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The 19 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2020

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The 19 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2020


While no content marketing tool can replace a solid strategy and talented humans, having the right tech stack can certainly help you get the job done better, easier, and more efficiently.

There are hundreds of content marketing tools available – some free or cheap – and some very expensive. They also serve tons of different purposes, from content ideation to production to promotion, optimization, and more. The content marketing technology landscape is growing every year.

This is exciting, since it means that if you have a problem, you can probably find a software solution to help you solve it. But it’s also overwhelming. How do you know which of the couple of hundred tools are worth trying?

This post will help clarify those decisions for you. We’ll outline the top content marketing tools available now.

1. Marketing Hub

content marketing tools: marketing hub

Best for: Consolidating multiple content marketing tools into one centralized location.

What we like: HubSpot’s array of tools and systems grow along with your business, allowing you to scale seamlessly.

HubSpot offers many content marketing tools, and many of them are free to try. These include:

In addition to free content marketing tools, if you really want to build a growth machine, HubSpot has a world-class CMS and the most powerful marketing automation platform in the industry and allows you to centralize everything within a free CRM. This means that, at each and every level of a company’s growth, HubSpot has a solution that can help you build your content marketing program.

HubSpot also makes products for sales and service teams. As such, it can really be the ground control for your whole business.

2. WordPress

Content Marketing Tools: WordPress

Best for: Blogging, publishing editorial content, and creating portfolios.

What we like: The customizable templates are easy to use, allowing users to build a website quickly. Plus, it integrates with multiple plug-ins to take your work to the next level.

WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world. Search Engine Journal reports that WordPress powers about 39.5% of all sites on the web.

Social proof can sometimes lead us astray, but in this case, it turns out that WordPress is a pretty powerful tool, both at the beginning stages and as you grow your content marketing program (and it’s used by sites like The New Yorker and The Next Web).

At its core, WordPress is an open-source CMS that allows you to host and build websites. You can self-host or host your site via WordPress.com. WordPress contains plugin architecture and a template system so you can customize any website to fit your business, blog, portfolio, or online store.

It’s a highly customizable platform and is widely used by bloggers.

3. Google Docs

Content Marketing Tools: Google Docs

Best for: Editing and collaborating with content writers.

Why we like it: It’s free, widely used, and simple to get started. If you can use word processor applications, Google Docs is a must-have.

Google Docs is to content marketing what a kitchen is to chefs: it’s where all of the work gets done before the final presentation.

Personally, I don’t know any content marketers who don’t use Google Docs to draft their articles. It’s the best platform for collaboration by a long shot, but it’s also easy to use and has a pleasant user experience.

You can easily share documents with your team with just a few clicks. Additionally, you can give editing access to specific people and view their comments by using the “suggestions” and “comments” features.

In addition, you can usually find a way to upload Google Docs directly to your CMS. In the case of HubSpot, you can do that by default. If you use WordPress, you can use a tool like Wordable to help you out.

Google Docs is free, quite ubiquitous, and pleasant to use. Not many reasons not to use it.

4. Airstory

Content Marketing Tools: Airstory

Best for: Writing academic papers and collecting research.

Why we like it: Put writer’s block to a halt with Airstory. This app easily organizes and exports your notes, ideas, and research all in one spot.

If you do want to step up your writing and collaboration game, Airstory is a more powerful platform for writers. If you find yourself moving too often between Evernote, Google Docs, Google Drive, and you always seem to have a hundred tabs open for research, it might be time to look into Airstory.

It helps you save quotes, images, and multimedia and drag and drop it into any writing application. As such, it’s an incredible tool for collaboration, but also for writers w

5. Grammarly

content marketing tools: Grammarly

Best for: Editing and proofreading content pieces before publication.

Why we like it: Grammarly works across multiple communication mediums, from email to documents to social media.

Grammarly has changed the game for me. I’m not naturally what you would call “detail-oriented,” so if it weren’t for talented editors, you’d be tearing me apart right now for the multitude of grammar mistakes littering my articles.

Grammarly, however, reduces my error rate by probably 50-80%. I still have some mistakes slip through, but to a large extent, Grammarly saves me from embarrassment (not just when writing articles, by the way — it also works for social media and forum comments).

Their browser extension works with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and offers a basic grammar and punctuation plan for free.

6. Yoast

content marketing tools: Yoast

Best for: Writing for search engine optimization (SEO).

Why we like it: Yoast is easy to use and one of the best SEO WordPress plugins available.

Yoast is one of my favorite tools for writing SEO-focused content.

