Some of my favorite tools posts end up being the ones where people share the specific tools they use to get jobs done.

There’s power in knowing the tools that others find useful and important enough to make part of their regular workflow.

For content marketing, I seem to take a particularly keen interest because I’m always on the hunt for new and amazing products to try, and I also appreciate a thoughtful recommendation. When it comes to the tools we use for content marketing at Buffer—a topic we’ve yet to discuss in too much detail on the blog, until now!—I feel that we keep things quite lean. And we’re constantly learning from others about new and exciting ways to get more done in the same amount of time.

So I’ve done my best to collect all my learnings here in this post, both with the tools we use to do content marketing at Buffer and the most highly-recommended tools from others in the industry. I’d love to know which ones are your favorites, too!

content marketing tools

The 8 content marketing tools we use at Buffer

1. Trello for organization

Our main idea board and content calendar, Trello is where we find ourselves organizing our weeks ahead and storing potential blog posts full of notes, links, comments, and more.


One neat feature we’ve yet to fully explore here is the potential of voting on Trello cards. A neat way to use this might be to ask for feedback and input from the whole team on which blog post ideas seem to resonate. The ones with the most votes move on to the writing stage!

2. WordPress for blogging

I sometimes forget to think of WordPress in terms of a tool. It feels like so much more!

Still, it’s the tool that I use on a daily basis to compose and publish all the articles that appear on the blog. The Buffer blogs run on WordPress, and we feel very grateful for such a robust platform that allows us the flexibility to easily edit the design and to experiment with different plugins in a snap.

3. Buffer for distribution

At the core a social media management tool, Buffer has been useful for us in several content-oriented ways:

  • We use it to A/B test headlines by tweeting two different variations, comparing the stats, and going with the winner.
  • We use it to test out content ideas. We share a blog post multiple times and in multiple ways. If a particular element of a blog post performs well on social media, we might explore the topic further in a more detailed and fine-tuned article.


4. Hipchat + Zapier for community-building

For keeping track of new comments on our articles, we’ve put together an automation workflow with Zapier that pulls in all new comments into our content chat room in Hipchat.


5. Canva for image creation

The majority of the images we create for blog posts come through screen capture or from Canva. In Canva, we build images based on their simple-to-use templates or with basic templates we’ve created before. It’s easy to copy over an existing image and tweak and adjust small things for each new post.

6. MailChimp for emailing

We’ve built our RSS email list using MailChimp, which we’ve found quite intuitive for easiliy creating automated RSS campaigns as well as weekly digests. The next step for us here is segmenting the list so that the emails we send are of the optimum relevance to those who receive them!

7. Google Analytics for traffic stats

The most widely used website analytics tool out there, Google Analytics gives us all the information we may ever need for figuring out what’s working well with our blog content. A few of our favorite reports include

  • Time on page
  • Social media sources
  • Search queries
  • New vs. returning visitors
  • Referrals

google analytics

8. Feedly for content ideas

Our idea curation process involves reading as many great blogs as we can. Feedly makes this possible. We subscribe to feeds for a huge number of blogs and get ideas and inspiration from the types of headlines and topics we see.


If you’re at all interested, you can subscribe here to my current list of Feedly favorites.

Content marketing tools used by the pros

The above short list of tools represents the ones we use most often at Buffer. It’s far from a complete list of what’s out there. Many other bloggers and content creators have found great benefit from a number of other tools. Here are some that get mentioned most often by pro bloggers.

For a complete list of other tools, you might consider checking out some of the helpful lists put together by KISSmetrics and the Content Marketing Forum and QuickSprout.


  1. Chartbeat
  2. GoSquared
  3. MixPanel


Perhaps the biggest draw of services like Chartbeat, GoSquared, and MixPanel is the simplicity of the data compared to tools like Google Analytics. These alternative analytics tools tend to focus on real-time information, social media shares, and simple dashboards.

Baremetrics founder and blogger Josh Pigford explains the benefits he gets from GoSquared (pictured above).

