Creating a content marketing strategy that is scalable, repeatable, and effective is about more than just making a list of blog topics and working through it. To create content that engages and delights across platforms you'll want to take the time to plan out your content and content strategy. That's how you can build a content marketing strategy that brings in more leads and customers that you've ever seen before - or at least get your content and brand found on search engines.
But as anyone who's ever tried to develop a content marketing strategy that works can tell you, it isn't easy.
Sometimes you need the right content planning tools to help you on your way.
If you want to streamline your content marketing and create an efficient and effective content marketing strategy, you've come to the right place. Here are 20 awesome content planning tools you can use to get the most from your content marketing plans.
20 Content Planning Tools to Streamline Your Content Marketing:
Why Planning Your Content Matters
Planning your blog, social media, and video content makes your marketing plan work more effectively. Consistency is important for everything from growing your email list to driving website traffic to increasing revenue. When you take the time to sit down and figure out what you want from your content marketing, you'll be able to create the type of content that will help you meet those goals—and ensure that your overall business goals are aligned with your content goals so they work together instead of fighting against one another.
Outside of setting powerful goals, there are a few other reasons it's important to plan out your content:
Chances are, you don't just post content to a single marketing channel and call it good. You probably publish to a blog, post to social media, send an email newsletter, and share video content on YouTube, among other things. But when you have multiple channels to keep track of, it can be hard to build the consistency you need to build a following and become a thought leader in your niche.
Once you've set your goals, you can plug your content into one of the content planning tools on our list and easily spot gaps in your content plan or see at a glance if your content is going to help you hit your business goals. You can also see if you're sending too many sales emails, going live often enough, or posting enough original, native content to your social media platforms. By planning your content, you'll be able to address gaps before they turn into problems for your brand.
Staying on Track
Both solo influencers and enterprise marketing teams need content planning tools to stay on track. If you're going it solo, planning your content helps you understand how much time you're going to be spending to create the content you've planned. If you have a marketing team, you'll probably have multiple hands before your content is published. With a good plan, you'll be able to get the disparate pieces of your marketing team on the same page to keep your content on time.
20 Content Planning Tools to Try
Creating content is hard enough. But when you add to that stress the stress of not knowing when or how you should be creating and publishing your content, it's easy to get overwhelmed and let something (likely many things) slip through the cracks. Fortunately, we've pulled together a list of the 20 best content planning tools we've found to help you level up your content marketing.
Monday is a project management tool that works perfectly as a content planning tool. It's customizable to your team's needs and includes a calendar, Kanban, and other templates to manage your content. You can set up a schedule and assign tasks to team members, making it easy to track progress. With Monday, you can schedule content, plan future content, and even invite others outside your organization to collaborate. Monday integrates with your other project and communication tools like Trello, Slack, Excel, Google Apps, and Dropbox.
Pricing: Free trial. Pricing ranges from $8–$16+/month.
Loomly is built for social media content and can help you track your ideas, create, optimize, and preview posts, as well as schedule your posts right from the app. You can also track the performance of your social media content so you know what's working and what isn't. Loomly also lets you interact with users who engage with your social media content.
Pricing: Free trial. Pricing ranges from $25–$249+/month.
ContentCal is an easy-to-use content planning tool that makes it easy to work across all team members with custom approvals so you can give the right access to the right people. Since ContentCal is a mapping software, users can visualize their content, making it easier to understand where you stand in terms of project completion. ContentCal uses automatic posting and workflows with the platform itself so you can keep images, schedules, campaigns, correspondence in one place.
Pricing: Plans range from $17–$47/month.
MarketMuse is an AI-based content planning tool that gives you the chance to look and your content from a high-level view or get deep into the weeds and details. It helps creators analyze not only their content but also their competitor's content so you can find ranking opportunities and content gaps. MarketMuse also generates briefs with internal linking opportunities, title and keyword suggestions, as well as questions to answer in each piece of content.
Pricing: Free trial. Plans range from $79–$1,499/month.
Trello is one of the easiest content planning tools on our list. It uses a Kanban approach to content planning with cards you can move to different boards as you need to. Trello also makes collaboration really easy with comment and task management features. You can use Trello boards to manage a content calendar, plan a marketing campaign, plot out to-do-lists, and brainstorm ideas, among other things. Trello also has a calendar view that makes it easy to spot gaps or duplicates in your content marketing plan.
Pricing: Free plan. Prices range from $9.99–17.50+/month.
6. DYNO Mapper
DYNO Mapper is another content planning tool that can help you plan content for your website, develop your content strategy, generate the content you need to meet your goals, and fix your website linking to make it easier for visitors to navigate. DYNO Mapper integrates with Google Analytics so you can get deeper insights into your customers.
Pricing: Free trial. Plans range from $40–$259/month.
