All Time Best Tools for Content Marketing Teams
Every month, we round up our “best” of all time on topics ranging from content marketing and social media to analytics and CRO. We delve into everything you need to get your startup the attention and traction it deserves!
This month we’ve rounded-up 50 tools, from organization to analytics, to help make you and your content marketing team work as efficiently as possible.
Without further ado, here are our picks:
Tools to Keep Your Team on Track
This simple, time-tracking tool, helps you understand where all your time is going. With Harvest you can manage projects, track hours and monitor expenses easily, so you can focus your attention on more important things. Simply add your projects to Harvest and you can now track how many hours you're dedicating to complete all your tasks--from anywhere! Plus, Harvest’s powerful reporting gives you real-time access to keep your projects on time and on budget. If the last time you created an infographic, it took twelve hours and you only budgeted for seven, you may need to consider increasing your fee next time around!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of The Pomodoro Technique®. You know, the time management method, where you set a kitchen timer to 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break after every “pomodoro.” Simple Pomodoro is a Google Chrome extension that acts as kitchen timer and helps you master this technique. The extensions helps you manage time by keeping you on task and by helping you figure out how long stuff actually takes. You just might be surprised to see how quickly your to-dos disappear when you shut off all the distractions (yes, even Slack) and really focus on the task at hand!
RescueTime helps you understand where your time is going while working on your laptop or even your smartphone. With all the many hats a content marketer wears, managing your time well is key to crushing your job! Understanding your time allows you to take control of it, and find a balance that works for you.
Jell is an accountability tool that helps you share plans and progress everyday--without adding in extra meetings. We recently started using Jell to track our team’s daily tasks and I must admit, it was love at first Jell. Each day, our entire team inputs what we accomplished yesterday, what we will accomplish today, and any roadblocks that are keeping us from conquering our tasks. Jell automatically sends everyone’s tasks to Slack for the whole team to see--which helps keep us accountable and keeps everyone updated on project statuses.
Trello is the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.
Who needs lengthy email threads, out-of-date spreadsheets, no-longer-so-sticky notes, and clunky software for managing your content marketing projects? Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance. Plus, it’s free!
What’s not to love about improving that thing you do a million times a day? We all open too many tabs a day to count and I’m willing to bet you rarely need to land on Google’s home page. Enter Momentum. This browser extension replaces the new tab page with a personal dashboard that gives you the option to set a daily focus, track your to dos, and get inspired with a daily photo and quote. Eliminate distractions and beat procrastination with a reminder of your focus for the day on every new tab load. Yes, even your tabs can help you stay on track now.
7. Google Docs
With Google Docs, you can write, edit, and collaborate wherever you are–for free. We use Google Sheets to create a dashboard for all of our clients. The dashboard is home to ALL THE THINGS and it helps us be 100% transparent. We keep everything from media outreach, media coverage, blog post schedules, social media analytics, links to evergreen content, and more in this one hub, so clients can hop in anytime and see exactly what we’ve been up to.
Ifftt (which stands for “If This, Then That”) puts the internet to work for you! The tool syncs with 227 different services to help you streamline all that crazy tech in your home, your office, your gym–your everywhere. Ifft makes all your apps work seamlessly together. It can automate your smart home, email your loved ones, and help you stay on task at your dream job. It’s basically a personal assistant for your digital life.
Personal is a life management platform that securely stores just about all the details that your brain doesn’t ever seem to absorb–like the 50 new usernames and passwords you’ll have after reading this list! With Personal, you can keep all the details like directions to your home, your wifi password, an inventory of your valuables, your resumé, and even your husband’s pant size– all in one brilliantly organized, extremely secure space.
Team Communication Tools We Rely On
How did anyone ever get anything done before Slack? I honestly cannot even imagine working in an office without Slack. Slack centralizes all your team communication into one place and cuts out a lot of unnecessary emails and meetings. Slack keeps everything in one place, is 100% searchable and can go with you–wherever you wander. Plus it integrates with well--just about everything. For example, you can integrate with Skype and just type in /skype to automatically start a skype call. You can also send all your @mentions or retweets directly to Slack so you’re always on top of expanding the reach of your content.
Basecamp is another tool that Onboardly is a big believer in. Instead of creating a ton of disorganized email threads, all of our client communication lives in this private, secure space online where people working together can organize and discuss everything they need to get a project done. Tasks, discussions, deadlines, and files - everything we need to do the best work for our clients is safely and predictably organized in Basecamp.
