Marketing is about communicating brand, call to action, and unique selling points to customers. Whether it's business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C), the content of your communications needs to be clear and targeted.
In the old days this could be as simple as a slogan on a poster, but these days with the profusion of digital media there are so many different ways to connect with a buying audience.
There are social media messages, video, blog posts and article features, as well as podcasts, image platforms, and even chat messages.
There is no longer a best way to reach an audience, simply many different ones, all with varying degrees of targeting, action, and success.
For example, while social media is often considered essential by businesses, they often don't realize that social media audiences are not in a transactive state of mind and so direct sales don't often work unless time-limited. However, as communication platforms for brand development social media can be very effective.
Alternatively, strong articles and other features can pre-sell your audience to buy into your brand, product range, or a particular product, especially if targeted at an already receptive audience.
Either way, the result is that modern marketing needs a good content marketing strategy, and that means being able to play to different audiences with different media, with different messages properly targeted toward them.
Here therefore are the best in content marketing tools, for helping get your message out there.
- We've also highlighted the best CMS
- Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.
Best content marketing tools - at a glance
- Hubspot Marketing Hub
- Ion Interactive
The sales and marketing content platform
Hubspot is a platform that provides a range of tools for content management, sales and marketing, and social media advertising. Hubspot goes way beyond simply setting up a website and editing its content, as much as delivering a wide-ranging toolkit to help improve conversions.
It does this by offering options for split testing, content hosting, communications within a sales team and with customers, along with goals and targets that can be tracked using Hubspot's analytics software.
There are also a number of additional integrations available, not least Salesforce, G Suite, and Microsoft Office.
All in all, Hubspot probably isn't the best at any individual feature that it offers, but the comprehensive set that it does offer makes it a clear market leader, and the best at what it does.
Even better, there's a free tier for trying out Hubspot, with paid-for plans starting from $50 per month, though this does rise steeply for additional features to $800 per month for the Professional package.
For a content strategy that covers the full customer cycle
Producing content to attract business is one thing, doing it in an orderly manner to reach customers at every stage of the buying journey is another altogether – and that’s what Uberflip aims to do.
Describing itself as ‘a content experience platform’, Uberflip aggregates all your content – from blogs and eBooks to videos, whitepapers and more – so you can manage and optimize a tailored content journey for clients.
A key component is the ability to create content hubs, relevant to specific topics and audiences, which subsequently helps you distribute content faster and accelerate lead generation.
To monitor and adapt your content marketing process, an analytics engine is built into the platform, but if you’re struggling to draw insights, Uberflip offers a wide range of useful tips and tricks to support your campaign. What’s more, the service’s customer support team is widely praised, should you run into any problems along the way.
Taking the legwork out of social media marketing
Aimed at B2B companies, Inboundli enables you to produce both in-house and third-party material to give your content marketing strategy a boost. The software promises to help organizations grow their reach, engagement, targeted audience and traffic, while saving time and budget in the process.
Inboundli focuses on niche content needs and uses machine learning and predictive analytics to source the most relevant material from your industry. For those accustomed to the tricky, not to mention tedious trawl through news sites to uncover timely, insightful articles related to their niche, this tool will be a real blessing.
On top of this is an optimized workflow feature for social media and blog publishing, competitor monitoring, and content research – helping to organize and centralise the various strands of an effective content marketing operation.
Inboundli is effective and thorough, especially for those focusing on social media as a key channel for their content. Pricing starts at $199 per month.
Super-fast content creation without needing IT support
With speed and efficiency at its core, Populr challenges you to ‘create a page for anything in 5 minutes’. The service aims to empower marketing and sales teams with a toolkit that assembles web pages with the same ease as PowerPoint slides, removing the obligation of using developers.
Populr supplies a host of web template options to give a professional feel without the need to use a designer, while the automatic layout engine enables users to easily drag and drop items onto their own customized web pages.
The platform then enables you distribute your assets via its share options – covering social media, email and more – while engagement trackers and analytics tools help you measure and refine your content.
Other handy features include collaboration options so multiple users can edit a web page, customized branding allowing the easy upload of logos and fonts, plus password protection and encryption for added security.
Even better is that there's a free tier you can use to experiment with the service and see how it fits your needs. Although there is a 12MB document limit, you do get full access to the drag and drop page builder, as well as collaboration and sharing tools.
After that, pricing begins at a very reasonable $20 a month, with additional options opened up including secured and private pages, tracers, notifications, and Google Analytics integration, with additional plans available specifically for teams and enterprise.
Taking developers out of web development
Ion Interactive gives marketers a digital toolkit for getting their content online in a variety of formats. Think you need a team of developers every time you want to produce a new web page? Think again, as using Ion takes the back end out the equation.
Functioning as a kind of souped-up, user-friendly CMS (content management system), Ion offers up a host of customizable web page templates if you don’t want to start from scratch, plus data-based content formats like calculators, assessments, report cards, quizzes, interactive infographics, look-books, white papers and more.
Linking up with Ion also brings customized training and ongoing guidance from a dedicated customer services team, as well as best-practise webinars and access to support videos and articles to help build the expertise within your team. The package you adopt is scalable too, so if the content marketing remit expands and your organization takes to Ion well, you can easily expand your service.
For such a feature-rich platform, the reporting and analytics tools are perhaps lacking a little depth, but it’s otherwise difficult to find pitfalls. You can get a quote on pricing via the link below.
Best of the rest
Widen’s digital asset management (DAM) allows you to consolidate digital articles, images, videos and creative files into a central content hub, helping organizations analyse and adjust their digital content from anywhere around the world.
Focusing on B2B, Influitive helps you leverage the power of influencers and supporters. It’s AdvocateHub is a marketing platform that helps you build relationships with advocates and create content through them to connect with customers.
With Instapage, marketers are armed with a landing page builder, publishing tools, plus an optimization & analytics system to deliver personalized content to their customers. The landing pages, according to the platform, have scored an average conversion rate of over 22%.
With Marketing Cloud, software behemoth Adobe also has a content marketing platform to throw into the mix. It’s data-centric service helps you track your online marketing and website performance, as well as delivering search engine results from third-party sources.
With a lean on sales, Lucidpress enables your team to centralize, create, and share content. From proposals and presentations to flyers and brochures, Lucidress helps sales and marketing staff to stay unified and on brand with their communications.