The 7 Best Content Marketing Planning Tools for Modern Marketers

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Content marketing is extremely effective.

But here’s the catch: it’s also extremely difficult to organize and execute efficiently.

Content marketing can be a major driver of signups and sales for your business, but it’s going to take a high degree of organization to make it work for your business.

The good news is that there are lots of tools that can help.

In this post, you’ll discover seven different content planning tools that can help you organize and structure your upcoming content.

Let’s dive in.

Best content marketing planning tools

You’ll likely want to grab a few of these tools as they serve different purposes. For instance, some will help you schedule content on WordPress and social media sites, while others will help you curate and research topics to cover.

With that said, here are my top picks for the best content marketing planning tools.


  • 1. Strive Content Calendar

    Strive Content Calendar

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    Plugin Description

    If you use WordPress then the best tool to plan your content marketing is the Strive Content Calendar plugin.

    Strive adds a gorgeous editorial calendar into your admin dashboard where you can plan and schedule your upcoming blog posts. What makes Strive a much better solution than third-party apps is that the posts you schedule in its calendar are actually scheduled in WordPress. This way, you don’t have to manage a separate calendar and remember to manually update your posts in WP to match.

    If you like writing in WordPress, then you’ll also love Strive’s other features. One of the best features is the post checklist tool, which lets you create a step-by-step process for writing and editing new content. And the best part is, the checklist shows up in the sidebar of the editor. With your checklist always visible and on-screen, it becomes easy for both writers and editors to complete their work quickly and to the standard held by your organization.

    For WordPress users, Strive is a no-brainer for planning content. Click the link below to learn more and download a copy today.

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  • 2. BuzzSumo

    BuzzSumo

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    Plugin Description

    A major part of content planning is research, and that’s where BuzzSumo stands out.

    This content research platform is extremely helpful for coming up with new content ideas and planning them to perfection. The Content Ideas Generator lets you search by keyword and find both trending and evergreen articles that have found success. This can give you ideas for how to write your own pages and what kind of twist might grab your market’s attention. You’ll also find tips for which social platforms will work best for these topics.

    In addition to the idea generator, BuzzSumo also has a content research tool that helps you understand competing content better. You can find the social share counts and number of backlinks pointing to any article. You can also search by keyword and find what formats are performing the best so that you start your articles with the right approach. You could combine this with AI writing tools like Writesonic and Jasper to rapidly generate successful content.

    Overall, BuzzSumo can be an invaluable tool in your content marketing toolkit and drastically change the content you wind up producing.

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  • 3. ContentCal

    ContentCal

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    Plugin Description

    Content Cal is a social media posting and planning tool that was recently acquired by Adobe. It integrates really well with the Adobe Express app, which is a lot like Canva. It lets you quickly create custom graphics using annotation tools and Adobe Stock photographs. With Adobe Express and Content Cal, you’ll have an entire platform for creating, planning, and scheduling your social media posts.

    If you want a social media planning tool, Content Cal will be an awesome choice. However, it doesn’t work well for planning blog posts or videos, so you may need a separate tool for that. With that said, it does social media content so well that it is likely worth a shot, and the price is surprisingly affordable, starting at just $9.99/month.

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  • 4. SEMRush

    SEMRush Topic Research

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    Plugin Description

    While you may know SEMRush as an SEO tool, you’re probably also aware that SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand. SEMRush includes some really powerful tools made for topic research and content creation.

    With their content marketing platform, you can enter a keyword to begin topic research and get back groups of related topics. Each topic card covers a similar subject and includes a few successful articles that have been written on the subject. Browsing these cards will give you plenty of new ideas for what to write about next. Even better, you’ll get a huge list of questions related to each topic. These questions are incredibly useful for coming up with new blog post ideas as well as figuring out what points to cover in your article.

    If you are looking for a content research tool and you could use an SEO platform too, SEMRush will be a valuable new addition to your content marketing toolset.

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  • 5. Independent Analytics

    Independent Analytics Plugin

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    Plugin Description

    One of the best ways to come up with new content ideas is to see what’s already performing well on your site. If you use WordPress, then you should try out the new Independent Analytics plugin.

    Independent Analytics makes it extremely easy to see how many visitors and views your site is getting, as well as where your traffic is coming from. You can also filter your data by page type, so you can generate a report showing only the views your Posts get, or filter by a custom post type added to your site. Using the Referrers report, you can find what sites are sending you the most traffic and figure out the social platforms that are working best to promote your articles.

    The Independent Analytics plugin is also GDPR compliant, easy to install, and won’t slow down your site. Not to mention, it’s completely free, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out.

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  • 6. Trello

    Trello

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    Plugin Description

    Trello is a highly flexible tool and it works great for all sorts of content and project management work.

    The Trello app is laid out like a Kanban board. While you can use the columns however you’d like, it helps to treat them as sequential when planning content. For example, your first column would contain your ideas, the next one would include content you’re working on, and the final would contain work you’ve completed.

    While Trello is awesome for organizing your work (and it’s completely free), it doesn’t have integrations for publishing content, so you won’t be able to post to your blog or social media from Trello. If that’s not an issue, you might love it for its simple and easy-to-use interface.

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  • 7. Gather Content

    Gather Content

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    Plugin Description

    While most of the tools here are for bloggers and small businesses, Gather Content is an enterprise-grade content marketing platform. It’s especially useful for teams with thousands of documents to work on across different departments and contexts.

    What you get with Gather Content is essentially a private CMS for your company. It gives employees the tools they need to create content, hand it off to others for review, and create cost estimates along the way. There are also structural tools that your content managers can use to outline how documents should be created. This can work well for technical knowledge base articles as well as acquisition-focused blog posts.

    If you need a content planning and creation platform for a large team, Gather Content is likely a strong choice.

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Which tools are best to plan content marketing?

As you can see, there are loads of awesome tools available to help plan your upcoming content.

Strive Content Calendar is an excellent tool for any WordPress user primarily focused on publishing content on their website.

If you need a tool to analyze and research a market, BuzzSumo is the best option.

Independent Analytics will be useful if you need analytics for your WordPress site, so you can see what content is performing best and where your traffic is coming from.

Those tools stand out, in particular, but all of the content marketing planning tools listed here are valuable in their own right.

Thanks for browsing this collection of the best content planning tools, and please use the share buttons below if you want to show it to someone else.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.