Deekit is an online whiteboard. It is an unlimited canvas for you and your team to create content. Together, in real time. It is a virtual space for teamwork on any device, wherever you are. With remote teams becoming the norm, Deekit is perfect for any remote whiteboard session and works as a natural extension to your audio or video calls. Cheers to everyone finally being able to see the whiteboard and no longer having to nominate a Vanna White of the Day!
Tools for Crafting Kick-Ass Copy
All content marketers know that to truly provide value, you need data to back your claims. Unfortunately, sifting through endless articles looking for the exact data you need is really, really time consuming. Wouldn’t it be great if you could save time by getting detailed answers and resources delivered to your inbox by a trusted network of researchers? Well with Wonder, you can. Simply ask Wonder a question and they’ll get to work digging beyond the top results in Google to get you the best answer that the web has to offer. All you need to do is ask.
So much of today’s content is based upon listicles. Admit it. Even if we all say that they’re overdone and tired, list-based content is what many crave. Short, digestible, well-curated content - umm - much like this very All Time Best! List.ly helps take care of the grunt work behind developing colaborative lists, getting feedback on the items added and then the social sharing of the final product. From lists of all media coverage that you’ve gained, giving kudos to the influencers you believe are the true underdogs in the startup space, or gathering the conferences you plan on attending this year and sharing this with others so you can connect, the ideas for how to use List.ly is much longer than a Top 10 list itself!
15. Edit Flow
If there in one tool every content marketer needs, it’s an editorial calendar. Planned content always trumps off-the-cuff posting. If you’re running a blog on WordPress, you’re going to want to check out Edit Flow. This open source (aka 100% free), editorial calendar plug-in makes content scheduling a breeze. With Edit Flow, you can use calendar view to get a quick glimpse of all your drafts and scheduled posts. You can adjust dates simply by dragging and dropping items in a different order. Edit Flow has team messaging, custom workflow statuses, and even a space to pitch content ideas.
16. Hemingway App
No one can tell tales, quite like Ernest Hemingway, so it should be no surprise that the app named after him will help you do just that. The app will highlight long, complex sentences and common errors, making sure your content doesn’t bore and is loud (just like Hemingway himself) and clear – exactly what you want for your content and you get to spend less time stressing over whether a sentence works or not.
Clearvoice is a single platform that can help you plan, recruit, create, distribute and measure all your content marketing efforts. While you will need to purchase a plan to use every feature, the free version still offers a lot of value. With it, you can create content assignments, hire qualified freelancers and monitor content trends in your industry. Perhaps the best feature (included in the free version) is the Content Studio. This is a search engine that churns out the most shared content on whichever topic you search. Furthermore, it provides you with the influencers most relevant to your search. I recommend using this feature before writing content on the topic and finding ways to link back to article and any key influencers.
A great content idea is nothing if you don’t have a writer on your team or the time (or ability) to churn out the copy yourself. Enter Copify – a site that offers quality content from pre-approved writers. With a rapid turnaround, guaranteed great work and no contracts, you can rest assured all of your copy needs will be addressed.
Zirtual is another hiring app, but it extends beyond writers. It’s a great place to go to find people to do your time sucking tasks, allowing you to focus on your big wins. All Zirtual assistants are “damn cool,” highly capable, college graduates that are trained to do exactly what you’ve requested.
Once a content grading tool, now a tool that uses machine learning to make you an incrementally smarter and better marketer. AtomicReach uses data-backed insights to uncover how your writing patterns impact your audience, adjusts content specifically for your target audience (you give them exactly what they want to read), and smarter social sharing tool that times your content sharing to the precise time your audience wants to read it. Pretty simple and neat.
Top Online Tools for Today's Design Teams
Visme is on a mission is to enable absolutely anyone to easily translate their thoughts and ideas into engaging content. Even if you’re not that great at design, Visme can help you transform boring data into kick-ass infographics and presentations. The platforms allows users to access millions of assets within the application. From animated text to millions of searchable images and thousands of high quality vector icons, there are tons of graphic assets for every type of project. With Visme, most features are free, but you can purchases access to premium widgets and templates for as low as $7/month.
Brandr has recently become my new best friend. Instead of hopping around between adobe programs, stock photo sites, social platforms, and analytics tools, you can just use Brandr. The intuitive tools lets you upload your own logo and brand elements and overlay them on top of a photo (an original or one of their stock photos). From here, you can add text or effects to the image, use Brandr’s data to find the best hashtags for your post and then upload it directly to the platform of your choosing.
So you’re not a typographer. Big deal. You can still create beautiful images with the help of WordSwag. This app adds all the swagger your quote-based images could ever need. You simply select a photo, input your text and WordSwag magically transforms it into contemporary art. They have all sorts of layout options and filters to help you stand out. The images you create are saved to your camera roll and you can do with them as you please.
