BACK Firm Culture — March 22, 2019

The 19 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2019

While no content marketing tool can replace a solid strategy and talented humans, having the right tech stack can certainly help you get the job done better, easier, and more efficiently.

There are hundreds of content marketing tools available, some free or cheap and some very expensive. They also serve tons of different purposes, from content ideation to production to promote, optimization, and more. The content marketing technology landscape is growing every year.

This is exciting, since it means that if you have a problem, you can probably find a software solution to help you solve it. But it’s also overwhelming. How do you know which of the couple hundred tools are worth trying?

This post will help clarify those decisions for you. We’ll outline the top 19 content marketing tools in 2019.

The 19 Best Content Marketing Tools in 2019

1. HubSpot
2. WordPress
3. Google Docs
4. Airstory
5. Grammarly
6. Yoast
7. Buzzsumo
8. Ahrefs
9. Vidyard
10. Loom
11. Trello
12. Airtable
13. Google Analytics
14. HotJar
15. Google Optimize
16. Mutiny
17. The Stocks.IM
18. Canva
19. Adobe Photoshop

1. HubSpot

HubSpot offers many content marketing tools, and many of them are free to try. These include:

  • A powerful form builder
  • Popup tools
  • Live chat and chatbots
  • And all-in-one WordPress plugin for marketing

In addition to free content marketing tools, if you really want to build a growth machine, HubSpot has a world-class CMS and the most powerful marketing automation platform in the industry and allows you to centralized everything to a free CRM. This means that, at each and every level of a company’s growth, HubSpot has some solution that can help you build your content marketing program.

HubSpot also makes products for sales and service teams. As such, it can really be the ground control for your whole business.

2. WordPress

WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world. As of August 2018, VentureBeat reported that WordPress powers about 30% of the internet in general.

Social proof can sometimes lead us astray, but in this case, it turns out that WordPress is a pretty powerful tool, both at the beginning stages and as your grow your content marketing program (it’s used by sites like The New Yorker and The Next Web)

At its core, WordPress is an open source CMS that allows you to host and build websites. You can self-host or host your site via WordPress contains plugin architecture and a template system so you can customize any website to fit your business, blog, portfolio, or online store.

It’s a highly customizable platform and is widely used by bloggers.

3. Google Docs

Google Docs is to content marketing what a kitchen is to chefs: it’s where all of the work gets done before the final presentation.

Personally, I don’t know any content marketers who don’t use Google Docs to draft their articles. It’s the best platform for collaboration by a long shot, but it’s also easy to use has a pleasant user experience.

In addition, you can usually find a way to upload Google Docs directly to your CMS. In the case of HubSpot, you can do that by default. If you use WordPress, you can use a tool like Wordable to help you out.

Google Docs is free, quite ubiquitous, and pleasant to use. Not many reasons not to use it.

4. Airstory

If you do want to step up your writing and collaboration game, Airstory is a more powerful platform for writers. If you find yourself moving too often between Evernote, Google Docs, Google Drive, and you always seem to have a hundred tabs open for research, it might be time to look into Airstory.
It helps you save quotes, images, and multimedia and drag and drop it into any application where you do writing. As such, it’s an incredible tool for collaboration, but also for writers who are working on longer form content (such as books or ebooks).

5. Grammarly

Grammarly has changed the game for me. I’m not naturally what you would call “detail-oriented,” so if it weren’t for talented editors, you’d be tearing me apart right now for the multitude of grammar mistakes littering my articles.

Grammarly, however, reduces my error rate by probably 50-80%. I still have some mistakes slip through, but to a large extent, Grammarly saves me from embarrassment (not just when writing articles, by the way – it also works for social media and forum comments).

6. Yoast

Yoast is one of my favorite tools for writing SEO-focused content.

It’s a sort of “all-in-one” WordPress plugin for SEO that helps do pretty much everything, including optimizing content for a keyword, previewing and editing meta-descriptions and URL slugs, abstracting away technical SEO tasks, and suggesting relevant internal links.
They have over 9,000,000 downloads, 4.9 out of 5 stars in the WordPress marketplace, and just anecdotally, everyone I know who uses WordPress uses Yoast. It’s just a great plugin.

7. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a great multi-purpose content marketing research tool.

One of the main things it can do is help you analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. You can see metrics like social shares, backlinks, and which influencers are sharing as given piece of content.
They also have great influencer reports so you can see who the thought leaders are for a given topic area.

8. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is my personal favorite SEO tool, and I use it just about every day. It’s great for everything from tracking the rankings of your keywords to analyzing your competitors’ keywords and traffic and much more.

Everytime I think I’ve mastered the full functionality of Ahrefs, I find a new feature that surprises and delights me. The basics, such as keyword research or site analyzer, are wonderful. But I also love reports like “top pages” (where you can analyze the most valuable pages on a website), or “content gap” (where you can see what competitors rank for that you don’t).

9. Vidyard

Vidyard is a video marketing platform that helps you host, share, and promote video content on your website.

They have a sales solution as well to help you close more accounts, but the marketing solution is what I’m most used to. Vidyard’s video analytics are robust, you can run A/B tests and personalize videos, and you can even gate videos at a certain time length to help capture leads.

10. Loom

Loom is a tool that I’ve more recently begun using, but at this point it’s a staple for me.

It’s a simple tool, but one with powerful use cases, even beyond content marketing. What it does is allow you to create, edit, and share screen share videos. For content marketing, I love this, because I can create and embed tutorials for technical walkthroughs.

Organizationally, I love it as well. It’s great for communicating quick questions or explaining concepts to other team members (without requiring a full, synchronous meeting).

11. Trello

When you really start producing content, you’ll need some way to manage the process. This is particularly true if you’re working with many staff writers or guest writers.

My favorite tool for this is Trello.

Trello is a simple kanban and project management tool, which means it can be used for many purposes. In fact, I’ve used it for tons of things, like growth experiments, sales pipelines, and product feature roadmaps.

But I really like it as an editorial calendar tool.

12. Airtable

Airtable is another project management tool, though it’s a little more complicated (though also customizable). It’s kind of like a mixture between spreadsheets and Trello. Again, with Airtable, the use cases are many, but I really like it for two content marketing purposes:

Editorial calendars
Influencer/writer management

I’ve also used Airtable for several other things in the past, including growth experiments and general team operating documents.

13. Google Analytics

When talking about content marketing tools, you can’t leave measurement out of the discussion.

Surely, you can get some good insights from SEO tools like Google Search Console as well as previously listed tools like Ahrefs. But you’ll also want a digital analytics platform so you can track business metrics.

Google Analytics is one of the most widely used platforms online. It’s easy-to-use (at least the basic configurations), and it’s free. Two big benefits.

However, it’s also very powerful if you’re technical and know how to setup a proper configuration. You can not only track goals, like form submissions or product purchases, but you can also set up behavioral events, like scroll-depth.

14. HotJar

HotJar is my favorite user experience analytics tool. It’s got some qualitative tools, such as on-site poll, surveys, and session replays. Where Google Analytics can help you uncover the “what” and “where” of user behavior, these tools can help you start to tiptoe into the “why.”

In addition, they also provide some quantitative tools such as heat maps. These allow you to get a good visual picture of where you visitors are clicking and scrolling.

One use case I love HotJar (outside of CRO) for is to source interesting content ideas:

15. Google Optimize

We’ve got a quantitative digital analytics tool (Google Analytics) and a qualitative insights platform (HotJar), so we presumably can know a lot about our readers and our website at this point. But what if we want to make a change to our blog or landing pages?

My background is in optimization, so if there’s sufficient traffic, I like to set up A/B tests for site changes.

There are many tools out there for this, but I wanted to list Google Optimize because it’s free. It’s also a good starter option to get used to. If you do want to explore other options, here’s a good article comparing the market solutions. But Google Optimize is a great start.

16. Mutiny

A/B testing is one thing; personalization is also an interesting avenue to explore.

Where A/B testing is a controlled experiment with a limited time-horizon, personalization allows you to deliver different unique experiences to subsets of your overall audience.

For example, you could target mobile users with different popup forms. Or you could target visitors who have read three blog posts with an offer for a specific e-book. Or you could target people who scroll 75% of the way down a certain blog post with an in-text CTA.

The options are endless, only limited by your time, resources, creativity, and prioritization.

