Consumers generally hate any type of content whose sole purpose is to market a product. In fact, about 74% of consumers surveyed indicated that they experienced too many ads on a day-to-day basis. This is a reality that many brands and content marketers are increasingly becoming aware of, which increases the need to get creative and experimental about content marketing.
The fact that content marketing can produce excellent results can’t be disputed. Unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders than those who are lagging behind in this area. What is still a challenge for many is how to develop a content marketing strategy that will result in your team reaping the benefits of interactive content.
In this article, I introduce some of the best content marketing software products you can use to help your marketing team with managing workflows, content production, posting automation, template selection, social media management, and running effective email marketing campaigns.
At the end of this piece, I have a brief FAQ to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about content marketing software.
The Best Content Marketing Software
Here’s a shortlist of the best content marketing tools:
Content Marketing Platform Comparison Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best content management software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Any content marketing software should have a UI that makes their specialty/key features uber accessible right off the bat. For example, content optimization tools and content creation tools should prioritize their most relevant components (i.e., SEO/keyword research vs. publishing/grammar help, respectively).
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? I expect software that scores well on usability to make your content marketing efforts easy when creating content for large contact lists, targeted email campaigns, and social media activities.
- Integrations: Is the software easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? In this case, I look for content curation software that integrates tools capable of connecting the entire marketing team, including project management, freelancers, and influencers, in real time. Integrations connect important components, and that ensures the story coming from your brand is coherent, which ultimately results in quality content.
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is the pricing clear, transparent, and flexible? I believe that the developers of a content marketing tool should show how the product will translate to benefits matching the cost. In this case, I am looking at how the tool will help me attain tangible benefits like creating content leading to better lead generation, attracting more eyes to my landing pages through an effective content calendar, and ranking higher on search engines.
Content Marketing Solutions: Key Features
When I look at content marketing software, these are the seven important features I look for:
- Content creation: Producing quality content is not easy. Therefore, a good content management tool needs to bring the whole digital marketing team together so that a created piece of content results from the inputs of all team members involved.
- SEO tools: Getting search engine optimization right should be the primary goal of a content marketing team. Content marketing software with excellent SEO tools makes it easier to determine the keywords your target audience is searching for.
- Workflow automation: Automation ensures that there are no missed steps in your content development efforts. This feature is especially crucial when dealing with the content calendar and social media platforms.
- Analytics and tracking: Whether you are involved in creating content for social media marketing or running a website, you always want to know how your content is performing. Analytics tools are important to me as they help me determine what is working and what is not.
- Email management: Emails are an essential tool in your brand awareness efforts. Content marketing software should allow you to streamline the distribution of your created content through personalized emails.
- CRM integration: If done well, your content marketing will begin to generate leads. Therefore, you need software that automatically collects the data and conversations into a central repository where different teams can access the information they need and take the process forward until the prospect becomes a customer.
- Social media marketing: A good content marketing tool should bring all your social media digital assets together so that you don’t have to log on to different social media platforms to create posts for your social media platforms.
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Overview Of The 10 Best Content Marketing Software
Here’s a brief description of each content marketing software to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.
Some noteworthy features and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.
1. Buffer – Best content creation tool for small businesses
Buffer is mainly designed for small businesses that want to drive engagement using social media. The software designers created a simple tool that connects those who generate content with those responsible for approving it. The tool allows you to create content and post it on several social media sites simultaneously.
This tool is on my best content marketing software list because of its array of features. The tool covers content marketing extensively, from planning, through its Stories and Hashtag Planner features, to Post Analytics and Custom reports that help you understand the results of your content marketing efforts.
Buffer integrates with WordPress, Microsoft, Feedly, Pocket, CrowdRiff, Scoup.it, Paper.li, CoSchedule, Quuu, Upflow, RiteKit, Bulk.ly, Nelio Content, Pixlee, Gather, SocialBee, Hiplay, HayOrca, CloudCampaign, Design Huddle, PicMonkey, Planable, Cronycle, Evergreen Content Post, and Gain. Plus, you can use a paid plan through Zapier or automate.io to access hundreds more integration options.
Buffer costs from $15/month for eight social channels and one user. The free plan allows up to three social channels and one user.
2. Semrush – Best for SEO and competitor research
Semrush is an excellent tool for teams that want to focus on SEO and analyze what is working for the competition. The designers of the tool promise that their SEO expertise is based on 20 billion keywords, 310 million ads, and 17 billion URLs crawled daily. This data gives you real-time recommendations on improving your marketing process.