Content Snare is a great content planning tool that will help you organize your content marketing campaigns in a single place. It has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and lets you add instructions, prompts, and reminders for all collaborators or content marketing agencies. You can check the progress of any outstanding actions right from the Content Snare dashboard.
Pricing: Free trial. Plans range from $9–$69+/month.
Asana is a project management tool that works really well as a content planning tool. Teams and individuals can use Asana to organize, track, and manage their content calendars. Asana is another drag-and-drop tool that offers several different views so you can see your content plan the way that works for you.
Pricing: Free plan. Free trial. Pricing ranges from $10.99–$24.99+/month.
Concured is another AI-powered content planning tool that uses deep learning to understand your video, podcasts, articles, blog posts, and more. Concured will then recommend new content to fill gaps and compare your content to your competitors, finding ways you can rank. You can use Concured to automate topic research, content promotion, content audits, the creation of data-driven content briefs, and performance tracking.
Pricing: Contact for pricing.
Gather Content gives you a single location where you can collect your content ideas, emails, and data. You can also invite others to collaborate on each piece of content. While Gather Content is geared more toward project management than content, you can use it to organize your content, create templates to keep your content consistent, track your progress, and more.
Pricing: Free trial. Pricing ranges from $1,188–$9,588/year.
As you can probably guess from the name, ProjectManager is a project management tool. However, it's also great as a content planning tool. There are several views like Gantt charts, Kanban, and the dashboard where you can get details about your content marketing plan, who's responsible for what, and what still needs to be done.
Pricing: Free trial. Pricing ranges from $15–$25/user/month.
Notion is a content planning tool with a broad range of project management tools so you can assign and track tasks, create calendars and Kanban charts, and more. With the All Posts feature, you can see which pieces of content are waiting for action. You can also store images with the content, as well as track the captions, hashtags, and marketing channels you want to associate with the content.
Pricing: Free plan. Pricing ranges from $4–$8+/user/month.
Airtable is part spreadsheet, part database and you can use it to organize just about anything. If you have multiple content marketers or collaborators on your team, Airtable can keep everything organized while still giving everyone access to the same database view. Any changes—adding notes, links, images, etc.—are automatically synced across accounts and devices. Airtable has tools and features specifically for content planning.
Pricing: Free plan. Pricing ranges from $10–$20/user/month.
Wrike is a content planning tool geared toward detailed content marketing plans. It has an easy to use interface where you can use dropdowns to organize your content, check on actionable items and tasks, and communicate with other team members using the message board.
Pricing: Free plan. Free trial. Pricing ranges from $9.80–$24.80+/month.
CoSchedule touts itself as a drag-and-drop content builder that lets you plan, publish, and promote your content from a single location. It's actually a bit more than that. CoSchedule includes a content calendar, options for social media content, project management, collaboration, and more.
Pricing: Free trial. Plans start at $29/user/month.
Wistia is one of the best content planning tools built specifically for video content. You can use it to create, host, and publish your video content. Plus, Wistia adds SEO optimized metadata into your videos so it's easier for them to rank. Wistia also lets you monitor video performance and engagement analytics. It supports a broad range of integrations as well as 4K resolution for super high-quality videos.
Pricing: Free plan. Pricing starts at $99/month.
HubSpot's Planning Template is a free template for brainstorming content that is then used to populate a basic calendar. While it's pretty simple, it might be the perfect content planning tool for people wanting to become an influencer or content marketers that only use a couple of marketing channels.
Pricing: Free download.
Kapost is one of the only enterprise-level content planning tools on our list. It's a content management platform that fully integrates with your content marketing platform. Your team can use Kapost to plan, publish, and track your content. Kapost also uses AI to make sure your content is promoting the brand messaging you want.
Pricing: Contact for pricing.
Basecamp is a simple and easy to use project management tool that your team can use as a content planning tool. Basecamp also includes communication tools like task-based comments, chat, announcements, and other collaboration tools. You can also create guest accounts if you work with freelancers, have multiple clients, or need to add other collaborators. You'll need to connect Basecamp to your Google Calendar in order to create a content calendar.
Pricing: Free plan. Free trial. The paid plan is $99/month.
Smartsheet is a project management tool that lets you track your project budget, manage resources, assign tasks, and more. You can easily visualize your tasks using grid, calendar, Gantt, and chart views and even create custom forms so you can gather data from users. Smartsheet also has a content calendar planner that you can use to map out your content.
Pricing: Free trial. Pricing starts at $14/month.
A solid content strategy is an important first step toward building effective content marketing campaigns but you also need the right content planning tools to execute your campaign. Content planning tools help you bring your entire content marketing strategy together, streamlining your efforts for best results.
To choose the best content planning tools for your brand, you'll need to decide what's important to you. Are you more interested in a tool that will post directly to your social media accounts or do you need a comprehensive tool like Monday or Kapost to manage your content marketing campaign from start to finish?
No matter what you need, the content planning tools on this list give you a great place to start!