The Ultimate Toolbox for a Content Marketing Manager14 min read
Welcome! We’re assuming if you’re reading this that you’re either working in, or are just about to take on, a new role as a ‘Content Marketing Manager’…
…If not and you’re still in the ‘job description’ phase, then kudos for getting ahead of the game! It’s a full-time position (or certainly feels like one!) that requires you to put your writing, communication and project management skills to the test on a daily basis. It’s a marketing job that’s not for the faint-hearted and whether you’re a solo startup or at the head of an established marketing team, we’ve compiled this ultimate toolbox to make your digital content life a little easier as a Content Marketing Manager, let’s get stuck in!
A day in the life of a Content Marketing Manager is never the same, so we’ve tried to narrow it down to some of the most typical tasks:
- Manage all social media channels
- Research and analyse competitors
- Plan and execute a content calendar
- Create and promote content
- SEO strategist
Rather than delve into Hubspot and similar all-inclusive content programs, we’ve decided to choose a few tools for each section, so you can decide what works for you in regards to pricing and time constraints.
Manage all social media channels
This kind of social media marketing may not apply if there’s a ‘Social Media Manager’ within your business, however, these tools can still be handy for your content management. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or merely a LinkedIn page, marketing content well is the key to success. You may already be a total pro with project management but even the most expert strategist could do with making life a bit easier.
If you’re looking for a tool to take care of everything (and we mean everything) social media-related then Hootsuite is a game-changer for Content Marketing Managers. Begin by monitoring key topics and analysing your performance on each social channel, create advertising campaigns and follow their success, engage with your followers in one simple location and create, curate and publish content. You can also connect to YouTube and WordPress (which similar tools don’t allow) and integrate with Hootsuite’s 250 technology-partners and applications to discover new tools to enhance your experience. Depending on the number of social channels you run, with a variety of plans available (including a brilliant free option), you’re sure to find one within budget.
At first glance, Sprout Social may seem similar to Hootsuite but there are a few features that set them apart. While Sprout Social can also schedule content and monitor engagement, the platform focuses heavily on customer experience with its highly-rated support; if you’re new to social media management, this could prove invaluable. If you’re already a marketing specialist, some of the more specific features, such as the ability to post the first Instagram comment (a great place for hashtags) could set this apart for you. A real investment, Sprout Social markets itself as a social media tool for brands and it has a price tag to match.
If you’ve got a handle on what you’re doing but would benefit from bringing everything into the one workspace, monday.com is a Work Operating System (Work OS) that allows you (and your team) to view all projects and tasks in one easy layout. Collaboration is made easy, with all marketing communications and files located in the same place. You can also create summaries and reports to highlight areas that require a little more effort. Essentially, it allows you to have an overview of all social media strategies and campaigns, so you don’t miss a thing!
Research and analyse competitors
A big part of any marketing strategy involves doing a bit of digging into content performance – be it your own or even that of your competitors. You want to be sure, as a kick-ass Content Marketing Manager, that any marketing campaigns you are sending into the digital world are going to be received well and worth your time and money. It also pays to know what your target audience is searching for; get ahead of the game by providing content to highly-requested keywords and you’re on to a winner.
Based on a newspaper-style format, Scoop.it is aimed towards ‘Content Marketers’ and ‘Thought Leaders’…but why not be both?! The platform allows users to create boards and share curated content from a huge number of sources whilst generating leads, creating and sustaining brand awareness while you’re at it. It also allows you to plan your next content marketing initiatives by using the ‘scooped’ content insights to view current, and improve future, campaign analytics.
Mostly used as a popular SEO tool, if your goal is to rank higher and increase organic traffic to your site, Ahrefs ‘Site, Keywords and Content Explorer’ are brilliant tools which dig into the numbers to analyse competitors and see exactly what your target audience is searching for. Comprising over a billion web pages, you can research which type of content is performing well, so you’re able to adjust yours accordingly. The “pages over time” chart also lets you see the content creation trend for any topic over a certain timeframe.
Feedly is a really handy tool to visualise and curate the best content for topics and categories relevant to your industry and brand. It can help you to find content from reputable sources and gather inspiration for producing your own. There’s even an in-built AI research assistant included, which will track and tune the suggestions you are receiving the more you use it. It’s a great collaborative platform too; you can easily add other users to ensure everyone is on the same page and armed with the same insights.
Plan and execute a content calendar
Though it may have been enough in the early days of social media for businesses to simply have a presence, nowadays, you’re now expected to have a full content/editorial calendar to keep your audience satisfied. If you’re part of a larger brand, you may also be in charge of editing copywriters or content creators to ensure a consistent brand style and voice. Yep, you’re never short of tasks as a Content Marketing Manager!
Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there to help you organise depending on the amount you require but here are 3 of our favourites.
Top tip: if you are managing a content team, using ‘Skitch’ (by Evernote) makes editing and reporting back to them a breeze.
You have to bank on an organisational app with the word ‘schedule’ in its name and Coschedule does not disappoint! Keeping all your content in a simple, manageable order can be a serious effort, no matter how good your project management skills are, especially if you’re planning a huge marketing campaign. You can even integrate your favourite tools to customise your experience eg. Bitly for link shortening. Out-with social networks, you can even add in things like email marketing to your CoSchedule hub; with all forms of marketing in the one place, it’s unlikely you’ll miss anything. The platform can also increase your productivity by analysing social network and campaign insights and if you’re head of a team, you can keep tabs on your co-workers’ performance in an automated group or individual reports.
