According to a 2021 report from The Content Marketing Institute, nearly half of all businesses plan to increase their content creation spending in the coming year. With a growing demand for great content, your marketing agency can benefit from adding content creation to its list of offerings.
Still, quality content doesn't write itself. If this is a new frontier for you, be warned — the internet is already saturated with it. Your agency will need top-notch tools to create the best-performing blog posts, newsletters, landing pages, and other types of content for your clients.
The stakes are high, but breaking into content marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 15 awesome content marketing tools your agency needs to start writing killer content and seeing results.
Tools for research: Learn how to maximize your efforts
When planning your first blog posts, it's easy to assume that a great article will draw in readers. This is why many marketers spend hours researching trending topics to gauge exactly what they think their audiences want to read. Unfortunately, it's not always that simple.
Before you begin crafting your next content, what you really need to focus on is research. This includes not just audience research, but keyword research as well. The more you know about your audience, what they're searching for, and what your competitors are doing, the more successful you'll be in your own content creation. Fortunately, there are plenty of SEO tools available to make this work easier.
1) Moz for search engine optimization (SEO)
Organic search is a vital distribution channel for your clients, and studies find that the first five organic search results account for more than two-thirds of all clicks. With this in mind, it's easy to see why having a solid SEO strategy as part of your content creation plan is so important.
Moz is a keyword research tool designed to help improve your SEO strategy. Moz assigns your potential topic or keyword a "score" based on difficulty and volume. From there, you can focus on the keywords that have the least competition and the best payoff.
The best feature
Moz provides weekly competitor reports that allow you to keep track of where your clients rank for each keyword you're targeting — and how they stack up against competitors. These reports make it easier to track your progress while providing your clients with tangible metrics that show off the results of your team's hard work.
Moz offers four plans, with prices starting at $99/month with their Standard plan and topping out at $599/month on the Premium plan. The most popular Medium plan runs $179/month. A free 30-day trial is also available.
2) Buzzsumo for content research
Looking for a great content research tool to help you better understand your audience and the topics that will best captivate them? Buzzsumo can save you a lot of time on these important aspects of your content research — regardless of what industry you're representing.
Specifically, BuzzSumo works by helping you discover the highest-performing content for any given topic. The analysis gives you data, for example, on the most-shared articles and domains for any industry. Using this information, you can generate more on-target article ideas and identify good candidates for backlinks and guest posts.
BuzzSumo also makes it easier to find influencers in your niche and discover who has the most social clout. You can then ask these users to share your posts to expand your reach.
The best feature
There's a lot to love about BuzzSumo's user-friendly interface and intuitive design. However, content creators and digital marketing professionals will love the ability to generate competitor analysis reports. These reports allow you to see exactly how your articles on a given topic compare to your competitors. When your content is performing better than your competitors', this is a great feature to showcase the value of your work to your clients.
BuzzSumo offers several plans, starting with their Free plan that includes 10 free searches per month with limited access. Larger marketing agencies, however, may benefit from the most popular Plus plan, which costs $179/month. Agencies that pay annually for a BuzzSumo plan can save 20%, which brings the Plus plan's monthly cost down to $139. A free 30-day trial is also available.
3) Clearscope for search engine research
Clearscope is one of the best tools on the market when it comes to driving organic traffic through SEO-optimized content. This AI-powered platform makes it easier for your team to produce content that's relevant to what your target audience is actually searching for. It generates reports for keywords that show you the current top-ranking pages for those keywords, search volume, and more.
From there, you can even paste your own content into Clearscope to receive a letter grade based on readability, keywords, word count, and other factors. Overall, this tool is a great way to optimize your content for search and get more out of it. Clearscope also integrates with other platforms you may already use, such as Google Docs and WordPress.
The best feature
Clearscope's "optimize" feature is extremely useful because it allows you to literally copy and paste your content (or compose directly in the text editor) and receive an SEO grade from F to A++. Meanwhile, you'll get to see which recommended keywords you've used or not used, how long your content is (versus how long it should be for SEO), and an overall reading level for your content.
Clearscope's pricing starts at $170/month for three users and includes credits for 20 content reports. Larger agencies, however, will likely need the Business plan, which starts at $1,200/month and includes unlimited user seats with more than 100 content report credits.
Tools for creation: Collaborate to produce high-quality content
When you start focusing on research and distribution channels, you'll have an easier time getting your content in front of people. Of course, that doesn't always mean they'll read it. In fact, research shows that most “readers” are actually “skimmers” at best.
However, that doesn't mean all hope is lost. It just means that you have to spend some time and effort to cut through the noise and craft attention-grabbing text. Often, the best way to do this is by collaborating with your team and your clients. Even if you've read and re-read that blog post 10 times, a few fresh eyes might be able to see the element that takes it to the next level.
