Automate and elevate
CONTENT MARKETING TOOLS
Establish your content operations, even if you're just working by yourself.
Here's what I recommend
Need a hand?
Now that you're starting to create content, you realize you need tools to help you stay on top of everything. Creating consistent content relies on an effective content workflow. Whether you're looking for content management tools, content scheduling tools, or content optimization tools, I think I have a thing or two below for you to consider. What's great is the tools I'm about to share with you are mostly free!
Market research - Understanding the landscape and your target audience persona
This is a great place to start to understand how many people search for a specific term. I use it the most when I have to decide a term out of a selection of terms I can use. Simply add the new term under "+ Compare" after you have entered the first term with the respective geographic, time frame, and category setting.
If your goal is to create Industry Thought Leadership content, you must stay on top of what content is being produced at the moment. Instead of searching key terms everyday, what I do is I set up an industry keyword as my alert and it automatically feeds me ranking content every day.
This is my #1 go to tool to understand what audiences are searching for. Simply plug in the word, the country, and the language, and it generates simple to understand spider diagrams and glossary of terms and questions people ask online.
Even if you're not producing content on Facebook, Facebook audience insights still acts as a great source of research. It showcases what your potential audiences follow and like, so you can further understand and build your target audience persona.
BuzzSumo is the best place to find out what content is trending under your targeted keyword or industry. Such results help you understand what format or topics of content is likely to gravitate to your target audiences.
Similar to BuzzSumo, I use this tool to see what content is trending. Only, it offers more filters in search such as "follows the social account", "frequently visits the website", and "frequently uses the hashtag".
The ultimate all-in-one and my go to. It gives the best website insights, and also has keyword and social media functions for you to understand more about your own content as well as your competitor's.
Similar to Semrush, but I only use it when I have to analyse big players with websites that has more than a monthly visit of 5k.
I have this installed as a browser add-on and it's literally like putting on super power glasses. Each result I get on Google search and each piece of content I consume online is now accompanied with a list of keywords next to it so I can directly take reference if I am planning to create similar content.
Creating Content - Optimizing quality for the online world
I don't think there's a need for further explanation, but it is the ultimate app for you to create intriguing visuals with the click of a button. I mean, I created all my comic strips with it without drawing anything on my own.
Many writers, even those who have years of experience, still suffer from writing sentences too long or using words too difficult for the general public to consume. This tool highlights what needs to be fixed and gives you a readability grade in the end.
I have this opened as a tab on my browser all the time. What I like about it the most is (I'm on the free version) that it tells me something is wrong without giving me the direct fix. Over time, by plugging my text into Grammarly, I actually see improvement in my writing, because I've been fixing it based on the goals on Grammarly's side bar.
This is actually the only tool I use to optimize SEO keywords on my website. It scans a live URL and tells you what keywords you are missing. The reason why I don't start with a list of keywords before I craft a web page is because it can limit my writing flow. Instead, going back to it by adding keywords that are fitting makes the creation process easier for me.
Hands down, the best tool for SEO keyword for blogs. The tips it offer and the traffic light indication makes editing prior publishing easy.
I have a lot of visual assets but I still struggle to find the right image for everything. I particularly enjoy the aesthetics on Unsplash.
This is like the animation version of canva. I've used it to create my first animation ever!
This phone app has saved me so much time! All you need to do is upload your video, let it transcribe it to the language you select, and it'll automatically have it aligned to the right time stamp. All you need to do is double check to make sure there isn't any mistakes and add in punctuations if you want. I find it super useful as it can transcribe both English and Cantonese.
Monitoring content process & scheduling content - establishing content operations
I frst started managing my clients and my own content with Trello. It's great for spreading out tasks and to see the progress of everything. But if you're managing a lot of clients and multiple distribution channels, it could get messy. I do enjoy the drag the drop function a lot though.
After Trello, I move to Monday.com. It's a great project management tool and has a lot of personalization which I love (I'm a color coder).
I'm currently using Nutshell. Though it's more of a CRM system, it also supports EDM blasting straight from the platform, so all my lead records, their open rates, information, and segmentations are in one place.
Loom is not just a great tool to shoot tutorials, it is also a great pitch tool. I've used it to analyse a potential lead's website and illustrated how, if they were to work with me, would I improve their website content.
No exaggeration, but this is the tool I would die without. All my own content and my client's content are neatly organized, created, and schedueld on this platform. For content marketers like myself, the best part is that it allows tags and labelling, so I can easily filter through my content pillars, generate reports, duplicate and adapt content straight on the platform. Goodbye to Google docs long ago!
Contrary to the common usage of Mailchimp, I didn't actually use it just for EDMs. I used it to create my first downloadable funnel. Mailchimp is actually capable of hosting a landing page that you can customize, just as you would with your email newsletters. What's great is that it then generates a form, which directly logs the people who has filled in the form into the backend, so you can send them newsletters in the future.
Again, I don't think this tool requires much explanation. It's the thing that tells me everything about my website traffic.
That was quite a list, wasn't it?
Hopefully, the reccomendations above has helped. But I also understand if you struggle to use the tools to your advantage or have questions on how to implement them to your current workflow. So, why not consider this...