Have you locked and loaded an ambitious content marketing strategy, only to find you need help pulling the trigger? While it’s understandable to think that you need more writers, more videographers, and more designers to make a bang in an already noisy space, it’s not the only answer.
With so much to do and so little time to do it in, creating regular value-adding content that offers a substantial ROI is a significant challenge. However, if you task your team with creating, executing, and measuring a great content marketing strategy without the tools they need, then you’re going to fall flat—it’s kind of like bungee jumping without the cord.
Luckily, there are lots of solutions out there. We’ve already shared our favorite cloud-based tools with you, but for the content-focused and budget-conscious, here are five free content marketing tools that solve five massive pain points.
“I don’t know what to write about”
Writer's block—am I right? No matter how many years you’ve been blogging, how many content calendars you’ve completed, or how well you know your topic, we all run a little inspirationally dry from time to time. The frustrating thing is, the harder you try to get those creative juices flowing, the more stubborn your brain becomes. That's where HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator comes in handy. Just fill in the fields with terms that you’d like to write about and you’ll have five ideas for blog posts in mere seconds.
“I need good visuals”
Here are some interesting visual-related stats for you:
- 4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it
- BuzzSumo found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images
- Publishing a video on a landing page can increase conversion rate by up to 80%
I could go on, but to summarize, I’ll just say that when it comes to content marketing, imagery is powerful! Today’s consumers scan multiple pages on multiple devices, and it’s the eye-catching visuals you pair with your words that will lure them, and their attention, in. Unsplash is a great place to source stunning images, but if you want to up your video game, Biteable is a wonderful tool. Thanks to hundreds of templates, visual styles, animation scenes and live action videos to choose from, you can create amazing results even without a filmmaking degree.
“No one is opening my emails”
So, you’ve written or collected some great copy, sourced some stunning images and proudly sent your newsletter, only to find the open rate is not what you hoped. Don’t let the disappointment discourage you. 80% of people don’t read past the email subject line, which means by writing an attention-grabbing headline, the chance of your audience actually engaging with your newsletter will drastically improve.
EpicBeat can help you write compelling subject lines by displaying top performing content based on a certain subject—so you can see what works best with consumers in your market and give them what they’re looking for.
“I'm not sure if this content is working”
Great content is a powerful demand generation tool, yet it can be difficult to know whether the whitepapers, videos and infographics you invest so much time into are actually converting. A sales funnel can help —this shows the journey that audiences take before they turn into leads, and how leads become customers. It's rewarding to have the results visualized in such a way, and knowing what's working and what's not is invaluable for planning your content marketing strategy.
You could spend hours building a funnel from scratch, or you can use ClickFunnels' easy drag-and-drop functionality and pre-designed templates, which are created based on what has actually worked in the past for other brands.
“I don’t have time to share this on all our social channels”
How does your social media strategy look? Are you guilty of just publishing or promoting content on social channels only briefly (if at all), before moving on to the next piece? The distribution of your content on social channels can make or break the “viral” barrier, but you’re not going to make a huge impact if you don’t plan a schedule that aims for maximum coverage.
World-leading social media management tool Hootsuite is a great option for savvy marketers who look after numerous social accounts. Whether you're posting to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can plan multiple posts and queue them up in advance, leaving you more time and energy to create extra killer content. The functionality goes far beyond scheduling, too.
As an added bonus, Hootsuite now integrates with digital asset management software Bynder The integration connects the Hootsuite dashboard with a brand’s digital assets stored in Bynder, enabling users to instantly access creative files for social without the need to download, resize and re-upload each asset.