And because you'll be continually exploring industries you're not familiar with, you'll need tools that facilitate collaboration. Fortunately, plenty of tools promote collaboration among your team members and clients.
4) Quip for document collaboration
You need a clean interface to write and edit your content where team members and clients can give suggestions and make changes. If your clients can't comment directly on your document, they'll only be able to give you general feedback — and it will be harder to improve with each post.
Quip's cloud service platform acts as a collaborative hub for your content. This platform allows you to comment on certain sections of a document, message back and forth, and then track each collaborator's changes.
So, what sets this apart from Google Docs, a free alternative? For starters, Quip's interface is more intuitive and easy to navigate. It also allows you to include @mentions so you can tag specific team members when you need their help or when you need to reference past projects. Meanwhile, you can see the comment history in the sidebar for a better look at what changes have been made.
The best feature
You can add anyone from outside your team to collaborate on documents, and your clients can comment on drafts or request revisions without having to pay for their own Quip accounts. Quip users also love the ability to create individual folders for clients and set specific permissions for each folder, allowing for better control over the content creation process.
Pricing for Quip starts at $10/month per user and includes unlimited documents and spreadsheets. Those needing additional features, such as single sign-on and enterprise API, may benefit from the Quip Plus plan at $25/month per user. The Quip Advanced plan tops out at $100/month per user and adds two-way syncing with Salesforce data, among other features. A free trial is also available.
5) Gliffy for quick chart creation
Images are crucial to your content marketing strategy, and many marketers agree that visuals are an important part of branding. Likewise, data visualization tools (such as charts and infographics) can help you present information in a way that's easier for your audience to grasp, thus improving comprehension.
Of course, creating charts and other visual content isn't always so easy. The good news is that there's a go-to diagram design tool that can help you generate clean, professional images without any graphic design expertise.
This platform, known as Gliffy, helps you create quick and appealing charts and diagrams. It even takes things a step further by allowing your clients and team members to collaborate on visuals with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. This tool is a great way to build striking graphics that will pull your audience in and keep them reading.
The best feature
Gliffy's sharing platform means you can collaborate with anyone. Clients can leave comments and make revisions with ease. Meanwhile, you can see your revision history and revert back to past iterations of a diagram anytime you want.
Gliffy's plans start at $6/month per user for 10 to 50 users, though customizable Enterprise packages are available for larger marketing teams. A two-week free trial is also available.
Tools for distribution: Spread the word to the masses
Learning a new skill comes with a learning curve — which means you need to sink some non-billable hours in the short term to make more money in the long term. While the benefits of adding content marketing to your agency's menu are clear, you might be nervous about the growing pains and learning curve of adding a new service.
One way to make a new service profitable right away is to package in bonus services that require minimal effort and time commitment from your agency while remaining valuable to your clients. Selling distribution packages with content marketing services acts as a "force multiplier" that makes your work more powerful without requiring additional effort.
When you add content distribution to your services in addition to content writing, you can charge more for your work without necessarily learning any new skills. Here's the beginning toolset for helping distribute your clients' content.
6) Campaign Monitor for email automation
Creating a newsletter allows you to deliver your clients' content directly to subscriber inboxes. In fact, a 2020 study by the Content Marketing Institute finds that 81% of marketers cite newsletters as their most utilized form of content marketing. Newsletters allow you to send articles custom-tailored to subscribers' interests directly to their inboxes. And when subscribers receive this kind of engaging content, they're more likely to share it — thus getting even more of your articles in front of potential customers.
Campaign Monitor's email marketing tool makes creating newsletters a breeze. With plenty of templates to choose from and a drag-and-drop interface, you don't need to have any HTML or coding experience to generate a newsletter in seconds. By creating newsletters in addition to blog posts as part of your service, you can bring additional value to your clients without adding a lot more work to your plate.
The best feature
Campaign Monitor allows you to "private label" their product and present it as your own, which means you can charge your clients to use your subscription. You simply charge for access to the email interface so your clients can design their own emails for your review. This, in addition to the newsletters you provide, allows you to boost your margins with minimal effort.
Campaign Monitor's pricing starts at $9/month for a Basic plan with unlimited users and up to 2,500 emails per month. A $29/month Unlimited plan offers unlimited emails for frequent senders, while a Premier plan includes advanced segmentation for $149/month. A free trial is also available.
7) Hootsuite for social media sharing
Like creating a newsletter, jotting off a few tweets per day is a low-effort task that can provide enormous value to clients. Writing social media posts expands your client's reach and makes it easier for their readers to share with friends — which boosts brand awareness.
Hootsuite is a social media marketing tool that allows you to schedule posts across all your client's social media accounts in advance. This saves you from the hassle of remembering to log on and post during peak sharing hours. Meanwhile, Hootsuite personalized reports on the best times to share your content for maximum exposure.