Real-time traffic data. A lot easier to find out where traffic is coming from than Google Analytics. I use this quite a lot when we publish a new blog post or send out a newsletter to get a feel for where traffic is coming from and how a given item is being shared throughout the day.

All-in-one services

  1. Kapost
  2. Newscred
  3. Rainmaker


Sometimes it’s great to find a tool that collects a large number of content marketing resources all in one place. The tools mentioned here offer a multitude of services like analytics, list-building, content creation, and more.

Blogger Chris Brogan recently switched his site over to the Rainmaker platform (pictured above), and here’s a bit behind the reason why:

Within Rainmaker, I can create all different types of content, like private membership forums, podcasts, and more. It’s just push-button simple to get most things started, and I’ve enjoyed exploring how each of these can work towards improving business with conversion stats, and the like. That’s the other part I like. I like really simple analytics. Truth is, I’m not clever enough to do much with more complex ones.

Image creation

  1. Share as Image
  2. Skitch
  3. CloudApp

share as image

We’re happy to get some use out of each of these image creation tools now and again, and we know they’ve been really useful for other bloggers as well. Share as Image lets you turn any text into a beautiful image or quote. Skitch is a favorite of ours when it comes to annotated screenshots. And CloudApp lets you create awesome GIFs of your screen.


  1. BuzzSumo
  2. Quick Sprout
  3. Quora


For coming up with ideas on what to write about (and how to craft a headline), it can be quite useful to look at the most popular content from a given topic (BuzzSumo), from a given website (QuickSprout), or for a particular audience (Quora).

Blogger Gregory Ciotti, who works on growth at Help Scout, shared his appreciation for Quora as an idea tool.

I’ve found Quora to be great for idea validation. If a topic is hot on Quora, it’ll make for a great article.


  1. Evernote
  2. CoSchedule
  3. Google Calendar

Creating an editorial calendar or collecting notes and ideas in a consistent place can be a huge help for content marketing teams (and individuals, for that matter). Tools like the above can help writers work together and share in a seamless way.


  1. Open Site Explorer
  2. Yoast SEO
  3. CrazyEgg


For SEO optimization and on-page adjustments, there are a great number of tools that can help with keywords, titles, layout, and readability.

Blogger and entrepreneur Neil Patel found great use with CrazyEgg in optimizing the readability of his blog posts.

Have you wondered how many people actually read your blog posts? With my blog at Quick Sprout, it used to be 40%…until I started using Crazy Egg.

With a few simple Crazy Egg tests, I was able to see how many visitors scrolled down and actually read each blog post. With a bit of testing, I was able to increase the number of people who read each post by 62.5%.

List-building and lead generation

  1. SumoMe
  2. HelloBar
  3. Bounce Exchange


Getting people to take action on your website is often a key goal for content marketers. Often, the action is to join an email list or enter information or follow on social media. The tools listed here offer some great solutions for adding opt-in forms and CTAs to your blog.

Pat Flynn, blogger at Smart Passive Income, predicted SumoMe to be one of his most-used apps in 2015.

There’s also an image sharer function, list building tools, a heat map tool, contact forms, a “smart bar” tool, analytics, and a highlighter tool which allows people to highlight portions of your blog posts, and easily share that. Obviously a great price (free!), but also super easy to install, and useful too!


What are your favorite content marketing tools that you use on a daily basis?

We’re always eager to learn more about what tools work best for others. There are a ton of great ones out there, and it’s been fun to collect a big list of them here in this blog post. To recap, here are the ones that we use most frequently on the Buffer content team.

  1. Trello
  2. WordPress
  3. Buffer
  4. Hipchat + Zapier
  5. Canva
  6. MailChimp
  7. Google Analytics
  8. Feedly

I’d love to hear which tools would make your list! Feel free to share in the comments.

Image sources: The Noun Project, Blurgrounds, Unsplash, Rainmaker, Quick Sprout, Smart Passive Income

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! 🍟

  • James Gill

    Thanks for mentioning GoSquared here, Kevan! Some super handy tools here.

