On the surface, executing a content strategy may seem simple. However, for those of us in the know, it takes a lot more than thinking up some catchy blog titles to succeed at content marketing.
According to B2B Content Marketing, Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, only 40% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. The only reason we can deduce this number is so low is that it seems too time-consuming to commit to.
You must pour over topics, decide which will engage your target audience, identify keywords, optimize for SEO, write them, and distribute the content on channels where leads will see it. And then you must do it all over again.
Content management is a big job, so finding the best content planning tools should be a top priority. Facilitating and streamlining content creation, creating quality content easier, and scheduling posts make the job easier. Today’s article dives into why content planning is important and uncovers nine of the most powerful content planning tools you can use to set your content marketing team up for success.
Content plan template
Execute on your content strategy by creating blog posts, case studies, and eBooks that build awareness and drive traffic. Use our Content Plan template to make sure your team hit the ground running and have a blueprint for creating quality content.
Why content planning is important
Many moving parts go into a content marketing strategy. From beginning to end, little details can get missed and cause your content plan not to produce the results you expected.
This is why planning is crucial.
It takes people to execute a content strategy. That's why the Marketing Trends of 2022 from HubSpot reports the top three marketing roles leaders have prioritized hiring are content creators, content marketing managers, and content strategists.
Laying out a framework for your content creation is just like any other project management endeavor. You need an end goal, a starting point, and steps along the way with people who are accountable for every one of them.
When handled correctly, content planning offers significant results, like more high-quality leads and a full sales funnel. It also elevates your brand and helps you form and nurture relationships.
Even if you have a fully staffed marketing team, the downside is that content planning can be tedious and time-consuming without marketing tools at your disposal.
9 powerful content planning tools
All kinds of marketing tools are available to help the team achieve its goals and maintain efficiency. There are some major advantages to using content planning tools. They can help you and your team members maintain consistency and stay on track. Their dashboards make it easy to spot issues before they even happen. And they can automate repetitive tasks, saving time to devote to more high-value activities.
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of tools designed to help content teams manage their content workflows more efficiently. Based on our knowledge of content planning, we reviewed many of them and landed on these top nine choices.
Stay up-to-date on your entire content strategy at a glance with Teamwork’s end-to-end project management platform. Teamwork is designed with content marketing agencies in mind and has robust features to facilitate client management and collaboration. Teamwork helps reduce errors, decreases time spent on manual tasks, and keeps every stakeholder informed and accountable. Get started with Teamwork for free today.
Robust collaboration tools that simplify brainstorming initial ideas, polishing finished ideas, and everything in between
Multiple view options like kanban boards, calendar, Gantt Charts, and list views to see project/task statuses and automate processes
Triggers to automatically assign tasks to writers
Time tracking features to better understand where your time is being spent, creating a clearer breakdown for clients
Templates to help reduce errors and create consistent, repeatable processes for smooth content planning and creation
Files section to keep every asset together in a single location for quick reference
Do you want total control to plan, track, and modify your social media content from a single location? Try our social mediacalendar template now.
Listen and analyze online conversations and use the information to your company’s advantage. This information can guide content creation and planning and help you make better decisions. Tapping into other brands’ intelligence can help you create new content that engages and delights your audience and comes out on top.
Integrated content calendar helps you stay on-brand with every post, no matter the campaign or the team member involved
Range of distribution, sharing, and permission options
Proprietary listening technology for quality data coverage
Audience profile cards to keep buyer needs top of your mind
Store your content in one place with Brandwatch’s digital asset library.
Access proactive content approval hierarchy with established user roles.
Use flexibility and scalability for all types of organizations.
Absorb data with the topic wheel showing overarching topics and sub-topics.
Sometimes struggles with mass categorizations (and requires an Excel workaround)
Needs a simpler system for ad hoc analysis
It can be challenging to develop a continuous stream of topics that delight your readers and resonate with Google. This tool is a content creator's dream. Explore keywords, brainstorm different content ideas, and monitor your competitors' content strategy from a single location. If you want to rank higher on search engines and get more eyes on the great content you’re creating, Ahrefs is the tool that can help you do it.
Site Explorer that reports on the organic site traffic and competitor backlink profiles
Content Explorer that points you toward top-performing content relevant to your topics
Keywords Explorer recommends thousands of helpful keyword ideas and gives ranking and traffic predictions
Dashboard allows users a high-level view of projects so it’s easy to track progress
Spots changes in important SEO metrics instantly
Allows users to view accurate search volumes to make smart keyword decisions
Measures your competitors’ backlink profiles
Offers SEO filters and social metrics to provide great content ideas
Price tag can be steep for smaller marketing teams
Interface can be overwhelming at first
4) Canva Content Planner
Canva is a graphic design tool that offers many helpful features on its free plan and even more on the paid plan. Hundreds of easy-to-use templates and icons make it possible for even beginners to create sleek, professional-looking marketing collateral.
Canva Content Planner is part of the Pro package, making it quick and easy to manage and schedule your social media content.
