9 Content Marketing Tools for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses


Editor’s note: this article was updated for quality and freshness in August 2021.

If you run a small business, you likely don’t have the budget for a big-time content marketing strategy. That puts you in charge. And in addition to handling accounting, admin, leadership, data, and everything else you’ve dabbled in today, you probably don’t have a lot of time to dial up a great content marketing strategy.

Yet you do—and should—want effective content marketing working for you. Without one, you’re on the losing end of a battle with other companies. Especially when 78% of those companies have a content marketing team of up to three people. 

To compete with that, you need tools on your side. That’s why we’ve updated our list of nine essential content marketing tools every entrepreneur should keep bookmarked:

Top Content Marketing Tools:

1. Keyword.io

Keyword.io was on our original list, and for good reason: it’s the perfect free tool for getting your feet wet with keyword research.

There will be a hurdle or two. Expect to sign up for a free account before you can do some tinkering. And it may take some adjustment before you learn how to compare keywords against each other to generate insights into search engine behavior.

Once you get used to the idea of performing keyword research to generate content, you might want to upgrade to something more robust, like Moz.

2. Canva

It never hurts to include visual elements with your content. Canva remains one of the most potent tools for creating quick, attractive visual elements without a degree in graphic design. Here you can work from templates to create ads, charts, social media images, and more. Just one caveat: it’s a little bit too fun for its own good.

3. Campaign Monitor

Sound familiar? As far as email marketing and automation tools go it’s a fast and effective way to get started. And one thing is clear: you need an email platform in place. Opt-in email lists aren’t only one of the most effective ways to market to your loyal customers, but they’re easier than ever to create.

Campaign Monitor’s tools let you create personalized campaigns and powerful customer journeys. Every customer will feel like a unique consideration, even if you’ve only taken the time to set up the campaign itself. 

4. Evernote

Ever wonder how the best content seems to cull together all sorts of interesting tidbits and information? It might be that the writers and researchers are using a program like Evernote.

Evernote is a fast way to take notes from anything you see online that might be worth a mention in your latest content. You can clip quotes from the web, add your thoughts with “Rich notes,” and even add annotations to research-heavy PDFs with Evernote’s premium version.

5. Followerwonk

If you have a large Twitter following but your posts don’t seem to create much engagement, you might need more insights. Follerwonk is the exact remedy. It analyzes your social media following to see what they’re interested in, helping you zero in on the topics that are more likely to generate serious engagement.

The larger a following you have, the more useful it will be, but everyone should take some time out to consider what their readers most care about.

6. Trello

When it seemed like the entire world went remote in 2020, one thing was clear: we needed effective ways to manage our professional lives. Trello is an essential tool in this department. Its workspace and project management tools let you view an entire workflow from beginning to end, even when you’re managing multiple people.

Creating an assignment in a “card” automatically updates everyone invited to the card. Think of it as a way to keep everyone connected to the same assignments without having the feeling of herding cats.

7. CoSchedule

Content marketing, like comedy, is about timing. It wouldn’t do well if you published an epic “The Ultimate Guide to Widgets, Part II” post before the “Part I” came out.

CoSchedule is a centralized calendar and planning tool that lets you view your entire content strategy like a general planning a campaign. It’s also easy to integrate multiple team members if you need contributions from writers and editors who are part of the content pipeline.

8. Grammarly

Not sure if it’s “Its” or “It’s”? Not sure if you accidentally typed “your” when you meant “you’re”? You don’t know whether one spelling error or grammatical mistake might take away the credibility of the brilliant points you’re making.

You don’t have to have an editor behind you, carefully scanning your every word. Grammarly picks up on all sorts of snafus automatically. And its premium version even helps scan for clarity issues which, once replaced, can spruce up your content. 

9. Scoop.it

The art of content marketing often comes down to this: how interesting are you? Scoop.it helps you cull together some of the most interesting content to curate on the web. This, in turn, makes your own content marketing presence a must-follow.

You can research and publish curated content with Scoop.it in a hurry, which also means you’ll be spending less time on your content marketing and more time enjoying the increased attention.

Wrap up

Content marketing can feel hard. But it doesn’t have to. There are plenty of low-cost (and even free) tools that will help you get in touch with exactly the kind of content your audience wants.

Using these nine tools, there’s no reason you can’t build an engaging presence that automatically draws people’s interest. Ultimately, it’s the kind of approach that leads to an easier work week and much more business growth.

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