In today’s digital age, the demand for high-quality content continues to surge. What differentiates a great brand from a mediocre one will be the quality of its content. Not only will this require a well-planned strategy and a competent team, it’ll probably require at least one reliable content marketing tool to help with creating good content.
From looking at the big picture to fine-tuning the details of your articles, content marketing tools are definitely worthy of your investment.
Depending on your needs, there are two main areas where content marketing tools can be used: content planning, and content creation.
Content planning and analytics tools
Ahrefs.com is a widely known search-engine optimisation (SEO) tool.
The key features in this powerful content marketing tool includes the Site Explorer, Keywords Explorer, Content Explorer, Site Audit, and Alerts.
The Site Explorer performs three main functions: traffic research, backlink checking, and paid traffic research.
Organic traffic research allows you to discover the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, as well as which sites bring in the most search engine traffic.
The backlink checker shows you the websites that link to your competitors’ sites, and displays a rough review on the quality of their backlink profiles.
Paid traffic research
Lastly, the paid traffic research function helps you to identify whether your competitors are paying for search advertising, and where they get their paid traffic from.
This feature lets you find keyword ideas, their traffic estimations, and other useful data such as estimated cost-per-click (CPC).
Amazingly, it runs on a database of more than 7 billion keywords. The data provided is for 171 countries around the globe, and is updated every month.
What’s more, the tool is capable of doing SEO analysis for over 10 different search engines. It can process large amounts of clickstream data and identify keyword volumes from sites such as YouTube, Amazon, Baidu, Yahoo, and so on.
“What are Internet users most interested in today? What information should I deliver to them?”
Ahrefs’ Content Explorer function will help you answer these questions!
For example, you can find what content has the largest amount of shares across various social media channels.
That’s not all. You can also refer to other data to determine the most popular content that’s trending on the web.
Such data includes the monthly search engine traffic for these articles, their “backlink popularity” (domain rating), the number of external and unique websites linking to them (referring domains), and a quantified value for their organic traffic (traffic value).
The Site Audit tool will help to analyse your site for common SEO problems, and keep track of your SEO health over time.
You can imagine it to be like a video camera. It records the overall development of your site, and also allows you to zoom into any issues and make changes where needed.
The tool goes through all the pages on your site, then displays an SEO health score and key data in charts. It also flags possible SEO issues, and provides recommendations on how to remedy them.
Ahrefs can also notify you of new and lost backlinks, web mentions, and keywords rankings — so you can stay ahead of the competition!
Ahrefs offers a free plan that comes with the basic functions of processing data and alerting you of your site’s latest developments. They also have a Basic plan at US$49 per month, a Plus plan at US$99 per month, and a Business plan at US$248 per month.
Depending on your website, and what information and analysis you require, Ahrefs can give you larger data volumes, deeper analysis, and greater benefits, all of which vary by plan.
Google Analytics is a content marketing tool developed by Google to analyse the activity on your sites and apps. This includes data on traffic and how people navigate.
Through the platform, you’ll be able to better understand your users’ intent and actions, and evaluate the performance of your marketing strategies, displayed content, products, and much more.
It offers a range of services that cater to any business’ needs. Let’s dive into each.
Are you curious about how well your latest blog post or video is doing? If you wish to see how it’s faring on your site, you can make use of Google Analytics’ “Real-Time” function.
To access the data as it plays out, click “Real-Time” in the left sidebar of your Analytics dashboard.
Now, you’ll be watching the actions happening on your site for the past five minutes! Accessing a few real-time reports will generate a series of data from the last 30 minutes. In the report, you’ll be to gather the following information:
- Physical location of your users (Locations)
- Where your users are directed from (Traffic Sources)
- What your users are viewing on your site and how long they stay there (Content)
- What interactions they have with your site e.g. ad clicks, white paper downloads, video views (Events)
- The success rate of users completing their objective (Conversions)
One unique feature about this function is that Google encourages you to set your own parameters, so that you can receive the most accurate information about your audience.
In other words, the target audience that you want to track is completely customisable, and you can observe how they respond to your marketing campaigns.
You can view the data for a variety of audience types:
- Active users: Track users who have visited your site in the last 1, 7, 14, or 30 days
- User explorer: Track the specific behaviour of users such as their response to an initiative and where they enter the site from
- Demographics: View detailed information on the age and gender of your users
- Interests: View data for affinity categories (broad lifestyle categories), in-market segments (product-related interests), and other more specific categories
- Users flow: Displays a visual representation of how users navigate through your site
The Acquisition Report gives you information on how your audience has found your site, what their intent was when they got there, and if they’ve completed any specific actions such as filling out a form.
