By Michele Linn published May 6, 2011

25 Tools for Content Marketing Collaboration, Productivity, Monitoring and Distribution

Using tools to make your life easier sounds great in theory, but with the myriad of options available, and the time it takes to learn each one, which are the ones you should consider?

We asked our trusty CMI contributors to weigh in  on tools for social media monitoring, collaboration, productivity and distribution. Here are their favorites.

Social media monitoring tools

You know you need to monitor your brand, but there are so many platforms on which these conversations are taking place. Here are some tools to help.


I use a combination of tools to monitor social media conversations. My favorites include:Hyper Alerts: For Facebook, once-a-day review.Sendible: For pre-scheduling updates across multiple services and “sentiment updates” (when folks are discussing your company or brand)

HootSuite: For Twitter discussions and mentions

Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)


My most valuable social media monitoring tool is eCairn Conversation, a platform that helps to identify virtual social communities and key influencers, as well as the relevant content they create. Using eCairn Conversation, I’m able to search on specific topics that my database of relevant sources mention, be that references to retail experience, social media marketing or content marketing themes, and establish content-based relationships with the authors.Don’t forget Google Alerts!I consider those my first line of awareness tools.CB Whittemore (@CBWhittemore)


Collaboration tools

What tools do you use to manage content projects? Stay on task? Track deliverables?


Dropboxis a great tool for content projects, especially those involving bulky images or video that are difficult to email.  Dropbox creates folders on your computer that can then be shared with other project stakeholders.  You can create as many files as you need and invite different collaborators to each folder.  Think of it as a shared hard drive, without all the fuss.- Russ Henneberry (@RussHenneberry)


Gotta love Basecamp for collaboration, file sharing and creating an archive for any project. It’s so simple and intuitive.  You just invite new people and don’t even have to tell them what to do or how to use it. We don’t use the calendar or To Do functionality, but even the basic stuff is worthwhile.The other technology for keeping projects on track is the Large Wooden Stick. We use this by swinging it over the head and thwacking anyone who threatens to delay us or send us down rat-holes. I’ve heard it’s also got poking and prodding functionality and has an excellent brandishing app but we haven’t gone beyond the thwacking. The Nerf Bat is fun, too but people soon learn that it’s a lot less scary than the Large Wooden Stick.- Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)


GoogleDocsis great for easy forms and surveys.  For those of you interested in creating a down-and-dirty form or even survey, Google Docs and Spreadsheets can provide you with a fast and easy way to get something up, collect the data and even help you analyze it in their Spreadsheet. It’s worth spending a couple minutes creating one even if you’re holding an event and need an easy way to collect registrations.- Andrew Davis (@TPLDrew)


My favorite collaboration tool is Skype which now allows screen sharing between call participants. Another exciting development is SlideShare.net’s ZipCastwhich means that you can have a collaborative session around a SlideShare presentation you’ve uploaded.- CB Whittemore (@CBWhittemore)


Content marketing can take a good deal of collaboration and teamwork. And, oftentimes, getting and keeping everyone on the same page can take some time. One of my favorite tools for this is Yammer. Watch this videoto see how it works. 

Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)


Distribution channels

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube top the list, but there are other tools you can use to distribute your content.

One of the best kept secrets in content distribution is MeetUp.com.  MeetUp is an online platform for organizing and attending physical meet ups with people of similar interests.  For those B2B marketers that are pursuing the small business market, starting a meet up that consistently delivers high value, relevant content is a powerful strategy.  This strategy also works very well for any B2C marketer.- Russ Henneberry (@RussHenneberry)


Slideshare, Scribd and Docstocare all great ways to re-purpose and atomise content. You can do a deck in half an hour and have it live in 30 seconds. And the slides can point back to the mother ship for more traffic and SEO juice. 

Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)


One of the distribution we’ve effectively used for content promotion is PRWeb.com(mutal client of TopRank Marketing, my agency). I’ve been using that service myself since 2001 and have been getting great distribution on press releases that are written a little more like articles than traditional releases. While many publications will reprint press releases as-is, many others are open to reposting press releases when they read as well written and cited articles. The content must be timely and newsworthy,of course, but from a content distribution and even a SEO perspective (syndicated releases create links that help search ranking) it’s a tool that provides a lot of value for a flat fee, vs. other press release services that charge by the word.-- Lee Odden (@leeodden)


Tumblr.com is a great way to spin up microsites.  Many brands have turned to Tumblr.com lately to spin up ‘microsites’ within a community of passionate Tumblr users. Think of Tumblr as somewhere between Twitter and a full-on blog with content-types being central to the diverse content posted, liked and re-blogged in a social universe all its own. For example, see what Comedy Central has done on their Tumbl-log(if that’s a word.)- Andrew Davis (@TPLDrew)


In addition to the usual, I like to distribute press releases using PRLog.org where you can create a press room for your business as well as a profile for your key representatives and presentations using SlideShare.netwhich I can them embed in blogposts to add to my LinkedIn profile.- CB Whittemore (@CBWhittemore)


Productivity tools

Here are the productivity tools that keep our contributors humming.


My iPod is an essential productivity tool – put it on loud even in a busy office and all distractions disappear. But I do find myself typing to the beat.I use Evernotefor bookmarking my life. And I love the cross-platform syncing. iPad, iPhone, laptop… Sometimes I wonder if the productivity dividend outweighs the time price. But it’s comforting to think these things are really being captured and preserved instead of lost forever.- Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)
From a productivity perspective, I find that less is more particularly as it relates to notifications. I turn all of those off so I can remain in better control of my time. I do, though, make heavy use of Outlook and Google calendars with reminders, to do lists, etc. to keep me on track. I like Hootsuite for keeping track of several Twitter accounts and scheduling content for publication, and I find TweetDeckvaluable for interaction both on a desktop as well as the iPhone.- CB Whittemore(@CBWhittemore)


As a content creator, we sometimes overlook the fact that content can be used for more than just marketing initiatives. Having good customer support content can actually be a great marketing strategy (Zappos anyone?) We’ve been looking atUserVoiceas a great place to help solve customer issues before their BIG issues.- Andrew Davis (@TPLDrew)


What other tools would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Michele Linn

Michele is the Content Development Director of the Content Marketing Institute and a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B Marketing.

Other posts by Michele Linn

  • http://www.internetbillboards.net Tom George

    Hi Michele, this is a fascinating and informative body of work. I am curious about your thoughts on content curation, as they relate to content marketing. I am someone who is really into curated for great content on the web, for instance I found this article through scoop.it, I then curated the article onto Internet Billboards, do you think this is content marketing within curation? What are your thoughts?

    • http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Michele Linn

      Hi George,
      I think content curation can strengthen a content marketing strategy, but I do think companies need original content as well. We all need help sorting through all of the info out there. You have given me a thought for more posts: content curation strategies and tools. I am guessing that certain tools are better for content curation as they relate to content marketing. What has our experience been?

      • http://www.internetbillboards.net Tom George

        Hi Michelle,

        I really agree with you and your assessment. Although we are building a company
        around content curation, I always feel the need to have fresh original content as well.
        It’s coming up with that content regularly that is challenging, even with guest posts. This is
        why having the ability to curate other great content is nice, but it still has to bring some interesting
        context. Anyway, great idea for a new post, I hope you follow through as I would love to read
        anything you do on the subject. There are many great curation tools, like Pearltrees, Scoop.it and keepstream.com
        to name three. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Ldunlop

    I wondered whether anyone used Alerian for social media monitoring?

    • http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Michele Linn

      I haven’t used Alerian, but I’ll see if I can find anyone who has.

  • Russell Sparkman

    Given that events are a highly effective, but still underutilized form of content, I’d point folks to EventBrite. EventBrite has emerged as one of my favorite services in the past year.

  • http://twitter.com/kaboodlehq Kaboodle

    if you like Basecamp, and you’re a marketer, you’ll love Kaboodle HQ.

    It has all the ease of use, collaborative features and low cost of Basecamp, with added benefit of inbuilt creative asset review and approval.
    You can manage multi-tiered marketing campaigns (the way that marketing actually works).