This platform cuts down on time you'd spend switching between platforms by putting all your accounts in one place. Likewise, Hootsuite can help you track mentions to see how your content is performing on social media. If you're looking for a social media calendar to help you get started with post-scheduling, check out our free template.
The best feature
The Hootsuite Partner Program for Agencies allows you to manage multiple client accounts inside one dashboard. This allows you to collaborate with your team inside the app and craft perfect social posts for each client without needing separate accounts. With this program, you'll also get a dedicated support manager.
Hootsuite offers several plans to suit a wide range of needs. The Professional plan starts at just $49/month and includes scheduling for unlimited posts, but can only be accessed by one user. For agencies, the $249/month Team plan offers support for up to three users across 20 social accounts. Even larger agencies may benefit from the $739/month Business plan, which is good for five users across 35 social media accounts. Custom Enterprise plans are also available for those with larger social media marketing needs.
Professional and Team plans are available with a free 30-day trial.
Tools for process management: Create a content workflow
Once you add content to your agency's menu, you won't be able to keep track of it off-hand. Your team will always be thinking up new post ideas, generating drafts, revising, copyediting, and promoting. There are a lot of moving parts.
For multiple clients, you need a place to keep track of deadlines and articles at every stage of the production pipeline. This is where having the right agency project management tool can make all the difference. Of course, with so many different platforms to choose from, how do you know which is right for you? We've compiled some recommendations for process management tools below to help you get started.
8) Teamwork for project management
We built premium software that will help you keep track of every stage of your content production while keeping your clients in the loop. Teamwork is designed to combine task management, visual workflows, and time tracking to oversee everything you have in your content pipeline and who's responsible at each stage. From content ideas to viral blog posts, this project management solution is with you every step of the way.
The best feature
Teamwork specifically caters to agencies by letting you add a client to different projects without giving them access to your entire database. You can make sure that they have the information they need without letting them in on other clients' work or internal company data.
Teamwork pricing starts at $0/month for up to five users, though the most popular plan for agencies managing complex projects is the $17.99/month (when billed annually) Grow plan. For unlimited financial budgeting, profitability reporting, and additional features, you can also request a custom quote. You're also welcome to test drive Teamwork for free.
9) SocialPilot for social media management
SocialPilot is a simple and cost-effective social media management tool for small businesses and agencies that helps them strengthen their brand presence across all major social media platforms. It assists you in executing a well-planned social media posting schedule with advanced features. With SocialPilor, you can publish content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, Tumblr, and more.
The best feature
With SocialPilot, you can schedule up to 500 posts in bulk and better visualize your whole content strategy with a social media calendar. Meanwhile, in-depth reporting and analytics tools allow you to analyze the success of your social media marketing campaigns and boost your clients' ROI.
SocialPilot's most popular plan for agencies starts at $106.25/month when billed annually. This includes support for up to nine users across 50 social media accounts, as well as the ability to add unlimited clients. There are several plans available for smaller teams as well — and a free two-week trial.
10) LeadGen App for better converting forms
LeadGen App helps marketers and B2B brands capture more leads from their content by using conversion-focused online forms. The form-builder focuses on providing the most user-friendly form experience and powerful features that improve conversion rates. With more than 400 conversion-focused templates to choose from, LeadGen App takes the complexity and guesswork out of form design to turn visitors into quality leads.
The best feature
You don't need to have any coding skills to create a great-looking and conversion-friendly form with LeadGen App. The form builder is designed for content marketers and is extremely intuitive. Forms can be easily embedded just about anywhere and are responsive on all devices, which is vital when you consider that nearly 60% of today's web traffic is generated from mobile devices.
LeadGen App gives users the option to pay monthly or yearly (which saves 20%). Their starter plan, Pro, is $48/month and includes 20 forms. Scale is the mid-level plan at $99/month, and includes 100 forms. Their most robust plan, Enterprise, is $250/month and comes with 300 forms.
11) InVideo for creating video content
In the 21st century, content is not just restricted to the written word. Instead, videos contribute to a substantial part of today's digital content consumption. In fact, in the 2022 State of Video Marketing Study, 87% of marketers report that video gives them a positive ROI. So, how can your content team create amazing videos without extensive editing experience?
InVideo is a video content creation and management tool that offers a whirlwind of editing and optimizing features while inspiring creativity. With more than 5,000 handcrafted templates to choose from, there's bound to be one suited for your topic. You can even use the convenient search bar to enter your topic and receive an instant list of template suggestions.
The best feature
InVideo has a text-to-video feature that automatically converts your written texts to audio clips. This saves your team the time and hassle of recording additional audio while helping your team unlock the true potential of video in its marketing strategy.
