47 Tools and Resources to Build a Ridiculously Powerful Content Marketing Stack
April 7, 2016 | Dan Trefethen
It’s hard to deny the advantages to having a solid marketing technology stack to enhance your content campaigns. Marketing technology provides new research methods, helps scale your content production, and allows you to better promote and measure your campaigns across many different channels throughout the funnel.
Because of these advantages, there’s been a tremendous boom in the martech landscape recently – some would even say to an overwhelming extent.
For a practically inexhaustible list of resource options that includes roughly 3500 different companies, check out the 2016 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic.
To make the resource browsing experience a bit more practical, we’ve whittled the content marketing technology stack down to a select, but powerful, bunch.
Below you’ll find a list of 47 different platforms, tools, and resources to consider for your marketing technology stack. All content creators and demand gen leaders will find some very useful options. The list includes resources that will help optimize your content campaigns from research through planning, and all the way to promotion and measurement.
The first step to content production is the research. If you’re just making content for content’s sake, guessing in the dark, you’ll probably have a lot of “miss” campaigns. On top of your specific buyer and customer research, you should always feel out the landscape where your content will live – you want it to thrive once released into the wild.
When using Google Drive for your drafts, you can conduct search engine research without leaving the bowser. Just select “Research” from the “Tools” menu.
An app that helps you pinpoint the content patterns in popular, highly shared social posts to create more engagement around your promotion. Also find stats on when and where to post certain subjects.
What content is getting a lot of action right now? Who’s producing it and where is it being promoted to? Buzzsumo can help you answer these important questions.
Among several tools in its arsenal, gShiftlabs can help you identify which keywords to focus on and build your content around for your specific industry areas.
Most content campaigns have a bunch of moving parts. Communicating these projects through email, spreadsheets, or with meeting after meeting can be clunky and ineffective.
More visual project management systems have started to become the norm, and thankfully so. Here are four dynamic and scalable platforms for planning and collaborating on your content campaigns. Trello is the freebie of the bunch, and is great for blog editorial calendars.
On to the fun part. But also, sometimes, the not-so-fun part. Content creation can be both a bringer of enjoyment or a bringer of headaches, especially for time-strapped marketers forced into a design responsibility.
Exhale happily, though, because there are some amazing resources available that make scaling content creation much easier and much more effective.
Design made quick and easy. I use Canva every day for creating header and body images, just like the ones you see on this blog. Also great for adding some flare to certain statistic displays without having to go full infographic.
A really powerful and intuitive video screen capture platform that allows you to easily edit your videos to zoom in on certain areas of the screen, add annotation, callouts, and voice over, among other options.
Why tell when you can show? Visually provides custom-made infographics that make your statistics pop. This is a great option for marketing teams strapped for graphic design resources.
A seemingly infinite library of stock photography to choose from. For a free resource of stock images, trystocksnap.io.
Want your content to survive the modern marketing noise? Turn it interactive in the form assessments, polls, quizzes, calculators, and interactive whitepapers and ebooks. Not only is SnapApp’s builder easy and fast, but the platform plugs into your marketing automation system, feeding it with powerful prospect data.
A landing page builder that’s great for testing out new layouts and lead form positioning. No need to start from scratch with over 200 landing page templates to try on.
A curation vehicle that allows you to tell stories in real time with live blogging, breaking news updates, and hashtag collections and results.
A content provider that connects marketing teams with skilled freelance writers to drive their brand with great storytelling. What makes Skyword stand out is their user-friendly platform where writers, editors, and campaign planners all collaborate together for on-point content.
A content provider that emphasizes growing revenue and leads with strong, scalable content production. Curata features powerful analytics that measures performance and sales pipeline impact
“Content management” can have a few different identities. It might mean a resource library, or it might mean a hub to pull in analytics, or it might mean your master planning platform where your whole marketing team collaborates.
How your current team process and stack operates determines what is a good fit for your content management. Each of the below platforms has slightly different traits that make them unique.
A strong resource library hub where content can be easily posted, organized, categorized, and viewed.
An all-in-one marketing platform for planning, research, curation, and measurement that focuses on data analysis and results.
An all-in-one content hub where whole teams can collaborate and execute in one digital space from planning to promotion.
A platform and service that creates, distributes, and optimizes content. Practically a one-stop shop for content production and campaign execution.
Outside of YouTube, more B2B-focused video marketing resources include the following:
Like content management platforms, marketing automation is a multifaceted and powerful component of a marketing tech stack. Here is where your whole database of prospects, leads, and current customers all live.
Use marketing automation to create buyer personas, house curated email lists, and score leads so you’re sending the right content to the right people at the right time. The key to an effective marketing automation system is its ability to work with your content and communicate to your other stack tools, so your database is always clean and up to date.
Without going into the different nuances and capabilities (which is a whole different blog, ebook, and white paper on its own), below are some of the leading systems that modern marketers should be using.
Having all the great content in the world is awesome, but you’ll drive little results if nobody knows about it. Given that your buyers and customers are scattered across different areas of the web including social media, but not limited to it, you need comprehensive resources that get your content in front of prospects beyond email lists.
Individual article promotion that gets your content in specific industry hubs and curated content lists.
36. Click To Tweet
A free resource to create links for quotes or images that automatically populate a person’s twitter message box, simplifying sharing to just one click.
Paid media resources for getting your content some screen time across the web, whether on social sites, or other popular publications and high-traffic areas.
Real-time social media search and analysis so you can see what industry topics are trending and where they coming from. Are they questions, blog mentions, or images? Your answer could influence the content format you promote.
Awesome posting and social management platforms that allow you to scale all your social promotion by scheduling, analyzing, listening, and collaborating across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, among others, include:
43. Sprout Social
Once your content campaign is finished, how did it do? What was a hit and what was a miss? How can it get better?
44. Google Analytics
Doesn’t get much better than a free tool with all the data you could want about your web performance including number of visitors, bounce rates, traffic source, and loads more.
Get content performance insights on your content as well as your competitors across key channels. A great way to identify your position in the market space, and set goals to improve it.
A powerful testing and optimizing tool that measures the performances of your webpages, including Heat Maps to see where your customers are looking.
Another great testing and optimizing tool for your website. See which areas of your site are converting the best and which are not, and then test, test, test. Continual, incremental changes can have huge impacts over time.
Where Will You Invest?
The resources and platforms listed above are not a collect-them-all-and-win type of action. Some of the resources are free, some are not. Some of the platforms have similar functions with nuanced advantages and disadvantages that are subjective to your organization. The key is to really evaluate what your marketing goals are how using technology can help achieve them.
Identify pain points in your marketing processes and employee the above resources to scale your production, delivery, and measurement. Always ask yourself, “I have these goals, and these roadblocks, how will this platform or tool get me past the roadblocks?”
Which tools are your favorites? What did we leave off? Share them in the comments! While you’re at, give your content stack a look in the mirror. Maybe it’s time to make your content interactive.