11 Essential Content Marketing Tools for 2016
Content Marketing Tools
Marketing is an arms race. Every year, a new tool comes out that helps marketers get 2x more from their efforts
At the same time, there are a lot of tools that promise a lot, but deliver very little.
What tools should you use in 2015? What should you skip? In this post, we’ll take a look at 11 social media, SEO and content marketing tools you absolutely must have in 2015.
Social media is one of the cornerstones of any marketing strategy. It continues to account for more than a third of all internet traffic and offers incredible ROI for most businesses. These four tools will help you make the most of your social media marketing.
Buffer is a simple tool for scheduling updates on social media. Unlike some of its more full-featured competitors such as HootSuite, Buffer does one thing alone: helping you post updates on multiple social platforms.
This singular focus has made Buffer into one of the best social media tools around. It’s cheap (plans begin at just $10/month), simple and offers extra features such as content suggestions and automated scheduling. It also supports a large number of social networks, including Pinterest, which makes it one of our top recommendations.
At any moment, several people across the internet are talking about your business and your brand. Mention gives you a single unified dashboard to engage all these people across social networks. Think of it as Google Alerts on steroids.
Using Mention is like having an entire social media team at your disposal. You will cut down social media monitoring and engagement time from hours to minutes with this tool. Prices start at EUR 29/month, but you’ll recoup the costs in days thanks to the time saved.
Have you ever wondered if you could automatically save every favorited tweet or starred email in a spreadsheet?
With IFTTT, you can do that, and much more. This tool (full name – If This, Then That) is a simple automation tool that connects two services. If an action happens on one service, you can instruct IFTTT to perform a follow-up action on another service.
For example, you can use IFTTT to send you an email every time your competitor publishes a new blog post. Or you can use it to save any email receipt directly to Evernote.
IFTTT currently supports hundreds of services and will save you hours in mindless manual work every week.
Instagram’s audience has ballooned to over 300M users, making it one of the top 3 social networks online. To tap into this massive audience, you need a tool to analyze and manage your account.
This is where Iconosquare comes in handy. This is an Instagram analytics tool that will help you follow/unfollow users, schedule updates, post comments and analyze your existing following. No serious marketer with an Instagram account should be without it.
As a savvy marketer, you probably know that email offers the highest ROI of all digital marketing channels. Unfortunately, many email marketing services continue to be cumbersome to use. This is why we recommend these two content marketing tools to take the hard work out of sending emails.
If you’ve ever used some of the popular email marketing tools such as MailChimp or Aweber, you know how hard it can be to run an automated email marketing campaign.
Drip takes care of that with its simple marketing automation software. Instead of struggling with complicated UIs, you can collect, schedule and send emails from a single dashboard.
Sure, it doesn’t beat Constant Contact in features for power users, but for small businesses, it’s the best new email marketing tool around.
What email headlines convert best? What is the best time to send emails? Which keywords trigger spam filters in Gmail?
All these are important questions if you’re an email marketer. Litmus, an email testing tool, provides some answers.
You can use Litmus to preview your HTML emails on different clients and run comprehensive spam tests. Then, after you’ve sent your emails, Litmus can help you run in-depth analysis to find out what works, what doesn’t. A must have for any serious marketer.
SEO AND CONTENT
When it comes to marketing ROI, the only thing that comes close to email is SEO and email is essential to building an SEO content machine. A well-executed SEO campaign can drive thousands of targeted visitors to your business. Use the content marketing tools we’ve listed below to help you run better SEO and content marketing campaigns.
Have you ever struggled to come up with winning content ideas?
With Buzzsumo, you’ll never have the same problem again. This tool helps you find top performing content across the internet. Use it to analyze your competitors’ content, or search for content ideas. You can also use it to identify and follow influencers in your niche and chart out an outreach strategy.
Analyzing competitors’ backlinks, exploring keywords, and tracking your search engine rankings – these are all bread and butter for SEOs. Lots of marketing tools promise to do this for you, but none do it better than Ahrefs.
Ahrefs offers a full suite of SEO tools, from a site explorer for analyzing competitors’ websites, to a keyword explorer for finding and scoring new keywords. There’s also a Buzzsumo-like content explorer, plus a comprehensive rank tracking tool.
Now you’ve probably seen those big pop-ups ups on websites these days that ask for your email and offer something (usually an eBook) in return.
These work on ‘exit-intent’ technology. A script embedded on the page tracks user behavior and shows them the pop-up just when they’re about to exit the page. Studies show that such pop-ups convert as high as 18%.
PicReel is a powerful tool for creating such exit-intent popups. You can install it in seconds and integrate it with your email marketing tool to start collecting emails from abandoning visitors.
As any marketer would tell you, audience personas are the key to marketing success. Most marketers, however, rely on PowerPoint or even pen and paper to map out audience personas. It’s a slow, cumbersome process that can take hours to finish.
This is where PersonApp comes in handy. This lightweight tool helps you create audience personas using a simple framework. It won’t win any design awards, but it does what it promises exceptionally well. I
VWO is a split-testing tool that simplifies the entire testing process. Instead of fiddling with Google Analytics or multiple page variations, you can use VWO to create alternative pages without leaving your browser. It makes the entire testing process half as hard and twice as fun = win-win for you.
There are countless marketing tools online, but for a serious marketer, we believe the above should suffice. It covers every aspect of a marketer’s needs, from email and content to social and optimization.
We’d love to know – which of these tools is in your marketing toolbox? Tell us in the comments below!