The report shows several things:
- All Traffic: Shows which sites sent you the most traffic
- Google Ads: Shows how well your ads are doing across the web
- Social: Shows how users are interacting with your content on social media, through platforms such as network referrals, landing pages, plugins, and so on
- Campaigns: Shows how paid campaigns are performing and how they fare alongside other initiatives
This is an important report to pay attention to if you wish to evaluate whether your site is up to the mark.
It provides data about the actions users take on your site, including aspects such as site search, the content they view, how fast pages load, and so on.
Through the report, you’ll be able to find any issues with your site and make improvements, particularly when it doesn’t seem to perform as well as intended.
The Behaviour Report can uncover these areas for your site:
- Behaviour Flow: Tracks the path users take on your site
- Site Content: Displays information such as whether users were on mobile, if they had made a purchase, and if the traffic was organic
- Site Speed: Shows how fast content loads, and can be categorised by traffic source ( e.g. whether users who were on mobile had a longer load time)
- Site Search: Tracks the frequency of the search function and what users search for
- Events: Tracks users’ interactions with the site’s interface to achieve their goals
- Publisher: Gives you access to data on how your site is monetised, including impressions and clicks
- Experiments: Allows you to test variations of your site
This report generates data for completed actions. For example, how many people have made a purchase through your site, and how many people have subscribed to your mailing list.
This can help you assess the success of your SEO efforts.
There are also various categories for these completed actions:
- Goals: Tracks specific micro or macro actions of your users
- eCommerce: Tracks the variables for your commercial site (e.g. product, sales, transaction, duration for purchase to be made)
- Multi-channel funnels: Tracks the success of your communication platforms on social media
- Attribution: Tracks which platform should be credited more for the users’ achievement of their final goal (e.g. between an email and downloading a brochure, which platform should be credited more when users have gone through both)
BuzzSumo is a powerful monitoring and research tool that lets you discover the most shared content on social media.
Let’s take a look at the key features of this content marketing tool.
Get content ideas through content insights
BuzzSumo scans the web and social media channels, then shows you the most popular content in any niche. It also determines the content popularity, and displays data in a statistical format. Don’t worry, the stats are presented in an easy-to-understand manner.
What’s also interesting is that BuzzSumo can store and compare trends that are up to five years old!
Keep track of mentions
Let’s say someone mentions your brand in their article. When this happens, they should ideally link to your site. However, this doesn’t always happen.
Without a clickstream from this site, you may lose out on a large pool of readers or customers, particularly so when the site is a trending or popular one.
This is where BuzzSumo Monitoring comes in. By keying in your brand name into its system to add a new “Brand Mention”, you can view forums, blogs, and news sites that mention your brand.
For websites that do link to your site, you’ll observe a little link icon. For those that don’t, you can convert these unmentioned results into backlinks, simply by dropping them a simple and friendly email!
Just type in a keyword from a specific niche and click the search button, and you’ll be on your way to find influential people in that niche.
Using the keyword search, you can find opinion leaders that drive engagement in their niche. Note though, that the keyword search only searches for keywords in Twitter bios.
On the other hand, using the “Search Content Shared” function, you can find people who have recently shared content on your topic, which means they might also be open to share about your topic too.
That way, you can build a list of influencers to share your story.
Alerts for backlinks and keywords
BuzzSumo can update you whenever certain content is posted or updated. It lets you generate a list of keywords, and you can receive notifications and alerts when there are changes to online content revolving around these keywords.
You can also track where the information is posted and who has posted them. This can help you stay in-the-know, so you can better plan your future content marketing efforts!
How much does BuzzSumo cost?
There are four main subscription plans: Pro, Plus, Large, and Enterprise.
Prices are in USD
The difference between the plans lie in the years of data that you can evaluate and store, the number of users that can access the data, and so on. You also get to save 20% off a month if you choose the yearly subscription.
If you want to test out whether BuzzSumo is the right tool for you, you can sign up for a free trial for seven days, and cancel anytime with a single click!
Content creation tools
4. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a plugin feature for WordPress. This content marketing tool helps you to achieve the best technical SEO standards by giving you the necessary tools to improve your content and its overall readability.
What can Yoast do for you?
There are common and different functions between the paid and free versions of Yoast SEO.
Both the paid and free version of Yoast fulfil basic operations, such as readability checks and telling Google what your page is about.
However, the premium version allows you to do much more. For example, it can suggest related pages to link to internally, as well as provide insights on the most common keywords you have used and whether it matches those you’ve chosen.
How much does Yoast cost?
The paid plan for Yoast costs US$89 (excluding VAT) per site, including one year of free updates and support.
The CoSchedule Headline Analyser helps you to assess how effective your headlines are. Given how important headlines are in content, this is a content marketing tool you might want to check out.
All you need to do is key in your headline, and it will show you an effectiveness score for it.