It’s a sort of “all-in-one” WordPress plugin for SEO that helps do pretty much everything, including optimizing content for a keyword, previewing and editing meta-descriptions and URL slugs, abstracting away technical SEO tasks, and suggesting relevant internal links. The simple red, yellow, and green indicators make it easy to figure out if you’ve optimized your page correctly, or what could use more work.

They have over 9,000,000 downloads, 4.9 out of 5 stars in the WordPress marketplace, and just anecdotally, everyone I know who uses WordPress uses Yoast. It’s just a great plugin.

7. Buzzsumo

content marketing tools: Buzzsumo

Best for: Carrying out content research and tracking performance metrics.

Why we like it: Buzzsumo takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing and content curation, a bonus for those short on time.

Buzzsumo is a great multi-purpose content marketing research tool.

One of the main things it can do is help you analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. You can see metrics like social shares, backlinks, and which influencers are sharing a given piece of content.

For content strategy needs, Buzzsumo can also be used to find what topics are trending across various platforms and the kinds of headlines that are receiving the most traction with engagement.

They also have great influencer reports so you can see who the thought leaders are for a given topic area.

8. Ahrefs

content marketing tools: Ahrefs

Best for: Completing keyword research.

Why we like it: Ahrefs can be used for basic SEO research, but also handle more in-depth projects like performance reports. These reports can be set to the cadence of your choice so you’re always in the loop.

Ahrefs is my personal favorite SEO tool, and I use it just about every day. It’s great for everything from tracking the rankings of your keywords to analyzing your competitors’ keywords and traffic and much more.

Every time I think I’ve mastered the full functionality of Ahrefs, I find a new feature that surprises and delights me. The basics, such as keyword research or site analyzer, are wonderful. But I also love reports like “top pages” (where you can analyze the most valuable pages on a website), or “content gap” (where you can see what competitors rank for that you don’t).

9. Vidyard

content marketing tools: Vidyard

Best for: Creating B2B marketing videos, digital marketing, and content creation.

Why we like it: Vidyard’s analytics and personalization features not only help businesses understand how their content is performing, but also demonstrates how to leverage it to boost engagement.

Vidyard is a video marketing platform that helps you host, share, and promote video content on your website.

They have a sales solution as well to help you close more accounts, but the marketing solution is what I’m most used to. Vidyard’s video analytics are robust.You can run A/B tests and personalize videos, and you can even gate videos at a certain time length to help capture leads.

Additionally, they’ll easily optimize your videos for SEO and integrate with various CRM, email, and social platforms.

10. Loom

content marketing tools: Loom

Best for: Creating video presentations and tutorials.

Why we like it: Loom is versatile and user-friendly. Utilize it to easily answer questions or explain complex topics that require a visual aid.

Loom is a tool that I’ve more recently begun using, but at this point it’s a staple for me.

It’s a simple tool, but one with powerful use cases, even beyond content marketing. What it does is allow you to create, edit, record your screen, and share videos. For content marketing, I love this, because I can create and embed tutorials for technical walkthroughs.

Organizationally, I love it as well. It’s great for communicating quick questions or explaining concepts to other team members (without requiring a full, synchronous meeting).

11. Trello

content marketing tools: Trello

Best for: Keeping track of tasks and project management.

Why we like it: Trello puts all of your team’s projects in one place and is customizable enough to grow with your changing needs.

When you really start producing content, you’ll need some way to manage the process. This is particularly true if you’re working with many staff writers or guest writers.

My favorite tool for this is Trello.

Trello is a simple kanban and project management tool, which means it can be used for many purposes. In fact, I’ve used it for tons of things, like growth experiments, sales pipelines, and product feature roadmaps.

12. Airtable

content marketing tools: Airtable

Best for: Managing tasks and databases.

Why we like it: Airtable is great for storing lots of data (hello, spreadsheets) in one place and using customized filters to sort it.

Airtable is another project management tool, though it’s a little more complicated (though also customizable). It’s kind of like a mixture between spreadsheets and Trello. Again, with Airtable, the use cases are many, but I really like it for two content marketing purposes:

  • Editorial calendars
  • Influencer/writer management
  • Marketing campaign tracking

I’ve also used Airtable for several other things in the past, including growth experiments and general team operating documents.

13. Google Analytics

content marketing tools: Google Analytics

Best for: Understanding your audience and tracking site metrics.

Why we like it: Google Analytics is ubiquitous, free, and easy to use. Use it to see how people found your site and observe visitor behavior.

When talking about content marketing tools, you can’t leave measurement out of the discussion.

