by Karen McCandless
Published on 6 October 2015
Here at GetApp we know a thing or two about content marketing. And we understand that the right tools can really help throughout the whole publication process. Apps can be used for idea generation, scheduling, writing, editing, collaboration, promotion, and monitoring success. To help we've put together our favorite content marketing apps to help you craft the best editorial and get it seen by the people that matter to you business.
Although let's be clear - if the content is complete garbage, the best tools in the world aren't going to transform your underpar blog post into a work of art.
You've got to write those words somewhere and Google Docs is a good option thanks to its cloud-based collaboration capabilities.
Google Docs is great for global companies, whether you're a solopreneur or a small business. It allows you to see what your colleagues are doing in real time, and has easy sharing features that allow you to specify whether fellow editors can view, comment on or make edits to your documents.
There are frustrations, such as not being able to grab images from a document (there are workarounds, but they are not ideal), and it's not as fully featured as Microsoft's desktop version of Word. However, it's cloud-first approach mean it's quick to get up and running and simple to use.
WordPress is a well-known content management system that seems to have been around for eons. It's that familiarity - plus its ease of use- that makes it one of our top picks. According to the company, the app powers around a quarter of the web publishing platforms, making it a reliable choice. It's fully customizable, SEO-optimized, quick to get up and running, and has a ton of plug-ins.
Any content marketer worth their salt understands the importance of planning. Whether it's to coincide with an event or product launch, or to ensure your evergreen content is published in a spaced-out manner, CoSchedule can help keep a handle on your calendar.
Not only can you assign posts and tasks (such as image creation, social media promotion, and copy editing) to colleagues with the click of a button, you can also create task templates to automate this process. CoScehdule integrates with WordPress and automatically creates a blog entry, which is accessible from within each post. You can also schedule Tweets and Facebook posts, and keep track of shares - all without leaving the app.
Every content marketer needs some social help and that's where Hootsuite comes in. You can see all your social media networks on one dashboard, and schedule Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts all from within the app - the bulk uploading and auto schedule features also come in handy here.
If you're working in a team you can collaborate with your via the chat feature, while the powerful analytics tools let you see how your posts are performing. It's also easy to find influencers and trending topics with the search feature, and the ability to set up columns with mentions is great if you want to eavesdrop on a conference or trending topic by following a specific hashtag.
Another stalwart in its industry, MailChimp is an email marketing solution that allows you to easily design and send newsletters to your subscriber base. It offers useful features such as its the ability to send newsletters at the optimal time, the Discover Similar Subscribers, which analyzes your subscribers and builds lists of like minded people, and the 'Twitter Tailored Audiences' function, which allows your subscribers to more easily share your content on the social network with people who have similar interests. MailChimp also has a huge amount of native integrations, allowing companies to seamlessly integrate it with other business apps they use.
BuzzSumo is a useful tool for content curation. The 'Trending Now' feature allows you to find and identify posts which will appeal to your audience, while the trending score gives a good indication of how quickly the post has gathered shares.
It's great for finding influencers, since it lets you filter by bloggers, influencers, companies, journalists and so on. The results show statistics such as page and domain authority, and follower count which makes it easier to identify the right contact. If you are planning on promoting your content on Twitter you can export a list of influencers then upload it to Twitter and begin promoting. You can also set up alerts to let you know when you've received a backlink or mention, and find out how your domain compares to a competitor.
So you've planned and created beautiful pieces of content, you've shared it on social and included relevant influencers, you've sent it to your newsletter subscribers, but after all your efforts, how is it performing? Kissmetrics tracks users for the length of time they are on your website, analyzing their behavior and identifying areas where they frequently exit your site. The app includes powerful reports that can help you better engage with users at exactly the right point in their visit, enabling better conversion and more impactful marketing.
If you're struggling to get your content in front of your target audience and the visitors are just not coming to your site even despite all the promotional efforts, then Outbrain is worth a shot. After you have selected a daily budget and cost per click, the app places your content on relevant websites as promoted stories. Not only that, it allows you to analyze who is clicking on your articles, and is customizable according to your brand.
