10 Essential Tools for a Content Marketer
Update 2/5/2016: Over time, tools change. I revised two tools I no longer use. Took out Haikudeck, and revised my start tab extension in Chrome. All the rest stay the same.
As a content marketer, I’m on the computer all day doing one of three things: researching for an article, actually writing the article, or promoting past published articles. To accomplish these things, I have a set of tools I rely on.
So in response to Tobias van Schneider‘s “My Top 11 Essential Tools I Could Not Live Without,” here’s the list of the Mac and web apps I absolutely need in order to get my content marketing work done.
1. Wrike for writing/collaborative editing
I do all my writing in Wrike these days for two reasons: flexibility of organization, and collaborative functionality. Wrike, at its core, is a project management tool that allows you to list, organize, and assign everything from one-off tasks to more complex, multi-step projects. But it possesses a rich text editor within every “task” that allows you to write and collaborate on content with your team (think Google Docs). These content pieces can then be placed in folders or tagged in multiple ways (much like Gmail’s tags). Feedback from the team is easy to implement because it’s right below the text and not lost in a seven-layer-deep email thread.
nvALT is a free note taking app, a fork of the original Notational Velocity program. It allows me to take notes quickly or whip up text drafts while I’m offline. (If I’m online, I just go straight to Wrike.) It’s got a whole bunch of features now such as word count, multi-markdown, multiple tags, and the ability to do everything without touching the mouse/mousepad. You simply type into the title bar. As you type, it will show you existing notes that have that same word in the title. If there are none, you create a new note by hitting enter. Then you just keep typing. Brilliant for rapid brainstorming.
What’s great about nvALT is that you can set it to back up your notes on Simplenote, another note-taking app that isn’t as sleek as nvALT, but which lives in the cloud. Pairing the two apps up gives you an installed program on your Mac and a backup service in the cloud, so you can open all your notes on any computer.
3. Wrike “Workflow” Extension for bookmarking & quick tasks
After using almost every bookmarking tool over the years and never finding one flexible enough for my tastes, I’ve since settled into using the Wrike extension. It captures the website URL and a page screenshot (if I so desire), and turns the information into a task that can be assigned to my team or a bookmark that I can file away.
4. TabZolo for focusing on one tab
If you work online for any length of time, the temptation to check Facebook or Twitter increases the more you feel like procrastinating. TabZolo gets rid of this by forcing you to focus on the one tab you’re on. It will temporarily hibernate all other open tabs. Once you’re done working, you can release the tabs back to their original positions. Genius.
5. New metroTab for functional new tabs
While my teammates opt for a random, inspiring photo on their new browser tabs everyday (they love the Momentum extension), I choose a more functional version: New metroTab. Now, when I open a new tab, it can display my browser bookmarks and my chosen background image that inspires me. It’s a little like Speed Dial on the Opera browser, laid out in a familiar Windows 10 grid. But it sure makes new tabs much more functional for me.
6. +Flip It for curation to Flipboard magazines
Because I curate content onto our company’s numerous Flipboard magazines (and a few of my own as well), the +Flip It extension is mightily used and allows me to send useful links straight to the magazines I curate.
7. CC Search for sourcing images for my Slideshares
I used to use Haikudeck to easily source Creative Commons-licensed images really quickly for my Slideshare. But with its change to its free account, I’ve since opted for going direct to the Creative Commons search URL to easily find images via Flickr. It’s an easy way to search for CC-licensed materials you can build on or use — even for commercial purposes.
8. Keynote for finalizing Slideshare decks
While not as powerful or flexible as PowerPoint, Keynote allows me to finalize my decks for Slideshare and export to PDF while maintaining the links embedded in the PDFs. Last time I checked, PowerPoint for Mac is buggy in that embedded links are sometimes broken.
Social Media Tools
9. Crowdfire for managing followers
I use Crowdfire to manage followers on Twitter. It’s useful for quickly spotting who has unfollowed you, who has become inactive, or who has stopped interacting with your social media efforts.
And finally, the two stalwart tools for posting and scheduling to social media. Buffer for company-related content, and Hootsuite for my personal accounts.
Those are the 10 essential tools I use daily as a content marketer. I chose not to include the ones I use sporadically, such as Canva, OmmWriter, Ink361, Klout, and the wide variety of music apps I use to drown out the noise (I wrote about those in this Medium post). But what about your list? I’d love to hear about the tools that are essential to your daily work.