Content marketing works, but it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. In fact, it often feels like you’re spinning inside a tornado.
Not just that. It’s not that easy to automate either, at least not to the same extent as other parts of your business.
Still, there are many tools, templates, and other content marketing resources you can use to organize your efforts and make them more efficient. The best part? A lot of them are free.
We’ve compiled them below to help you plan, create, and optimize your content for the best results. Let’s get started.
Resources to know your audience
Working on your content marketing plan without understanding your customers is a sure-shot way to fail. But with a detailed buyer persona, you are more likely to succeed because you’ll know exactly what content to create and how to reach your target market.
Make My Persona by Hubspot
This resource by Hubspot lets you get essential guidance on a customer persona and make one for your business online. Once you have created a persona, you can also download it for sharing with others in your team.
Mind the Gap – ebook by BPI
While the Hubspot resource is ideal for beginners, this ebook is one of the best content marketing resources to help you take your understanding of prospects to the next level. You’ll learn about your buyers, gaps in the market, how to make your product better, and more with this guide.
Buyer persona example
If you have never seen a customer persona before, it may help to look at an example for reference. That’s where this resource comes in. It shows you a detailed example with a full analysis for better comprehension.
Resources to research and plan content
Use the following content marketing resources to set content goals and build your strategy for the upcoming quarters.
Copywriting worksheets by CopyHackers
If you’re creating landing page content or sales copies, then this resource is excellent for you. It has several checklists and worksheets to help optimize headlines, calls to action, unique propositions, and your overall narrative.
Editorial calendar template
Creating a strategic content calendar can be challenging. But you can save precious time and headaches with a readymade template. So download this content calendar template, fill in your topics for the future, and share it with your team members to start on the right foot.
Blog post topic generator
Looking to get new angles or titles for your upcoming content pieces? Then HubSpot’s blog topic generator can come in handy. Once you enter a topic, it will generate almost a week’s worth of content ideas for you to produce.
Resources to write content
The following content marketing resources help you create content that engages your audience. And to do it fast.
Website copywriting course by CXL
Many people think of copywriting as a fancy thing that only professionals working in advertising and marketing agencies do. But the truth is that you must learn to craft compelling copy for any kind of content. So take this copywriting course to knock the park out of your marketing goals.
You can easily use the free plan of Evernote on a daily basis. It helps you with every step of the writing process, from checklists and note-taking to drafting and storage.
You can use it to keep a track of your ideas in a safe place, collect information, and even plan your future content creation.
Hubspot’s blog post templates
There are different types of blog posts you’ll need to create based on the needs of your business and your customers. But creating each one from scratch can take a lot of time. These blog post templates can help you through outlining and writing blog posts such as how-to guides, listicles, curation of resources, and more.
Resources to edit and optimize content
The first draft is never perfect. You’ll need to make it better. And that’s where the following content marketing resources come in.
Who’s more effective – human editors or grammar checkers like Grammarly? While that’s debatable, we recommend using both. There are certain errors that only a human can find, just like like there are some that may look over. So Grammarly is a great option to double-check your work before you publish.
How long should a blog post be? As with most things in marketing, it depends. The key is making sure that the length is enough to fulfill the purpose of the article. Still, you’d often need to check your content’s word count. So paste it in WordCounter, and it’ll show you how many words it has so far.
No matter what you write about, your content should be easy to read for a majority of your audience. And this free web app is great at detecting the readability of your content and giving suggestions to simplify it. Ideally, try to aim for a reading level lower than 8th grade.
CoSchedule headline analyzer
The first thing people see about your piece is its headline. So it better be good enough to entice them. The free tool Headline Analyzer checks how great your headline is and assesses its ability to drive engagement.
Resources to create and edit visual content
People find visuals to be more interesting than plain text. So even if you’re writing articles and blog posts, try to add images after every few paragraphs to give a mental break. And the following content marketing resources will help you do the same.
The easiest way to spice up your content with pictures is to add screenshots. And this chrome extension makes it easy. With Nimbus Screenshot, you can capture a selected potion, the visible part, or the entire page you’re viewing in your web browser.
That’s not all. You can also crop it and annotate it with elements like text, arrows, and geometric shapes. And you can print, copy to the clipboard, or save the image to your device.
If you want to create beautiful photos without any formal design training or experience, you are going to love Canva. This beginner-friendly graphic design tool comes with hundreds of pre-made templates and free assets for all types of design needs.
If you’re looking to make a photo or infographic clickable, ThingLink is the tool for you. Just upload your picture and you can add small icons which will appear when someone hovers over the image. And these icons can be linked to websites, videos, and custom messages.
Skitch is a free resource by Evernote. With Skitch, you can mark up pictures, PDF files, and other digital assets for more visual communication. The available markup options are arrows, text, and callout boxes.
While Canva lets you create all types of visual material, Infogram specializes in charts, infographics, and other data visualizations. Even if you make charts with Microsoft Excel, you can easily bring them into Infogram Charts.
PlaceIt is great for creating mockups. When you upload an image, you can see it in real-world environments like someone holding a phone with that image. Plus, this tool will automatically align the image with the best angle of a phone’s screen.
Resources to publish content
No matter what content publishing tool you use, it’s not necessarily where the content is created. Chances are you and your team write content on Google Docs or MS Word and once approved, move it to WordPress or another CMS. So the following content marketing tools can help streamline the process.
Wordable helps you save time and make your publishing workflows more efficient. Google Docs is great for writing content. But when it’s time to publish, transferring that content to your CMS can be a real pain. That’s where Wordable fills the gap. It lets you export your content to WordPress, Hubspot, or Medium in just a few clicks. And you can make up to 5 exports per month for free.
When you copy your content from Microsoft Office or Google Docs and paste it into your CMS, you can get a lot of undesired formatting and HTML code. So if Wordable’s five free exports per month are not enough for you, then this simple tool is your next best choice. Word2CleanHTML fixes your HTML and makes it ready to be pasted directly into your CMS.
Resources to promote/distribute content
Even the best content will not get you any traffic or leads if you’re not promoting it adequately. So make sure to use the content marketing resources below.
Mailerlite is the best solution for small businesses just beginning to implement email marketing. If you want to send targeted messages to a small list, Mailerlite is free for up to 1000 contacts.
Quora is a platform where people post questions and answer questions posted by other members. You can use it to build an audience and then gently direct them to your content through detailed answers.
Viral Content Bee
This platform lets you get free social media shares for your content from real and active people in your niche. The more you share other people’s content on your social media channels, the more credits you earn to have them share yours.
Flipboard is one of the top content discovery platforms. How does it help with promotion? Through Flipboard Magazines. By creating collections of articles on specific topics and including your own posts in the mix, you can make your content more visible to your target audience.
Final thoughts on content marketing resources
The tools covered above can help you create content assets. But it’s on you to ensure that your content is engaging and useful.
The more you know your audience, the better you can address their pain points through your content. And the more trust and loyalty your will build for your brand. So start using these content marketing resources right away.
Did we miss anything? Did you try these tools? Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.