5 indispensable content marketing resources

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Content might be king, but creating it doesn’t have to be a royal pain.

There’s no easy path to ruling the content marketing kingdom. However, here are five tools that will keep the odds of holding the throne ever in your favor:

1. Google Keyword Planner

As a content marketer, you must discern what your target audience is looking for. Consider using Google’s Keyword Planner tool to home in on hot topics.

Say you’re a marketer at a dog-washing company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You type in “dog-washing company in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” and Keyword Planner provides suggestions like “groomers near me,” “dog bath,” “dry shampoo for dogs” and so on. This means you could be crafting content such as “The Correct Way to Give a Dog a Bath” or “Top 3 Dry Shampoo Brands for Dogs.”

Keyword Planner reveals the questions your target audience is asking and the keywords they’re using to search for answers to those queries. This gives your company the chance to provide helpful answers.

Google Keyword Planner is free, but you do need an AdWords account to get started. Thankfully, AdWords is also free.

2. Spike

Spike emerged in 2011 with a mission to “discover and understand the most interesting stories in the world.”

The company uses its technology to track how people engage with stories across social networks, which provides insight into what people care about and how they might respond to certain content. In other words, the company strives to track, monitor and predict potentially viral content.

[RELATED: Create powerful corporate content that engages both internal and external audiences]

Spike offers a free trial, but you’ll have to pay for the full service.

3. HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Writing is a grind. Cranking out creative, thoughtful content every day can be quite a daunting task—without help, that is.

HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator can prime the idea pump and get your copy flowing freely. Just type three nouns into the appropriate fields, and the tool spits out a week’s worth of titles you can cut up, rearrange and match to fit your blog.

For example, using our hypothetical dog-washing company, I plugged in “dog,” “washer,” and “Tulsa.” The following titles came back:

  • 10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Washer
  • The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Tulsa
  • 5 Tools Everyone in the Dog-Washing Industry Should Be Using
  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Washer

Of course, most of these are nonsense. The idea is to snag the flavor and format of these titles and insert your own words. It should get your creative juices flowing and jar some ideas loose.

This tool is free as well.

4. Hemingway App

Even brilliant writers need fastidious editing. If you’re not lucky enough to have a venerable editor on staff, Hemingway might be a wise investment.

You can write directly in the app or paste in text to be edited. The app highlights grammatical hiccups like passive voice, extraneous adverbs or run-on sentences. As the Hemingway website suggests, the app will “cut the dead weight from your writing.”

Hemingway costs $19.99 for both Macs and PCs.

5. Kred

As Adweek points out:

Social media audiences are willing to engage with brands, but when it comes to decisions about what to buy, they place more trust in the word of their friends, family, and other social media connections.

Social media audiences also listen to celebrities, respected luminaries and industry experts. That’s where Kred, an influencer marketing resource, can help.

Kred measures the influence of social media users. It then allows marketers to connect with relevant individuals who can help grow your community and expand your reach. Kred offers a free 30-day trial. After that, it costs $19 a year.

Pumping out great content can be a frustrating, exhausting pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. Give yourself an edge with technology and tools that will make your content marketing—and your life—much easier.

A version of this post first appeared on the Influence & Co. blog.

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