What's in this article?
If you think you can start producing high-quality content with just a Word document and a website, think again.
There are a myriad of tools content marketing requires. You’ll need to properly create, distribute, and analyze your content to reach its full potential.
Content marketing isn’t as simple as just writing a blog and publishing it. There are more tools required to meet your content marketing strategy.
It’s a multi-stepped process that uses several different content marketing tools, or software platforms, to improve the quality of the content.
From the article idea brainstorming process, to publishing, to ultimately analyzing and reporting your content, you’re going to need a suite of content marketing tools and platforms.
Luckily, some of these tools are free, while others require monthly paid subscriptions.
In this guide, we’ll review the top content marketing tools you need to know, and include many of the platforms we actually use at Kaleidico.
What is a content marketing tool?
Content creators, whether they are writers, editors, designers, or videographers, often depend on several platforms to help them optimize every step of the content creation process.
For example, before content is created, marketers depend on research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to help them identify high-volume search terms to focus on.
Once the article ideas have been generated from the keywords, they need to be entered into a project management tool, such as Google Suite or Slack, to make this information easily accessible to the content team.
During the content creation process, writers will use proofreading apps such as Grammarly to make sure their grammar is correct.
Then, they’ll use an SEO tool to analyze their article for readability and make sure they hit their keyword quotas for the article.
Once it finally comes time to publish a piece, account managers will add stock photos (or even sometimes original) and upload their articles into WordPress or Squarespace.
After publishing, marketers will then analyze and report the data coming into the website to evaluate a blog’s performance.
As you can see, every step of the content creation process depends on different content marketing tools.
Now, let’s get to the most important tools that you’ll need to register, download, or install to make content creation simpler.
The Best Content Marketing Tools to Be Aware of in 2022
To create content requires a multi-tiered process involving a whole team of employees specializing in their key areas.
Some of these tools apply to writers, while others will apply to account managers or content marketers.
I’m using my own experience as a Kaleidico blog writer to give you insider information on what platforms we use to consistently crank out high-quality content.
Keyword research, planning, and strategy tools
Before different content can be created you’ll need to make sure there’s a big enough audience that’s interested in consuming that content.
This is where content research and planning tools come into play.
After all, if you don’t have a content marketing strategy, then what’s all your effort for?
Google Keyword Planner
Content marketing is primarily focused on keywords, the specific search terms people type into Google.
Before blindly picking keywords or topics to focus on, you should go to Google’s Keyword Planner and start typing the keywords you want to focus on.
What’s neat about Keyword Planner is it will show you an estimated amount of monthly traffic volume for each search term.
If you have a keyword you want to focus on, type it into Keyword Planner. Search volumes of 10-100 searches are not popular enough to focus on. Try to get keywords that get at least 100-1,000 searches a month.
Ubersuggest is an SEO tool that’s used for competitor research.
I really like this tool because it will tell you how much traffic a website is bringing in monthly. Any website! Try it out for yourself. This makes it great for doing competitor research.
Besides showing monthly traffic info, Ubersuggest will also tell you which keywords the website is currently ranking in, and will show what blog post has performed the best.
This is great for generating article ideas. If you see your competitor had a successful blog post, you can try to create your own variation of that article to compete with them.
Pro tip: Ubersuggest is a paid service that’s limited to three searches a day. However, you can trick the system by opening new incognito browsers once your search limit has been reached. Though we would never advise that, of course.
Writing and proofreading tools
Even professional writers, such as myself, forget important grammar rules or use incorrect words.
Your/you’re and they’re/there/their are commonly misspelled words that can creep in by accident.
Personally, I’m always screwing up words such as on/in, than/from/by, or greater/higher.
Unfortunately, the more spelling and grammar errors there are, the less convincing the blog post will be.
At worst, people will be scared off by misspellings thinking they’ve landed on a spammy site written by bots. Not good. Instead, use Grammarly.
Grammarly is a proofreading and grammar app that’s downloaded into a web browser.
The app works in Google docs, emails, or any other word processing platform that uses a web browser. This includes comment sections on social media too!
There’s a free basic version of their software and a paid version with more features. I, personally, only use the free version.
It not only catches misspellings or incorrect word choices, but also tells you when your sentences are hard to understand or are way too long.
I highly recommend Grammarly for everyone, not just writers!
Website design and development tools
The program you use to build your website should end up being one of the best content marketing tools you use.
Most content pieces are meant to drive traffic back to some central hub. Usually, this is the company’s web pages.
Luckily, today’s two most popular website builders make it very easy to publish blog posts and integrate with other software platforms to make publishing, editing, and analyzing traffic simple.
WordPress is the world’s most used website builder. Every website Kaleidico builds, including our own website, is built on WordPress.
WordPress comes with several free and paid themes that make it really easy to have an attractive and impressive website.
In addition to themes, WordPress features numerous widgets that make customizing the website simple. Some popular widgets include call buttons, questionnaires, social media icons, banner images, testimonial call-outs, embedded Google Map directions, and more.
Basically, any sort of feature you want to add on your website is available in a widget.
Publishing blogs with WordPress is easy, and includes the Yoast SEO widget that can analyze a blog post’s performance before publishing.
After WordPress, Squarespace is the second most popular website builder.
It more or less does the same things as WordPress and claims to have even more built-in features than WordPress.
Of the two choices, WordPress is preferred because it allows for more customization, whereas Squarespace is meant for people with no design experience at all. However, Squarespace can be custom designed as well.
Both are fine choices for building websites and publishing content pieces.
