Content planning is indispensable to your content marketing strategy. Content planning tools help get the job done faster, easier, and more efficiently. And who doesn’t need to be more efficient?
As marketing leaders and professionals, streamlining and organizing your marketing efforts, from blogs to social media to email marketing, will have you working smarter, not harder.
While there are some crossover tools for content production, it is worth distinguishing the need for planning tools to ensure your production runs smoother and gives your competitors a run for their money.
Creating consistent quality content starts with a good content strategy. A successful content strategy is comprehensive, intentional and uses tools for insights, optimization, and communication. We divided the content planning tools into two categories research and planning, scheduling, and communication.
There are hundreds of tools available serving different purposes when it comes to content planning and marketing. We outline some top content planning tools to outsmart your competition and ensure your company’s long-term growth and success.
Your content plan could be the difference between success and failure. Planning your content provides a structured approach that leads to better results—enhanced communication, consistency, efficiency, and overall enriched content quality.
Planning helps you organize your thoughts and ideas, ensuring your content is well-structured and clearly communicates your message.
Regularly publishing high-quality content is essential for building and maintaining an engaged audience. Planning allows you to create a steady posting schedule, which helps establish a routine for your audience and keeps them returning for more.
Planning your content saves time and allows you to allocate your resources more efficiently. When we produce growth content marketing campaigns, we batch 12 blog posts with corresponding keywords, email, and social to complete the campaign goal to its fullest potential.
Planning gives you the opportunity to research, gather critical data, and refine your content. When you have time to edit and re-evaluate a piece of content from brief to finished article, the quality improves before publishing.
Ahrefs is an article/blog planning SEO tool designed to help users rank higher on Google and help businesses improve search traffic and optimize their websites.
It helps in the planning stage when creating a new blog post. Seed keywords are a starting point. In the image above, the keyword is ‘content marketing tools.’ You need to evaluate the keyword difficulty, search volume and consider where your website stands compared to the competition. (including the importance of your domain authority.)
Best for: Keyword research
Why we like it: We can uncover awareness, consideration, decision, and long-tail keywords for our search-engine-optimized blog posts. The ‘Top pages’ report lets you analyze the most valuable pages on a website, and the ‘Content gap’ helps you discover important topics you may have yet to cover. With Content Gap, you can see the keywords your competitors’ websites rank for.
Semrush is similar to Ahrefs as it’s a tool designed to boost your online visibility. The platform has planning tools that help you discover related topics in your niche and learn how to connect with your audience effectively.
Best for: Keyword research, competitive research, and content marketing
Why we like it: Semrush can help you find different keyword variations helping you to understand better how people search online. The ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ allows you to generate keywords within your niche (including semantically related long-tail keywords across specific subgroups.)
Google Trends is a free tool that analyzes the popularity of Google search terms using real-time data.
Best for: Finding currently trending topics
Why we like it: It helps you refine your marketing campaigns. Google Trends shows you keyword data based on real-time search data—which other tools can’t. It does not measure keyword difficulty or volume like the other two above.
Glimpse is a freemium Google Chrome extension that enhances Google Trends data for better insights like search volume for a specific query, related trending queries, and ‘People Also Search for’ (the keywords directly from Google)
Image credit: Glimpse – Google Trends Supercharged
“AnswerThePublic listens to autocomplete data from search engines like Google and then quickly cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around your keyword. It’s a goldmine of consumer insight you can use to create fresh, ultra-useful content, products, and services. The kind your customers really want.”
Best for: Keyword discovery (what people are asking)
Why we like it: Adds insight into content creation and strategy. Answer The Public helps streamline content production by identifying ideas without manually sifting through individual keywords.
Google Analytics 4 provides metrics for SEO and marketing purposes and lets you know what content is driving your established goal.
Best for: Understanding your audience and tracking events.
Why we like it: You can use GA4 to see how people found your website and observe their behavior. It is event-based—meaning everything that happens on your website is tracked as an event. You can make any event a conversion by toggling a switch, and this sets up a goal you can track. Analyzing your content pages lets you know exactly what’s working and what needs improvement.
Responsify (a digital marketing agency) has an app for content collaboration, planning, and distribution with clients, writers, and team members. The app maximizes the impact of your content once the topics and keywords are determined.
Best for: planning, strategizing, scheduling, and communication (All-in-One)
Why we like it: Our project management tool focuses on stages from initiation and planning to execution and completion. It helps schedule resources and minimizes the risk of things falling through the cracks.
It gives transparency to work being done and keeps both agency and client accountable every step of the way. Our app is a visual aid with built-in outline reviews to get the essential feedback needed to create top-of-the-line content.
HubSpot Marketing Hub keeps your marketing tools and data in one place. Part of the marketing hub has lead generation workflows at your disposal. By creating a lead generation workflow, you can provide your team with a clear plan of action.
Best for: Blogging, email workflows, publishing
Why we like it: Hubspot’s use of its tools evolves as your business grows. Its marketing automation nurtures and scores leads, personalizes email, and manages data in one place. Your team can plan out email lead nurturing campaigns way in advance. By saving time and energy with workflows, you’ll spend less time on tactical execution and more time on strategy.
WordPress is a popular and versatile content management system (CMS) primarily used for creating websites and blogs. It offers an intuitive interface, a wide range of customizable themes and plugins, and a robust ecosystem of extensions and integrations. Also a huge player in content production software.
Best for: Creating websites, blogging, content scheduling, and publication
Why we like it: WordPress was born as a blogging platform. It is one of the cleanest, fastest ways to write and publish blog posts.
You can collaborate, create posts and pages with your team, and plan when you want to publish, keeping a consistent blogging cadence.
Google Docs and Sheets are free and our favorite content planning tool for its ease of use and real-time collaboration features.
Best for: Editing and collaboration with content writers and other team members.
Why we like it: It’s the best platform for collaboration, hands down. It’s easy to use and share documents or sheets with your team.
Slack helps bring all communications into one place. It helps make decisions faster by bringing your team together quickly.
Best for: Streamlining communication
Why we like it: You can use Slack to manage all the moving pieces of every project you are working on. It connects your team or clients to the information they need quickly.
You can start a huddle in any channel or direct message to work in real-time with your coworkers via video, screen sharing, or just a quick chat.
Loom is a screen recorder that you can use to record and share videos instantly. It is a tool that helps get your message across to your team members (or clients) to share quick feedback or communication.
Best for: creating a quick tutorial on explaining complex topics
Why we like it: Easy to use and great for communication or explaining concepts to team members or clients without requiring a full, synchronous meeting.
Growing your business through content means more than just writing (keeping a journal.) It means content with a strategy behind it— content planning, strategy, production, optimization, and analytics.
Using the right content tools and content marketing agency enhances user engagement and business growth.
If you’re a B2B leader or marketing professional, you and your team probably don’t have the time to spend hours every week contemplating content with all its intricacies. Responsify produces strategic content with experience and faster turnaround time than most companies can do independently. We have the professional tools and team at your disposal to deliver a powerful content growth model.
Schedule a quick assessment with our Lead Growth Strategist to learn more about our content services and start outwitting your competition and build, grow, and scale your business.