Your Marketing Toolbox: 74 Templates and Tools To Boost Your Marketing Value

An image of a woman writing in a notebook. Her hand is clearly visible holding a pen. To the left, there is a box overlay that says "Marketing Toolbox: Tools and Templates to Improve Your Results" with a logo of Erika Heald Marketing Consulting below it.

Content marketing teams across industries face an all-too-familiar set of challenges:

  • We need to create relevant content for our distinct audiences at a consistent cadence
  • But we lack the necessary insights to understand their content needs and differentiate our content
  • And we don’t have enough resources to gain this intelligence while keeping pace with the competition

Although cloning ourselves isn’t possible, there is a viable way to alleviate these challenges: Using templates and tools to work more efficiently!

To help you accelerate and improve your work across a range of content marketing tasks, check out these must-use tools, templates, and frameworks that come highly recommended by the #ContentChat community of marketers and content creators.

What are your favorite content marketing tools? Do you have a trusted template to share? Let us know in the comments and we will update this post with all your relevant submissions.

Generative AI Content Marketing Tools

Artificial intelligence has supercharged practically every tool that marketers use. Now is the time to start experimenting with AI to understand its uses and limitations — if not, you’ll fall behind. 

The following tools are specifically focused on using generative AI to boost your content creation, and check out our below category for more content creation tools and templates.

A huge asterisk on each of these tools: Generative AI should never be used to replace human writers, but instead help them overcome writer’s block or refine their writing. We recommend you follow Marketing AI Institute and Trust Insights for the latest strategies to use AI ethically and effectively.

  • Copy.ai: Our consultancy founder Erika Heald uses Copy.ai to help with content ideation, enforcing brand style, and brainstorming email subject lines (to name a few of her favorite uses). She recommends you check this one out, especially if you frequently write in more than one brand voice.
  • Jasper: Jasper positions itself as an “end-to-end copilot” that enables teams to quickly create on-brand content with the help of AI, including project management and performance measurement features. 
  • Lavender: Lavender (which our team has represented) is an email intelligence tool that helps people write better emails faster. It provides objective feedback on what you can change in an email to increase your likelihood of receiving a reply. Its core use is for sales, but it can improve any email communication (and has been available for job seekers for free!).
  • Writer: Writer is a wildly popular full-stack generative AI tool that can accelerate growth across every team at your company. It’s trained on a family of best-in-class large language models to kickstart your content creation using just a few bullet points. 

Content Curation Tools

Curating content from industry experts, media outlets, and reputable third parties is an essential way to provide value to your communities. It also shows that you do not use your social media and other communication channels solely as a microphone to promote your owned content. To kickstart your content curation program, use these tools:

  • Building Your Content Curation Road Map (Framework): Erika shared this five-step road map for developing a content curation program in a past Content Marketing Institute session. It teaches you an effective content curation process and provides more details on a few of the tools we recommend below.
  • Feedly: Feedly allows you to quickly create content streams from websites, RSS links, social media channels, and other content sources. You can even use Feedly to receive all your email newsletters.
  • FeedOtter: Do you need to accelerate your email marketing? FeedOtter is a tool that can help you automate blog subscription emails to automatically alert blog subscribers when you publish new content. You can also build newsletters with its easy drag-and-drop tool.
  • Flipboard: Quickly save, share, and comment on relevant articles through Flipboard. The site has a web browser extension that allows you to bookmark articles wherever you find them and organize them into various magazines. It’s like Pinterest, but primarily for news and non-visual content. We use Flipboard almost daily, including to curate stories from The Content Chat Bulletin
  • Pocket: Save anything you see online and later revisit it in a distraction-free space, either through Pocket’s website or mobile app. The tool also curates stories that may be of interest, helping you discover more relevant content faster. 
  • Readwise: It’s one thing to simply save articles. But to effectively curate content, you need to know why an article is important to your community (or why you saved the article in the first place). Readwise enables you to highlight portions of your articles and later revisit and organize those highlights.