Stock images and photography tools
Adding photography to blog posts increases their appeal and generally makes them perform better.
Don’t forget: adding photos to your articles is a good way to sneak more important keywords into your website. So don’t forget to rename your photos before uploading them!
Unsplash has over 3 million free high-quality photographs to search from.
They can be used for most commercial projects, and don’t even require getting permission from Unsplash to post these pictures.
Attribution also isn’t necessary to use Unsplash photographs, though it is nice to recognize the provider of the photo. After you download an image, you’ll often see a prewritten attribution that makes it easy to copy into your content.
A lot of the images Kaleidico uses for its blog posts come from Unsplash.
Like Unsplash, Pexels also has around 3 million free high-quality stock photos and videos to choose from.
There’s not much difference between Pexels or Unsplash, so use whichever has the right photos for your project.
Search engine optimization (SEO) tools help identify which keywords to focus on to bring in the maximum amount of traffic.
It also helps you with content strategy by helping you develop the most relevant content for your audience. Content optimization tools help you incorporate keywords with a high search volume, so that when you’re creating content you can more directly target your audience.
SEO makes your blog posts and content pieces perform better. They improve your website’s Google ranking to appear higher in search results and helps your content reach prospective clients.
SEMRush is a pretty robust platform that gives marketers a ton of information regarding their social media posts, online ads, and content marketing.
Besides tracking a company’s own website, SEMRush like Ubersuggest also allows marketers to gain insights into their competitor’s website data, including site ranking, backlinks, and organic and paid keywords.
SEMRush is a very comprehensive search analytics platform and a must have for marketing teams.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an SEO analytics tool that’s similar to SEMRush and one of the best free content marketing tools you can use.
In fact, many would say SEMRush is a copy of Google Search Console. Unlike
SEMRush, Search Console is completely free to use with no limits on functionality.
Search console helps optimize your website for mobile usability, scans your website to make sure there are no broken pages, and tells you your website’s search results, including keyword ranking, monthly traffic, and search appearance.
Ahrefs and Moz
Ahrefs and Moz are two competitors to SEMRush and Ubersuggest that more or less do the same things. They are great alternatives to SEMRush.
Yoast is a WordPress plugin. It will analyze blog posts for problems that need to be resolved, such as increasing the word count, using correct header types, or using the main keyword enough times to rank well.
One of the biggest parts of successful blog writing is studying your competitors’ top-performing articles, and re-writing and expanding them so they will outperform the competition. Surfer SEO makes it really simple to do that automatically.
Surfer SEO uses machine learning to automatically generate a writer’s guide depending on the keyword chosen to produce better-performing articles.
For example, if you were to focus on the “content marketing” keyword for article ideas, Surfer SEO will automatically scan Google’s top 5 search results using that keyword.
Then once it’s done analyzing the competitors’ articles, it will automatically begin recommending topics, search phrases, and headers for the writers to use to create their article.
Surfer SEO also has built-in SEO tools that help writers make sure they’re not overusing or underusing their focused keyword and assign a score ranking to each article predicting how well that article will perform.
Reporting and analytics tools
Digital marketers use a combination of reporting and analytics tools to report back to the client important campaign metrics.
These metrics can include important data such as calls generated, leads converted from a website, daily and monthly ad spend, keyword bids and prices, how different blog pieces of content are ranked, organic leads brought in, etc.
Google Analytics is the ultimate analytics platform. It can easily be embedded into the code of your website and tracks traffic coming into the website.
Google analytics will show you where traffic was referred from, their IP address and location, what pages they viewed, how long they visited the website and the bounce rate of your site.
It also shows you about 100 other different data points and metrics. It’s extremely comprehensive and at times overwhelming.
Of all the content marketing tools, Google Analytics is perhaps the most important after your website builder.
If you’re trying to generate more phone calls or text messages for your clients, then you’ll need CallRail.
Tracking phone calls and text conversions from different online ads can be difficult, but CallRail makes it easy to track every phone call coming in, and its source so you know which ads bring in phone calls, and which ones don’t.
Most content marketing is organic, or free marketing that takes a while to generate results. If you need a traffic boost right away, use these platforms to target millions of people inside your target audience.
Google Ads is the most popular online ad platform. It lets you create search ads, video ads on YouTube, shopping tab ads, banner ads, and app ads. Every year Google rolls out new ad types to reach more people online.
I’m not going to lie, Google Ads platform is really confusing and is constantly changing.
Luckily, they have many built-in smart modes that can automatically generate a lot of ads for you if you’re just starting out.
After Google Ads, the Facebook Ads manager is the second most popular. You can create graphic or video ads on Facebook or Instagram, or turn existing social media posts into paid ads.
Unlike Google, which shows most ads based on active searches, Facebook ads are more passive and show ads to people based on their interests, not their search results. This can be useful for certain applications such as gaining exposure for a product when people aren’t searching for anything at all.
Microsoft (Bing) Ads
Microsoft Ads, formerly Bing Ads, create ads for the Bing search engine. While they’re not nearly as popular, they can still be useful for reaching a portion of your audience who’s not using Google.
People often forget about LinkedIn Ads, but if you’re targeting professionals, then you’ll want to consider creating ads specifically for LinkedIn campaigns.
Kaleidico — your digital marketing studio
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency specializing in content marketing for law firms, mortgage lenders, and financial technology companies.
Is your business in need of high-quality content that converts? If so, reach out to say hello and schedule a Discovery session!
We also offer white label content marketing services to marketing agencies looking to add more services to their existing clients.