Anyway, Mutiny is my favorite platform in this space. It’s designed for B2B, so if you’re in ecommerce you may want to look at another tool like Evergage. But Mutiny is a good and promising newer player with lots of functionality.

17. TheStocks.IM

Most good content marketing includes imagery, so it only makes sense to include a stock photo site here in our list of content marketing tools.

I like TheStocks.IM because it aggregates several free stock photo sites, including Unsplash (my favorite) and Pixabay.

18. Canva

What about when a stock image doesn’t cut it, and you want to make your own imagery?

Canva is a great option here.

With Canva, you really don’t need to have excellent graphic design skills. I’m a horrible designer, and I can make decent looking graphics with Canva. It’s really designed for the layperson.

This tool is great for all kinds of content marketing imagery, like social media images, blog cover photos, Twitter cover photos, etc. It’s pretty all-purpose.

19. Adobe Photoshop

Now, what if you want to make your own imagery, but you actually are good at graphic design?

Well, in this case, Photoshop is the gold standard. It’s great for editing photographs as well as creating images such as Facebook photos, blog cover photos, and even screenshot tutorials.

I find that, just as with SQL, little bit of skill with Photoshop goes a long way.
Not all of the content marketing tools on this list are free, though many of them are.

As such, if you’re a content marketer on a budget, look into the following tools, which can all be used or at least tested out for free.

13 Free Content Marketing Tools in 2019

1. HubSpot
2. WordPress
3. Google Docs
4. Grammarly
5. Yoast
6. Loom
7. Trello
8. Airtable
9. Google Analytics
10. HotJar
11. Google Optimize
12. The Stocks.IM
13. Canva

Content marketing tools won’t save a bad content strategy or a bad product

… but they’ll certainly help you get the job done faster and more effectively.

Obviously there are many more content marketing tools out there, but for this list, I tried to only list those that you really need as well as the tools that I like the most.


Every now and then your website needs a refresh. There are many good reasons for a website redesign, whether it’s a rebranding, moving onto a new Content Management System (CMS), the site is getting lackluster results or it looks like it was built in 1999 (eek).

Eventually, there comes a time when you’ve gathered all the low-hanging fruit possible. That’s when you need a bigger change. Radical redesigns are a great way to transform your site into a beautiful new butterfly.

A redesign can be a huge success – or it could fail terribly. After all, it’s a long and tedious process. That’s where checklists can make your job a whole lot easier. Whether you’re working with an agency or redesigning in-house, this checklist will save you from some headaches.

But, I will admit, this is not your average checklist. While many detailed and tactical checklists are available online (I’ve listed my favorites on page 16 for your viewing pleasure), the one thing commonly overlooked – that can make or break your redesign – is how the redesign will support (and improve) your overall marketing efforts. Your website isn’t a silo. And it’s not just about design. Your website affects your social media, email marketing, lead generation, brand awareness and sales strategies.

That’s what this checklist solves for: turning your website into an inbound marketing machine for long-term success.

1. Benchmark your current metrics

Before you start thinking about anything, document your current performance metrics. Start by analyzing your existing site over its history, including:

  • Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Current Seo rankings for important keywords
  • Domain authority
  • Number of new leads/form submissions
  • Total amount of sales generated

If you don’t have access to this information, then I absolutely recommend adding a tool like Google Analytics or HubSpot’s closed-loop analytics for better tracking and visibility into site performance.

2. Determine your goals

If you’re considering a redesign, there needs to be a good reason for it. Many times we hear “just because it’s been a while since we’ve done one,” or “I want our business to look bigger.” These are not good reasons for a redesign. It’s not just about how your site looks, but how it

Be really clear about why you’re doing the redesign in the first place and tie it to measureable results. Then communicate your goals with your team, designer or agency. Consider the following objectives for your own website:

  • Number of visits/visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Domain authority
  • Number of new leads/form submissions
  • Total amount of sales generated
  • Current SEO rankings for important keywords

Many of these goals are dependent on each other. For example, in order to get more conversions, you need to increase traffic while decreasing the bounce rate, so it’s common to have many of these objectives. Some may be more important than others for your business. Once you determine this list, tie those objectives to a specific success metric e.g., “to increase site traffic by 50% in the next six months.”