    I’d actually add the wonderful Slack as a slightly broader tool that helps us with content marketing (and a lot of other things) here at GoSquared – we share a lot of links internally that then filter up to be added to our Buffer queue by our marketing guys.

    • Kevan

      Hi there James! Thanks for the comment!

      That’s so awesome how you use Slack for content marketing. Curious, do you have a dedicated room for sharing links and content among the team? Any automation processes in place? I’m super interested in hearing about fun ways to use Slack. Seems like there’re so many possibilities there!

      • James Gill

        Cheers Kevan!

        Yeah, we have a room called “#words”. We don’t automate anything off of that into Buffer, but it’s just handy having one channel to go pick out great pieces of content that we can then go and share on publicly. Everything kinda gets a review from the team before we share it then!

    • Petr Pinkas

      Hey James, we have signed up for GoSquared recently and I love it so far! Nice UI, great stats, better than Google Analytics for referrals – finally I can track from which Disqus discussion came the visit.

      • James Gill

        Wow, that’s so great to hear, Petr! Thanks for letting us know! If you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out – we love to hear feedback – good or bad 😀

        • Petr Pinkas

          I would love to be able to edit the Notification Triggers under no admin rights 🙂

          • James Gill

            Ha! Noted. You’re not the first to ask for that one 😉 Thanks Petr, we’ll see what we can do!

          • Petr Pinkas

            Glad I’m not the only one 🙂 Thanks James.

  • Anurag Bansal

    Thanks again for a great post. Besides Feedly, I would recommend Flipboard and News360 for ideas. What I like about these two is that you follow a topic instead of a Blog.
    But I follows the following process:
    1. Follow a topic in Flipboard and New360.
    2. Share/curate articles from different sources using Buffer.
    3. If enough articles are shared from a single source, then subscribe it in Feedly.

    So essentially I end up using all three, but I am very selective in adding something to my Feedly – the source need to qualify.
    On a side note – Buffer Blog is one of them that qualified. 🙂

    • Kevan

      Those are such great tips, Anurag! Thanks so much for sharing. Love your workflow there. 🙂

  • Karen McCamy

    Great post! FYI: Buffer is the only source where I read from headline to end! 🙂 Your content is that useful! I’m always stunned by the degree of detail you include in each article!

    My top tools are:
    1. Asana to manage projects & tasks
    2. Buffer
    3. Evernote (literally *everything* is in there!) Especially awesome is the web clipper browser tool!
    4. Canva
    5. MailChimp
    6. WordPress
    7. WP SEO (Yoast)
    8. CoSchedule & Google Calendar

    I’m integrating curation this year and plan to get started with SumoMe, Feedly, and testing out some others you have recommended…

    I’m sure this list will grow…I actually didn’t realize I used this many tools regularly! 😉

    And…(as I’m *always* pointing out) I’m a freelancer, a team of ONE (1), so it’s invaluable to have tools that help me handle all of this…AND teach my WordPress classes, too! 🙂

    • Kevan

      Hi Karen! Thanks so much for the comment! I think you’ll get a ton of usage out of SumoMe/Feedly. 🙂 Best of luck with the curation!

  • Will Blunt

    Hey Kevan,

    I love these “inside Buffer” articles you write. Maybe it’s just me, but learning through other people’s experience makes it so much more actionable.

    It’s funny that I use all of the same tools as you (except Trello)… Maybe I’ve subconsciously copied your workflow over months of reading!

    Trello just made my list for team building.

    Thanks again.


    • Kevan

      Haha, thanks Will! Awesome to hear we’re of the same mind on so many tools. Do you use a different tool for organization besides Trello? Curious!

      • Will Blunt

        Hey Kevan,

        I’m riding solo at the moment so no need for a team collaboration tool. But for managing my own tasks I’m a little old school.

        Cringeworthy to admit this but I use a combination of a notepad and pen with Outlook Tasks.

        Is Trello worth the plunge, even for an individual?

        • Karen McCamy


          I have tried Trello several times, but just can’t get past their “card” interface! I used to use Outlook tasks, as well.

