11 Best content marketing tools

The goal of a content marketing strategy is to create quality content that attracts and retains an audience. It’s hard to do this consistently without the help of certain tools - particularly if you’re creating content at scale.

You’ll need help identifying what content to produce. This involves assessing what’s getting more engagement and how to optimise your content to maximise viewership. You then also need to create a workflow that allows you to do this as effectively and efficiently as possible with minimal bottlenecks.

The problem is that you have tens of thousands of content marketing programs to choose from, and it can be tough to differentiate between the good and the bad.

To help you distinguish between all the tools available, we’ve created this article to outline the top content marketing tools that will positively impact your business.

Some of the best content marketing tools include Notion, GatherContent, Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, and Grammarly. They assist in one or more categories of content marketing – content planning, SEO, content audit, and writing aids – all of which will be required to ensure your content is of the highest quality.

But what are they exactly, and how do they help? Let’s find out.

Content planning

1. Notion

Notion is one of the most versatile tools on this list. It’s an all-in-one workspace that you can use for project management, note-taking, content creation, file storage, content collaboration, and more. This is what makes Notion a great content marketing tool.

It has a text editor that can be used as a content creation tool for your work. You can also upload PDFs, images, spreadsheets, and documents and use the app as a file storage platform. But, it really shines in its ability to double as a project management tool with calendars, task lists, Kanban boards, etc., across an entire team, allowing for maximum productivity and collaboration.

However, that’s not all it can do. You do all the populating, which means you can customise your pages and views in whichever way you want. This flexibility is what makes Notion so powerful. With that flexibility, though, comes a steep learning curve since the possibilities are endless. But you can choose from thousands of templates to help ease you into the process.

Notion is a great choice if you’re looking for a tool with considerable task and project management capabilities to plan your content, all within a clean and easy-to-use interface.

2. GatherContent

As the name suggests, GatherContent is a tool that allows teams to consolidate all their content creation process in one place. Designed for enterprise-level use, it allows businesses to work on thousands of documents across unlimited users without a hitch.

What makes it slightly different from other content management systems (CMS) is that GatherContent allows teams to plan, structure, draft, format, edit, and approve any piece of work within the app.

For instance, instead of having to use a project management tool to oversee your content, write it in a documents program such as Google Docs, edit using another program, collaborate with other team or department members using another app, etc., it can all be done in GatherContent. That’s why they advertise themselves as a ‘content operations’ tool that facilitates all stages of content creation instead of just a CMS.

Since this is an enterprise-level tool, it isn’t cheap. But if you have a large team that creates a range of content, GatherContent may be the ideal choice for you.

3. ContentCal

ContentCal is a tool designed to make social media content creation and publication as simple and easy as possible. With a visual calendar at the heart of this content marketing platform, you can colour-code the various types of content you’re producing. This allows for a snapshot of what content needs to be created and when it will be published.

The tool also solves the tediousness of publishing by enabling you to automate the process within the platform. As such, you’ll be able to post your content across various accounts and also analyse the engagement it receives.

SEO

1. Semrush

SEO is an important aspect of content creation as it ensures you increase your traffic as much as possible. There are various content optimisation tools to choose from. But perhaps the best SEO content marketing tool available is Semrush. At its core, Semrush is a research tool that provides insight into your website with thorough and all-encompassing information.

You can find out how your website’s display advertising is performing, how much website traffic is coming through organic searches and how much is through paid searches, and which websites are linking back to you.

You can also find information on which keywords you’re ranking for and whether that’s improved or worsened over time. It even has a keyword research tool to compile a list of target keywords for your next campaign.

The best part about Semrush is that it’s not just limited to your company. You can use its services to find your competitors’ performance and determine what SEO strategies they could be implementing. Are they ranking for certain keywords that you’re not? Have they experienced an uptake in paid traffic recently? You can then use this information to compare against your results and improve your own SEO practices.

Semrush even enables you to create social media posts, track their performance, and research ads. It’s a one-stop shop for all things SEO-related and more.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another all-in-one SEO analytics tool that is popular amongst content marketers. What sets it apart from other SEO tools is ‘Keywords Explorer’ – one of the best keyword research tools available.

Keyword research is an important part of any content marketing strategy, and Ahrefs’ tool can help you find keywords for any topic. It allows you to filter keywords by search volume, difficulty, traffic potential, and more.

