The difference between great and poor content marketing comes down to one thing – the use of effective tools for content curation, creation and distribution. Without them, you might be wasting your time and energy – and may not even know it. The good news is that there is an array of marketing tools out there, which users can choose between, depending on desired results. I’ve tried and tested a few of them and came up with a list of the best ones.

Let’s go through them:

1. For SEO keywords
Keyword research is a major component of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Ubersuggest, created by Neil Patel, is one the best keyword search tools that you can get for free. It can be an inexperienced blogger’s best friend, by identifying keywords that will draw traffic from their target niche. It reduces your dependence on hardcore SEO tools, early in your blogging journey. What I especially love about the tool is its easy interface and simplicity. It can generate keywords on the basis of the success rates of your competitors, as well as the search behaviours of end users, on Google. Whether it’s a head term or a long-tail keyword, you’ll have access to its volume, competition and even seasonal trends.
Alternatives – SEMrush, Ahrefs

2. For understanding user behaviour
With advances in technology, the metrics used to interpret a website’s performance have changed. To gain an accurate understanding of how visitors interact with your site, tools that track user behaviour are an essential requirement. Hotjar is one such tool, which helps you visualize the specifics of the time users spend interacting with your website. The best thing about it is its interactive heatmap feature, which tracks and displays clicks and actions. You can also view session recordings, funnel reports and feedback forms. Use it to get a deeper understanding of how your website is used.
Alternatives – Google Analytics, Crazy Egg

3. For efficient mailing
Whatever you create content for, sending mailers is one of the best strategies to help in gaining an audience. With a tool like MailChimp, you can make sure your email list is being used optimally. You don’t need to be a coder or a web developer, with MailChimp’s simple drag-and-drop editor you can create mails that are creative and match your organisation’s style. The automation and built-in analytics are a bonus! It’s also free till the 2000 subscriber mark.Alternatives – Aweber, Benchmark Email

4. For managing social media
Keeping up with all the social media profiles you should be interacting with, is a tough task. An excellent SM management tool can make the job a lot easier, and give you more time to focus on content creation. Buffer ticks most of the boxes needed to deliver exactly such convenience. I love its clean and minimal, but effective, interface. It will help keep your posts consistent across multiple platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. You can also schedule posts ahead of time, while being able to tweak posts to suit each of these platforms.
Alternatives – Hootsuite, Hubspot

5. For competition analysis
If you want to spy on your competitors’ content without consistently opening up their blog, Feedly is your James Bond. It is a content aggregation tool that tracks, organises and reports content related data, as it’s published. You can easily customise the sites you want to follow and gain a helpful understanding of what is working and the strategies that are coming up short, in any given context and audience segment.
Alternatives – Similarweb, Buzzsumo

There are, of course, many more tools available that can help focus your content marketing efforts, and their features are constantly evolving. The 5 tools I have identified here, along with their alternatives, are an excellent place for a new user to start and many are indispensible to those more experienced as well. Begin using these amazing marketing tools now, to take the hassle out of identifying strategies that work and those that don’t, and improve your team’s productivity and effectiveness.