Content marketing is the technique of creating and sharing content — blog posts, images, videos — to attract and retain customers. Generating relevant and compelling content can be a challenge, but there are a variety of great online tools to help.
Here is a list of free and premium tools to generate content. There are content discovery tools, curating tools to find and publish topical content, production tools to create and edit content, and tools for acquiring content.
Content Discovery Tools
Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo helps you discover the most shared content across all social networks. Discover content relating to your keywords, or find new content from authors and competitors. Price: Search and track for free. Pro plan is $99 per month.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator. This tool is both useful and fun. Enter a keyword, and quickly generate a cool title or specific idea for an article. Price: Free.
Quick Sprout. Enter URLs of your competitors, then select the social media tab to get a list of their most popular content. Stir your own content ideas by learning what works for them. Price: Free.
TrendSpottr. TrendSpottr is a tool that displays what’s trending. To generate ideas, search keywords to see popular content. TrendSpottr also offers a real-time trend intelligence platform that predicts emerging content, influencers, and sentiment for any topic or search query. Price: Trending search is free. Premium predictive tool is $199 per month.
TrackMaven. TrackMaven helps you monitor your competitors and track their content. Understand what your competitors are doing across all channels and filter to discover what’s working. Learn if you’re keeping up with competitors and what’s causing changes in your competitors’ marketing to spot opportunities. Price: Contact for pricing.
Quora. Quora is a question and answer site. Use Quora to identify subjects that people want to know about. Price: Free.
Google Trends. Google Trends shows you what’s trending and measures the interest of topics for potential content ideas. Subscribe to get alerts for the topics you care about. Price: Free.
MindNode. MindNode is a mind-mapping tool to generate and develop your content ideas. Jot down thoughts and add as many mind maps as you like. Create new nodes with a finger tap. Cross connect nodes from all your maps. Price: $9.99.
Inbound.org. Inbound.org is a community for inbound marketing professionals to share and discuss the latest ideas and best practices. Discover great content from the inbound community. Price: Free.
Pocket. When you’re searching around for content ideas, you need a tool to store the discoveries you want to view later. Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket. Save directly from your browser or from apps. Price: Free. Premium plan is $44.99 per year.
InboundWriter. InboundWriter is a content optimization tool to remove the guesswork from content creation. It tells you how your content will perform before you write it and guides you to topic ideas where you can succeed. Price: Contact for pricing.
Content Curation Tools
Scoop.it. Scoop.it is a tool to discover, curate and publish content. It seeks to help people and businesses find and publish relevant content to show their expertise, develop their online visibility, enrich their site, and save time managing social media. Price: Plans start at $12.99 per month.
Curata. Curata is a content curation tool to find, curate, share, and analyze content on specific topics. Quickly and efficiently meet your content marketing needs. Keep your audience informed with fresh and compelling content. Price: Contact on pricing.
Shareist. Shareist is a content marketing platform that helps you manage the content marketing process from beginning to end. Shareist makes it easy to discover content and capture ideas, and schedule them as posts on social media. Price: Pro plan for individuals and small businesses is $25 per month.
Trapit. Trapit is a curation tool to discover and publish content from a simple interface. Set traps to find relevant content from more than 100,000 sources. Give a thumbs-up to the content you like, and a thumbs-down to what you don’t, to improve your traps. Customize headline and summaries. Add commentary to deliver your voice. Price: Contact for pricing.
Paper.li. Paper.li is a content curation service. Use it to publish digital “newspapers” and newsletters to give your readers fresh news, or browse its newsstand to generate content ideas. Price: Free plan offers 25 content sources. Pro plan is $9 per month.
Alltop. Alltop is another curator that provides content form a wide variety of top sources. To generate content ideas, browse subject categories, new and hot topics, or your recent topics. Price: Free.
Storify. Storify is a curating tool to find and share social media content. Find story-worth content, and use the drag-and-drop editor to create media-rich experiences. Purchase Storify’s enterprise plan for an advanced multi-editor experience. Price: Basic plan is free. Contact for pricing on enterprise plan.
Content Production Tools
DivvyHQ. DivvyHQ is a content-planning and workflow tool to execute content initiatives. It combines management and collaboration tools to help a team generate ideas, schedule projects, and produce content. Price: Plans start at $25 per user/month.
KingSumo Headlines. If you have a WordPress blog, this tool automatically rotates through all the titles you include for a post. Then, based on the inbound traffic from each title, it automatically prioritizes the title that gets you the most traffic. Price: Starts at $99.
Grammarly. Grammarly is an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach. Instantly find and correct over 250 types of grammatical mistakes. Improve word choice with context-optimized vocabulary suggestions. Price: Plans start at $29.95 per month.
Infogr.am. Infogram is a data visualization tool to create free and inexpensive infographics and charts to make your content pretty and shareable. It offers many free chart types to publish your infographic online. Price: Free plan offers more than 30 chart types. Pro plan is $18 per month.