Content Marketing Planning and Content Creation Tools and Templates

Savvy marketers know that the best content, regardless of its format, is created with audience insights and competitive intelligence in hand. Our community uses a variety of tools to create better content faster, and these are our must-use tools and templates for content creation and content marketing planning:

  • AnswerThePublic: Are you having trouble coming up with your next content idea? Or do you want to validate your brand messaging? AnswerThePublic provides a monthly look at the search engine queries around a topic, brand, or product to spark your next content idea.
  • Blog Content Audit (Template): Can you guarantee that every post on your company blog meets your current audience persona needs? We recommend you audit your blog content at least once a year to understand what content you should refresh, remove, or build out to serve as the launching pad for your next campaign. We explain how to audit your blog content here to guide you through our template.
  • Blog Content Planner (Template): Blog content planning is a vital exercise for marketers, and we encourage you to explore a few content planning templates to pick the one that works best for you. Past #ContentChat guest Eb Gargano is an expert in how to become a more productive blogger and she shared her free content planning worksheet as one option for you to try.
  • BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo helps you find the most shared content on social media and the influencers sharing that content. This can help you know what topics to expand on in future content and build your list of influencers to monitor and engage with.
  • Competitor Content Audit (Template): Understand how you can differentiate your content strategy from your competitors to stand out. This competitor content audit template will accelerate your audit and ensure you track only the necessary details. 
  • Content Planning Form (Template): Optimize your content creation workflow by using this content planning form from our consultancy. The document guides you through the key considerations for any piece of content to ensure you address all the essential planning and structural elements.
  • CoSchedule Headline Analyzer: Make your headlines more powerful by using the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. It is an invaluable (and surprisingly fun!) tool that will coach you on how to improve the effectiveness of your headlines. Your headlines are given a score between 1 and 100, and you should aim for a 70 or higher. It’s well worth the investment!
  • Editorial Calendar (Template): Coordinate and organize your blog and social media content using our consultancy’s template editorial calendar. You can use the sheet to document your upcoming blog posts and social media marketing activities so you can quickly review everything that’s in your content pipeline.
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a treasure trove of data (if you have your account and goals set up, that is). You can learn what topics people are searching for on your site, use UTM parameters to see what campaigns and channels are driving traffic to your website, and more. Our friend Kyle Akerman is a great resource for all things Google Analytics.
  • Marketing SWOT Analysis (Template): Before you start your annual marketing planning, it’s important to conduct a holistic audit of your marketing program and assess how your brand position has changed since your last audit. We provide a thorough walkthrough of how to complete a marketing SWOT analysis in this post. Download our template to get started with your team’s audit.
  • SparkToro: Elevate your audience research by using SparkToro. The tool crawls tens of millions of social and web profiles (including podcasts and YouTube videos) to help you find the top content sources and influencers for your audience. You can get started for free to see for yourself.
  • Quarterly Content Calendar Bundle (Template): A content calendar is essential for documenting your content strategy and visualizing your upcoming posts across social media, your blog, and other channels. Jessica Thiefels shared her quarterly content calendar in a past #ContentChat to give you the framework to start your first content calendar, with Google Sheets templates you can copy.

Executive Thought Leadership And Support Templates

Marketers often coordinate thought leadership activities for their clients and executives. This is especially the case for activities involving the chief marketing officer. To help differentiate your executive thought leadership profiles and for guidance on how to onboard a new CMO, check out these resources from our community:

  • CMO or CCO Onboarding Plan (Template): Company leadership changes are common, and a lapse in leadership could be detrimental to your marketing strategy. If your team or client is hiring a new chief marketing officer or chief content officer, or recently changed its marketing leadership, use our 90-day CMO or CCO onboarding grid to ensure your new marketing leader gets started on the right foot. We provide further background in this post on how to succeed in your first 90 days as a new content marketing leader.
  • Industry Award Tracker (Template): Prioritize your award submissions for thought leadership and stay on track to get ahead of deadlines. The industry award tracker template from our consultancy includes a scoring system to help decide which awards you should pursue. 
  • Thought Leadership Plan (Template): We use this thought leadership plan-on-a-page template at Erika Heald Marketing Consulting to identify the objectives, goals, strategies, and metrics associated with our client thought leadership programs. Create a separate sheet for each of your executives or priority campaigns so you can quickly view all of your thought leadership plans.
  • Thought Leadership Platform (Template): Our thought leadership platform template serves as an extension to the above thought leadership plan grid. Use each thought leadership platform document to provide key details and resources about your thought leader so your team can more effectively pitch them for relevant awards, conference speaking engagements, contributed content, or other marketing opportunities.