          I’ve found that Asana ( works great for managing tasks and their projects, as well as stand-alone tasks.

          I’m also “flying solo” as a freelancer, and don’t ever plan on having teams. While Asana is great for teams, it works just as well for me!

          • Steward Copper

            Hi folks!

            Kevan, thank for the comprehensive list and adding value discussion you supported here in comments. I’ll get a ton of usage out of and Canva as they are something new for me.

            As for organization I used Asana when “flying solo” and it worked perfect. When I built a team we switched to Comindware Project ( ) that works great to manage our tasks, timesheets and documents directly from the MS Outlook, view and manage team workload through a number of projects and keep an eye on realistic project completion date as it automatically recalculates your project schedule if any task is completed with delay or earlier than it was expected. And my team loves Comindware’s activity stream, where we can discuss issues and share opinions in real time.

  • Tom Smith

    Hi Kevan,

    I appreciate your tools, especially Canva. I struggle to come up with quality graphics that are appropriate for my blog posts. After reading your article, I signed up for Canva.

    Of course I use WordPress and Buffer regularly, but there is always more to learn.

    Thanks for the tips,


    • Kevan

      Hi Tom! Thanks for the comment! Excited for you to start using Canva. It’s an amazingly helpful one for us!

      (P.S. We launched a small photo tool here if you’d be interested also:

      • Tom Smith

        Thanks for the reply and for sharing your photo tool. I’d like to try it but I got an error message when I tried to follow the link:

        • Karen McCamy

          Tom, I got the same error… The link above includes the closing “)” but if you just backspace and erase the ) in the URL it goes right to the app. 🙂

          • Tom Smith

            Great! I did what you said and it works. I didn’t notice that the closing “)” was messing up the link. Thanks for the help.

          • Karen McCamy

            Hey, Tom! You’re welcome! Guess that’s what 30+ years in computers will do…besides making me (gasp!) need glasses… 😉

      • Karen McCamy

        Just checked this out…and it’s GREAT!

        Must be your best-kept secret because I had no idea it existed!

        I was only playing around with it on my iPad (it worked just fine). Wondering what the downloaded image size is, since I’d like to use it for my articles as well as social media…

        Canva is excellent, but sometimes it takes longer to construct a simple article/post image. Pablo eliminates that complexity! 🙂

      • Tom Smith

        Hi Kevan. I tried Pablo. That’s just what I was looking for! It’s simple, easy to use and will work well for the images I need for my blog.Thanks again for sharing it.

  • Petr Pinkas

    Great list of tools Kevan, thanks for that, will definitely check out Zappier again and BuzzSumo. I also like Tweetdeck for monitoring hashtags and phrases to start conversations and build a community and brand awareness.

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  • Brittany Berger

    We have similar taste! My most-used tools are Trello, WordPress, Evernote, MailChimp, SumoMe, Google Analytics, Canva, and of course Zapier makes them all talk to each other like good friends do. 🙂

    • Kevan

      Hi Brittany! Love your list! Curious, which SumoMe tools do you find yourself using most? There’re so many great ones in there. 🙂

      • Brittany Berger

        I use the Smart Bar and Scroll Box for list building, and Share and Image Sharer for social.

  • Centro BG

    I love Canva 🙂 This tool saves me tons of hours for Promotions and Covers for FB and G+

    • Kevan

      Thanks for the comment! So glad to hear that Canva has been helpful for you. 🙂

  • Share As Image

    Thanks for the shout out Kevan! Great to hear you’re finding Share As Image useful 🙂

  • Aishwarya Vardhan Chaturvedi

    Hi Kevan

    I would like to ask you how does Hipchat compare with Disqus’ commenting system? This is in response to the Hipchat + Zapier automation workflow you talked about above.


  • larrydunbar

    WordPress is the best, but it is so yesterday. Medium is really the next Generation. So stay where you are or, as probably Howard Bloom would say, grow legs and move on.

