10 Tools Every Content Marketer Needs | Outbrain Blog


10 Tools Every Content Marketer Needs to Stay Ahead in 2016

| Matt Banner

10 Tools Every Content Marketer Need

Content marketing is a huge undertaking, and like any type of marketing, it’s always changing.

At the end of the day you’re only human, so you’re going to need assistance from tools that can elevate your efforts and make you more efficient.

As Content Marketing Institute’s latest B2B benchmarks for 2016 have shown, only 44% of businesses believe they are effective at content marketing. That means, there’s plenty of room for improvement, which we can all do by taking a few greater strides.

Today, I’m going to cover ten of the latest and greatest tools for maximizing your content game, most of which I use for On Blast Blog, where I’m executing on tons of content campaigns.

These tools are designed to help with a variety of different tasks.

In some cases, making execution easier through automation, while in others, massively improving the results of your work with increased productivity.

With these in your arsenal, you can implement and bolster your content marketing strategy for the rest of 2016:

1. Buffer – Better Automation

This year, marketers are facing sweeping changes to the way platforms like Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram display posts.

Algorithm changes are crushing organic reach.

This means significantly less visibility for you and your brand unless you’re willing to put in the time and energy to make your posts the most relevant
to your readers.

Buffer.com allows you to leverage your presence on several platforms at once, cutting down the time you need to dedicate to sharing content with smarter automation.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Buffer automatically pulls images from blog posts so you can select the most suitable creative for your post without having to worry about file uploads.

2) Buffer gives you the option to create your own image using their new tool, Pablo, based on whatever platform you’re looking to share on.

Buffer automatically pulls images from blog posts

3) Buffer lets you share to multiple accounts at once so you don’t have to create the same message on repeat for each of your social channels.

4) The Buffer browser extension lets you share links, pictures, and videos from wherever you are on the web.

5) Buffer allows you to monitor your account activity on mobile conveniently from their app.

6) Use can use Buffer’s Optimal Timing Tool which analyzes your last 5,000 interactions to choose the best time to post.

7) Re-buffer content that has been starred for best performance for continued engagement with a particular post.

It’s these features that make this a powerful social media staple for maximizing organic reach and engagement on your active platforms.

2. ContentMarketer.io – Better Outreach

Interested in leveraging the authority and klout of experts in your industry?

It’s hard to break through the noise these days, especially as more and more people look to influencers for support in their marketing initiatives.

If you aren’t nailing your outreach, you aren’t going to make the necessary connections needed.

While it can be time-consuming to work relationship building into our schedules, Contentmarketer.io makes it simpler. With two great services, keep track of the mentions you include in your blog posts, as well as create and send personalized outreach emails.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Use Notifier to scan your blog post for mentions made about different influencers, brands, or key stakeholders.

2) Compose personalized tweets with Notifier to all or each of the influencers from your scanned piece of blog content.

3) Send your personalized tweets from Notifier on the spot, or send them to your Buffer queue and space them out over a period of time.

4) Try Connector’s proven templates for sharing blog posts, networking communications, guest posts inquiries, pitching press, and for follow-up messages.

Proven templates

5) Import your own CSV file of recipients to activate current lists directly from Connector.

6) Preview, personalize and test each of your Connector email campaigns for quality assurance and improved response rates.

7) Schedule sending with tips on best times, and set automatic follow-ups when no reply is received from your Connector email campaign.

8) Get analytics on how each of your Connector email campaigns performed with stats on open rate, clicks, replies, and even receive recommendations for individual recipient follow-up.

This kind of automation will allow you to forge strong foundations for relationship building with influencers by offering customized communication and efficiency along the way.

3. Quuu – Better Curation

As growth marketer, Sujan Patel has said:

“Brand authority is the most important business asset you can have today. This is a super competitive online world and without authority, you are nothing.”

A great way to do that, without allocating even more resources to creating original pieces of content, is to curate content.

But, like most things, it takes time and manual effort to succeed in even adding to the conversations taking place across an industry.

Until now.

Quuu.co, a content curation platform, helps you automate hand-curated content from relevant categories of interest for distribution through a connection with Buffer, to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.


A few key features you should know about:

1) Select a variety of categories to curate from depending on who your audience is, ranging from topics like Blogging, Entrepreneurship, Freelancing, Fitness, Psychology, Tech and more.

2) Based on your account level, pick a number of posts to be scheduled in a given day — you get two free (forever), but can unlock more posts by inviting your friends.

3) Connect your Quuu account to Buffer and select the right publishing schedule, manually editing any content if necessary before going live.

4) Promote your own content to influencers with Quuu Promote and your article will be featured among its specific article category (separated by tiers + reach) for other Quuu users to share.