InVideo offers a free plan that's ideal for anybody getting started in the video realm. However, agencies needing unlimited HD video exports with no watermark (and additional features) will probably want the $30/month (when billed annually) Unlimited plan.
12) NapoleonCat for social media automation
NapoleonCat is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for managing marketing communication in social media. This platform uses social media automation to provide clients with tools for discussion moderation, advertising optimization, and analysis and reporting. If you're looking for a tool that will help you boost engagement across your clients' social media profiles, NapoleonCat is worth a look.
The best feature
This all-in-one social media management platform offers marketing automation features to save your team time and improve your client's customer experience. From interactions with customers to scheduling and publishing posts, NapoleonCat's easy-to-use automation features help your team work smarter, not harder. Likewise, you'll be streamlining your processes and helping your clients get more out of their social media strategies.
NapoleonCat offers two main plans: a Standard plan at $23.25/month (when billed annually) that's ideal for small- and medium- volumes of social engagement. Agencies may instead benefit from the $48/month (when billed annually) Pro plan that includes automated moderation, customized reporting, and more for managing multiple clients' accounts. A free trial is also available.
13) Canva for creating stunning graphics
Built for teamwork, Canva makes it easy to create, share, and even print professional designs without extensive graphic design knowledge. From logos and posters to websites, presentations, and more, Canva offers thousands of design templates to choose from. Meanwhile, the platform enables real-time collaboration across departments and beyond so your team can stay on the same page through every step of the creation process.
The best feature
You can design just about anything imaginable on Canva. Whether your client is looking for help with a video, other visual content (such as a graph), or a full website, you can find plenty of templates to help you get started on Canva. And unlike some other design platforms out there, Canva even offers its own professional printing services so you can get your designs delivered straight to your client's door. And yes, you can do all of this without having to hire a team of freelancers — no design experience needed!
Anybody can try Canva's free plan to enjoy access to more than 250,000 design templates and the ability to collaborate with other team members. However, Canva for Teams is ideal for agencies that will need to support multiple users. This plan starts at $149.90/year for the first five users and offers collaboration tools, approval workflows, activity logging, and more.
Tools for analytics: Collect data and measure performance
In a perfect world, you'd never have to second-guess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. In reality, not every campaign is going to be a slam dunk. Analytics tools help you figure out what's working versus what's not working in your content creation strategies so that you can achieve higher levels of success for your clients. So, which analytics tools are actually worth your agency's time and money?
14) Google Analytics to analyze website performance
Google Analytics is a platform that offers many features and tools to help your agency measure the success of its content marketing campaigns. With its user-friendly interface and wide range of reporting features, this is a must-try analytics tool for agencies of all sizes. From a content marketing perspective, this tool is vital for determining which pieces of content are performing the best so you can improve the quality of your campaigns without the guesswork. Your clients will also appreciate Google Analytics reporting to visualize the data you're throwing their way.
The best feature
Google Analytics offers seamless integrations with other popular marketing tools, including those offered by Google that your agency may already be using (such as Google Ads, Google AdSense, and Google Search Console). This can save you time and boost your overall efficiency. Users of Google Analytics also love the wide range of reporting options available. Some of the most popular reports you can generate include those related to advertising, audience, behavior, and conversions.
Perhaps the best thing about Google Analytics, however, is that it's completely free for small businesses and medium-sized agencies. For larger agencies, an enterprise version is also available. Known as Google Analytics 360, this platform offers tier-based pricing instead.
15) HubSpot for marketing insights
HubSpot's marketing insights platform delivers data-driven reporting tools to help your agency make the most of its content marketing campaigns. With this all-in-one hub, your agency's marketing tools and data are housed under a single platform, so there's no need to toggle back and forth between different software solutions. From there, HubSpot makes it easy to generate the detailed reports that you need to optimize your content marketing strategy for each client.
The best feature
HubSpot's marketing analytics empower your team to make smarter decisions, while the "Custom Objects" feature allows you to store and customize data as you see fit. Whether you need to separate data into different reports or build dedicated dashboards for each project, HubSpot makes it easy to share and visualize the data you need with your entire team.
HubSpot has four different pricing plans, starting with a free option that includes basic contact management and email marketing tools. The Starter plan jumps to $45/month and adds marketing automation and landing page reporting tools, while the Professional plan delivers omnichannel marketing automation, custom reporting, and SEO for $800/month.
Streamline your content marketing processes with Teamwork
These days, it's not enough to occasionally create excellent content. To stand out from the competition, your agency needs clear and consistent processes that empower your team to churn out quality content regularly. This all begins with top-notch research, collaboration, distribution, and reliable process management — and a great content management tool like Teamwork can help your team reach its full potential.
Ready to put an all-in-one project management solution to work for your agency? Teamwork is here to help with the tools you need to step up your content marketing game. Sign up today to get started!