By Ian Cleary published May 29, 2018

Improve Your Productivity With 8 Content Marketing Tools

improve-productivity-content-marketing-toolsEditor’s note: You may have missed this article when CMI published it a couple years ago. We’re sharing it now – and we’ve added a new tool – because improving your productivity is a never-ending battle and these tools can help.

Are you struggling with too much content marketing work?

Looking for ways to improve your productivity and free up some time?

If you don’t have a good strategy, even the best of tools won’t be of much help. But with the right strategy in place, tools will certainly help improve your productivity.

The following is list of tools that will help you save time and become more effective with your content marketing:

1. SEMrush: Identify how your competitors rank on Google (free and paid versions)

SEMrush is a great tool to help you assess competitors’ traffic on Google and the keywords for which they are ranking.

Enter your competitor’s web address in the SEMrush SEO toolkit and see a list of the keywords for which it ranks on Google. With a free registered account, SEMrush reveals the top 10 organic keywords driving traffic to your competitor’s site.

sem-rush-screenshot

This quick way of doing keyword research can identify some target keywords. With SEMrush you can also view your competitors’ backlinks and top referring domains, check the estimated organic traffic they are getting, and perform a complete competitive analysis.

Identify your competitors’ best keywords, backlinks & referring domains w/ @semrush. @IanCleary Click To Tweet

2. BuzzSumo: Find out what type of content gets shared the most (free trial, paid version)

You also want to create content that gets shared across social media channels. The best way to do this is to find out what type of content normally earns a lot of shares and write content around similar topics.

With BuzzSumo, enter a website address – yours or your competitors’ – to find the most-shared content across social media channels. You also can search for keywords to find the content related to those keywords that are shared the most.

It also is helpful to use BuzzSumo to examine content shares on specific channels to help you produce content that is likely to be popular on your targeted channels.

Use @buzzsumo to find out what type of #content earns shares so you can write on similar topics. @iancleary Click To Tweet

3. Easil: Prepare your promotional imagery (free and paid versions)

Visuals are an important element of content promotion but going to graphic designers for every piece of imagery gets expensive and time-consuming. Easil is a design tool that allows non-designers to create different types of high-quality images in minutes.

It features a straightforward, drag-and-drop interface, free-to-use stock images, customizable templates, color palette generator, and more. Basically, all the tools you need to start promoting your content with eye-catching, shareable visuals.

easil-screenshot

When you create great evergreen content, it’s important to share it regularly. However, you don’t want to continue to promote it with the same image. Create a batch of similar images that can be used in various promotional activities.

Don’t promote your evergreen #content with the same image on all channels, says @IanCleary. Click To Tweet

4. Mintent: Build your editorial calendar (free version)

An editorial calendar is essential for content marketing. Planning your content keeps you organized and more productive and, as a consequence, you deliver better content.

Mintent is content marketing software to help you keep track of campaigns and content assets and it offers a robust editorial calendar. It provides a single view of all your content, color-coded by type. You can easily add and schedule content assets, create approval workflows, assign tasks, and manage content deadlines.

mintent-content-marketing-software

Click to enlarge

The available filters allow you to view items in the calendar by theme, campaign, author, and more, so it’s easy to find the content you’re looking for.

Your editorial calendar also enables you to see whether you have content gaps or if you’re creating too much of one content type and should diversify your assets.

Your #editorial calendar enables you to see content gaps or surpluses, says @IanCleary. Click To Tweet

5. AgoraPulse: Maximize your content’s reach on social (free trial, paid version)

You spend a lot of time creating valuable content so you need to make sure your fans and followers on social media see it. And unless you reshare your content regularly, the majority of your audience won’t know it exists.

A social media management tool like AgoraPulse can help you plan, schedule, and distribute your content on social channels that matter to your business the most, such as Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, and Instagram. What I love about this tool is that it connects all your social accounts into one platform, making it easy to manage and measure all your efforts.

Use a tool like @agorapulse so you can manage & measure all social accounts in one platform. @IanCleary Click To Tweet

agorapulse-report-example

6. Brand24: Leverage social listening to inform content creation (free trial, paid version)

Sourcing new content ideas to feed your editorial calendar can be time-consuming and stressful. There are many ways to find ideas for your content, but I’d like to mention one that is still underused.

Although social media listening tools are primarily used for brand monitoring purposes, they can add a lot of value to your content creation efforts.

For example, you can use a social media monitoring tool like Brand24 to monitor keywords related to your key topics or your industry and track the conversations and content around those keywords. More importantly, you’ll get a better understanding of the context of those conversations.