If you’re looking for an easy way to enhance your social media presence and build authority, there’s no better way than by curating excellent content with Quuu.

4. RightlyWritten – Better Outsourcing

Consistently producing high-quality content is a full-time job, and many content marketers wear different hats, making it even more difficult to accomplish in between managing other roles.

Sometimes, you need to know when to reach out for a little bit of help.

If you need another hand in content writing, or something shopped up fast, then RightlyWritten.com is the service for you.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Order a one-off piece of content, select your desired word count, turnaround time, and standard for quality with access to unlimited revisions.

2) Choose from a variety of content types including blog posts, articles, website content, press releases, emails, newsletters, eBooks, product reviews and more.


3) Select a content package based on company size: SMB, agency, or enterprise.

4) Keep your blog fresh and your new and existing customers engaged without even lifting a finger by opting for a monthly blog package.

If you need an experienced copywriter, this is a stress-free way to ensure proper execution of a piece of content across a multitude of best practices, including SEO.

5. Slide.ly – Better Content Experiences

Visual elements have become such a necessity in today’s content marketplace that now, simply throwing a picture into your blog post won’t be enough to keep audiences engaged.

Marketers must push the limits of visual content by immersing their readers in content experiences.

Thankfully, tools like Slide.ly have emerged to help create video and photo collections with simple sharing capabilities.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Create a show, collage, or gallery using images or video captures from places like Facebook, Getty Images, Instagram, Dropbox, desktop, and even Flickr.

2) Set music to go along with your creations via YouTube, Soundcloud, Dropbox, or personal upload.


3) Share directly to your Facebook or Twitter account from Slidely and measure how many people have viewed your content.

4) Use Slidely for mobile to create your masterpieces on the go, remixing photos you find and piecing standalone content together in an imaginative way right from your phone.

This tool won’t just help you stand out from the rest, but it will also add an element of interactivity to your content, keeping your audience’s online on their toes.

6. Narrow – Better Community Building

Building an active following on Twitter is tough these days, and resorting to tactics like buying followers just isn’t going to cut it.

If you really want to make an impact, you’ll want your retweet ratio to go up and for people to take you seriously.

The only way to do that is by interacting with the right people in the community through likes and follows.

If you’re like me, you definitely don’t always have the time to invest, which is why the Narrow.io tool can help build targeted audiences for you using modern Twitter marketing techniques.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Use keywords, hashtags, handles, and locations for Narrow to identify and attract relevant users to your profile.

2) Leverage audience research from Narrow to improve your content offering on Twitter.

3) Connect and engage with the relevant users you’ve identified by selecting automated activity settings around liking and following.


4) Track performance of keywords and hashtags, identify what’s working, and drop targeted audiences that aren’t converting.

5) Manage up to 10 accounts on Narrow for large-scale community building.

This tool makes it effortless for you to interact with users who are likely interested in your product, service, cause or business.

7. Qzzr – Better Engagement

We already discussed how engagement is the pursuit of all content marketers, but for those interested in more than just driving interaction, what’s out there?

Quizzes are still hot on the list of content audiences enjoy, but also include an added layer of purpose with their ability to bring conversions.

They can, in fact, be used as the perfect lead capturing tool.

But not all quiz tools are created equally, which is why I wanted to take this chance to highlight Qzzr.com, which displays in both elegance and simplicity.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Use Qzzr to create graded, checklist and outcome quizzes with the ability to customize to your own aesthetic or brand guidelines.

2) Add text, images, and animated GIFs in the Qzzr quiz builder, quickly and efficiently.


3) Set up quizzes in a variety of languages with Qzzr translation support.

4) Use the Qzzr plugin to share your quiz on WordPress, embed with a simple line of code, or share directly across your active social channels.

5) Track the results of your Qzzr quiz by reviewing stats in the dashboard related to impressions, conversions, activity over time, or by analyzing responses.

6) Add links and offers to your quizzes and generate unlimited leads and likes on Facebook.

Qzzr is truly the simplest, most beautiful, and mobile-friendly way to create quizzes on any topic for free — a content marketers dream!

8. Snappa – Better Visual Creation

Hiring a graphic designer is either outside the budget of many small businesses, or requires too much time to meet the constant need of marketers using content as an inbound tactic day in and day out.

But what if you could create high-quality visual content yourself?

There are a bevy of places you can do this, there are only a few tools for creating quick, visually appealing content on the fly.

One of those being Snappa.io, an easy tool for marketing practitioners to produce unique graphic designs for a variety of purposes without the help of limited internal resources.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Use pre designed Snappa templates for blog posts, social media, newsletters and ad networks.

2) Optimize for each content type with Snappa’s built in image dimensions for social media and ad networks.