Sure, you can get some good insights from SEO tools like Google Search Console as well as previously listed tools like Ahrefs. But you’ll also want a digital analytics platform so you can track business metrics.

Google Analytics is one of the most widely used platforms online. It’s easy-to-use (at least the basic configurations), and it’s free. Two big benefits.

However, it’s also very powerful if you’re technical and know how to set up a proper configuration. Not only can you track goals, like form submissions or product purchases, but you can also set up behavioral events, like scroll-depth.

Best of all, you don’t have to do much to get access to all of this data. Simply set up your Google Analytics account, copy the code provided to your website, and you’re good to go. Google Analytics will automatically start tracking the data from your website.

14. Hotjar

content marketing tools: Hotjar

Best for: Understanding visitor behavior on your website.

Why we like it: Hotjar’s tools allow business owners to get an accurate read on how visitors experience their site. It’s great for marketers, designers, and researchers.

Hotjar is my favorite user experience analytics tool. It’s got some qualitative tools, such as on-site poll, surveys, and session replays. Where Google Analytics can help you uncover the “what” and “where” of user behavior, Hotjar’s tools can help you start to tiptoe into the “why.”

In addition, they also provide some quantitative tools such as heat maps. These allow you to get a good visual picture of where your visitors are clicking and scrolling.

One use case I love HotJar (outside of CRO) for is to source interesting content ideas:

content marketing tools: Hotjar

In the example above, follow-up questions are asked based on what users answered to a previous question. Their responses can then be used to inform your content going forward.

15. Google Optimize

content marketing tools: Google Optimize

Best for: A/B testing changes to your site’s pages.

Why we like it: Google Optimize harnesses the power of their analytics and statistical tools to help businesses find what your site visitors engage with most and hone in on areas that need improvement. Statistical modeling tools simulate real-world performance for any tests you’d like to perform.

We’ve got a quantitative digital analytics tool (Google Analytics) and a qualitative insights platform (Hotjar), so we presumably can know a lot about our readers and our website at this point. But what if we want to make a change to our blog or landing pages?

My background is in optimization, so if there’s sufficient traffic, I like to set up A/B tests for site changes.

There are many tools out there for this, but I wanted to list Google Optimize because it’s free. It’s also a good starter option to get used to. If you do want to explore other options, here’s a good article comparing the market solutions. But Google Optimize is a great start.

16. Mutiny

content marketing tools: MutinyBest for: Personalizing B2B websites.

Why we like it: Mutiny leverages smart, AI-driven technology to help guide content recommendations. Its website personalization features allow users to quickly change their website and see results in real time.

A/B testing is one thing; personalization is also an interesting avenue to explore.

Where A/B testing is a controlled experiment with a limited time-horizon, personalization allows you to deliver different unique experiences to subsets of your overall audience.

For example, you could target mobile users with different popup forms. Or you could target visitors who have read three blog posts with an offer for a specific ebook. Additionally, you could target people who scroll 75% of the way down a certain blog post with an in-text CTA.

The options are endless, only limited by your time, resources, creativity, and prioritization.

Anyway, Mutiny is my favorite platform in this space. It’s designed for B2B, so if you’re in ecommerce, you may want to look at another tool like CMS Hub . But Mutiny is a good and promising newer player with lots of functionality.

17. TheStocks.IM

content marketing tools: StocksIM

Best for: Sourcing stock images and free photos.

Why we like it: TheStocks.IM aggregates multiple free photo sites into one place, saving you time.

Most good content marketing includes imagery, so it only makes sense to include a stock photo site here in our list of content marketing tools.

I like TheStocks.IM because it aggregates several free stock photo sites, including Unsplash (my favorite) and Pixabay. Just type in the topic or object you’re searching for into the search box, and it will pull up images across all the platforms it sources from.

18. Canva

content marketing tools: Canva

Best for: Designing your own marketing materials.

Why we like it: Canva’s intuitive UI allows design novices to easily create infographics and other materials suitable for print materials, social media posts, and blogging platforms.

What about when a stock image doesn’t cut it, and you want to make your own imagery?

Canva is a great option here.

With Canva, you really don’t need to have excellent graphic design skills. I’m a horrible designer, and I can make decent looking graphics with Canva. It’s really designed for the layperson.

This tool is great for all kinds of content marketing imagery, like social media images, blog cover photos, Twitter cover photos, etc. It’s pretty all-purpose.

Start with one of their templates or create a new design from scratch. If you can drag and drop, you can create materials using Canva.