If you’re looking for a no-frills scheduler, though it may be a relative newbie, not only does SocialChief look great, this ‘super-simple social media scheduling tool’ does exactly what it says on the tin. Incorporating extremely fast loading times, GIF and emoji support and an interactive drag and drop interface, there’s also a heavy focus on customer support, so you should be able to navigate easily. If you need to up your content strategy game and you need some assistance with curation, as it’s made by our talented developers, SocialChief works seamlessly with Quuu.
If you’re looking for something in the middle, Post Planner could be the choice for you. Boasting 510% higher engagement than any other application for individuals and small businesses, there has to be something in these figures worth checking out. With plans starting from only a few dollars, the process is simplified by three stages: Find, Plan and Post. It’s a blend of a curating program and a scheduler; by bringing both elements into the one space, it can save any content marketer a lot of time.
Create and promote content
When it comes to the content itself, we all realise the importance of a balanced mix of created vs. curated. As we have entire Quuu blogs written about finding and utilising curated content, we’re dedicating this section solely to creation. Whether you’re writing an article, looking for imagery or have published something that you wish to promote, we’ve split it into 3 sections.
If you’re one of the many content creators who always has a blog on the go, Evernote has been hailed as the ‘ultimate note-taking and archiving tool of choice’ for gathering and organising information whilst collaborating with other users. If you flip between computers or mobiles during the day, Evernote’s syncing abilities could prove an extremely useful platform. As all your work is continually stored on the cloud platform, aside from saving your device’s storage, if you happen to lose or break any of all of your devices (yikes), you won’t lose anything.
Top tip: if you feel your blog posts are good enough to be translated into a series of webinars, Livestorm offers a simple, free version to get started.
If you’re putting your writing skills into creating written content of any kind, you should not be publishing anything without the help of Grammarly. We’ve all powered on with seemingly perfect blogs late into the evening, only to realise the next day our masterpiece is filled with typos and sentences that, quite frankly, do not make sense. Fear not, Grammarly is on hand to eliminate grammar and structural errors and even improve the tone of your piece, depending on how you want it to sound. There’s a brilliant free version but check out the ‘Pro’ or ‘Business’ packages if you’re looking to access some of the more in-depth features.
This one falls under the SEO category below, however, here at Quuu, we like to use Clearscope in the very early stages of our content creation. The program compiles detailed reports of input keywords to aid your ranking endeavours by grading your content based on “content relevance and comprehensiveness”. We use the program to produce more educated and informed content, which is highly relevant to each of our blog’s specific keywords. To ensure we drive as much organic traffic to our website as possible, Clearscope is almost a necessity before writing and transferring to WordPress.
Don’t think for a second that you have to be a graphic designer to produce brilliant infographics. Including a Free and Pro version, Canva is a design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. They have a Free and Pro version which both have a wide array of drag-and-drop features and layouts to make designing as easy as possible.
Top tip: if you happen to be a registered nonprofit, you can get the Canva Pro version for free!
No content marketing strategy is complete without imagery but it can be a struggle to find those of a high standard that are also visually appealing. Marketed as ‘better than any royalty free or stock photos’, Unsplash provides beautiful images and photos that are available for instant download. If you’re looking for images to enhance written content or some inspiration for your next business photoshoot, with its simple layout and easily searchable high-resolution images, it still boggles our minds that the service is completely free!
From a completely unbiased standpoint, all we can say is that Quuu Promote is the greatest thing since garlic bread – ok, maybe we’re a little biased so we’ll let Neil Patel say it for us. It’s a ‘unique and effective’ digital marketing tool which places your content (after review from a Quuu Content Manager) in the hands of real people in your niche. Why boost a post into cyberspace when you could share your content to an organic, targeted follower base? As we mostly promote articles and blog posts, Quuu Promote works best for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While there aren’t any current plans to integrate Instagram or Pinterest, keep an eye out in future as this could change!
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a Content Marketing Manager’s best friend and needs to be in the picture from the initial research, all the way through to the production and marketing stages. There’s no use creating informative, high-quality content if no one is going to see it, right? No one knows how the algorithm works and it’s always being updated so your best bet is to read up on SEO and learn as much as you possibly can; after that, it’s down to trial and error.
When delving into SEO, it makes sense to look into a tool from the most popular search engine itself! It might seem complicated at first but there are so many ways to use the valuable data of Google Analytics to monitor and improve SEO performance. From improving landing pages to tracking organic traffic dips and spikes, Ahrefs has a particularly easy-to-follow guide to using Google Analytics if you’re new to the whole process.
If the world of SEO seems confusing (that’s because it is!) but you know you’re looking to maximise your search engine visibility, be it locally or worldwide, Moz has most certainly got a program suited to your needs. They do all the hard work for you; from the usual keyword research and backlink analysis, whilst also tracking your rankings and uncovering any technical SEO issues within your sites – even providing solutions on how to fix them! It’s not a cheap service but, in fairness, you can’t really expect it to be in such a sector.
SEMrush is another solid company that focuses on inbound marketing, sporting the headline: ‘Benefit from your competitors!’ It makes sense; why waste time through trial and error when you can quickly learn through the mistakes of your competition? With a mixture of advertising and organic analytics, you can spot exactly which keywords and copy are working well and even get insight into ad budgets! Including the usual handy backlink and traffic analysis of many marketing programs, the ‘Market Explorer’ section also allows you to learn and dissect your company’s position in the ranking of all the relevant sites in your industry.
You made it! Hopefully, you’ve learned something useful and added a few tools to your content marketing arsenal but if not, at least you’ve broken up your day with some great GIFs. Of course, there are thousands of tools out there and if there’s one you think your fellow readers have to know about, we’d love to see it in the comments!