  • David Sawyer @zudepr


  • Sahil Parikh

    Hey Kevan, nice list and thanks for sharing what you’ll use at Buffer. Good to know what other startups use. I like using Hipchat, Mention, Positionly (seo software) and Brightpod (organising tracking our content marketing and time).

  • Beaglecat

    Very useful list! Thank you, Kevan! We’re already using some of them such as Trello, Feedly, WordPress and Google Analytics. They are very helpful tools, especially for content marketing.
    In what concerns distribution & social media management for our clients, we’ve been working with It’s got some useful features that I would recommend. Our favourite is the ticket inbox. It has streamlined our entire process and we’ve managed to also save some time. We all know how precious that is!

    • Kevan

      Awesome stuff! Thanks for the link to! Looks neat!

  • Kayla Kurin

    Thanks, Kevin! I also could not go without Grammarly! The browser plugin is great and saves me from many embarassing grammar mistakes.

  • Mani Gandham

    This is great stuff Kevan!

    Just came across this but I’d like to point out that and other companies are a great platform for the bigger accounts that need enterprise-grade content creation and syndication.

  • Vacation Rentals

    Good stuff Kevan! We use for content discovery, scheduling and evergreen planning (it is already integrated with Canva and Google Analytics). We use Twtrland for audience analysis and Feedly as well for rss feed research. Thanks for the suggestions, we’ll definitely check out Trello.

  • Prerna

    Good stuff Kevan. In my opinion companies like and other companies are a great platform for B2B companies having existing content and also for those who do not have enough content and can use industry templates in the content editor section and in turn help them build pipeline.

  • Anita Zielke

    New ideas bring new solutions. The world is moving towards full gear ready systems. Thanks to the author for a lot of knowledge for us.

  • Elia Palme

    Hi Kevan, thanks for the useful list and of course we are using “your” Buffer a lot, its really great!
    Also for the category “content ideas” or “content curation” you could take a look at: Segmento ( its a platform for content marketing and content curation that helps you find and select the best articles online and than easily share it to your social media.

  • Ula Lachowicz

    Very useful list for content marketers. Thanks Kevan. I’d suggest for content commerce. You can create a beautiful online magazine and let your readers buy directly from it.

  • John

    Polarbear is a great app for real time marketing

  • Zotabox

    Kevan, wonderful, informative, go to list as I have said before but I think some people are overlooking an important category – onsite marketing tools. Have a look and tell us if you agree :). Have a great day!

  • Carlos

    Wow! That’s an exhaustive list.. I added quite a few of these to my arsenal. Now it is just a matter of figuring out which ones are going to be the most useful. 🙂 Thanks for regularly producing useful and insightful information. Thank you and keep it up!

    BTW – another great list of content marketing tools.

  • homepageusa

    Amazing list of tools to marketing. it will help all types of content in marketing.
    Prefer to all to use this list in Content marketing.
    Thanks for sharing list.

  • Nick Garnett

    No-one mentions Podio the most amazing productivity app out there, essentially it’s a tool that enables you to make your own apps – I use it for ideas, scheduling, collaboration, CRM, chat, in fact everything except email and analytics. Check it out it’s amazing

  • Bruno Ghisi

    Hey Jeff,

    Great list, I’ve added some of those tools to my kit already! : )

    On a side note, there’s one more tool you may want to add to the list: Contentools content marketing platform, an end-to-end software to help content managers and marketers manage all their content in one place.

    I’m sure you’d like to check it out before considering it for the list, so here some links that may help you out: (Homepage) (1 min presentation video) (Demo)

    Also, I see you guys produce quite a lot of content, if you think our software could come in handy, click here: to set up a free trial account.

    Feel free to reach out any time at

  • Ana

    Nice! Pretty fantastic tools here! I’d like to suggest Placeit ( for image creation. It’s a free mockup tool that works without photoshop, comes in handy when creating visuals for app marketing

  • Angelina

    These are awesome tips for new bloggers but i will suggest them which have more then 50 free seo tools to optimise their website or blogger to increase traffic, contents, keywords suggestions and estimate earning calculator. Visit and make your life easy.