See which channels drive your best traffic and leads

Do you know which of your marketing channels are bringing in the most customers? HubSpot lets you see your top performing channels – in terms of visits,
leads and customer acquisition – so you can make your marketing investments smarter.

  • Social Media Measurement: Understand how social media is driving leads.
  • Organic vs. Paid: See how much of your search traffic can be attributed to search engine optimization, and how much you’re paying for.
  • Buyers vs. Browsers: See which channels brought in serious leads versus website visitors who just came to look around.

3. Avoid pitfalls. Inventory your assets

While a redesign is a great way to improve results, there are countless ways it can hurt you. Your existing website contains a lot of assets that you have built up, and losing those during a redesign can damage your marketing. For instance, such assets might include:

  • Most shared or viewed content
  • Most trafficked pages
  • Best performing keywords you rank for and associated pages
  • Number of inbound links to individual pages

For example, if you remove a page that has a higher number of inbound links, you could lose a lot of SEO credit, which could decrease keyword rankings.

Keep in mind that many web designers don’t consider this step because they are not marketers. Watch the Science of Website Redesign to learn more about this step.

4. Analyze the competition

While we don’t recommend obsessing over your competitors, it helps to know how you compare.

  • Run your website through Marketing Grader ( to get a report card of how your website and marketing is performing today.
  • Next, run your competitors through Marketing Grader so you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take a look at their websites, note what you like and what you don’t. BUT, this is not meant to copy them. That’s the last thing you want to do. Instead, you’ll uncover what you can do better.

Once you run the analysis, put together an action list of what areas you can improve and what you can do differently than your competitors.

Benchmark your Competitors and Keep track of your rivals

Wondering how your marketing stacks up against your competition — or other companies your size? HubSpot makes it easy to set goals and see where you stand on traffic, inbound links, conversion rates, lead generation and other important metrics.

  • See how your competitors are faring in search, social media and lead generation.
  • After you look at the overview, get a detailed report on any individual competitor to delve deeper into their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Compare your lead and sales conversion rates with other companies in your industry.

5. Identify your unique Value proposition

Before you begin crafting your content, be clear about you Unique Value Proposition (UVP) so that it is consistent across your entire website. If you attract a high number of unique visitors, or you’re a new business, your visitors might not be very familiar with you and what you do. You need to immediately answer if what you do is right for them, and why they should buy/convert/stay on your website and not flee to your competitors.

When crafting your UVP, make sure you sound human. Do not use gobbledygook. Consider the following example of how we could describe HubSpot in a gobbledygook way:
HubSpot assists organizations across multiple countries reduce churn by backfilling the sales pipeline with highly qualified traffic that generates leads that convert into customers with high lifetime value. We achieve this through leading-edge software that integrates all marketing channels for a synergistic view of the data that determines and prioritizes the high-value marketing activities.

What? Let’s translate that into the way people actually speak:
HubSpot all-in-one marketing software helps more than 6,000 companies in 45 countries attract leads and convert them into customers. A pioneer in inbound marketing, HubSpot aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love.
Ahh yes, I got it! This step defines how the world communicates with your website. It can dramatically affect your bounce rates and
conversion rates. Don’t skip this step

6. Design your site around personas

Your website is not just about you. Your visitors ask, “what’s in it for me?” Speak to them in their language by designing content around
buyer personas.

A buyer persona is when you slice your marketplace into individual groups of people. They are fictional representations of your ideal
customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

For instance, if you are a marketing manager at a hotel who is looking to bring in new business, you might target five buyer personas:
an independent business traveler, a corporate travel manager, an event planner, a vacationing family, and a couple planning their wedding reception.

1. Segment by demographics

Start developing personas by researching your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers of your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description, including a name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.

2. Identify their needs

What are the biggest problems they are trying to solve? What do they need most? What information are they typically searching for? What trends are influencing their business or personal success?

3. Develop behavior-based profiles

What do they do online? Are they active on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products?

Your website is a great way to match your messaging to the needs of different buyer personas. Build your pages into categories to fit these personas, or offer content in a way that your prospects can easily find what’s relevant for them.