Be honest. How much time have you spent sourcing images, trying to figure out photoshop, or simply staring at Google Images wondering to yourself “Will someone REALLY come after me for Copyright infringement if I use this image?” The answer is yes, yes they will. Canva let’s you create and design the most stunning images for your posts in just a few easy steps – no design school required – saving you precious time to continue being awesome at what you do best.
Let’s face it – a really great piece of content is a thousand times better with a really great gif. While everyone knows someone who’s got a folder on their desktop filled with the perfect gifs and available at their fingertips in their time of need (we’re looking at our Director of PR, Crystal!) – not everyone is a master of gif discovery. Enter Giphy: the only tool you will ever need again for finding the perfect gif, for the perfect post.
With over 18 million uploads in 40 content categories, Slideshare is one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world. It’s been brought into the content marketing conversation because of it’s unmatched ability to convert views into lead captures. When you upload to SlideShare, you reach an audience that’s interested in your content – over 80% of SlideShare’s 70 million visitors come through targeted search. This can help you build your reputation with the right audience and capture super high quality leads.
Überflip is a content marketing system that helps you streamline content management, accelerate lead generation, and fuel marketing automation. Überflip aggregates all of your content (blog articles, eBooks, videos, white papers, and more) so you can create, manage, and optimize tailored content experiences for every stage of the buyer journey. I promise, it’s not too good to be true!
Capturing leads is what makes all the hours and time we spend on content marketing worth it. It’s the key to ROI. Leadpages is a tool that has engineered the simplest landing page builder in the industry, so you can create, edit and deploy your next high-converting page without touching a single line of code. Their 100% mobile responsive landing pages also work effortlessly on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, so you can ensure that everyone can navigate through your landing pages, download your lead magnets, and eventually become paying customers.
Time-Saving Social Media Marketing Tools
With Hootsuite, you can schedule social media messages, engage your audience and grow your brand–all from one dashboard. Logging in and out of platforms is pretty inefficient, especially when Hootsuite will centralize them all for you. Hootsuite is a hub to schedule your promotions and monitor the conversation around your content and we use it all day, every day!
Of all my beloved Chrome extensions, I could never give up Hootlet. He’s the cute, little owl sitting in my toolbar, helping me share all the awesome stuff I find with the right audience. Made by Hootsuite, Hootlet helps you quickly & easily share content to your social networks from anywhere on the web. When I see something I find helpful, I simply click the owl, customize the message and tell Hootlet when I’d like to post it. He never fails and I love him with all my heart.
Buffer is a social media management tool for marketers and agencies. It’s a go-to tool to quickly schedule posts across pretty much every social media platform and it’s fantastic for optimizing your posting schedule! Buffer also integrates with Pablo, so you can create images with the perfect size and format for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest without hopping back and forth between apps.
Quuu’s an app designed to work amazingly with Buffer. It curates content suggestions for social media and automatically sends them over to Buffer where they get scheduled to be posted at the optimal time throughout the week. It’s basically autopilot for your social media efforts.
Followerwonk helps find, analyze, and optimize for social growth. Personally, I find followerwonk most helpful for finding out information about my audience. I simply type in my handle (or a competitor’s) and Followerwonk generates a report with all sorts of details about the followers. It lets you know where they are located, when they’re online, words they use frequently, their social authority, their inferred gender, their age, and–believe it or not–much more.
TweetReach helps you track hashtags. If you have a brand specific hashtag, you can see how many people are tweeting it and how far their amplifying your reach. If you’re trying to find the best hashtags to increase your searchability, you can run a search to find the hashtag that’ll reach the largest audience.
35. Click to Tweet
Anything you can do to make sharing your content easy, should be done. Using Click to Tweet, you write the message that you want others to share in a box and click a button to generate a custom link. You share the link throughout your content and whoever clicks it will automatically have the message added to their Twitter status box–they simply click to tweet! We use click to tweets in our blog posts (they have a WordPress plugin!), eBooks, infographics and even in emails. Who can resist a little one touch sharing?
When it comes to amplifying your message on Twitter, real time matters. Tweetdeck lets you organize and build custom timelines, keep track of lists, searches, activity and more—all in one interface. It also has some pretty neat search options, For example, you can use the platform to track topics, events, and hashtags.
Tools to Skyrocket Your Influencer Outreach
Content is only useful if it’s being promoted- otherwise, why even bother. BuzzSumo helps you to find the right audiences who are most likely to be interested in your materials, This handly tool provides you with details on the key influencers best able to help you promote your content. Find out which authors are generating the most engagement on a topic. Create a list of key influencers on Twitter to reach out to. It’s all about amplification, content research and monitoring with BuzzSumo.
