It’s 2019, and content marketing platforms are not exactly hard to come across and you don’t have to be one of the many seasoned content marketers to have heard of them. In fact, if you are interested in giving your digital marketing strategy a boost—whether it is to reach an audience on social media, getting influencers to feature on blog posts, or you are simply looking improve your content marketing efforts—you have probably found yourself frustrated by all the many options available to you.
With so many platforms on the market, some of which are used by top marketers and others that are not so hot, it can be hard to tell which programs are truly worth the cost to help you launch into the next content marketing campaign. Fortunately for you, however, we have already beat you to it, and we are happy to share our findings with you.
Here are some of the platforms we’ve reviewed, along with our favorite features—and a couple that have some room for improvement.
Best quality: Produces real results in search engine rankings
After reviewing multiple content management platforms, Marketmuse has certainly come out as one of our top choices. Even if you have strong writers on your team, it can be a challenge to produce “rankable” content. Even the most high-quality, engaging writing cannot persuade people towards using your business if no one can find the writing in the first place.
Marketmuse does a great job of optimizing your content for search engines and ensuring that none of your potential audience is missing out on what you have to offer.
Ahrefs and SECockpit
Best quality: Insightful, keyword-producing research
If your goal is to kill it with search engine optimization, you might be discouraged when you face your first challenge: finding out what it is consumers are even looking for online in the first place. That’s where the research pros at Ahrefs and SECockpit come in. With their help, you can find out exactly which competitive keywords you need to be focusing on in your content to get the web traffic that you need.
Best quality: Comprehensive content audits to guide you to better strategies
SEMRush is great for content audits. For those who are less technologically-inclined or don’t lead a team of marketers, a content audit is essentially a strategy to monitor the markers of success in digital marketing and find areas where improvement is needed. Through an audit, SEMrush can help you identify which content produces the most traffic and is most successful by other metrics—and which content marketing strategies have not been working. Moving forward, these insights can help you shape better strategies for long-term marketing success.
Best quality: Quick, easy and free graphic design
In a digital landscape where search engine optimization (SEO) is such a prominent tool for getting ahead, it can be easy to conflate the term “content” with writing. But it is important not to forget that images speak volumes as well. If you are looking for graphics that look great and can be created quickly, then look no further than Canva. Not only does Canva offer a wide range of templates and design features (including birthday cards, flyers and SEO content), it also gives you and your team total control throughout the quick, easy design process.
Best quality: An unbeatable selection of stock photographs
The appeal of iStock is simple: royalty-free photography. Although the term “stock photo” might make you think of silly photographs that are shared online featuring models in exaggerated poses, iStock has an impressive collection of gorgeous photographs. Although some of iStock’s photographs are completely royalty-free, others will come with a small fee. Luckily, iStock offers a number of flexible, affordable packages that are tailored to your needs.
Best quality: A detailed and focused editorial process
Room for improvement: You might lose the tone you were aiming for—and your precious time
Hemingway is a useful resource that can speed up the content creation process and help you edit your content to perfection. Simply because you might not find yourself with any red underlines on your content, does not mean that it’s ready for publication and so content creators are incredibly useful. Using the program for content creation is straightforward, and will lead to comprehensive suggestions to improve your writing, from stronger word choices to simpler phrasing alternatives.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Hemingway, however, is the time-consuming nature of the program, as well as the fact that your content could end up looking somewhat unnatural or stilted. If you have a strong proofreader on your team, and value a more casual, personality-infused tone to talk about your brand to your target audience, this program may not be worth your time.
Best quality: An entire office condensed into a single program
Room for improvement: A sometimes confusing and distracting interface
Asana is a project management platform that serves as strong competition for Slack. From planning for day-to-day responsibilities to mapping out special projects, Asana can be especially useful for teams that are unable to attend frequent meetings or ever meet in person.
However, the interface is not always the most convenient to navigate, as it can get a bit messy, confusing and even disorganized. If you have a large team or lots of projects that need balancing at the same time, Asana might leave you wondering whether a simple Google spreadsheet would be easier.
Finding the Perfect Program for Your Needs
As part of your content strategy, maybe you need graphics and photography that stands out from the crowd, or you are in desperate need of driving web traffic to your site and increase lead generation. Regardless of what your marketing needs are, you do not have to do it alone. With the help of affordable, user-friendly marketing software, your goals are certainly attainable.
When considering which programs you would like to invest in, consider exactly how a platform can help you reach your goals and create the effective content marketing you are looking for. Will Asana make it easier for your remote team to collaborate? Will Canva save you time and money on your next mail-out marketing campaign? Does Hemingway have what it takes to create content that works? Are the costs and challenges going to be worth the benefits?
One helpful tip to remember is the fact that a lot of the content marketing software has certain features that are free or offer trial periods that can allow you to give it some time to see if it’s a right fit for you to improve your content strategy and push your brand. If things do not work out right away, there is no need to worry. After all, with a huge number of platforms available for every business type, the perfect content marketing platform is undoubtedly out there waiting for you to help you reach your audience.