From the outside looking in, it’s easy to think that to be a successful writer, all you really need is a laptop with an internet connection and a word processor. But as anyone who has spent any time in the industry will know, producing great content takes a lot more than that.
To reliably produce high-quality content at the volume required to make a decent living, you need to be able to jump seamlessly between all sorts of different tools and platforms, take the knowledge you gain from them, and fold that into your writing.
In this overview, we’re going to take a look at several key categories of the content marketer’s tech stack. By using these tools, you’ll improve the quality of your work, save countless hours every week, and ultimately, become a more valuable partner to those you work with.
Here are the five key categories of tools we’re going to explore:
- SEO tools
- Writing tools
- Project management tools
- Content management tools
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
Of course, some writers use more tools. Some use less. But only by understanding these tools can you make an informed decision for yourself about the technologies you want to infuse into your workflow.
SEO Tools for Content Marketing
SEO isn’t the be-all and end-all of content marketing, but there’s no denying that it’s one of the central components. Truly valuable content doesn’t just tell a story, it also expands the reach of the story. And how does it do that? By performing well on search engines.
There are countless elements to SEO for content marketing that we’re not going to discuss here. You will, however, find a series of helpful articles elsewhere on our blog documenting key SEO skills for content marketers.
For now, here is a brief overview of four of the most critical SEO tools for content marketers:
- SEMRush: powerful tool for keyword research, competitor analysis, performance tracking, and more.
- Google Search Console: measures your content’s performance in Google Search results and provides some details on your website’s technical performance.
- Google Analytics 4: the recently revised GA4 enables marketers to understand how users navigate to and behave on their websites.
- Surfer SEO: helps optimize your writing for SEO by comparing your content to competitor articles.
Writing Tools for Content Marketers
It’s nice to think that great writing happens naturally. But the reality is that content marketing is a team sport. You need to set aside your ego and check your work to avoid submitting something with basic mistakes. Plus, content marketers have to work with other people: marketers, web designers, leaders – not to mention editors and interview subjects.
To do all of that effectively, there are several tools you can use to help improve your writing. Here is an overview of a few of our favorites:
- Google Docs: at Hire a Writer, every article gets drafted in a Google Doc. This makes it easy for multiple team members to work on the same document, or for editors and clients to provide feedback.
- Grammarly: if you’re a professional writer, you can’t be submitting work with grammatical errors. Despite that, many writers do. Check your ego and run your work through Grammarly before submitting it – you’ll be surprised by what you find.
- Otter: for many writers, particularly those focused on creating thought leadership content, interviews with subject matter experts are a key part of the job. After the call, you need a quick, simple way to transcribe your conversations into notes you can use to create an article. Use transcription software like Otter to automate that process.
- Help A Reporter Out (HARO): whether you need an expert source or are looking to get your client placed in a media outlet, HARO connects journalists and content marketers with sources that enrich their work by providing an expert perspective.
Project Management Tools
Keeping the trains running on time is an underrated skill. To be successful, content marketing strategies have to operate at some level of volume. If you publish an article a quarter, it’s not going to do much for your business.
When you’re working at scale, it’s important you have systems and frameworks in place that keep things running smoothly. That’s where project management tools come in. For the most part, these are interchangeable and you should try to stick to one tool. Here are some of the most popular:
Content Management Software Tools for Content Marketing
Content marketing doesn’t end with you typing the last sentence of your conclusion and hanging up your keyboard. You have to publish and promote your content to ensure that it reaches the right audiences.
To do that, you need to understand how to use various Content Management System (CMS) tools. While staging a blog and hitting publish sounds simple, it can be surprisingly time-consuming. Between ensuring correct formatting, completing metadata, adding graphics, and more, the simple act of publishing your content can take more time than you might think.
Here are some of the tools that make this process more straightforward:
- HubSpot: probably the most advanced of the options here, HubSpot has a wide range of powerful content management tools which integrate with the platform's CRM suite.
- WordPress: by far the most widely used content management system, WordPress is free, open-source software that anyone can use to publish content, although more sophisticated, paid versions are also available.
CRM Tools for Content Marketing
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are software platforms that businesses use to track and manage all of a customer’s, or potential customer’s, interactions with your business. These platforms are extremely popular among sales and marketing professionals, helping business development teams drive higher engagement and close more deals.
From a content marketing perspective, it’s important to understand the role different types of content play and know how to integrate them into a CRM.
You might, for example, be tasked with creating a top-of-funnel lead magnet that aims to attract new leads. Or perhaps you’ve been briefed to write a sales enablement resource that helps your sales team improve their close rates with interested prospects.
There are many CRM platforms out there, the best of which integrate seamlessly with other elements of your content marketing tech stack, particularly your CMS. Here are three of the most popular CRM tools:
- Hubspot: unites a business’s content, marketing, sales, and customer service teams into one platform to deliver a better customer experience.
- Salesforce: helps companies customize their customer journeys with a wide range of powerful cloud-based products.
- Marketo: powerful automation tool that delivers highly-relevant content to prospects at scale.
Don’t Know Where to Start? Hire a Writer
If you’re just setting off on your content marketing journey, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of software tools out there. There are a lot of different elements to a tech stack in any discipline of marketing, and content marketing is no different.
The good news is that you don’t need to master them all at once. Some of them, you might not need to master at all. But you do have to be aware of each of these tools, understand the role they play, and know when and how to use them to your advantage.
If you need help thinking through your content strategy and understanding the role that different tech platforms play in enabling you to reach your goals, the team at Hire a Writer is here to help. We’re more than just writers; we’re full-stack content marketers that can help design and execute a winning content strategy for your business.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch today.