Like Semrush, you also have a competitor analysis tool, a content analysis tool to see which content is attracting the most search traffic and backlinks, and click data to determine click rate.

3. Moz

Moz is another SEO-focused software that can help you improve your SEO performance. Like Semrush and Ahrefs, it has thorough keyword research, on-page SEO, and backlink analytics tools.

However, its most advanced features are offered as separate products which you’d need to purchase separately. This means that whilst Moz is perfectly fine for basic SEO needs, it may not be suitable if you have extensive requirements.

Content audit

1. Google Analytics

Good, free content marketing tools aren’t easy to come by, but Google Analytics ticks all the boxes when it comes to auditing your content, and it’s regarded as the industry standard. The free tool provides you with a full rundown of your website and traffic data to highlight what’s working and what isn’t.

You can get information on who is visiting your website, where they’re visiting from, which pages attract the most traffic, etc. This data is crucial to a content strategy because once you know where your audience is from and what they find engaging, you can then tailor your content to target them even more.

Google Analytics also has the added benefit of showcasing off-page performance metrics such as backlinks and social shares, all of which a content marketer can use to refine the kind of content produced.

The tool provides you with a wide range of reports with an array of insight and data that should be a key part of the content marketing process for your company.

2. Semrush

We mentioned Semrush as one of the best SEO content marketing tools on the market, but it’s also one of the best tools for content and site auditing. Simply enter the domain name into the audit tool and watch it create an in-depth content analysis of the domain's web pages. It does this by crawling your website – much like a search engine – to identify areas of improvement, which it then compiles into a report.

It can also connect to your Google Analytics account to help you review content performance on your website. For instance, what content is attracting the most readers and what they find most engaging. You can then use this information to determine what type of content to focus on in your content strategy.

3. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a website crawler that analyses your domain to suggest performance and content improvements. It reports back on over 30 parameters, including anchor texts, meta descriptions, headings and subheadings, response times, broken links and redirects, etc.

The free version of the tool allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs. So if you have a smaller domain and are looking for free content marketing tools, Screaming Frog will be a great choice. Combining its data with the free Google Analytics tool will provide you with a complete overview of your website and content’s performance.

Writer aids

1. Grammarly

Grammarly is one of the most used writing tools out there. It proofreads your content and provides writing recommendations to improve the quality of your work. It has five main categories that improvements are classified in:

  • Correctness – These suggestions will address spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
  • Clarity – This section looks to improve how easy your content is to read and comprehend. Are there long sentences that are tricky to read? Are you writing in the passive voice? Could you restructure your sentence so that it is easier to follow?
  • Engagement – You want your writing to be as engaging and effective as possible. This section will recommend different words or phrases to use to make your content more impactful.
  • Delivery – This section helps you make the right impression on the reader. It does this by suggesting edits to sound more confident, less aggressive, etc.
  • Style guide – Exclusive to Grammarly Business accounts, this category ensures your writing follows your pre-set company writing style guide.

If that wasn't all, Grammarly even has a plagiarism checker that scours the internet to see how original your writing is. It also has a browser extension that can offer suggestions in real-time, regardless of what platform you write your content on.

So if you’re looking for a content marketing tool to improve the quality of your writing, Grammarly is a no-brainer.

2. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor works similarly to Grammarly in that it highlights grammatical mistakes. But where it really shines is its ability to improve the readability of your work.

As writers, we can sometimes make our sentences too long or complex for the reader to understand. This is where Hemingway Editor comes in. It will assess your work in terms of a Readability Grade. For instance, your readability grade could be ‘Grade 8’. This means that anyone with Grade 8 English will be able to understand your content.

It also highlights all sentences that are in the passive voice, have adverbs, and are hard to read. This allows you to see and edit all problem sentences without affecting the rest of your work.

Hemingway Editor is perfect for bloggers and content writers since they must distil complex topics down for the average reader. That's why it’s often used in addition to Grammarly as a final check.

In all likelihood, you’ll use multiple content marketing tools across your entire content creation process. You’ll typically pick one or two from each category to ensure you’ve covered all aspects of content marketing – from content ideation all the way through to publishing.

Whether you’re looking for a content planning tool to manage your projects and ideas or a writing aid to ensure your work is tailored to the right audience, the tools mentioned in this article will help you do exactly that.