Contently is one of the closest things you'll find to a one-stop solution for content marketing. Not only can you organize your content and your editorial team through calendars and scheduling, it also connects you with some of the best content marketing talent out there, whether it be writers, strategists, graphic designers, or photographers.
The app comes with a powerful analytics suite to help you learn from your successes and your mistakes, and provide your audience with more of what they want and like.
These days, it's unlikely that every member of your team will work side by side in one office all day every day. For those times when you need to collaborate with your colleagues that are in different locations and timezones, Skype's instant messaging, video chat, and file sharing features can enable better communication. But this also applies if you need to talk to interviewees or collaborate with influencers. With a version designed for businesses, there are options for your company whatever its size.
If you want a second opinion, we asked a host of other content marketers what tools they use to craft quality content and get it noticed.
Tony Faustino, president of Faustino Marketing Strategies : Evernote
"I use Evernote as my 21st century knowledge management app to curate my content marketing ideas and streamline productivity. Whenever I read work that leads to an actionable idea, I Evernote it immediately. When I need to refer back to my idea, Evernote finds it quickly. Its mobile app seamlessly syncs and integrates with my Macbook app. That's huge because you never know when or where creative inspiration strikes."
Christina Kay, inbound marketing consultant at Bluleadz : HubSpot
"Hands down, my favorite app is HubSpot. I have used many content marketing apps but
Hubspot wins every time. The intuitive nature of the app, in-depth training and evolving features make it top notch! The customer service/engineers are also fantastic, if they personally can't answer your question, they will make sure they find someone who can."
Cameron Conaway, content marketing manager of Flow : BuzzSumo
"BuzzSumo is the app I use the most for content marketing. It allows me to drill down into what contact has worked and, more importantly, who shared it. This helps me find pockets of social media communities that are interested in the topic I'm working on, but that I may have missed had I searched through traditional means."
Morgan O'Mara, digital marketing content coordinator at document scanning service provider Record Nations : CoSchedule
"My favorite tool when creating content is the CoSchedule headline analyzer. This is a free tool from CoSchedule that analyzes your headlines and rates them. This is a great way
to know if you headline will attract readers. I use this for all of my posts and email subject lines. Since I have started using this our average open rate has increased by 4%."
Jake Lane, growth analyst at landscaping business LawnStarter : BuzzStream
"We use BuzzStream for our content marketing efforts. It helps us stay organized and efficient throughout the process (prospecting to outreach). The ability to automatically scrape a page for contact information has decreased our time prospecting by at least 50%. Before, we had a mess of Google Docs with contact information and sometimes we'd be overlapping with our lists. Buzzstream allows us to collaborate on our efforts and ensure that we aren't grabbing or reaching out to the same contacts."
Colin Darretta, founder and CEO of WellPath Solutions : Outbrain and Zergnet
"If you literally have no traffic to your site currently, Outbrain can be useful for starting to generate a groundswell. The visits are cheap (much more so than FB/Twitter) and are oftentimes engaged content readers. If you have already built some traffic volume, Zergnet is great because it's entirely barter-based - you are essentially trading visits from your website for visits to your website. Provided you have enough flow this can be another 10,000+ monthly visits for the cost of space on your page."
Matt Casady, online marketing specialist at Big Leap : QZZR and Boombox
"The QZZR app makes it super easy to create and embed online quizzes, which we'd had a lot of success with lately. Boombox is a self-described "creative suite for publishers" and we think that's a pretty appropriate description. It makes it really easy to add interactive elements to content (quizzes, polls, lists,etc.) and simple to collaborate with teams while creating that content.
If you still haven't found what you're looking for, why not check out the top 25 content marketing apps in GetRank - our quarterly rankings of the best business software for this category. Or have a look at our own content marketing efforts and let us know what you think!