Gone are the days when marketing was all about creating billboard ads, TV ads, and radio spots. Back then, direct marketing messages were focused on convincing the consumer that they need what you’re selling.
But that has changed over the years, and marketers need to do much more to connect with consumers.
In today’s consumer-centric market, brands are defined by their unique story. Consumers want to know why they should choose your brand over your competitors. That’s where content marketing comes in. It’s through content that you get to tell your consumers the story behind your business and the unique value it offers.
However, great content won’t cut it on its own. You need the right content marketing tools to promote your brand. But with such tools highly priced, small companies and start-ups might struggle to cope.
So, how do you promote your brand without breaking the bank?
Top 7 Affordable Content Marketing Tools for Businesses
Here are the most affordable tools you can use to implement your content marketing strategy:
BuzzSumo was launched in 2012 and acquired by Brandwatch in 2017. It has three offerings, which include influencer discovery, content research, and monitoring.
The content research tool allows you to find out which types of content are most popular online. A quick search of the topic of your choice presents the most engaging content on that topic. The search results are aggregated based on the number of domains that link to the content, as well as user engagement on the various social platforms. You can also view backlinks for any webpage or domain for comparison purposes.
With this information, you can create content around topics that are already performing well. This will increase user engagement.
The influencer outreach tool combines content sharing analytics and influencer identification in one dashboard. It allows you to find the most influential people in your industry so you can use them to amplify your content marketing efforts.
The brand monitoring tool allows you to track your brand’s activity online. It alerts you when your brand is mentioned in articles, blog posts, and Facebook posts. It also shows you the most frequently asked questions about your brand in online platforms. Additionally, it identifies the people who share your content.
Evernote makes content creation easier by providing a better way to brainstorm for future articles and blog posts. With this tool, you can put your ideas and share notes with your team so you can collaborate and come up with the best possible content.
The beauty of Evernote is that it’s compatible with all devices. So if an idea crosses your mind while you’re far from your workstation, you can just save it on your smartphone and access it later. You can also access notes offline, sync them across devices, search for text or images captured earlier, annotate your images, and much more.
Simply put, Evernote is the king of content marketing organization. For that extra edge, you’ll want to combine it with Buzzsumo. That way, you’ll find ideas for your content using Buzzsumo, and organize them with Evernote before you start creating content.
One of the most important steps in creating a killer content marketing plan is researching your target audience. It helps you create buyer personas, which come in handy when creating content that’s tailored to your audience’s needs and pain points.
But while most guides include “know your audience” in their content marketing tips, very few tell you exactly how to conduct research on people you’re targeting. You can always learn one or two things about your audience by asking directly, but this won’t get you the most comprehensive information.
That’s why you need Typeform. This content marketing tool simplifies the process of audience surveying for both you and the target consumer. It allows you to collect information in a more interactive way by engaging your audience with conversational surveys and forms.
You can create your own templates for survey forms using the numerous design options, or use the provided templates. You can also use plain quizzes to collect information or add images and GIFs to bring out your brand’s tone.
And since it works on all devices, it’s easier for your audience to respond to your surveys.
Combining high-quality images with written content is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and lead generation. Many content marketers use Photoshop, but it isn’t always the cheapest method. Not to mention how long it takes to design high-quality images using professional software.
Fortunately, there are some free content marketing tools you can use to create appealing images. Canva is one such tool. The basic version is free, but you can always upgrade to the premium version to access more features.
With Canva, you get pre-built layouts and templates that make it easy to design appealing images. What’s more, the various layouts and templates offered are specifically designed to suit a particular social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
One of the main advantages of Canva is that it can be used by both experienced and newbie image creators. At the bare minimum, newbie image designers can use Canva to create eye-catching images for posting on social media platforms. For an experienced image creator, the tool creates a means to accelerate image creation efforts while keeping the content production team “on brand”.