One of the features that put Semrush on many top content marketing software lists is that it also includes link building. Added to the fact that the tool delivers technical audits, keyword research, and competition spying, it is also important to say that the tool provides anyone who uses it with a complete suite for managing SEO. These are useful features for any team that wants to rank high on search engines.
Semrush integrates with all Google products, major social media networks, WordPress, Trello, Majestic, and hundreds of other options with a paid Zapier plan.
Semrush costs from $119.95/team/month. It also offers a free account with limited features.
3. Hootsuite – Best for automating social media posts
Hootsuite is designed to assist users in saving time when managing social media content creation conversations. This tool will assist you in following the conversations on social media, inform you when your brand has been mentioned, and give you an idea of how your posts are doing. Moreover, when using Hootsuite, all your image assets can be accessed from the Hootsuite dashboard, ensuring that everything you need to create a post is in one place.
Hootsuite’s freemium plan is among the features making this tool is one of the best software packages for content marketing. This plan offers many more options compared with similar plans from other companies. The calendar-based content planner also helps you see everything from a bird’s-eye view, making it easier to identify content gaps.
Hootsuite integrates with more than 200 applications, including Brandwatch, Google, Microsoft Proofpoint, and Tint.
Hootsuite costs from $19/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial on each plan.
4. monday – Best for templates for organizing content production
Content marketing can be confusing where teams are unable to visualize the connection between different types of content. This is a challenge that monday.com solves with its content management templates. The templates allow you to use different labels and colors to organize your workflows by assigned writer, content type, client, or deadline.
One of the top features that make monday a good content management tool is its simple interface. The tool is designed to turn email notifications into prioritized tasks. The Board feature provides a fully customizable table where team members can get an idea of the progress others have made regarding a specific part of the ideation, creation, or analysis process.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible through a paid plan with Zapier.
Monday costs from $8/user/month and offers a free forever plan for up to two seats.
5. Hive for Marketers – Best for estimating and tracking resources and time spent creating content
Managers and other decision-makers expect tangible results from their organization’s content marketing efforts. Hive for Marketers has created this tool to make it easier to estimate and track resources spent on a content marketing project. This helps teams defend their work by showing the resources they have used, and the changes realized due to using such resources.
One of the great features of Hive for Marketers is that it allows task owners to create projects from their sub-tasks. The tool also allows teams to add external users without paying additional fees. This is an essential feature if you want clients to easily see the status of their projects from your project management tool.
Hive integrates with over a thousand third-party apps but requires a paid plan through Zapier to do so.
Hive for Marketers costs from $12/user/month and offers a free trial lasting 14 days.
6. Integrate – Best for B2B content marketers
The creators of Integrate realize that B2B content marketing is more challenging than B2C content marketing. This is why they have created a tool that helps content marketing teams identify compliant leads in a B2B setting. This ensures that teams do not waste time creating content for and interacting with leads that lead to a dead end.
Integrate deserves a spot among the best content management software mainly because of its excellent customer support team. Moreover, the tool makes it easy to view an audience’s demographic breakdown, giving you an idea of the location and job titles of the people interacting with your content, which helps you understand your audience better.
Integrate integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Bombora, and Marketo, among others.
You can request a demo to test the Integrate Demand Acceleration Platform and learn more about pricing.
7. Funnel – Best for managing content marketing data in a single place
All the data your company accumulates will have little value if not properly managed and used to make informed decisions. Funnel helps teams bring their data to a central repository where it is easier to better organize and understand the accumulated data. The tool makes it easy to create reports from the analyzed data.
The main reason Funnel belongs in this list is that it allows content marketers to handle data from a broad array of sources without the need to code. Coding can be a time-consuming task. Also, the tool’s ability to create custom metrics using all the data it collects from various sources reduces the potential for mistakes in reports.
Funnel integrates with more than 500 data sources, including HubSpot, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google AdSense.
Funnel costs from $399/month (billed annually) and comes with a free demo and free trial.
8. Ceros – Best for teams that want to manage most content creation in-house
The developers of Ceros indicate that when they created this software, they were aware that some companies do not have adequate budgets to use the services of marketing agencies. Consequently, this SaaS solution is designed to ensure that most of your content marketing tasks can be completed in-house.
Ceros has made it into my top list of content marketing tools because it seeks to serve a niche within the content marketing space: creating landing pages. In most companies, you will find that Ceros is used by the graphic design teams that often find its drag-and-drop design platform pretty useful.
