The new year is upon us and it’s time to gear up for our 2016 content marketing strategies! Yeah right, you’ve all been working on these for months and are still scrambling to make sure your editorial calendar is on fleek, all your writers and strategists are on the same page and that you aren’t missing out on any of the amazing tools you could be taking advantage of to make sure that this year is your most successful year to date.

Our gift to you this holiday season is a little roundup of some of the content marketing and tech tools that might help you take your content management from zero to hero and let you divert your energy to other crucial areas – like giving your website a new skin or offering your employees free yoga sessions and gourmet lunches. They deserve it, after all! Take a look at what we think are some of the best content marketing and tech tools for 2016.

Content Marketing Tools

The first thing to understand is that the tools space is hella overcrowded. There are tools for this and tools for that, tools for editing your work and tools for getting rid of it. Tools, tools, everywhere tools! You need to find the tools that are tailored exactly to your needs as well as your technical level of expertise. Some companies have tech teams in place to build your own tools, using KNIME, IFTT and other software. Others just want to start with super simple visual tools that help you get your content going right out of the box. Today, in the interest of simplicity and helping your business develop some awesome content immediately, we are focusing on the latter.

It usually makes sense to try a few basic tools out and find out what works for you. What’s right for one company may wreak havoc on another. So take these as light suggestions and have fun testing them out – we’ve heard of worse ideas for a beginning-of-year office party, after all.

The Content Strategist

Information Resource

For: Everyone

If you know anything about content marketing, which you do if you’re reading this post, you already know about Contently. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a top billing on this list. Contently is the go-to resource for all things content-related. They kill it in every area – including interviews with the experts, tips on curating original content, statistics and research on what you’re doing right and how to stop doing what you’re doing wrong and everything in between. They are definitely on the “Nice” list this year, as always – make sure you check in with them daily or weekly and you’ll be in the know about all the latest changes in the content marketing world.

DivvyHQ

Content Planning System

For: Teams of 10 or more

Planning is half the battle when it comes to content marketing. Putting a strategy in place is such a key part of your marketing plan and often it takes a backseat to actually creating content. DivvyHQ is an awesome tool to help you come up with a plan to “Divvy and Conquer” your workflow, editorial calendar and all of the content you are managing and publishing. Businesses are gearing up to handle and distribute more and more content these days and a tool like Divvy HQ is one of the newest and best ways to manage tons of content among multiple team members. You can forget about all the pesky platform-hopping you have to do with other content management platforms and easily post your social content and images on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Plus you can brainstorm and store ideas to generate future content.

Expion

Content Planning Tool

For: Teams of 5 or More

Recently acquired by social media titan Sysomos, Expion is an expert content planning tool that lets you plan, schedule and publish content all from one super cool and incredibly pretty platform. Expion takes all the pain out of content planning by offering a super user-friendly drag-and-drop calendar and a workflow program that helps you automate basic tasks so you can keep your head clear and focused on the bigger picture of what exactly you want your content to convey to your audience and how in the heck you are going to make that happen.

BuzzSumo

Content Analysis Platform

For: Teams of any size

We’ve been using Buzzsumo for awhile and if you aren’t yet, it’s time to hop on the train. This is one awesome platform that lets you Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 1.36.23 PManalyze exactly what type of content performs best in any range of topics or against any of your competitors. For example, you can create content curation ideas for searches based on the keywords that are crucial to your brand, such as “Luxury holiday vacations” or “Best Hardware Tools.” You get the point. When you enter these keywords into Buzzsumo, you get results that are based on the content created using these keywords – not ads for the products or services that the search words might suggest.

Oz Content

Content Ideation Software

For: Teams of three or more

One of the main issues when it comes to dealing with content is coming up with wtf to write about. I was talking to a pretty smart guy the other day and he was all “what does your company do?” And I realized that explaining the content ideation process was sort of like etching a topographical map of the world onto someone’s palm. They can sense what you’re doing and are familiar with the concept but the idea of listening to someone walk you through their content ideation process is still sometimes painful. Usually that’s because there is little to no process and there are too many moving parts.

Oz Content (that’s us, if you forgot) exists to make it easy and fun for teams to consistently come up with great ideas that will perform well. We combine research and idea generation into one dashboard so your process if more efficient. Our topic modeling algorithim brings to light story angles you might not have seen otherwise — moreover, our analytics dashboard lets you see which ideas perform best and even fosters a bit of friendly competition between team members. 99% of bloggers say a constant stream of steady ideas is critical to their content marketing efforts and Oz can help get you there.

GatherContent

Content Collaboration Tool

For: Teams of 10 or more

Okay so you’ve got tons of content and it’s all awesome and you’re like, let’s do this marketing plan! But you don’t have a marketing plan and you don’t know what to do with your content, where to put it, how to schedule it or how or when to plan for more of it when you need it. That’s where GatherContent comes in! This is a super simple content collaboration tool that lets you get all your ducks in a row while you’re in the content writing and publishing process. You can stay on top of deadlines, set up clear workflows and collaborate as a team without all of the mess of shared folders, docs and spreadsheets that get lost in inboxes. It gives you the satisfaction of being able to check off a virtual box every time you complete a task instead of being muddled down in the middle of dozens of projects at once with no idea whose onus it is to actually finish it and click send.

Kapost

Content Management Platform

For: Teams of 25 or more

We’ll never stop loving Kapost. It’s one of the smartest, sleekest, sexiest content management platforms out there and it is one of the most effective at getting the content you’ve poured your heart and soul into out there into the world. You can organize, share and track the results of your content in ways that your marketing team and tech team will actually understand and it works across channels so you can duly impress your stakeholders and BOOM! Keep growing your business and getting them to cough up more dollars for your marketing team because, let’s be honest – we all need more money. Kapost is cool and will just keep getting cooler, sort of like Missy Eliot.

Uberflip

Content Marketing Software

For: Teams of 10 or More

So much of the content making process relies on the buyer journey and all of its many stages. Uberflip was developed to help you power your marketing efforts at all stages of the journey, from the tiniest inkling of interest to the final actual sale. Uberflip helps marketers create, manage and optimize content experience at each stage of this journey, without needing help from IT. This means you can tweak your company blog, ramp up your resource center, fill out your content library and up your sales enablement – all in the interest of generating leads and keeping track of what kind of content is hitting home and what is getting left in the dust. We see it becoming a pretty important tool in the years to come.

Along with finding the best team and creating the most stellar content strategy, the tools you use are an important part of your content creation process. Each of these tools have benefits that can help you boost the quality of your marketing plans and pave the way for a pretty rad arsenal of content for the year to come.