By Stephanie Tilton published August 15, 2012

8 Content Production Tools To Help Marketers Become Publishing Machines [Free Guide]

8-content-production-toolsIf you are a content marketer, you know you need to think like a publisher. But, it is one thing to say it and another thing to make it happen. Whether you are publishing a blog post or white paper, shooting a video or creating an infographic, the process can be complex and tedious, especially when you are churning out lots of content and working with numerous writers and designers. 

With each piece of content, you need to:

  • Rally the right resources, sometimes pulling from in-house, outsourcing, or doing a combination of both.
  • Ensure each content asset achieves its aim and incorporates targeted keywords.
  • Manage the review process, which may vary, depending on the type of project.
  • Distribute and promote the content via multiple channels, often staggered over time.
  • Monitor and respond to comments about the content.
  • Measure the results and adjust the strategy while relaying the changes moving forward.

Ad hoc tools don’t cut it

When you are desperate to bring some measure of order to this chaotic world, like most marketers you may turn to spreadsheets. Or, you may be force-fitting your processes and workflow into tools intended for another use. Despite your best efforts, you probably find yourself still struggling to keep your head above water.

Editorial tools made specifically for marketers – content marketing tools

Recognizing the need to tame the chaos, a number of solution providers have developed tools and networks to address these very issues. The Content Marketing Institute found that such solutions fall into three general categories:

  • Blogging workflow tools: Focused on editorial project management and search engine optimization.
  • Content workflow tools: Designed to help shepherd content projects from start to finish.
  • Content workflow tools combined with writer networks: Built to support the end-to-end content development process while providing access to a network of writers, if needed.

Key considerations when choosing content marketing tools

In spite of their different focal points, all of these solutions can help simplify the content-production process so you can better execute on your strategy. The key is to choose the one that best fits your needs. While each marketer’s requirements vary, the following set of questions will help you think through key considerations:

  • Do I need to support the development of only blog posts or all content types?
  • Does it provide access to outside writers?
  • Does it provide guidance on best practices for content development?
  • Does it support my unique workflow(s)?
  • Does it integrate with my existing blogging and/or content management tools?
  • Can I see a display of the editorial calendar in multiple views (such as by month or content theme)?
  • Is there a central spot for managing projects, drafts and related communications?
  • Does it support multiple languages?
  • Does it offer built-in support for keyword research and search engine optimization?
  • Does it include access to vendor personnel who can assist with content strategy, content development, and/or writer management?
  • Does it help manage my content budget and payment to writers?
  • Does it simplify content publishing and distribution?

Eight content marketing tools to evaluate

Ready to evaluate your options and start publishing like a pro? Download our free guide, which offers a summary of eight content production tools:

The guide provides a summary of each tool, offers insights into how each is used and includes an “editor’s choice” of our favorite feature.

** Editor’s note: For an updated and more comprehensive look at these content marketing tools, download our 49-page guide, Content Collaboration Tools: An Analysis of 13 Technology Solutions in a Disruptive Marketplace.** 

Are you using any of these tools? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And, if you think this guide is helpful, you may also like our Decision Maker’s Guide to Making Smart Content Marketing Technology Choices.

Author: Stephanie Tilton

Stephanie Tilton is a content-marketing consultant who helps B2B companies craft content that engages prospects and customers, nurtures leads, and advances the buying cycle. You can follow her on Twitter @StephanieTilton or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B Marketing.

Other posts by Stephanie Tilton

  • http://twitter.com/BobScheier Bob Scheier

    Very useful guide and thanks much! Would be curious to hear tips from others on using Inbound Writer. So far, it seems like fairly clueless SEO (i.e., I’m not seeing tips for tags or related stories I wouldn’t see through a Google AdWords or Google search) and when it gives me advice like “Add more focus terms” there’s no apparent place to do that. Following its advice to mention keywords more often raises my score, but IMHO reduces readability of the text through use of repetitive keywords.

    For someone who gets their best business through word of mouth and previous engagements, I keep wondering how much time and effort to put into SEO. Any thoughts or advice appreciated;

    Bob

    • http://sevensummitsquest.com/ Charles Miske

      Bob – if your clients rarely come to you from Google, I wouldn’t waste much time and effort on Google. That being said, it pays to have backup systems in place for those times or events that alter your current trends. Having all your eggs in one basket (eg: referrals) has risks associated with it that you might want to plan around for the long haul.

  • http://www.gathercontent.com/ James Deer

    You forgot to add GatherContent :)

    http://www.gathercontent.com

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

      Hi James,
      This was our first version of the guide, and I plan to update it if our readers find it useful. This is a space that is definitely evolving quickly.

      I’d love to learn more about GatherContent. I’ll check out your website, and feel free to contact me directly if you want to set up a quick call: michele [at] contentinstitute.com. Thanks for reaching out!

  • Peter Awad

    One more for the next version:) http://www.GoodBlogs.com

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

      Thanks for the addition, Peter. I’ll definitely check them out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503934642 Trevor Rasmussen

    I would love to hear more from people on their experiences with using some of these tools. We are evaluating if we need something like this for the Content Marketing department that I am building but I feel like most people aren’t happy with what they have so far…

  • http://www.kronikmedia.co.uk/ K.Singh, London

    I came across contently last year and have been really impressed with. Best of all, its still free. Its a great tool if you have more than one writer and for maintaining a schedule.

  • Terry

    Slide show doesn’t work with Google Chrome.

  • Jason

    Slideshare presentations are NOT ebooks. You should label your content properly. I’m seriously considering unsubscribing because of this.

    • Michele Linn

      Hi Jason,
      We’ve called this a guide, and we distribute our guides/eBooks via Slideshare. We also develop more traditional Slideshares for that channel as well. Does that help clarify?

  • Cindy

    Hi guys,

    You should taking a closer look to http://www.ewcprenseter.com which is a great tool to generate any kind of interactive content on any device.

  • Mike

    Hi,
    The write up puts light on factors which are essential to ascertain while opting for any tool. I am surely going to practice some of these now.

  • Emeric

    You may want to add Coschedule to that list (http://coschedule.com), we use it at agorapulse and like it a lot :-)

  • tonyhost

    Studies show that green plants are good
    for workplaces where people perform creative tasks but bad where the work is
    more monotone.

    http://www.friv-2.com.co

  • Alex Bisset

    Hi Stephanie-I know this is an old post, but for the next round of this list, you might want to check out Opentopic’s content marketing platform (http://opentopic.com) as well! Could be a great addition to the list. :)

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

      Thanks for the recommendation, Alex. We will check them out!