This is really important for creating content that people will care about – you’ll have the insights you need to write content that will best meet their needs. Best of all, once you set up the monitoring Brand24 will do all the work for you, delivering relevant mentions straight to your inbox.

#Socialmedia listening tools let you track conversations – and context – around keywords, says @IanCleary. Click To Tweet
brand24-dashboard-example

Click to enlarge

7. OutreachPlus: Promote your content through email (free trial, paid version)

One of the most effective ways to promote your content is emailing relevant people who could help extend its reach, be it journalists, influencers, business partners, etc.

OutreachPlus is an email outreach tool that I launched; it speeds up the process of sending personalized emails and follow-ups.

Content promotion is becoming increasingly important as it gets more challenging to get reach from social media. If you can add email outreach as another method of content promotion onto your list you’ll be that bit further ahead of your competition.

outreachplus-dashboard-example

Click to enlarge

8. Zapier – Get automated (free and paid versions)

Zapier is an automation tool that connects hundreds of web apps together to help you create fully automated workflows in a matter of minutes. You create “zaps” – triggering tasks that initiate different applications.

There are some useful automated tasks to help with your content marketing. For example, if you are on WordPress, you can use one of the available pre-made zaps to post your new WP posts to your Facebook page.

zapier-automation-example

Here are a few more examples of automatic zaps you could create:

  • Publish your WordPress blog posts to your Scoop.it topic.
  • Get Slack notifications for new comments on your WordPress blog posts.
  • Share Instagram photos to your Facebook page.
  • Send LinkedIn status updates to Twitter.

If you have a good content marketing plan, the tools support this plan, improve your impact, and maximize your success. Review the tools you use to find out if they are delivering the results you require. Maybe you’ll consider adding one or two of the tools detailed here. What other tools do you recommend?

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

Expand your content marketing tool box with helpful apps, websites, tech support, and in-person lessons. Register to attend Content Marketing World September 4-7 in Cleveland, Ohio. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary is founder of the content marketing agency RazorSocial where he provides consultancy and training. He is also Co-founder of OutreachPlus which is email outreach software for sending highly personalized emails and follow ups to generate more traffic, PR and sales for your business. Follow him on Twitter @IanCleary.

Other posts by Ian Cleary

  • http://www.smartladders.com/ Bharti

    Thanks for nice collection of tools it will useful for every digital market

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks!

  • http://www.hotelakshaya.in Hotel Akshaya

    Wow great collection of tools. Thanks for recommending.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you!

  • https://jorgeluisalonso.com/ Jorge L. Alonso G.

    Thanks Ian for the information. Please read this article published some days ago: http://bit.ly/2xtqDHM. The services of at least two of the websites you have included (SEMrush and Buzzsumo), will be soon free within a tool created by @NeilPatel: Am I right?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      I’m sure Neal will deliver a good tool but it took years for SEMRush and Buzzsumo to get to the level they are at. Building a complex product takes a lot of time! Prior to Marketing I spent 15 years working in software companies.

      • https://jorgeluisalonso.com/ Jorge L. Alonso G.

        Thanks for clarifying me that information!

  • https://socialanimal.com Krishna Rg

    Hey Ian,

    A fine list of tools.

    Please consider adding Social Animal (https://socialanimal.com/) to this list.

    Social Animal is a top notch content research tool. Utilizing NLP and Machine Learning techniques, it peers into what makes good content tick and provides top shared content, detailed insights, influencers and content inspiration for a target keyword/domain.

    P.S: I work for Social Animal and would love to hear your thoughts on our tool.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Krishna, I’ll take a look!

  • https://www.imbloggingtips.com/ Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hello Ian,

    Great and very informative post. I am using SEMrush. It is one of the best SEO tool I have ever used. I have recently sign up for free trial of Agorapulse and just playing with it. Hope this will help me to improve my social media marketing. Thanks for sharing these beautiful tips.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks so much Vishwajeet!

  • Aanchal Kaura

    Hello Ian Cleary, Thanks for this informative and great blog. Yes, As you mentioned two tools ie “SEMRUSH” and “AgoraPulse”, I have been also use SEMRUSH to Identify to our competitors rank on Google and AgoraPulse to Maximize my content’s reach on social platforms. I will try to rest 6 tools for my content marketing strategy. Keep Posting.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Awesome thank you Aanchal

  • http://www.smartladders.com/ Digital Marketing Agency

    very useful collection of tools and informative too. Thanks for sharing these quality collections of content marketing tool.This will definetly helpful for our business.