Businesses of any size can take advantage of content marketing. Whether you need help researching keywords, scheduling blog posts or analyzing your web traffic, there's a tool out there to keep you on track. We've rounded up a list of resources that will improve your content marketing, including many free options.
1. Answer the Public
What it is: keyword research tool
How it works: Answer the Public allows you to research long-tail keywords to use in blog posts and website content to improve your search ranking.
Enter a seed keyword related to your business, and it returns a list of related keywords, built out of the autofill feature that search engines use to complete queries. Though it will give you hundreds of results, Answer the Public does not tell you how popular your keywords are or how many other websites already use them.
Find Answer the Public here.
What it is: keyword research tool
How it works: LongTailPro is a more advanced keyword tool. With both cloud and downloaded versions, you can access it from anywhere. Like other keyword researchers, you can find long-tail keywords related to your seed keyword.
It also shows you how many people search for keywords as well as how many other sites compete for them, allowing you to optimize your website while avoiding competition. If you use pay-per-click advertising for your business, it advises you on the value of keywords before you bid on them.
Cost: Subscriptions start at $37 per month; many websites offer promo codes or free trials.
Find LongTailPro here.
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What it is: web browser extension
How it works: Grammarly serves as an independent editor for your content. It scans your writing for mistakes to ensure that the final product is as professional as possible. Once installed, it checks everything you write on your browser, including emails, blog posts, cloud documents and social media posts. It provides corrections and suggestions for grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage and other writing choices.
The Premium version checks for plagiarism and advanced vocabulary use.
Cost: The regular version is free; premium plans start at $11.66 per month.
Find Grammarly here.
What it is: design + photo editing software
How it works: Good design makes your online content more attractive to readers and more searchable for platforms like Pinterest. Canva is an online design application that can be used to create e-book covers, blog graphics, logos, document templates, letterhead, social media posts and more. You can choose from a variety of pre-made designs, customize a template or create your own. It includes a variety of graphics and icons, but you can also upload your own and edit photos within the program.
Cost: Free. Some graphics, templates and features require a payment to use.
Find Canva here.
5. Google Analytics
What it is: web analytics software
How it works: Google Analytics tracks your web traffic, allowing you to see where your customers are coming from, how long they stay, what they look at and more. This information can guide your content marketing efforts by showing you what content attracts visitors, how well your website is optimized for search and how to create an effective funnel to guide customers through your website.
Find Google Analytics here.
What it is: social media management tool
How it works: Buffer allows you to schedule social media posts in advance so you don't have to spend time every day on every social media account. You can link multiple accounts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
Once posts are scheduled, Buffer posts them automatically at the dates and times you have chosen. It also includes analytics so you can see how effective your schedule is or tweak it as necessary for better engagement.
Cost: Free for up to three social media accounts; paid plans start at $15 per month.
Find Buffer here.
7. Editorial Calendar
What it is: WordPress calendar plug-in
How it works: For content marketing to be effective, it needs to be organized and consistent. Editorial Calendar is a WordPress plug-in that creates a drag-and-drop calendar interface where you can schedule blog posts or rearrange them. You can also use it to quick-edit content and manage posts from multiple authors. It doesn't have any additional features, making it easy to set up and use.
Find Editorial Calendar here.
What it is: WordPress calendar plug-in + social media scheduler
How it works: CoSchedule combines a blog calendar and social media scheduler, allowing you to both plan and promote your blog content from one location. Once posts are written, the plug-in lets you assign them to various days, then drag and drop them to reschedule.
You can also link your social media accounts and plan social posts to promote each blog post. These can be moved when blog posts are rearranged. CoSchedule includes templates and analytics for social media posts.
Cost: Plans start at $20 per month with a two-week free trial.
Find Coschedule here.
What it is: lead generation software
How it works: Once your content marketing leads visitors to your website, you want to be able to get in touch with them again. This means you need to capture their email address. Leadpages allows you to create custom landing pages, pop-up boxes, registration pages and other spots where visitors can share their email address in exchange for whatever incentive you are offering.
Leadpages automatically sends new subscribers the incentive they signed up for. It also syncs with your email service provider so subscribers are added to your email list.
Cost: Plans start at $25 per month.
Find Leadpages here.