Before you showcase your brand to the world, be sure to have the right content marketing tools in place.

Would you expect a plumber to fix your leaky faucet without using any tools? Hopefully not. You also shouldn't expect to successfully market your brand or business without the right content marketing tools. Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of these tools available—some of them free! You will need to research your options to determine the right one(s) for your needs, but we'll help point you in the right direction.

Here are 6 essential content marketing tools to help streamline your content marketing strategy.



On average, email marketing generates $44 in return on investment (ROI) for every $1 spent, according to Campaign Monitor, making it far and away the top channel for marketers. To take full advantage of email marketing, turn to an automated email marketing platform like MailChimp.

There's a free version that’s great for beginners, but you’ll only be able to add up to 2,000 emails. MailChimp allows you to build and segment your subscriber list, track open and click-through rates, set up campaigns, conduct A/B testing, and more. It is intuitive, sets up quickly, has a clean interface, and is easy to use.

Sprout Social


No marketing strategy is complete without social media, and a management tool that allows you to schedule, manage, and measure your social activity is a must. Sprout Social simplifies the process of composing, scheduling, analyzing, and planning of social media posts for multiple channels. It integrates with nearly all social media platforms quickly and easily.

We especially like the robust and in-depth analytics that equip you with data to reach your users when they are most engaged. With the free trial, you can take Sprout for a risk-free test run and see if it works for you.



An automated marketing program like Act-On can connect the dots between your outbound marketing efforts and your internal results. Among its many features are tools for email marketing, website visitor tracking, social media management, and reporting and analytics, but more importantly it allows users to manage their leads.

Act-On tracks the number of visitors to your website and provides in depth information about your visitors and marketing campaigns that you’re currently running. You’ll discover how many times users visited your site, where they came from, how your email marketing is being received, and other important data to help you make informed decisions about your marketing. Together, that information is used to score and prioritize your leads and integrates with most leading CRM platforms.

Act-On starts at $900 per month, but in theory will pay for itself with more actionable sales leads. If you're a small business with limited resources, Act-On could become your most valuable marketing tool in your arsenal.



We live in a visual age. People have screens with them at every waking hour. You'll want to ensure your marketing efforts catch users' eyes with engaging visuals. Adobe Photoshop is great if you have the time to master its incredible potential, but most people need a simpler option.

That's why we like Canva. You can create all types of visuals from a vast library of templates and stock images. Canva’s simple drag-and-drop platform is easy to use and their accompanying library of photos should satisfy most needs. But if not, you can upload your own images as well.

Stock photos and videos


Once you’ve put together your marketing plan and written content that will persuade prospects to take notice of your product or service, you’ll want professional photos and videos to really give your material that finishing touch. There are many sites that offer free photos and video for download.

We like to use Pexels for free stock photos or Mixkit for free stock video. If you’re willing to pay for stock artwork, there are plenty of other options out there!

Google Analytics


When it comes to website analytics and measurement, it's hard to beat the free service of Google Analytics. It's a no-brainer, must-have tool for all marketers. Google Analytics will tell you where your users are coming from, how they found you, how long they spend on your site, their path through your content, and even give you real time analytics so you can “watch” visitors navigate throughout your website.

For businesses of all sizes, content marketing is a crucial part of an effective marketing plan. Content marketing educates your customers and leads, helps build trust, establishes relationships, and creates brand awareness. The connections made with potential customers using the tools above provide businesses actionable data that can lead to conversions and analytics that can help inform your marketing and budgets.

No matter the tools you choose, Folio can help ensure they work with your website. Get started today.