19. Adobe Photoshop

content marketing tools: Photoshop

Best for: Editing photographs and images, and designing custom materials.

Why we like it: The uses for Photoshop are endless. Mastering this design tool will make your materials look professional and give you more autonomy over the kinds of designs you can use.

Now, what if you want to make your own imagery, but you actually are good at graphic design?

Well, in this case, Photoshop is the gold standard. It’s great for editing photographs as well as creating images such as Facebook photos, blog cover photos, and even screenshot tutorials.

I find that a little bit of skill with Photoshop goes a long way. Mastering Photoshop will allow businesses and marketing teams to create custom designs and materials to suit their needs instead of being tied to a particular template or layout.

Content Marketing Tools Won’t Save a Bad Content Strategy

… but they’ll certainly help you get the job done faster and more effectively.

Although there are many more content marketing tools out there, this list sums up the best tools for most marketing needs. Try them out and watch them enhance your content creation strategy and execution.

This article was originally published March 4, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling


Storytelling is an art.

Not a process, method, or technique. And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.

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How to Blog When You Have No Time

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How to Blog When You Have No Time


Finding the time to blog is a frequent challenge for many marketers. Marketers often wear many hats and it can be difficult to focus long enough to churn out quality articles when you’re pressed for time.

How to blog when you have no time? We spoke with author and marketing expert David Meerman Scotton how to avoid common time management mistakes by developing a routine.

No matter what you’ve got on your marketing plate, it won’t get done without proper time management. Learning how to make the most of your time will greatly affect your productivity and overall success as a blogger.

Why is blogging time management important?

When it comes to creating content, maintaining consistency is key. This is why blogging time management is so important. You may not always feel motivated to create on a regular basis, but establishing a schedule will help you to stay consistent with your blog output.

For example, you may find that you’re better at writing in the mornings. So you can set aside 2 to 3 hours each morning to work on writing based on how many articles you’d like to produce each week.

Create a content calendar to help you plan your content in advance and set reasonable deadlines. Make note of holidays or seasonal events that may impact your content schedule.

Getting organized will help you set and achieve goals for your blog. If you’re starting from scratch, check out our guide to starting a blog.

How to Blog When You Have No Time

1. Use blog templates.

An easy way to jump-startyour creative process is to start with a template. Why suffer through writer’s block staring at a blank document if you don’t have to? HubSpot’s free blog post templatescan help you format your article and get started writing faster than starting from scratch.

[Include screenshot]

Templates function as an easy to follow outline where you can organize your thoughts and start to flesh out your content. HubSpot’s offer includes six templates ranging from how-to posts to pillar pages and infographics.

2. Develop a blogging routine.

In many ways blogging reminds David of exercising. In order to be successful at it, you will need to develop a routine. “It is programmed in,” David says. “It is about building it into your life and making it a second nature, like running in the mornings or doing yoga after work.”

Dedicate time each day to writing or allocate one to two designated writing days per week. Block time off on your calendar and turn off messaging apps to avoid interruptions while you write.

Once you’ve gotten organized and created a routine, you may find you had more time to write than previously thought.

3. Keep a list of ideas.

One way to save time coming up with content is to make sure you always have a running list of fresh ideas to work with. That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute for worthy topics.

Creating topic clusterscan help you flesh out your blog content strategy. A topic clusteris multiplearticles grouped by a shared topic or related topic. For example, you may have one pillar page that gives a broad overview of a topic. From there, you can create more in-depth, specific articles on related subtopics.

This will not only help you plan content but organize your site architecture as well.

4. Perform research prior to writing.

It’s much easier to write when you have all the pertinent information you want to include in one place. Research your chosen topic before sitting down to write and organize the information in a quick outline.

Include any keyword researchin this process so you can ensure your content aligns with what readers are searching for online. This way when you sit down to write, your only job is to write — not look up new facts.

5. Don’t edit while writing.

When writing it’s very tempting to want to stop and make corrections. Don’t do this. It breaks your writing flow.

Instead, write a rough draft withjust pops into your mind first. Follow your train of thought without stopping to fix typos or edit. The goal is to just get your thoughts on the page. Once your initial draft is written, you can always go back and make changes.

6. Perform article updates.

Another strategy is to build upon existing content by performing an article update. Giving your older content a refresh is not only good for SEO and your readers, but it can be a quick win for adding new content in a time crunch.

With older content, you may need to include additional research and update it for accuracy, but it generally takes less time than writing a new article from scratch. Review your existing content. Are there articles you can do a deeper dive on? Have there been industry advancements you can include? Is there a new angle to explore?

