With so many content planning tools, each targets a different marketing need. From content creation and publication, scheduling to file management, and content SEO improvements, each tool can benefit your marketing in some way.
Let’s see what tools for content planning are worth giving a try. But first, a few words on the importance of content planning.
Why you need content planning tools
With many tools for content marketing, the 2 main types of software are content planning and content publishing software.
- Content planning tools help you manage what content you will publish and when you will do it.
- Content publishing tools auto-publish your content to the right platforms, at the right time and date.
Planning your content is beneficial for many reasons. Here are the top 3 reasons:
When you have several marketing channels, it can be challenging to keep up with everything. You have to send newsletters, publish blog posts, schedule social media posts, etc. Additionally, it becomes even more difficult as your business grows and you are present on more platforms.
A content planning tool, in turn, helps you develop a schedule to stick to. So your team will always know whether they have the content to post and when everything should go live.
Besides, having a plan makes it easier to follow your SEO and content marketing vision consistently. As you have everything available at a glance, you get a better view of how your content fits your strategy.
Leverage important moments
You can use upcoming holidays, events, and other important moments for content planning to promote your business.
This way, you never miss a chance to utilize your content planner for a set of blog posts dedicated to BFCM or Christmas and come up with the most engaging content.
In parallel, content planning works great in case you need to make any urgent publications on your blog or social media platforms. With a content calendar, you can quickly see how you can rearrange your planned content to find a spot and fit in your new piece.
Save time and effort
To see results, your content has to align with the goals of your marketing strategy, towards which you move every day. This, in turn, requires time and effort, especially in publishing your content on various platforms.
That’s when content planning and publishing software comes in handy. You don’t have to stay up late to get your content up or do it on your day off — the software will automatically publish your planned content.
In addition, you can plan days or weeks ahead and focus on other tasks instead.
Keep in mind: not every content planner will offer automated content publishing as auto-publishers or all-in-one platforms do. Still, content planning tools save you a lot of time at the planning stage.
15 content planning tools to try in 2023
Now, it's time to look at the toolset needed for leveraging the planning of your content.
Here are the top 15 content planning tools to help organize your workflows and boost your team’s performance.
StoryChief - Content Marketing Platform
StoryChief is a platform for content collaboration, publishing, and distribution.
With StoryChief, you can manage every aspect of content marketing: briefing, assigning, writing, SEO and readability optimization, reviewing, approving, and publishing. Plus, you can promote your blog content across multiple channels, including social media, your email newsletter, and employee advocacy.
StoryChief integrates with all kinds of CMS which means you can publish content to your website hassle-free, with one single click.
Because of this extensive list of capabilities, editorial teams benefit from creating and managing content for all channels from a single platform.
Pricing: free trial available, paid plans start at $100/month.
Google planning tools unite into Google Workspace. There, your team can do anything online, from communicating via Gmail, Chat, and Meet to collaborating on content in Docs, Sheets, and Slides to undergoing training in Classroom.
Google’s suite enables easy file management, real-time file syncing, and team collaboration from any place and device.
- The documents can become a mess if you include images and videos because they’re just not the best for mixing different types of media.
- You'll need to publish the content manually.
Pricing: free 2-week trial, then $6/month per user for the Starter plan.
Microsoft 365 suite features desktop and online content planning tools for all-in-one app task completion. It's a good option for anyone from independent content writers to multi-level marketing teams and enterprises.
Microsoft 365 offers convenient desktop-to-online file synchronization and real-time collaboration in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Also, communication, planning, to-do listing, and other capabilities are available.
- You'll need to publish content manually.
- As a content marketer, you might not need all the subscription features.
Pricing: Microsoft 365 for Business starts at $6/user monthly.
Asana is a project planning tool that enables easy workplace management through an intuitive dashboard.
The workspace is customizable so that you can adjust it to the goals of your project. You can also streamline your internal communication and progress tracking through various integrations. Moreover, you can export Asana to Excel as a data backup option.
- You'll need to publish content manually.
- Asana doesn’t allow assigning multiple people to the same tasks.
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $10.99/user monthly.
Airtable is a powerful yet easy-to-use database tool for information management and collaboration.
With the view of a spreadsheet, Airtable can be a practical content planner. With no coding involved, build models of content pages for your website, define relationships between them, and manage different types of content with great visibility.
- You can't work with drafts directly in the app.
- You'll need to publish content manually.
Pricing: free, starting paid plan is $12/month per user.
Trello is a project management tool that helps visualize tasks and workflows to get a full view of project progress at a single glance.
Trello is a very versatile tool for content planning. You can customize it to your project, team, and content channels with the following features:
- add as many or as few cards as you need
- dedicate cards to tasks or sort them how you want it
- see the progress bar change as you check out milestones
- use templates and data filters
- attach files to cards
- set up triggered and automated notifications
Trello might not be enough if you have a large team working with content, but it works well for small/medium-sized teams.
Con: You'll need to publish content manually.