Ceros integrates with WordPress, Adobe Illustrator, MailChimp, Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing Hub, HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, Zapier, Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter, Marketo Engage, Act-On, Skyword, and Oracle Eloqua.
You will need to contact Ceros to get an idea of the software’s pricing plans.
9. Pixlee – Best for teams working with influencers
Pixlee helps marketing teams manage content created by influencers, private social media accounts, and customers. One of the reasons traditional advertising is being overtaken by content marketing is that people generally believe things said by those they trust instead of big brands. Managing influencers has become increasingly important for marketers who want to get their content to as many people as possible.
Pixlee deserves a spot on the best content marketing software list because it can save teams a lot of time and money. The tool achieves this by making it easier to source content, request permission to use content, and use content generated by users and other private individuals. This software will assist your team in getting authentic content that resonates with your audiences because it is those audiences that create it.
Pixlee integrates with Salesforce, BigCommerce, Shopify, MailChimp, and WordPress, among others.
You will need to contact Pixlee and request a demo to get an idea of the software’s pricing plans.
10. Dot – Best for creating interactive content
Dot.vu is designed to help content marketers implement interactive experiences. If your customers are to remember your brand, interactive experiences will play a huge role. From these interactive experiences, the software helps you collect insights that enable you to improve your content while also keeping your audiences interacting with your content for longer.
Dot.vu is an excellent tool because it is one of the most uncomplicated interactive content generating tools you will find in the market today. It comes with over 100 templates where you can select an experience, customize it to your brand, configure data collection, publish and embed content, and analyze performance.
Dot.vu does not list specific integrations on their site but they do promise social integrations and other connections if you are on their advanced or pro accounts.
Dot.vu costs from $450/user/month, and you can book a free demo on the company’s website.
Other Content Marketing App Options
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- Wrike – Best for managing constantly changing content
- Foleon – Best for targeting customers in the early stages of the customer journey
- Trello – Best for teams looking for a free software solution with great features
- Sprinklr – Best for creating content targeted at the sales phase of the customer journey
- Falcon.io – Best for merging social data with CRM
- Spott – Best for getting audiences engaged in the content creation process
- ClearVoice – Best for managing freelance content teams
- MyAdBox – Best for automotive industry content creators
- Blogely – Best for market research to make informed content marketing decisions
- Issuu – Best for automating content marketing
- Ion by Rock Content – Best for teams that want added services
- Facelift Cloud – Best for social listening
- Topic – Best for creating content briefs
- Readable – Best for testing readability
- Wordtune – Best for improving content quality
- OrchestraCMS – Best for organizing thoughts and turning them into content
- Paperflite – Best for creating content for customer-facing teams
- Contently – Best enterprise content creation grid
- BuzzSumo – Best for IDing influencers in your niche
- Curata – Best to curate & share 3rd-party content
- Kapost – Best to align marketing with sales teams
- ContentStudio – Best content marketing for startups
Content Marketing: FAQ
I’ve answered a few frequently asked questions about content marketing and content marketing programs below. Take a look.
What is content marketing software?
To get a better idea of what content marketing software is, let’s start by defining content marketing.
There is no better place to find a definition of content marketing than the Content Marketing Institute. It says, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Based on the definition above, we can define content marketing software as a program or operating information a computer uses to manage the content creation process or parts of the process from the beginning to the end.
Content marketing software is sometimes referred to as a content marketing platform (CMP).
Some of the tasks that can be accomplished using content marketing software include planning the content calendar, raising brand awareness, collecting data, and generating reports.
Why is content marketing important?
To build a loyal customer base, you will need to manage the entire customer journey. This involves assisting customers in making informed decisions about what they eventually purchase. To successfully achieve this, you will need helpful content that answers customer questions and solve their problems.
The HubSpot blog indicates why content marketing is essential. It says, “Content marketing is important because it answers your audience’s questions. With content marketing, you can build trust with your audience, improve conversions, connect with customers, and generate leads.” Adding, “And, in today’s age, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favorite brands.”
What is a content marketing example?
Some of the best content marketing examples are blogs or YouTube channels managed by brands. For a resource to be a compelling content marketing example, it should not just focus on selling a product but also on providing genuine content that leaves an individual saying, “Oh, I didn’t know that.”
Social media profiles that provide content resonating with followers are also great examples of content marketing.
What Do You Think About These Content Marketing Solutions?
Have you used any of the content marketing software we have listed here or others we haven’t mentioned? If so, let us know about your experiences in the comments section.
For more insights into issues related to content marketing, visit the Indie Media Club Blog.