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DIY content marketing - 
Top 8 tools for small businesses in 2020

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Dom Mauger

Dom Mauger

Where would we be without a good tool? We’d be whipping cream with our bare hands. Pavlova would be nearly impossible to make for all but those with the skinniest fingers. For 2.6 million years humans have been making tools, and we’ve come quite some way since the Oldowan tools of the early stone age. 

For the DIY content marketer there are some beautiful solutions to help you stay organised, efficient, and effective. Here are the ones we use daily.

top-content-marketing-tools

Best 8 tools for DIY content marketing

Tool 1: Elementor

In brief: Unbelievably intuitive website builder (skip if you don’t use WordPress)

Price: FREE! (US$49 per year to go Pro)

Whether you have a website up and running, or you’re just about to build, the Elementor plugin for WordPress is the business. This frontend page builder uses a drag and drop interface that makes customizing your site a breeze. 

Elementor is considered by many to be the fastest, most intuitive editor in WordPress, and it’s easy to see why. The design features seem limitless and the template library is vast, allowing you to quickly install a homepage or blog and design to your heart’s content. No code? No worries with this priceless plugin.

Why is this important for content marketing?

If you’re steering the content marketing ship for your own business, being able to quickly update your website is crucial. Having to contact a web developer every time you need to tweak a meta description or upload a blog post is not ideal. Elementor is an indispensable tool for a small business that wants to keep their content marketing in-house.

Tool 2: Building A Storybrand

In brief: “Clarify your message so customers will listen” – Donald Miller

Price: What your average book costs.

Building a Story Brand is a book. Books are tools, right? This book by marketing guru Donald Miller lays out a powerful framework for building a captivating brand. And it all starts with a story. If you’re creating content for your business, you need to build a brand and Don shows you how to engage your customers through the art of storytelling. 

Invite them into the story. In this story there are heroes, villains, triumph and glory! How on earth does this apply to your nose hair trimmer business? Check out this tight breakdown by Productivity Game for a summary of the system.

Why is this important for content marketers?

If you want to create content with direction, you need to show your target audience you understand their problem and how you can solve it for them. This framework is a great way of thinking about those big questions, which should be in the front of your mind when building a content marketing strategy and creating content.

In brief: The SEO plugin for WordPress

Price: Free


It
shouldn’t really need an introduction, but Yoast SEO has to be on this list. It’s one of the most popular WordPress plugins in the known universe and it’s just excellent. Yoast boasts that it is SEO for everyone, and it delivers. Yoast helps you set meta descriptions, manage sitemaps, optimise for keywords, and also does a whole lot of technical stuff in the background.

Why is this important for content marketers?

Having a plugin like Yoast is like buttering your toast before adding the jam. It gives you the technical foundation upon which you can build an effective SEO strategy. It helps you get all of your SEO ducks in a row, which will help you out in the search engine and give your content a little more oomph. It might not be the most glamorous tool on the list, but you gotta have Yoast. Butter your toast with Yoast.

Tool 4: Google analytics

In brief: See who’s looking through your digital shop window

Price: Free (if you consider giving Google information ‘free’)

If you’re not measuring your traffic you’re not optimising for it. Hopefully you already have Analytics up and running, but sweet mary mother of Joseph, the number of small businesses not using GA is pretty shocking. Analytics will tell you things like who is visiting your site, what country they are in, what content visitors to your site like the most, and much more. This is all precious intel you can use to dial in your content marketing strategy.

If you want to learn the basics, head over to the Tube and watch the Analytics Academy beginner series. It’s hosted by Ray Romano and Jennifer Anniston look alikes.

In brief: Get instant, raw search insights, direct from the minds of your customers.

Price: Free (limited searches available every day)

Answer the Public delivers search insights that help you understand the questions people are asking on any given topic. Throw in a seed keyword and ATP will return the who, what, where, and more for that search. 

“Google searches are the most important dataset ever collected on the human psyche”

Why is this important for content marketers?

A content marketing strategy needs…. content. Answer the Public is, as they say, a window into a goldmine of content ideas.

Bonus: You can download a handy visual guide on how to get the most out of Answer the Public. This is also a useful resource to help you understand the relationship between keywords and the customer buying cycle.

Bonus: You can download a handy infographic on how to get the most out of Answer the Public. This is also a useful resource to help you understand the relationship between keywords and the customer buying process buying cycle.

In brief: “A minimalist writing zone, where you can block out all distractions and get to what’s important. The writing!”

Price: Free!

Firstly, a quote from the very quotable David Perell.  “Don’t get distracted by the internet. Boom. That’s 90% of what you need to know about how to be more productive”. 

Zen Pen is simply a website that acts as a text editor. If you’re writing blogs or drafting up other copy, Zen Pen will help you not check Twitter every 5 minutes. Make it full screen and hide all your tabs. You can save, set a word count, and invert the colours (white text on black for that moody feelin’). I like to pair Zen Pen with Monster Rally and coffee. Minimal distraction, maximum Zen. (Spotify playlist with Monster Rally)

Why is this important for content marketers?

If you’ve just started your online business, a blog could (probs should) form a part of your content marketing strategy. But actually writing blogs can seem like an almighty task. 1,000 words, preposterous! Finding ways to stay focused can make a huge difference, keep you on track for longer, and help you get more words down. Write more with Zen Pen!

In brief: The design platform for everyone.

Price: Free (you pay to go pro)

If you’re just getting started on building your brand, you need imagery. Canva is an incredibly easy to use and intuitive design platform to help you get started. It’s drag and drop with oodles of free images, templates, shapes, fonts and filters. Create cool social media bits and bobs, imagery for your website, logos and everything in between. They are even rolling out animation tools, which are also incredibly user friendly. We rave on about Canva, but it’s pretty rave worthy.

Why is this important for content marketers?

For small businesses embarking on a DIY content marketing journey, Canva has what you need. You’ll be amazed at how intuitive this platform is, and you don’t need to be a design wizard to bring your brand to life through imagery.

Marketing Tools for Small Business

Price: $30 ish

In brief: Take a break and make better coffee.

Embrace you inner 3rd wave coffee hipster and delve into the world of pour-over coffee. The Hario V60 is a classic piece of kit that boasts “Spiral ribs for maximum coffee expansion”. If you ain’t expanding your coffee, what are you even doing? How does it work you ask? No idea.

Why is this important for content marketers?

Distractions should generally be avoided, however some are additive. Caffeine ticks this box. Make time to enjoy the little things.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, our top 8 tools to help you with your content marketing. There are zillions out there for the DIY content marketer, the key is finding the ones that work for you. Better contenting everybody.

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