7. Find content ideas wherever you go.

By making blogging a life routine, you will come across creative content ideas much more frequently. Keep an open mind, observe new things that interest you personally and find ways to turn them into fodder for a blog post. By noticing world dynamics that get you excited and relating them to your audience, the process of blogging becomes a lot more natural and fun.

Accumulate content ideas from different situations in life and find ways to apply them to your industry.

8. Hire a freelancer.

Sometimes your workload is just too heavy and your efforts can be better used elsewhere. If you have the resources and budget to do it, hiring outside help may also be a great option.

Sites like Upwork, Contenta, and MediaBistro make it easy to find writing professionals. If looking to generate content on a larger scale, consider working with a content agency.

Blog Like A Pro

Creating content with a consistent cadence is an obstacle busy marketers frequently struggle with. Creating a schedule and mastering blogging time management will allow you to create even when you’re short on time.

This article was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How clean, organized and actionable is your data?

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90% of marketers say their CDP doesn't meet current business needs


A customer data platform (CDP) centralizes an organization’s customer data, providing a single 360-view of each consumer that engages with the company. Yet there are still data-related considerations that organizations have to make beyond what the CDP does.

“[CDPs] were designed to fill a need – to enable a marketer to easily get to the data they need to create their segmentation and then go on and mark it from that point,” said George Corugedo, CTO of data management company Redpoint Global, at The MarTech Conference. “But the issue is that CDPs really don’t take care of the quality aspects of the data.”

Maintaining data quality also impacts segmentation, campaigns and privacy compliance challenges for marketing teams that use this data.

Data quality

The data in a CDP depends on the quality of where it came from. Therefore, an organization using a CDP must also consider the quality of the data sources and reference files used to build out the CDP.

“The inevitable question is going to be, how good is this data?” said Corugedo. “How much can I trust it to make a bold decision?”

This is something that has to be on every organization’s radar. For instance, when identity resolution is used, the issue depends on the quality of the third-party reference files. If they are provided by a telecommunications company or credit bureau as the data partner, those files might only be updated quarterly.

“It’s just not an optimal solution, but every single CDP on the market uses some form of reference file,” Corugedo stated.

It’s up to the data scientists and other team members working within the organization to own the accuracy of these data sources.

Read next: What is a CDP?

Segmentation and other actions

The quality of the data using specific reference files and sources will vary and will impact the confidence that marketers have in creating segments and using them when deploying campaigns.

Marketers have to make this decision at a granular level, based on the trustworthiness of data from a particular lineage.

“If they have a campaign that is reliant on suspect data, they can actually delay that campaign and say maybe we wait until that data gets refreshed,” said Corugedo.

Otherwise, marketers are just “spraying and praying.”

Using rules instead of lists

The advantage of having a CDP is unification of all data. But the data is being updated all the time. Instead of deploying campaigns based on a fixed list of customers, the use of rules to define segments allows marketers to update who they engage in the campaign.

“A list, as soon as it’s detached from the database, starts to decay because it doesn’t get any updates anymore,” Corugedo, adding that using lists takes longer to execute a campaign.

Lower quality from data that isn’t updated can have serious implications for healthcare and other industries, where accuracy is essential. 

“Instead, rules are passed through the campaign just like they would be with a list, but those rules reevaluate every time there’s a decision point to make sure that only the qualified people get the particular content at that point,” Corugedo explained.


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Privacy and regulatory compliance

Maintaining data quality through a Redpoint Global dashboard, or a similar combination of tools and data personnel, will also help an organization manage privacy.

The crucial point is that people on the team know where the data came from and how it’s being used in campaigns. The stakes for sending out relevant messaging are high. Privacy and compliance issues raise the bar even higher.

If you’re using a CDP, you can save headaches and extra labor by using a tool that has compliance and privacy baked in, so to speak.

“What we’ve done is embrace some of this complexity and absorb it into the environment, so the marketer never even sees it,” said Corugedo. “What we do is with every implementation, we will implement a PII vault that keeps PII data super secure, and we can anonymize the marketing database.”

This way, personal information of individual customers (PII) is never violated.

“Marketers ultimately don’t necessarily need to have visibility to PII,” Corugedo explained “They like to see it for testing purposes and making sure that it looks right and everything, but the truth is we can do that in other ways without revealing PII.”

Having a handle on data quality adds to the confidence marketing teams have in creating segments and executing campaigns, and it can also help protect the customer’s privacy and guard against regulatory infringements.

Facts not fiction: Beyond the CDP from Third Door Media on Vimeo.


About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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