Template library of customizable templates to use for social media posting
Media library that gives you access to tons of photos, graphics, and videos
Folders help keep your work organized and easily accessible
Team-wide content calendar to keep everyone on the same page
Design easily with drag-and-drop features to make design easy.
Collaborate transparently, as content collaborators can work together in real-time.
Post confidently with the most popular social media channels.
Post quickly without having to download imagery.
Only posts static images right now
Requires Canva Pro (paid) to use the scheduler
Only posts hashtags in captions
If you like saving articles as you see them, then reviewing them later, Pocket is the tool for you. Gather content like articles, blogs, videos, and web pages and sift through them at your convenience to find the ones you want to use. Use them for content ideas or as curated content for your social media strategy.
Provides a single place to store all the relevant content you see online
Offers browser extensions for every major browser and mobile app
Enables you to listen to articles with text-to-speech feature
Gives you a way to save links organized by type of content with customizable views
Archive or delete articles once you read them.
Highlight text you want to remember.
Access articles downloaded in the app offline.
Share stories with other Pocket users.
Not easy to share your list of links without using a third-party service
Limited organization tools
Content creators benefit from Loomly no matter what stage of content strategy they're enmeshed in. This tool makes it easy to organize your ideas, create social media posts, and schedule them across your social media channels. You can also access valuable metrics that show you which posts hit the mark and which ones need improving.
Provides post ideas based on trending topics to help fill out your content calendar
Generates preview of both posts and ads, so you can view before publishing
Offers collaborative view and approval workflow to keep everyone in the loop
Publishes posts automatically for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest
Interact with audience members who engage with your social media content.
Get notified (through Slack, email, push notifications, or Microsoft Teams) every time a team member edits or comments on a piece of content.
Respond to messages and comments from your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Scheduling posts can get clunky.
Tagging people is confusing if you’re posting on platforms other than Facebook.
This tool can function as a single source location for your social media content planning and scheduling. Its user-friendly design makes it easy for the entire marketing team to adopt and use it successfully. Everyone can easily visualize the content strategy and lay out a steady diet of relevant content to post to the company’s social media accounts.
Brainstorm ideas before posting them with Content Hub.
Auto-publish posts from a single location by connecting your social media platforms.
Continuously measure the success of your marketing campaigns with advanced analytics.
Create professional-looking content with thousands of templates.
Streamlines workflows by mapping out content
Allows for team collaboration throughout the content creation process
Provides attentive, helpful customer support
Offers sharable, inclusive, appealing, and easy to read calendar organization.
Platform aesthetic design could be more pleasing
User interface can be confusing in the beginning
Tagging feature isn't as easy as it is within the social media platforms themselves
Understanding what it takes to make a piece of content rank is not only difficult, it’s ever-changing. Take the guesswork out of your content creation and planning strategy. Using AI, MarketMuse offers plenty of helpful information that you can use to amplify your content planning results. Analyze your company’s content and your main competitor’s content so you can find search engine ranking opportunities.
Take advantage of briefs with internal linking opportunities, keyword suggestions, and questions to answer within the content guide your content’s directions.
Use the text editor for real-time feedback on your content.
Save time with automation, which researches keywords and competitors.
Minimizes the time it takes to finish high-quality content by taking advantage of the many recommendations MarketMuse offers
Creates stronger customer journeys through your content creation from beginning to end
Helps sites get ranked higher and enjoy higher-performing pieces of content
Pricing may be prohibitive for smaller companies.
Some features can be confusing and could benefit from more resources.
As one of the most popular social media management tools, we had to include Sendible on our list of the best content planning tools available. You don’t have to look long to understand why. Its all-in-one system allows the team to grow its ideal audience, engage and attract new customers, and achieve its social media goals without hiring extra staff or sacrificing work on ongoing projects.
Content calendar queues allow users to group their social media posts into campaigns and schedule them at peak times for the best visibility.
Canva plugin gives users a way to create unique images and graphics to strengthen their posts.
Brand monitoring tools help your team not miss a single mention, regardless of which social media platform it’s on.
Tailors your content by adding mentions, hashtags, emojis, and visuals for every social media platform from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Instagram
Shows where you need more or fewer posts with the calendar view
Elevates your social media market quickly with Sendible’s resizing images tool
Integrates with popular apps like Dropbox and Google Drive
Certain aspects of the platform are a bit clunky.
Repetitive notifications can get annoying and are unhelpful.
Plan your content more efficiently with Teamwork
Effectively managing your company’s content strategy is essential. Do it well, and you have a valuable, relevant library of content that engages your buyers and compels them to act by filling out a form or contacting you for a demo.
However, a great content strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum or as an afterthought. Content management tools are necessary to brainstorm, create, share, and analyze your efforts. Editorial calendars, customizable templates, task managers, notifications, keyword and backlink identifiers, and social media management tools should be at your fingertips.
Choosing the best content management tools saves your team time, helps your rank higher on search engines and attract your target audience, and builds your funnel with high-value leads. What are you waiting for?
Teamwork is a robust project management tool with everything you need to create an end-to-end content strategy that produces measurable results. Sign up with us today and get started on a more data-driven, seamless content creation process that builds your brand and expands your audience.