According to a recent survey by Marketing Profs, 62% of business owners said they are much more or somewhat more successful with content marketing than they were one year ago.
Because they have a documented strategy.
And part of that strategy is knowing what tools leverage the highest return on investment when creating original, high-quality content.
As a content marketer, I’ve experimented with many tools over the years, and today I want to share with you nine of my favorites.
Some are free. Others require a monthly subscription. But all have become part of our toolkit, here at Sleeknote, and helped our content marketers get more mileage out of their content.
Let’s get started.
The buyer’s journey begins with your target market asking questions. They identify a problem in their lives (albeit, one without a name) and they start actively looking for a solution.
How do you discover those questions?
This question-and-answer site will help you identify trends, communicate with readers who fit your buyer persona, and, above all, provide high-quality answers to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Not bad for a free resource, huh?
Imagine you’re browsing Quora and it triggers a potential blog post topic.
How do you know it’s worth your time, attention, and energy to pursue it?
One time-saving option is to identify similar content that’s already performing well.
With BuzzSumo, you can enter a keyword or competitor domain into the search box and within seconds, you’ll be presented with the most shared content on any topic (with a breakdown by social platform).
If a topic is popular, you’re probably onto something (in fact, it’s exactly how I’ve validated this post idea before I started writing).
Original, high-quality content begins with thorough, keyword research.
And for many marketers, Google Keyword Planner is their go-to tool.
There’s only one problem:
Everyone’s using it.
And if everyone’s using it—everyone’s targeting the same keywords.
SEM Keyword Magic Tool from SEMRush helps bypass that problem, entirely.
This keyword tool helps you conduct dynamic keyword research that will drive more targeted traffic to your website.
But that’s not all…
There’s even a feature to monitor competitor keywords and newly acquired backlinks. Who doesn’t want red-hot link building prospects in their inbox each morning?
4. Google Docs
We’ve all been there.
You invest hours in writing a blog post and with one click…
You accidentally delete all your work.
So it comes as no surprise that many content marketers write in Google Docs.
With the ability to create, share, and manage your work online (not to mention access your documents from anywhere with an internet connection), Google Docs makes content marketing an easy, collaborative process for you and your editorial team.
The best part? It’s completely free.
Nothing says unprofessionalism like poor grammatical errors.
If you don’t take the time to read your work, why should your readers?
Littering your content with spelling mistakes doesn’t just make your writing look sloppy; it hurts the reader experience (and costs you revenue).
Hiring a copy editor used to be a costly and time-consuming activity, especially if you’re a small business owner.
With Grammarly, you can eliminate grammatical errors—errors other word processors miss—and improve the quality of your writing.
It’s a mistake I see all too often.
A business owner writes a blog post, hits the ‘Publish’ button and…
They didn’t optimize their post for on-page SEO.
In other words, they didn’t include their target keyword in their URL, SEO Title, meta description, and more.
When creating content, doing on-page SEO is as important as outreach. If you’re not maximizing your chances of ranking high in the SERPs, how do you expect anyone to discover your con?
While there are many plugins to help you optimize your posts/pages, Yoast SEO Plugin is easily the best.
And with 1 million plus downloads and rave reviews from marketers, it’s hard to argue otherwise.
You probably already know that an essential part of SEO is link-building.
To put it simply, the more white-hat links you insert into your content, the higher it ranks in the SERPs (search engine results pages) and the greater online visibility you’ll get.
To do that, though, you need to maximize outreach.
That’s where Ahrefs comes in.
With it, you can track the number of backlinks a competitor has and, above all, where they’re coming from, making your outreach strategy highly-targeted and personalized.
While Ahrefs is perfect for identifying influencers in your field, it doesn’t reveal their email addresses.
Fortunately, Rapportive does.
With this Gmail plugin, you can type in an influencer’s likely email address (say, their first name at their domain) and discover their email address (provided they have a LinkedIn profile, of course).
Granted, it can take time trying to find the right email pattern (unless you’re using an email permutator), but you can take comfort in the fact your email’s reaching the right person.
When you’re doing outreach at scale, it’s difficult to keep track of who you’re contacting.
Without organization, you won’t know who you’ve contacted or who to follow-up with.
Dubbed as “Software for link building”, Buzzstream allows you to send personalized, relationship-building messages that generate results and track all your campaign so you can improve your placement rate in record time.
It requires a bit of up-front effort to master, but it’s an absolute must for content marketers.
Over to You
It’s important to mention here that having effective and efficient tools isn’t a substitute for writing original, high-quality content.
If you’re committed to standing out in today’s noisy world, you need to write content that positions you as the go-to authority in your field.
But if you do, and you utilize the above tools, you can rest in the knowledge that your content will reach the people it needs to.
What’s your favorite content marketing tool? Leave a comment below.