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $5/user monthly.
ContentCal is a planning and publishing software for social media marketing management, which Adobe has recently acquired.
This tool features a calendar-like dashboard where you can plan social media posts and schedule their publication. Your team and clients can collaborate on the content directly in the software to create, edit, and approve it.
You also get analytics and reporting on your social media campaigns. Besides, you can interact with your audience by replying to comments and messages through the software.
At the same time, the tool has a limited number of social networks to integrate with.
- The tool only supports social media scheduling. You will need another tool if you want to auto-schedule to your blog, email newsletters, content hubs or PR lists.
Pricing: free or Premium for $9.99/month.
GatherContent is an all-in-one content marketing platform for managing all your content operations from creation to exporting to CMS.
Gather Content allows businesses to keep content operations consistent across all channels thanks to convenient content management features, such as:
- create, collaborate on and store all your content on one platform
- add content guidelines for your team to refer to
- invite collaborators
- export your publications to the CMS
- The platform can be a bit difficult for beginners or for simple content tasks.
- No ability to track changes when collaborating on content with multiple collaborators.
Pricing: free trial; then $99+ per month.
Notion is a project management software that helps streamline business workflows and operations through visual task and process organization.
Notion offers a simple drag-and-drop interface to map out and structure your content. On top of that, in-app team collaboration, progress tracking, task prioritization, and file management are available.
Thanks to the integration of content planning tools and APIs, you can create a powerful hub to manage all content for your project, from content ideas to post approvals and publication plans. But Notion itself can't publish your content.
Con: You have to publish content manually or build automation workflows using APIs.
Pricing: free for personal use; business plans start at $8 per user monthly.
CoSchedule is a content planning software that offers a centralized, all-in-one marketing calendar and dashboard.
CoSchedule offers the majority of content organization tools capabilities, from setting up a marketing calendar to project management:
- multi-channel publication scheduling
- task prioritization
- team collaboration
- project tracking
- templates and customization
- The file organization and bulk file upload may be difficult to familiarize with.
- Does not have Pinterest in its social media scheduler options.
Pricing: free or $29/monthly per user for a Pro plan.
Clearscope is a powerful asset for businesses running SEO content marketing — the platform helps boost your blog’s traffic by identifying SEO gaps in your content.
This SEO platform provides capabilities to enhance the ranking of your content. Features like keyword research, competitor analysis, and live content scoring help you create high-ranking publications.
Con: Clearscope is a pricy tool, which might not suit small and medium teams.
Pricing: starts at $170 per month.
MarketMuse is an AI-driven content planning tool to build a content strategy and create publications based on a novel approach to organic search ranking and content audit.
MarketMuse provides SEO insights on the ranking of your content. You can track keywords and run content audits and competitor analyses to find more best-ranking keywords. Except for that, the tool has content, link, and user management features.
Con: As Clearscope, MarketMuse is pretty expensive. It might not work for you if you don't have big content volumes or don't focus on SEO a lot.
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $7,200 annually.
Canva Pro is not a direct content planning tool. It's still helpful for the process, though. It is a graphic design tool that allows the creation of illustrations and visuals for your content publications with easy drag-and-drop functionality.
Canva Pro offers an all-in-one collection of visual content planning tools, from royalty-free photos and animated videos of various styles to the custom creation of other types of visuals (from scratch or based on in-built templates).
With the pro version, you can create layouts to plan your publications, follow content consistency, and see what your future feed may look like.
Con: Unfortunately, you can't publish content so you will need to publish manually.
Pricing: monthly plans start at $12.99 per user.
Content Snare is a content organization tool that allows keeping all your files in one place. Respectively, you don’t go back and forth between emails, shared documents, and file management systems to find what you need.
Content Snare helps keep resources for your blog content plan and other marketing tasks in order. Upload, edit, share and collaborate on documents, see file version history, use templates, and set up reminders for collaborators in a single platform with a simple and intuitive interface.
Cons: Content Snare doesn't have many integrations and requires some time to adjust.
Pricing: paid plans start at $29 per month.
Basecamp is a project management tool that helps streamline communication and stay productive.
Basecamp can be an effective marketing planner app thanks to the project monitoring and management features it offers:
- task creation, assignment, and prioritization
- templates for project and content planning
- calendar view for planned publications
- resource management
- goal and KPI setting
- You need to publish content manually.
- Labeling and tagging aren't the strongest features of this tool.
Pricing: $11/user monthly.
Conclusion: What content planner tool is right for you?
As you can see, content planning platforms come in various shapes and forms:
- all-in-one platforms
- publishing software
- schedulers and calendars
- project planning tools
- SEO and content marketing apps
Each can contribute to different sides of your content production and marketing efforts, depending on what you need.
We collected those 15 tools for you to easily chose the best suitable option (or a toolset) based on your needs and budget. Check out the tools that will help you automate and streamline the most important content processes.
And if you still can't decide, you have the option to test free plans of tools. 😉
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