Content marketing among B2B companies continues to grow, which means that it’s more competitive than ever to produce high-quality content that your target audience is going to be interested in. In niche industries, sometimes it was enough just to have new blog post coming out on your blog.
But now is content gets more competitive, it’s important to make sure that your content is optimized, easy to read, and includes extras that give it variety and provides more value for the user.
Below are some of our favorite free content creation tools and resources to up your content game.
Free Content Research Tools
Most people have heard of Answer The Public, but that’s because it works in offers valuable insights that often aren’t available with many other free research tools without a barrage of ads and pop-ups. enter in a keyword or phrase related to your industry or what you want to write about, and answer the public will suggest options based on Bing and Google’s autosuggest feature. This is a great tool if you know the topic you want to write about, but aren’t sure of the angle.
This tool gives you a visual graph and alphabetical grid of the results that you can export into a CSV file. These results give you real data and insight into what people are looking for on search engines. If you want to compare or add to your findings from this tool, you can also use KeywordTool.io (which lets you search across other platforms, like Amazon and Instagram, as well as Bing and Google).
BuzzSumo It’s mainly a paid to a, but they do offer shortened versions of their paid result for free. Essentially, you put in a topic or keyword and it will show you the most popular articles calculated through social media shares on that specific topic. You can narrow down the results by when it was published (e.g. in last week, month, year, etcetera) or you filter by content type, language, and other specifications to narrow down your search results.
Buzzsumo is a great tool to use for B2B content development because it’s showing what types of content in your industry are actually getting shares and traction online. This provides valuable insight that would be time-consuming to calculate manually. It also can show you if similar content has already been created and helps you understand how you can stand out from the crowd with your own spin on a topic.
Free Content Creation Tools
Actually carving out time and sitting down to write is often the hardest step in the content production process. These tools will help improve your content and help you produce more content in less time.
The better sounding and more grammatically correct your content is, the more reputable you’ll be. Have your team install Grammarly into their Chrome browsers or on their PCs in order to check their work on Google Docs or in Microsoft Word. As you type, Grammarly will flag misspelling or grammar errors, and will also tell you when a sentence is hard to read or could be worded differently. There is a premium paid version, but for most basic errors, the free version is still a great resource. Even the best writers will occasionally forget to include in Oxford comma or use passive voice, so it’s important to have a tool like Grammarly that will automatically flag any issues in your writing.
Bonus tip: If you have the Chrome plugin it also works with Google Mail to flag any errors in your emails as well.
If you want to go beyond Grammarly and have your work harshly judged by AI technology, which is going to tell you what reading level your content is at and when sentences are unclear or need to be rewritten, consider pasting in your content into the free Hemingway tool (which has a web and desktop version). After a quick scan, the tool will flag errors and sentences that need to be rewritten.
Its results and recommendations may be surprising (and should be considered at your own discretion), but if you’re not a strong writer or someone else on another team that isn’t a strong writer (like a salesperson or member of the executive team), it’s a great tool that explains why things should be written differently so the writer can continue to improve.
There’s a saying that’s posted on one of the walls at Facebook headquarters: “Done is better than perfect.” In our terms specifically, content created is usually better than not creating content all, as long as there are thought and strategy behind it.
In this instance, if you find yourself procrastinating or struggling to get content written, try using a Pomodoro Timer to set aside dedicated time to create your content. With the Pomodoro method, you get 25 minutes of dedicated work time, then a 5 minute break. This is one cycle. On average, most people only need four to eight cycles a day to complete the majority of their deep work.
Free B2B Content Design Tools
Well-written, useful content sometimes isn’t enough to garner interests and conversions from users. To keep user attention, consider adding some additional media content to your written blog posts and articles to visually mix it up. Providing different graphics and media for consumption is also a great way to appeal to different types of learners.
This is an easy-to-use Tool that lets you create amazing infographics and other visuals without much design experience. You can use their free formats to create infographics on almost any topic. While some features are locked with the free version, there’s still a lot of great features that make this to a worth checking out.
If you don’t have a designer on staff or they are busy with other projects, it’s easy for a content writer, assistant, or researcher to create an infographic that summarizes a long piece of content, like a long-form blog post or ebook. This is an easy way to distill the main concepts of a piece of content into a visual format so people can read it at a glance. This can also help with reading comprehension and retention.
This tool is similar to Piktochart, but they have a lot more free graphic design templates to help you create almost any piece of marketing material that you need to create to accompany your content, from block headers to social media images.
Canva offers a lot of free templates and stock images to use with your graphic, but you can also pay for some elements that are usually one dollar a piece. If you don’t want to pay, you can always use the free alternatives or find a different Creative Commons photo that you’re allowed to use from elsewhere (like Pixabay or PhotoPin) and import it into Canva. Just make sure you give credit in your content for images when required.
Besides images like infographics and featured image headers, video is one type of content that many B2B content marketers are developing more of, according to B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report by Content Marketing Institute. The report found that 64 percent of those polled have reported using more video than they were using a year ago. What’s more 54 percent reported video snippets have been the most successful marketing strategy they’ve used, coming second to long-form content.
So combine the two by creating live streams on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?
Once you’re finished streaming, you can save these videos to your profile and embed them in your long-form content. It’s also possible to download the video to upload them to your YouTube profile or website.
If you are using live video to accompany long-form content, simply elaborate on the content’s concepts. In your video, the content author or an expert on the team can break down main points or share more information about a specific topic. If you have an expert to interview, that could also be a great addition to the written content.
Free Content Promotion Tools
After content has been written, it’s time to promote. There are several free levels of promotional marketing tools to help you promote your content to get more engagement and traffic. These tools can help you better share across different platforms like social media and email.
In the Content Marketing Institute study, 87 percent reported that they use email campaigns to nurture their audience. Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that has a free level. Their “forever free” account lets you send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Once you get over one of those levels, you’ll be asked to upgrade to a paid plan. MailChimp is really easy to use and provides several pre-designed email templates to allow you to send newsletters, informational blasts, or new blog alerts to your mailing list.
You can ask users to sign up for your mailing list at the end of blog posts, in video descriptions, and other places throughout your website and social media. As your list grows, you have a wider audience base for promoting new blog posts, videos, and other content promotions.
If your site runs on WordPress (which is also free), you can install the free version of the Sumo plugin, which has a variety of promotional features like email subscriber popups, social share buttons, and other elements that can help you drive more clicks and email conversions across your website.
This is a great way to slowly grow your email list, which should be a priority. Email marketing continues to be a valuable way to market content. CampaignMonitor reports that you’re six times more likely to get a click through an email than in a tweet and email subscribers are three times more likely to share your content than visitors from other sources.
Finally, if you want to make it easy for employees, colleagues, and website users to share your content consider using Click to Tweet. Prewrite a tweet for someone and then send them the created Click to Tweet URL. Once they click on it, a new window will pop up on Twitter with the pre-written tweet filled in the compose field.
Click to Tweets are great for:
- Out of office messages
- Email signatures
- Internal slack channels or other through employee communication
- Within the article to promote sharing by readers
- In an email to a mastermind group
- At the end of social media messages on other platforms, like LinkedIn or Facebook.
With Click to Tweet’s free version, simply sign into your twitter account and start creating your tweets. Make sure to always include the URL of the content that you wish to share.
After it’s done, Click to Tweet will give you a URL to share. You can also embed CTA cards within your blog post in a variety of formats. Choose your design and the code is given for you to copy and paste:
There are dozens of other free tools to promote and create content, like Buffer, Hootsuite, and many others, but these have consistently been some of the best tools for content creation, promotion, and research. Experiment with what works best for you and your B2B content team and your specific goals.