There are so many steps to the content marketing process — editorial calendar planning, keyword research, brief creation, content creation and revision, publication, and analytics tracking.
And if we’re totally honest, there’s no way we could get awesome results for our clients without the tools, apps, and software we use every day.
So if you’re just branching out into content marketing or just looking for a few helpful third-party tools to kick off your content marketing strategy, here’s our list of the ones we can’t live without (seriously).
Category: SEO and Content Marketing Strategy
SEMrush is a leader in the SEO industry for good reason. As one of the more intuitive SEO tools on the market, it offers everything from keyword and competitive analysis to technical SEO audits and toxic backlink checks. Interested in seeing which sites would be the best investment for backlinks? Need to track your brand across multiple channels and manage your social network content in one place? SEMrush does all of that.
Bonus: if you’re a SEMrush subscribere who regularly uses Google Docs, try the SEmrush add-on called “SEMrush writing assistant” to grade your SEO content in real-time.
Category: Graphic Design
Although the Adobe Creative Cloud software will probably be the gold standard for graphic design for the foreseeable future, having a tool like Canva on hand is an amazing asset to content creators who don’t specialize in graphic design. Why? It offers a simple drag-and-drop builder and a plethora of templates for every type of web (and print) content you could ever create — infographics, social media images, flyers, you name it.
Canva’s paid offering, Canva for Work, allows you to set brand standards for font and color, which you can use to create endless designs at lightning speed. They have a good library of free and customizable photography, illustrations, fonts, and other content, as well.
Category: Digital Resources and Education
Digital Marketer offers loads of resources for online marketers, like swipe files, templates, blog posts, and guides. They also provide a fantastic variety of paid online courses in all-things digital marketing, so if you’re looking to boost your skills in a certain area (say, customer acquisition on social media), DM has you covered. If you’re looking to invest in digital marketing education, DM’s classes are well worth the ticket price.
Category: Research and Industry News
If there’s a tool or trend that content marketers are using, Content Marketing Institute knew about it ten years ago. Since the rise in popularity of the term “content marketing,” CMI has been the go-to resource for anyone interested in the increasingly blurred lines between the editorial and advertising industries. They also host the wildly popular annual Content Marketing World conference.
Category: Content Analytics Tool
BuzzSumo is a content research tool that helps you see, at a glance, which types of content are the most popular for specific search terms or industries. It’s a useful tool when it comes time for content planning and you have a rough idea of the topics you’d like to cover, but no idea what people are really interested in reading about.
Buzzsumo shows you a spread of what’s most popular on different social media channels, when and where certain types of content are being consumed, as well as which types of content (for example, “how to” versus “why” posts) are most popular for a certain topic.
Category: Graphic Design
Colorzilla pulls hexcodes from anywhere online to help you match logo colors, create new color schemes, and more. It works exactly like the eyedropper tool in most image editing software, and has a few other cool features for quick color management. It’s a simple little add-on that’s compatible with Chrome and Firefox.
Category: Project and Editorial Management
Although we’ve marked this as a project management tool, there’s not a whole lot you can’t do with Airtable. Airtable is a database that looks like a spreadsheet, so if you’re already comfortable with Excel or Google Sheets (and want a little more functionality), this is a great tool for any aspect of content project management.
At Tigris, we call it “Our Friend Zappy,” and we mean it. Zapier is a workflow automation tool that connects thousands of apps with thousands more. It’s easy to learn and has freed up a ton of time for our internal processes, while also helping us provide additional services to our clients. For example, one client wanted to be notified every time someone subscribed to a particular mailing list — so we set up a “Zap” in less than 15 minutes to do exactly that.
Category: CRM and email marketing
Hatchbuck is a CRM and email marketing tool designed for agencies and small businesses. From managing and segmenting your contacts to building automated email campaigns with their drag-and-drop builder to sales pipeline tracking, Hatchbuck really is an all-in-one solution.
Full disclosure — Hatchbuck is one of our clients. But that’s not the reason we love their product. We love their user-friendliness, affordability, and stellar customer service.
Category: Conversion tool
HelloBar is one of many third-party platforms that provide customizable popups for your site. What makes HelloBar special is the variety of popup options (including non-invasive bars that span a small portion of your website at the top, and “exit intent” popups that appear when a user is about to leave your site). Their designs are also elegant and customizable in terms of colors, fonts, and elements.
With their analytics dashboard, you can A/B test different popups and compare conversion rates to see what’s working and what’s not. They also offer integrations with popular tools like Zapier and many major email marketing and CRM software programs.
Category: Social media management
Buffer is an app that lets you schedule social media posts to multiple platforms at once, from one place. It syncs with all major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, to name a few) and makes it super easy to create content customized for each platform. If you’re spending a lot of time on different social media accounts managing your social media posts, Buffer is a wise investment.
G Suite (Google Apps)
As a content marketer and search marketer, Google’s tools are truly invaluable. Google Analytics is a mainstay for search engine marketers who need to track site visitor data, while Google docs, Google Calendar, and Gmail are reliable tools for collaboration and connection with potential customers. You can send professional email from your website address using Google, too.
And, of course, if you’d rather not mess with twelve different tools, Tigris has your back. We’ve been helping businesses in a variety of industries come up with powerful content marketing campaigns that make a difference in their sales. Contact us for a quick meet and greet — we’d love to hear from you!
*Tigris is an affiliate for some of these products and may receive a commission when you click the links above.