Graphic Design Tools for Marketers

Visual content is increasingly taking priority for marketing teams, especially because visuals are proven to capture the attention of your community and social followers. Don’t worry if you’re not a design expert—these tools can help you create impactful visuals with little effort:

  • Beautiful.ai: Are you tired of using the same Google Slide or PowerPoint templates? Beautiful.ai is a presentation maker that simplifies the design process and helps you create engaging presentations effortlessly. This tool can also be used to visualize data campaigns or create graphics to accompany your content. If you’ve been to one of Erika’s presentations over the past two years, you’ve seen the tool in action.
  • Canva: Many marketing teams rely on Canva to easily create on-brand, unique visuals. The tool has a few plan options based on the functions you need, and you can access a variety of templates, icons, and stock photos to fast-track your design work.
  • Google Slides: Need a free presentation tool that you can easily access from any device? Use Google Slides. It can also be used as a design tool, just export your slide(s) as a .jpg or .png.
  • Prezi: Prezi is a presentation tool that marketing teams have trusted for more than a decade. It provides dynamic capabilities that have an inherent visual advantage over previous-generation presentation options like PowerPoint or Slides. It also provides video recording and streaming features through Prezi Video to allow you to overlay text and images on your presentation screen, with integrations with many collaboration tools.

Productivity and Workflow Management Tools and Templates

What is the best project management tool for content marketing? Although we cannot definitively say there is a best option, there are several great project management tools that our community loves to use.

Below are a handful of our favorite tools for project and workflow management, as well as a few productivity tools that we recommend you try. Ask your colleagues to see if they have experience with any of these tools, and set up free trials to test your top options based on the use case for your team:

  • 1Password or LastPass: These are not workflow management tools, but they are a vital resource for securely storing passwords and helping you access your variety of marketing tools. Both tools store all your passwords in a vault so you can sign in to your accounts with just a few clicks. You can also privately share passwords with your team so they can access all the necessary accounts.
  • Airtable: Airtable is the first project and workflow management tool to appear in this list, but we also recommend a few others below. Per Derek in our community, Airtable is a great tool if your organization runs on spreadsheets and you’re looking to supercharge those capabilities. It can be used to manage project workflows, document customer journeys, and more.
  • Asana: Asana is another project management tool option for marketers. At a glance, Asana enables you to organize project deadlines and resources, with plenty of project templates to get you started. Other features include built-in messaging and the ability to create forms for your team to submit work requests.
  • Basecamp: Basecamp has been trusted by 100% remote teams for years, and the tool is highly recommended for team collaboration and project management.
  • DivvyHQ: Divvy is a content workflow management platform, spanning ideation and planning to strategy development and collaboration. It has more than 1,000 integrations to connect with other tools content marketing teams frequently use, like WordPress, Outlook, and Google Drive. 
  • Evernote: Evernote started as a simple way to take and organize notes, but it has evolved to become more of a productivity suite for work. You can easily share notes with your teammates, and its document scanner feature allows you to save physical notes easily.
  • Monday: Monday offers work management, sales CRM, and developer solutions built for companies of all sizes. We’ve used Monday to support several client projects and appreciate its easy-to-use interface!
  • Notion: Notion is a popular tool for project management, editorial calendaring, and storing company information and important documents, with a range of AI features. Many #ContentChat community members love the tool and have used it to replace some of the other options in this list. 
  • Redbooth: We use Redbooth, a former client, at our consultancy to organize and manage our project deadlines. The tool allows you to track tasks across a variety of workspaces and projects with most of the essential functionality you need to store resources and manage workflows.
  • Time Tracking Worksheet (Template): Do you feel like there consistently isn’t enough time in the week to complete all your tasks? Use this time tracking worksheet to audit how you spend your time and identify your time wasters. This was created by past #ContentChat guest Deb Allison Lee, a digital productivity consultant.
  • Trello: Trello enables teams to collaborate, manage projects, and oversee timelines through a series of customizable boards. But that just scratches the surface of what the platform enables. Melanie Graham in our community has used Trello to assist with content curation by organizing and color-coding her content. Check it out to see if it’s the best option for your team.
  • Zoho: Rounding out our list of project management tools for content marketing is Zoho, which also enables teams to organize tasks and manage deadlines through multiple views, including a Kanban board, calendar, and project-specific pages. 