3) Tap into Snappa’s photo library and search over 10,000 modern photos taken by professional photographers to be used with your creative.

4) Manage and store your designs, allowing you to maximize workflows by saving and editing all of the custom designs you’ve created.

5) Schedule your image posts through Snappa’s integration with Buffer, saving you time and energy.

With an ability to choose from thousands of photos, vectors, and shapes, you can be sure you are creating the most authentic and lively content as a part of your visual marketing efforts with Snappa.

9. Ahrefs – Better Competitive Research

There’s nothing like measuring up to the competition when looking to evaluate your content marketing efforts.

With a magnitude of tools on the scene that can help, which one is going to provide the comprehensive view?

In my book, content marketing and Ahrefs.com are practically synonyms.

Let’s start with that.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Use the Ahrefs site explorer to get a detailed backlink profile for any website or URL including what websites link to it, anchors used, strength of backlinks, and more.

2) The Ahrefs position explorer can help reveal keywords competitors are ranking for as well as provide precise ranking reports on organic and paid search traffic.


3) Discover content that’s working well in your niche with Ahrefs content explorer and build a winning content strategy.

4) Get accurate, real-time ranking data in all countries and languages, as well as on mobile for tracking your progress.

5) Identify and fix common SEO issues with the Ahrefs crawl report and learn how to fix the things that may be hurting your visibility.

6) Never miss another backlink or mention with Ahrefs alerts which sends email notifications for you to stay on top of everything going on with your business.

The information available with Ahrefs is invaluable and can empower your content marketing and creation efforts in ways that will leave your competition shaking in their boots.

10. Evernote – Better Organizing

Keeping your content marketing organized is a difficult task for even the most astute individual.

There are a lot of moving parts to content creation, and the best thing you can do for efficiency is to get all of those things in one place.

With Evernote.com, you can organize your blog post ideas, brainstorming, and editorial calendar.

A few key features you should know about:

1) Use the notebook feature to create short lists or to house lengthy research all in one place so you can focus on moving ideas from inspiration to completion.

2) Collect content from around the web with the Evernote browser extension, allowing you to clip web articles, snap images, and even capture handwritten notes to reference later.


3) Connect, communicate and collaborate on your work with those who matter in real-time right from Evernote across your devices.

4) Build slides in one click, and transform your notes into a beautiful screen-friendly PPT layout and present in a quick and efficient way at upcoming meetings.

Never forget a good idea, never lose track of an amazing article or insight you found for future reference, never have to piece things together from all over the place.

Just work with Evernote.

Final Thoughts

In the face of the rising content marketing tides, these tools are designed to help you stay ahead of the curve while scaling your efforts at a healthy and manageable pace over the course of the year.

Locked and loaded, find joy in automation, content management, and creative integration for better productivity, collaboration and efficiency.

Just because it’s April, doesn’t mean you’re too late to make the best of 2016.

Which of these tools do you use the most, if any? Are there any you are really interested in trying? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments section below.

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Matt Banner

Matt Banner

Matt Banner is a digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience specializing in helping beginners learn how to... Read more

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  • Lena Prickett| April 26, 2016 at 9:09AM

    Awesome roundup, Matt! I live in Evernote and have been exploring Quuu and ContentMarketer.io. Thanks for sharing the rest of these! Another interactive content & engagement tool I’d recommend is SnapApp (disclosure: I manage content for SnapApp) — a great platform for marketers looking to up the resonant capability of their content.

  • Tzvi Harel| May 5, 2016 at 7:07AM

    Great list Matt, and thanks for mentioning us!!
    Our goal at Slidely is to be the definitive go-to place for high-quality creative content. Marketers are constantly after visual creatives to help them tell their brand story. As mentioned, this is exactly where Slidely steps in.

    To your list, I’ll also add Easel.ly for fast and easy infographics and Canva for other template based designs.
    We use buffer & Ahrefs and I’d recommend both of them to any content marketer out there.

    Looking forward seeing what else you’ll come up with Matt. Cheers!

  • Averill Harriman| May 7, 2016 at 12:12PM

    You forgot Ponzee, the amazing automated content farming tool that scrapes gibberish off the top web listicles and memes and spams thousands of your former social media friends with prospective customers with your message while you sleep, play golf, work out, etc. Ponzee is also a smartphone app and a subscription cloud SAAS.

    Ponzee is also having its IPO next month, so you want to be in line to get in on the ground floor of this amazing, revolutionary marketing tool.

  • Kobi OMenaka| May 22, 2016 at 7:07AM

    Nice Article – So many I didn’nt know about!

    I have bought into Quuu already and have asked to be involved in their Beta testing for the next version!


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