on what tasks will help strengthen your content creation efforts.
30. MindNode – Map out your brainstorm sessions and ideas to better understand what’s on track and what’s not working for your content strategy using the MindNode app. Think about your content as ideas that merely need to be flesh out, connect the dots with this visual experience for the iPhone, iPad or Mac.
Tools for Content Creation
31. Meme Dad – If you need to add a comical spin to your content, then look to add a meme from this easy to use web resource.
32. Visual.ly – Create stunning inforgraphics and data visualizations using Visual.ly from their marketplace of infographic experts and designers. Explore the 30,000+ infographics already created on the website for inspiration for your content marketing.
33. Google Keyword Tool – Using the Google keyword tool you’ll be able to search for the right pairings of keywords to use in the headlines and body of your articles that are more often searched in Google. Don’t take this data as the final say on your headline, but use this info has an approximation of the search traffic certain keywords are currently receiving.
34. GIMP – Create visuals for your content using GIMP, which is a free, simplified Photoshop like software. Including images in your posts is very crucial since 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
35. Resize.it – An online image resizing tool to bring the images you’ve created or curated to the right dimensions for publishing. Resize.it is a helpful resource for non-technical users to fix their images for use in their articles, e-books and PDF’s.
36. Issuu – A visually striking tool for creating online magazines and lookbooks with both free and paid versions depending on your content needs and budget.
37. Poll Maker – Utrak is a tool that allows you to embed a simple web-based poll into your content. Adding a poll to your content is another way to make it more engaging for readers.
38. Embedded Tweets – Add live tweets to your online content to add credibility to a topic and interactive aspect to your article or website. Tweets display with expanded media like photos, videos, and article summaries, and also include real-time retweet and favorite counts. When embedded, Tweets are interactive and enable your readers to follow the Tweet author, and reply, retweet, favorite all directly from the page.
39. Thinglink – Tag images to make them more engaging with links to music, video, text, images, Twitter, Facebook, shops and more using Thinglink. This tool allows readers to comment on images and follow image channels of creative users. ThingLink images are also shareable, and embeddable, with a click to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email.
40. PowToon – Create animated videos and presentations with PowToon to add a commercial quality experience to your original content.
41. UberFlip – Optimize your PDF’s to add social widgets, audio and video elements to make the content both interactive and measurable.
Tools for Writing
42. Contently – A platform that allows businesses to work with high-quality freelance writers that also handles the payment and management of the editorial process.
43. Skyword – This tool offers businesses different levels of content creation services with their access to 20,000 writers, as well as an exclusive partnership with Thomson Reuters for business intelligence and Bigstock Imagery for stock images.
44. Textbroker – Textbroker is a content creation service offering a quick turnaround on articles, press releases, written snippets for websites and more from a database of authors.
45. Compendium – The Compendium platform empowers publishers with the tools necessary to plan, produce, publish, promote and measure their content marketing all from one dashboard.
46. Shareist – Shareist is editorial platform for small to medium size businesses that helps with the entire content marketing life cycle. The tool helps your business capture content from around the web, easily incorporating text, links, videos, images and more. Export this content for use anywhere, such as email newsletters, and eBooks.
47. Codeless – While not necessarily a “tool”, Codeless is an outlet that produces content for companies. You can hire them to write blog posts, eBooks, PDFs, whitepapers, etc.
48. NewsCred – An enterprise content development platform that offers businesses 2,500 sources, millions of full text articles, images and video to help bolster their content strategy. The platform also streamlines the legal and billing process of using the content owned by other publications, companies and individuals.
49. Hemingway App – Junk content with poor writing won’t get you anywhere, no matter how much effort you put into SEO, paid, or social. So let the Hemingway Editor help you with editing your writing.
50. Brafton – The Brafton platform offers content marketing, as well as search engine optimization, social media marketing and content analytics services to ensure the content created on your company’s behalf will perform well on the social web and with the right audience.
For more marketing tools, check out Neil’s list:
BONUS – The Best Infographics on Content Marketing Tools
The Content Marketing Landscape via Content AMP
What’s Your Content Marketing Challenge via Curata
The Content of Integrity in the Age of the Consumer via Econsultancy
What content marketing tools has your business found the most effective? Are there any tools that should be added to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author: Brian Honigman is a freelance writer, content marketer and social media consultant. He’s an active contributor to Mashable, the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Forbes and others. Follow his tweets on all things digital @BrianHonigman.