Search Engine Optimization Tools and Templates

The rules of search engine optimization are constantly changing. Instead of devoting your life to studying the current (and soon to be outdated) best practices of SEO, use these tools that will keep SEO concerns top-of-mind when creating and editing your content:

  • Ahrefs: Ahrefs provides an all-in-one SEO toolset to analyze competitor content, audit your website, and find topics or keywords that are of interest to your customers. There are several SEO tools to try, and this one is commonly recommended by marketers. 
  • Keyword Research Calculator (Template): Many marketers and content creators are misguided in their approach to keyword research—either spending far too much time developing massive keyword lists or failing to factor in keywords entirely. In this post, former #ContentChat guest Eb Gargano explains how to do keyword research and she shares her keyword research calculator.
  • Moz: Moz provides free and paid SEO tools for link exploration, keyword research, domain analysis, and more. The tool offers a browser extension so you can quickly assess a site’s domain authority and extend Moz’s functions directly to the websites you visit.
  • Search Engine Results Page Study (Checklist): Do you want your content to rank at the top of Google’s search results? There are core elements that determine where a webpage will rank on a search engine results page (SERP), and you can address these elements throughout the content creation process. Masooma Memon created this SERP Study Checklist to help you (and she regularly shares other must-have resources through her email newsletter).
  • SearchAtlas/LinkGraph: Past #ContentChat guest Manick Bhan created LinkGraph, which is an enterprise SEO and link-building agency that provides SEO software tools. You can learn more about their free and paid tools here.
  • Semrush: If your team can only afford one paid tool to assist with SEO, we recommend Semrush. It’s an all-in-one solution to identify SEO issues across your site. Guru-level subscribers can create SEO content templates that identify the top SEO considerations based on your keywords to help your content perform well through search.
  • Screaming Frog: Screaming Frog provides a free SEO Spider tool that helps you improve your onsite SEO. The tool can find broken links, audit redirects, discover duplicate content, and more!

Social Media Marketing and Management Tools

Social media has consistently proven to be a valuable medium to connect with brand communities, develop and nurture those relationships, and build a brand’s credibility. But to succeed with social media marketing, you need to do more than blast a few company-centric messages to your followers weekly and call it a day.

We recommend these tools to streamline your social media marketing and increase your content marketing success on social media:

  • Agorapulse: Agorapulse is our consultancy’s favorite tool for managing our social media channels. We feel that its interface is intuitive and it enables us to easily share content across our channels and conduct valuable social listening.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite has been a leader in social media management for more than a decade, and it is a great tool to explore for your team. Much like the productivity and workflow management tools we shared above, your choice of social media marketing tool will come down to your team’s specific use case, budget, and preferences on the user experience.
  • MeetEdgar: MeetEdgar could also fit in our content curation tool category. Edgar is used to create a library of social media content that is randomly pulled from to post to your channels. This is great for scheduling evergreen social content, with a bulk upload option that can save you countless hours of scheduling.
  • Social Media Channel Audit (Template): Improve the quality of your social media marketing by conducting a social media channel audit. Our template will help you understand how your company and your competitors perform on social media, how your company thought leaders are helping your efforts, and the topics you should explore on your channels.
  • Sprout Social: The third social media scheduler that is commonly used by our community is Sprout Social. Sprout also provides features for social listening, engagement, publishing, and analytics, making it a great option for teams of all sizes.