To accurately convey your brand’s image through visual content, you’ll need to consider your brand’s identity when designing your images. Things like your company logo, typography, color palette, and supporting elements should be on your mind. All these elements need to be consistent with the unique brand signature you’ve created with existing content.
Curata allows you to find, curate, and share the most relevant content online. It offers a Content Marketing Platform (CMP) and a Content Curation Software (CCS).
The CCS grants you access to the most diverse selection of relevant content. Using authors, keywords, new sources, and shared or bookmarked content, Curata scours the web to display the most engaging content on your dashboard. From the dashboard, you can incorporate your brand voice, embed imagery, and plan. Even better, Curata’s proprietary learning engine boasts the ability to improve your search results by monitoring your search requirements and the type of content you share.
The CMP eliminates content blind spots. It offers a calendar that allows you to plan your content creation and sharing schedule across timelines, contributors, and channels. All this is achieved while observing optimal collaboration across calendars and emails.
The analytics feature allows you to find out what type of content performs best for each stage of the marketing funnel. With this information, you can gauge how much influence and monetary return was generated by a particular type of content. That way, you can optimize your authors’ and freelancers’ efforts with insights that allow you to match the best contributor to the task at hand.
Curata’s features are offered in four plans. These include the Introduction, Basic, Advanced, and Enterprise plans. For newbie Curata users, it’s advisable that you begin with the introduction or basic plans. While everything might look sophisticated at first, the learning curve is pretty gentle. With some dedication, you can make gains from this tool in your first week.
But like most content curation tools, you get what you give in terms of efforts and investment. For best results, use the tool on a daily basis. This will allow you to make the most of the learning engine and ensure that your content creation team fully adopts the CMP workflow. Otherwise, it’ll just be another overpriced searched engine in your arsenal.
SEMrush gives you the ability to discover the most profitable keywords in your niche while providing insights on what’s working for your competitors. It also provides technical and on-page SEO fixes, not to mention the recent addition of a social media scheduling tool, the Social Media Poster.
Signing up qualifies you for a 14-day free trial, which gives you a glimpse of the tool’s features and functionalities. The site audit tool allows you to perform a comprehensive diagnosis of your content marketing blog. From the diagnostics results, you can identify all the technical and on-page issues plaguing your site and fix them.
When analyzing your site, pay close attention to parameters such as top organic keywords, organic search positions, and the total backlink count.
SEMrush’s competitor analysis tool comes in handy when you want to analyze your competitors’ sites. When doing this, however, you’ll want to pay attention to metrics such as competition level, SE keywords, and common keywords. These metrics will help you identify your closest competitors so you can find ways to outrank them on search engines.
Formerly known as SEO Ideas, the On-Page SEO Checker is among SEMrush’s latest tools. This feature allows you to promptly find out whether your content is compliant with the various off-page and on-page SEO elements.
It checks your content for SEO elements such as the trustworthiness and reputation of your backlinks; relevance of your content; and the quality of things like the page title, H1 and H2 tags, and the meta description. After the analysis, the tool instantly gives you actionable SEO tips to fix the various pages.
Last but not least, we have the PPC Analysis feature. With this tool, you can track the keywords your competitors frequently use, their SERPs rankings, and even steal a peek at copies of their ads. This allows you to optimize your ads and landing pages for maximum effect.
Buffer is one of the content marketing solutions you can use to maximize your reach and impact. It comes with a social media scheduling tool that allows you to manage and track all your social accounts on a single platform. Whether you’re sharing your content through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, you can post to multiple social platforms without having to log into every account.
How to Make the Most of Content Marketing Tools
With these content marketing tools, your content marketing efforts can finally bear fruits. But since using multiple tools can be costly, you’ll want to focus on tools that offer a multitude of features. That way, you’ll get more value for your money. SEMrush, for instance, offers social media management, website diagnosis, and competitor analysis functionalities in one tool.
For more insights on how to market your brand through content marketing, check out our strategies and planning category page.
Which content marketing tool do you use?
Share with us on the comment section below!