7. Optimize your site for search

Getting found online is essential to improving the rest of your site metrics. If no one is coming to your site, how can you increase leads, downloads, or sales?
Here are some tips to designing your site for search engine optimization (SEO):

1. Document your most search-valued pages
As mentioned in step three, know what pages have the strongest SEO juice, the most traffic, inbound links, and keywords rankings. If you plan to move highly ranked pages, create proper 301 redirects so you don’t lose any of that value.

2. Create a 301 redirect strategy
This may be THE most important step in terms of retaining traffic and rankings. Simply create a spreadsheet to record and map out your 301 redirects.

3. Do your keyword research
For every page, pick one to two keywords that the page will focus on. Once you determine the keyword(s), use on-page SEO tactics, such as internal link building and optimizing your header tags (H1, H2,H3, etc.)

See which channels drive your best traffic and leads

You don’t need to hire that SEO expert. HubSpot’s built-in search engine optimization makes it easy to pick the right keywords and find link-building opportunities that increase your website’s search rank.

  • Keyword Analysis: Find and track your most effective keywords.
  • Link Tracking: Track inbound links and the leads they’re generating.
  • Page-Level SEO: Diagnose and fix poorly ranking sites.

8. Identify calls-to-action

Calls-to-action are the elements on your website that drive visitors to take an action, whether it’s a whitepaper download, contacting sales, or product
purchase. Your website shouldn’t be a static brochure but should prompt your visitors to do something that further engages them with your brand.
When you’re planning for the redesign, think about all the potential opportunities for conversion. For example:

  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Contests and promotions
  • Product purchases
  • Email newsletter subscription
  • Free trial
  • Contact us / consultation / demonstration / etc.

While the “design” of your website is important, focus on functional. Make sure there are plenty of calls-to-action so you don’t lose visitors.

Easily build awesome calls-to-action with hubspot

HubSpot allows you to easily build, A/B test, embed and track impressions, clicks and lead submission from the call to action buttons on your website.

  • Upload an image or build a CTA from scratch.
  • A/B test two or more CTAs.
  • Easily embed CTAs on your website.
  • Track impressions, clicks and from submissions form your CTA

9. Create an ongoing content strategy

If you have more content, on average you will have more website visitors and grow your business faster. A 100-page website will beat a 10-page website 99% of the time. And a 500-page website is even better, especially when it includes a constant flow of fresh content. Build a strategy to continue to add more and more
content to your website over time.

1. Start a blog
This is one of the best ways to have an on-going flow of great content. In fact, companies that blog have 55% more website visitors and 88% more leads than those who do not.

2. Include some PR
Post press releases and updates, but don’t rely on this alone.

3. Outsource when necessary
Lack time or resources for content? Take a look at content marketplace services like Zerys that provide a network of authors.

4. Need ideas?
Download HubSpot’s 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas ebook.

10. Don’t forget the extras!

Any website built today should include these basics: a homepage, product pages, industry resources and a Contact Us/About Us pages. But there’s more to the basics that can really make your website awesome:

1. Blog
A blog is a great way to create content on an ongoing basis, and to converse with your customers and prospects.

2. Landing pages & calls-to-action
Landing pages and calls-to-action are critical lead generation components. Create awesome landing pages as part of the redesign for your offers and assets.

3. Add RSS subscription
RSS allows some content from your website to be automatically pushed out to other websites and people, increasing the reach of your content.

4. Shareability
Add social media sharing buttons/links to all your pages. You can use tools like ShareThis or AddThis.

5. Analytics
It’s critical you are measuring the performance of your website from the start. Insight is everything for a marketer



I skipped over many of the very down-and-dirty checklists because there are so many great lists already available. If you’re looking for a tactical redesign checklist that covers all the little details, check out these resources:

  • The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist
  • Comprehensive Web Design Checklist
  • Step-By-Step Website Development
  • The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist
  • 15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website

A successful website redesign starts even before the site is being “designed.” Often times, people get caught up in how the website looks and this focus overshadows how well it is working.

Remember, a website is not a silo. Its integration with other functions, such as social media, email marketing and lead generation, is critical. This is your chance to turn your website into an inbound marketing hub.

Follow this checklist and you’ll be well-prepared for any website redesign.

Thanks for reading.