Spelling, Grammar, and Content Accessibility Tools for Marketers

There are countless tools available to check the spelling, grammar, and accessibility of your content, including built-in features in most word-processing applications. However, many of the default options only provide bare minimum functions. The best tools actively coach you on how to improve your writing and guide you through the best practices. These are some of our favorite tools for spelling, grammar, and content accessibility that fit that bill:

  • Grammarly: Every content professional needs to use a spelling and grammar tool that can work across sites and apps. Grammarly is a go-to pick for many marketers because it is incredibly easy to use and works on most platforms, like Google Docs.
  • Hemingway: Hemingway is another popular spelling and grammar tool for content marketing, with an added focus on the readability of your content.
  • Readable: Unlike Grammarly and Hemingway, Readable is primarily positioned as a tool to test and adjust the readability of your content. It’s the preferred choice for several of our community members who work in the education and medical fields where content accessibility is a top-of-mind concern.
  • Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE): Many marketers can improve the accessibility of their content. To help, WAVE will analyze any web page and provide an at-a-glance look at errors like contrast, potentially confusing link text, missing structural elements, and more.
  • Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM): Ensure that the contrast of your site meets accessibility standards using WebAIM. It can help you test the foreground color and background color of various page elements and help you provide the ideal contrast for readers.

Video and Audio Content Tools

Video content is increasingly a focus for content marketing teams. With the right planning, your video content can be repurposed to extend its value across channels, too! To get started, learn about the five types of video content for a more effective content marketing strategy here, and see below for a few of our favorite tools for creating video and audio content.

  • Adobe Premier: If your team has a trained video editor or graphic designer, we recommend you see if they would like to work out of the Adobe creative suite (including Premier). Adobe’s products provide the professional-grade features and capabilities that most professional designers prefer. However, it can be pricey and there is a steep learning curve (which is why our following video tool recommendations may be a better fit for your team).
  • Apple Final Cut: Final Cut provides many of the same features as Adobe in its video editing suite. We recommend you explore both options if you are looking for a deluxe video editing tool.
  • Audacity: This free, open-source, and cross-platform tool lets you edit or record audio. Several of our community members use Audacity to edit podcasts and audio interviews.
  • BombBomb: Quickly record personalized video messages for email using BombBomb. The tool can drive noticeable results, like 2x email clicks, 5x customer engagement, and 68% higher conversions. 
  • Descript: Descript is an AI-powered video and podcast editing tool that we use to support client work, and it is awesome! It automatically transcribes video content and suggests key clips to use for your content.
  • Ecamm Live: If you exclusively work on Mac, Ecamm is an all-in-one livestream production platform with support for multiple cameras, HDMI capture devices, and Apple product screen sharing.
  • GIPHY: Some messages are best sent as a .gif. Find and create GIFs using GIPHY.
  • Hindenburg: As your team matures with its audio content strategy, you’ll need a tool to effectively combine and edit audio from multiple sources. Ideally, your tool will automate some of the most repetitive and technical tasks. Hindenburg is a great option for professional podcasting, radio production, and audio editing.
  • Kapwing: Kapwing is designed to streamline your video creation, from recording and editing to publishing. You can upload and convert videos, adjust timing and position clips, add subtitles, and more.
  • Lumen5: This online video creator features a drag-and-drop interface that helps anyone on your team create compelling video content. It can be a great idea-starter for how to take written content and transform it into short videos for other platforms. We’ve experimented with the tool and love it so far.
  • OpenShot Video Editor: This simple video editing software is 100% free and open-source. It’s a cross-platform video editor to trim and slice footage, add audio, coordinate transitions, and add subtitles.
  • Otter.ai: Any video you create should be repurposed for other formats, like social media copy or a blog post. Otter.ai is a tool to transcribe voice conversations through an AI-powered assistant.
  • Rev: Rev is another option to convert audio and video content to text. You can also use it to generate on-screen captions for your video content.
  • StreamYard: This browser-based live streaming studio helps you effortlessly manage professional live streams across Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other platforms. We use it to host our weekly #ContentChat conversations!

Join #ContentChat For More Marketing Resources

Did we miss your favorite marketing tools in our lists above? Or are you looking for recommendations on a category we did not include? Let us know in the comments so we can keep this post updated.

To get weekly tips to improve your marketing programs and to be the first to access the best templates and tool recommendations from our community, subscribe to the Content Chat Bulletin and join #ContentChat on LinkedIn weekly on Mondays at noon Pacific/3 p.m. Eastern and catch up on every chat recap here.

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