What’s more, based on your content, whether it’s listicles, how-tos, or answering FAQs, the site can generate interesting headlines for you to increase your content viewership.
CoSchedule Headline Analyser applies word-balance theory to generate potential headlines.
Based on this theory, headlines should include common words, uncommon words, words that are emotive, and also words that are empowering.
Using CoSchedule, you can create easily understandable and captivating headlines with the right amount of words, and the right words!
Canva is a tool that allows you to design documents and images for any occasion and purpose.
With thousands of customisable templates and over 400 million designs, you can create visuals for anything, from social media posts to formal presentations. All it takes is a few clicks of your mouse, or an easy drag and drop!
Canva is available in 100 languages and can be accessed on desktop browsers and mobile apps. All you need is an Internet connection.
What can you create with Canva?
The (online publishing) world is your oyster — you can create almost anything!
There are over 65,000 editable templates for you to choose from. Or if you’re feeling more creative, you can start things from scratch.
Canva allows you to access a massive variety of stock images, illustrations, icons, and fonts. You can also store and edit your images, customise templates and share it with your team, and publish your designs anywhere to reach your audience.
There are many different uses for Canva, but the most common ones include book covers, event invitations, infographic resumes, gift certifications, and even restaurant menus.
Broader purposes include posts for blog and web design, branding, social media marketing, and print design materials.
Whether you’re a small business, large company, freelancer, non-profit organisation, or just an adventurous individual, Canva is a tool you can use to create beautiful digital designs!
How much does Canva cost?
There are three different plans offered by Canva: Free, Pro, and Enterprise.
The difference lies in the amount of templates accessible, the amount of storage space available, the accessibility to customisable templates, and so forth. For Canva Enterprise, you can enjoy 24/7 Enterprise-level support from their professional team.
Canva Pro costs S$13.98 per user per month, while Canva Enterprise checks out at S$40 per user per month.
Grammarly is a digital writing tool that helps you construct clear, concise, and error-free sentences for your audience.
Not only will it spot errors in your grammar and punctuation, it can also help you assess the tone in your sentences. All of this is achieved through its AI-powered system.
Firstly, it checks for mistakes in grammar and punctuation, giving you suggestions to correct these errors.
Next, it can access the overall tone of your copy, showing you ratings for formality, friendliness, and even optimism! This is a powerful tool, especially when your content has a specific target audience and if you’re aiming for a specific tone.
It can also offer you alternatives for words, so that you can express yourself in the best way possible.
Furthermore, Grammarly is integrable with popular platforms such as Gmail, Outlook, Google Docs, Slack, and even social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn!
How much does Grammarly cost?
For the free service, Grammarly provides basic writing corrections for areas such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. They also have a tone detection feature for limited sites.
For the Business plan and Premium plan for individuals, Grammarly can additionally check for conciseness, readability, engagement of sentences, consistency of spelling and punctuation, and even plagiarism.
Here’s how much the different plans cost.
Prices are in USD
Quetext is a widely recognised plagiarism detection software and citation assistant.
Quetext’s DeepSearch™ technology runs with a smart algorithm that’s capable of contextual analysis and accessing word placements. It’s extremely accurate and efficient, saving you precious time when you need your writing checked for plagiarism.
Quetext also understands the concerns surrounding privacy, and it upholds the highest standards to ensure your content is safe and secure.
Additionally, Quetext provides rich and intuitive feedback on its interface, so you can easily spot and toggle between content matches.
How much does Quetext cost?
Quetext has only two plans: free and paid.
At US$9.99 per month for the paid plan, you can check up to 200 pages worth of content, make use of their citation assistant for MLA, APA, and Chicago formats, and download the originality report for your own reference.
Depositphotos is a platform and content marketing tool that lets you find high-quality licensed stock photos, graphics, vectors, and videos.
With the site’s search function, you can easily find what you need by adjusting information for different categories. This includes cities, emotions and feelings, outdoors, fitness, lifestyle, science, food and drink, and so forth.
For example, you can search for photos that depict seasons, time of the day, and the number of people.
Finding good quality photos that meet your requirements will be a breeze with this content marketing tool.
How much do the Depositphotos subscription plans cost?
The Depositphotos subscription plans are quite varied, and you’re bound to find a plan that meets your needs. For example, for photos and vectors, you can choose between a subscription plan or an on-demand plan. For photos and vectors, the cheapest plan starts at US$29 a month for 30 images.
Apart from these nine content marketing tools we’ve looked at, there are tons of other tools out there that can make your content marketing efforts much easier.
But hiring a content marketing agency is also an option you can consider to lighten your load. What’s more, it’s common for content marketing agencies to use the content marketing tools we’ve looked at, so you don’t have to worry about forking out extra money for subscription fees.