Content marketing is a juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing down. Marketers are constantly creating more content and finding new avenues to share it with potential customers.
But this never-ending flow of content creation can often be exhausting, not to mention a drain on the imagination. How can marketers effectively maintain the high levels of creativity that is demanded by consumers? All while still managing their time efficiently and fulfilling their sales pipeline?
By using the right content marketing tools. We live in an age of automation and it only makes sense for marketers to use automation tools to improve the quantity and efficiency of their content. Here’s a fresh look at some useful tools that startups can use to improve their online marketing.
Here are free content marketing tools to take your marketing to the next level:
Creating presentations is part and parcel of corporate life—whether you are presenting to clients, stakeholders, consumers, or internally to team members, a great presentation can make or break a deal.
But creating presentations on PowerPoint are no longer enough to attract an audience—they are too cookie-cutter and formulaic. Marketers need to be innovative and creative, which is why a tool like Venngage is so necessary.
Venngage offers an extensive library of presentation templates, all of which are attractive and unique. These templates can be customized extensively or used as is, depending on your needs.
As a marketer, I know how useful it is to have access to templates—it saves me time and energy that would otherwise have been spent creating presentation designs to keep my audience engaged.
Instead, I can choose from the assortment of designs on offer, and add in elements, or swap out the items that I don’t need. Though Venngage does have a premium and business plan, its free plan also offers a number of presentation templates that marketers can use.
And the great thing about these creative presentation templates is that they can eventually be converted into more with the eBook creator to repurpose the existing content for new audiences.
An aspect of modern content marketing is how spread-out marketing teams actually are. Within a single team, you can have members in several locations and time zones.
How can a content team keep their communication lines open in such instances? By using a chat tool that brings people together even when they are far away.
Chanty is a team chat tool that has a simple user interface and is easy to use. Think Slack, but smarter and simpler.
For small and medium businesses, Chanty is a great way for teams to keep in touch—the free version of the software allows up to 10 members of a team to collaborate.
With the free version, you can enjoy public and private conversations, unlimited searchable history (which is not available in many of Chanty’s competitors), audio calls and voice messages, as well as file storage, and task management.
That is a lot in a free package, which is what makes Chanty such a great tool for content marketing teams to communicate and organize their projects.
Internet consumers hold little store by stock photos. They have been used so extensively by marketers and advertisers that most people can now spot them from afar.
But it really depends on the kind of stock photos you use. The usual flat-lays and generic images of desks have become passe—marketers need to look for something creative.
And Unsplash is the answer. The site offers over one million beautiful, royalty-free images shot by professionals and amateurs alike.
These images are one-of-a-kind and showcase the keen eye of the photographers who have freely shared their time and creativity with others.
For marketers looking for unique photos to use as blog headers or to accompany social media posts, Unsplash’s library is just what the photographer ordered.
Content marketers are constantly writing—blogs, social media posts, whitepapers, emails, and presentations, to name a few. Deadlines for all of these writing tasks seem to catch up with marketers far too quickly. And that is when the errors start to creep into people’s writing.
As a writer, I have found that when I am stressed or have a deadline looming too close, even when I revise, I tend to miss obvious mistakes. Unfortunately, marketers rarely have the time to send their work to be looked over by an external party.
But what if there was someone, or rather, something that was checking your work while you wrote? The Grammarly Chrome extension does just that—add it to your Google Chrome browser for free and get real-time updates on your writing.
The extension essentially turns your browser into a word processor so you don’t need to second guess your writing or revise it multiple times before finalizing your written material.
There are also some paid content marketing tools that are very useful:
Social media looks like it happens in real-time, but marketers know that the majority of posts from business accounts have been scheduled in advance. There has been a great deal of discussion about which social media scheduler is the best—and there are several to choose from.
But when it comes to affordability, the number of features, and ease of use, you can’t do better than Kontentino. As a social media management tool, Kontentino offers numerous convenient features, is easy to use, and is one of the up and coming social media automation tools around.
Kontentino offers manual scheduling, as well as the option to create a pre-decided schedule, and bulk scheduling. The system is integrated with Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google My Business.
You can also create reports, manage teams and clients, and the content calendar is easy to view and use. For convenience and quality, Kontentino will make your social media scheduling an easier and efficient process.
Content marketing is ever-changing, and one of the chief ways it has adapted over the years is in link building. Whereas earlier, your content had to do fairly little to get on Google’s radar, now you need to create strong, and reliable links if you want to appear anywhere near Google’s sought-after first page.
But reaching out to potential collaborators can be an onerous task. Even when you have hundreds of contacts, sending emails manually to all of them could take you days. Moosend makes the link building process so much easier. The site offers numerous customizable templates that are built into the system.
All you need to do is upload your contact data and the system will pull in information according to the merge fields you have entered. You can then schedule the messages to be sent at particular times, as well as follow-up emails, all of which can be monitored and reported.
As a lead generation and link building tool, Moosend has much to offer marketers and is also easy to use.
Video marketing is set to become the major content resource for marketers in the very near future. But creating videos continues to prove challenging for most small businesses. Making high-quality videos has been in the domain of large organizations with deep pockets, but with a tool like Biteable, even smaller companies can enjoy a piece of the video pie.
Biteable automatically arranges data and visuals into a template of your choosing. You can also upload videos and trim, crop, or merge them before exporting. Biteable has a free version, it has a limit of 10 video projects, but they are watermarked. The paid versions offer a variety of features—such as exclusive content, support, custom watermarks, and video uploads.
The simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to use, even without editing experience, and the assets available to you will ensure that your videos get consistently better impressions.
If there is one thing people love on social media, it is contests. Internet users love winning things, but with the number of contests available, yours need to be creative to get attention. Wishpond has a variety of social media contests that will help grow your following and boost your social media impressions.
The variety of contests they offer include sweepstakes, photo contests, hashtag contests, polls, referrals, among others. With Wishpond, you can create stunning landing pages that can be viewed on multiple devices, for your contests.
These pages are guaranteed to encourage your followers to not only enter the contests but also to share them with their friends. For small businesses trying to build a following, Wishpond’s attractive social media contests incentivize consumers to follow and share, which boosts your lead generation prospects.
Getting featured on high-level media outlets like Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and all of the top outlets are what dreams are made of for content marketers and founders. But, PR agencies charge ridiculously high retainers (typically out of budget for startups), don’t guarantee results, and getting placed seems like an impossible feat.
Thankfully, the techies at Press Hunt have created a product that levels the playing field for content marketers, founders and agencies. Their feature set is pretty robust including outreach automation, alerts and a real-time database of source requests with direct contact info and search filters that is updated hourly.
Press Hunt has a massive contact database of 200k+ podcasts, which is an incredible way to get your content shared. The software contains a dynamic media database of 600k+ journalists, that cover all types of topics from tech to marketing, science, health, finance and dozens of other topics.
You can check out a free trial dashboard, here, to play with most of their features (with premium data redacted until you subscribe). For startups, founders and agencies looking to grow their awareness and engagement, Press Hunt is a useful and effective tool.
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.