Influencer relations is becoming more and more key to content marketing. As organic reach decreases more and more across social platforms, it’s incredibly important to be building relationships with key thought leaders to help you amplify all the content you’re creating for your industry! ContentMarketer.io is a tool that helps you connect with industry leaders and influencers through email and twitter. The platform provides email address, twitter handles, and proven outreach templates to make your influencer relations strategy more efficient.
39. Sell Hack
Sell Hack is a browser extension designed to help you build targeted lists so you can send cold emails to your leads. However, we pretty much just use as part of our influencer relations strategy. Every time we mention someone in our blog posts, we let them know! Maybe our kind words will make them smile, or better yet, they’ll share the post with their networks.
We’ve all sent an email and refreshed our inbox twenty times hopping for a response. Instead of wondering if you’ve been straight up rejected or if the recipient simply hasn’t opened it, you can use Sidekick to see who opened what email when.
With Boomerang, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent at the perfect time. No more last minute, rushed emails. The best content marketers know that content strategy is 20% creation and 80% promotion. A major part of your promo strategy should involve direct outreach to influencers and that typically means crafting lots of personalized emails. Boomerang is a gmail plugin that lets you schedule your emails in advance, like you already do with social media outreach. Weeks–or even months–before your content goes live, you can schedule your promotional emails to those you’ve linked to in your content! Don’t forget to include ClicktoTweets!
Top Tools to Help Keep You in the Know
Feedly is a single place to organize, read, and share all the content that matters to you — and your team. It’s a simple news aggregator that arranges the content you rely on into easy-to-read collections. One of my personal favorite features is social sharing. Using feedly, you can easily find relevant, industry specific articles to share with your followers on social.
Alltop categorizes all the top headlines from popular topics around the web, making it super easy to keep up with trends in your industry, find content that’s relevant to your audience, and to promote your own articles.
With content marketing being so popular (and so effective!) there are a lot of articles out there to scour. It’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked from your own content marketing schedule when you come across an awesome new eBook or article that will totally help you with another project! Pocket helps keep you on task. Simply add the pocket extension to your browser and click on the icon when something catches your eye. Pocket will save it for you to check out at a better time.
Pulse is LinkedIn’s news feature, but it’s not just any news! It’s news tailored to your professional interests! If you’re looking for content to share with your followers, instead of opening a bunch of publications, just take a peek at Pulse. We’re willing to bet you’ll find the perfect article for your audience. Plus, Pulse publishing is open to the public, so you can use the platform to extend your content’s reach even further! Check out this guide to getting started with Pulse.
Tools to Measure Metrics That Matter
We’ve all heard that myth that PR is impossible to measure. I realize it’s sometimes elusive, but it is possible–especially with the help of Trendkite. Their advanced analytics allow you to measure real business impact and communicate your success. The platform tracks media mentions, reach, share of voice, social amplification, sentiment, traffic generation, conversions, et cetera and transforms it into a beautiful report to share with your team and/or clients. In short, it measures how your PR efforts are helping you reach your business goals.
Iconosquare works with your Instagram account to help you grow a social-rich media strategy, effectively interact with your community and measure your efforts with metrics. It’s a really great tool for optimizing your Instagram posts, so you can actually reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.
So you think you’ve nailed your keyword strategy? SEMrush let’s you be double-sure that your using the right terms in your content by tracking which keywords your competition is using. You simply enter your competitor's url and SEMrush shows you the keywords it ranks for on Google. So you get to see how their driving traffic and maybe create some new content based on your findings to drive some traffic of your own! In addition to researching your competitors, the free account helps you discover industry influencers and trending topics.
49. Google Analytics
No list of tools for content marketing teams would be complete without mention of Google Analytics. Content marketing’s “raison d’être” is often to drive traffic to your site and generate leads. Google Analytics allows you to see how you’re acquiring traffic and reaching your business goals. You can see which social sites, landing pages, media mentions, et cetera are getting the most traction and helping you reach your goals. Not only does this let you know what and where to promote, it helps you understand what your users value so you can design future content with your audience’s behavior top-of-mind.
50. Quill Engage
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be comfortable in Google Analytics. It’s a robust platform and plenty of people get lost in the metric utopia. Quill Engage explains Google Analytics data in plain English and delivers custom reports to your inbox.
There you have it, friends: 50 of the all-time best tools for content marketing teams. Are there any tools your team can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @Onboardly.