Skitch. Skitch is a simple photo editing app to mark up an image quickly and easily from your smartphone or tablet. Price: Free
Wunderlist. If you’re interested in creating lists, Wunderlist makes it easy and fast. Publish lists with one click. Wunderlist’s real-time sync instantly keeps your lists up-to-date. Price: Free. Pro is $4.99 per month.
Google Calendar. Google Calendar is a terrific free tool that can serve as an editorial calendar. Organize and collaborate on a schedule for your team. Price: Free.
Trello. Trello is a free tool to manage your content ideas and projects. The Trello board is a list of lists filled with cards, to use with a team or just by you. Trello updates in real-time, so your content is always current. Price: Free. Gold plan is $5 per month.
UberFlip. UberFlip is a tool to create customized content streams and turn PDFs into interactive flipbooks. Create calls-to-action on the fly, gate content, and tailor content streams to individuals or around specific topics. Price: Plans start at $200 per month.
Embedded Tweets. Embedded Tweets are an easy way to create interactive content for your audience. You can also use them to connect your audience with conversations happening on Twitter. Price: Free.
issuu. issuu is a digital publishing platform. Create a standalone reader or embed your publication anywhere. Customize your reader for each platform or audience. Or browse publications to get content ideas on topics of interests. Price: Basic plan is free. Paid plans start at $26 per month.
Listly. Listly is a tool to discover and create great lists. Pro plan offers premium layouts, private lists, and more. Price: Basic plan is free. Pro plan is $9.99 per month.
Prezi. Prezi is an online tool to create presentations. Start with design templates, and find inspiration and content from its library. Create or edit on the go, syncing across all your devices. Price: Free plan for public presentations. Paid plans start at $4.92 per month.
Tawkers. Tawkers is a messaging app that lets you share conversations as content. The publish button in every chat lets you select messages you want to post. Chats can be shared to Facebook, Twitter, or embedded into your blog or website. Price: Free.
ThingLink. ThingLink is a tool for creating interactive images and video content. Add links and embed ThingLink to your website. Create interactive video content with notes and rich media. Price: Free with ThingLink branding. Paid plans start at $50 per 10,000 views.
GIMP. GIMP is a freely distributed photo editing program for photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. This is an ideal free tool if you need to generate images. Price: Free.
GoToMeeting. For video content, GoToMeeting offers video conferencing, as well as a webinar tool with GoToWebinar. Content can be saved and distributed. Webinar platform offers polls and survey tools for your audience. Price: Meeting tool is free for up to 3; pro plan is $39 per month. Webinar starts at $79 per month.
ReadyTalk. ReadyTalk offers web, video, and audio conferencing for meetings, webinars and training. Take advantage of unlimited recording playbacks, playback registration, podcasting, social media integration, and more. Price: Meeting plans start at $49. Webinar plans start at $149.
Zmags. Zmags is a digital publishing platform to transform traditional marketing material into rich-media assets. Integrate with multiple digital platforms and devices. Update on the fly so your content stays fresh and showcases what customers want to buy. Price: Contact for pricing.
Piktochart. Piktochart is a tool to make your own infographics. Preview and pick a theme from over 100 elements. Choose from images in the library or upload your own. Bring data to life with a variety of visualization options. Link, embed, email or share it on social media. Price: Free account provides limited templates and Piktochart watermark. Pro plan is $29 per month.
Podbean. Podbean is an online podcast-publishing service that provides hosting packages for individuals and businesses. Create, upload, publish, manage, and promote your podcast. Then integrate it into your website, blog or social network. Price: Premium plans start at $3 per month.
Jing. Jing is a free tool to start sharing images and short videos of your computer screen. Jing gives you the ability to add basic visual elements to your captures and share them fast. Price: Free.
Sources for Content Creation
Visual.ly. Visually delivers visual content (e.g., infographics, videos, presentations, campaigns). It offers an affordable flat-pricing option for high-quality visual content. Price: Micro-content starts at $195.
Scripted. If you’re having trouble generating content on your own, you may want to try a freelance-writers site like Scripted. You post guidelines to an assignment, writers claim your work, and you receive content in five business days. Price: Content pricing starts at $99.
Ecopywriters. Ecopywriters is a site to find writers and designers for content creation. Get professional help for a blog, ebook, production video, infographic, press release, and more. Ecopywriters also provides packages if you need ongoing support for a full editorial calendar. Price: Standard services start at 10¢ per word. Packages start at $400 per month.
Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of free media content, from songs and videos to scientific and academic material. Price: Free.
Contently. Contently is a solution for high-end brand publishing. With its network of 40,000 creatives, Contently helps brands create stories, engage audiences, and optimize content. Its proprietary analytics application helps improve your content over time and deliver results. Price: Contact for pricing.