Content marketing involves a lot of moving parts and a lot of planning. From choosing what to write or create content about to polishing your content, and from defining your audience to scheduling posts, there’s a lot that goes into content marketing. Although you can shell out for top-of-the-line resources, or pay a pretty penny for professional content marketing assistance, there are plenty of free content marketing resources and tools available that will help you without breaking the bank.
Buyer Persona Templates
Defining your audience is a crucial part of any content marketing strategy. One way to define an audience and to identify that audience’s particular needs and wants is to create a buyer persona.
Several free buyer persona templates are out there. One, Make My Persona, is a template wizard from Hubspot. It walks you step-by-step through the process of making a persona by asking you relevant questions. At the end, you do need to provide contact information and agree to the terms before it gives you a template.
Xtensio User Persona is similar, although it’s designed for UX designers more than content marketers (you can still hack it and make it work for your content marketing needs). It’s also free, but you need to create an account to get access to it.
Pictures and images help break up longer textual articles, and can make blog posts more appealing to look at. But you don’t need to be a professional photographer, or even pay big bucks for unattractive stock photos. Several public domain, completely free image resources are available. Those resources include:
You can also try looking on Flickr for images that have a Creative Commons license, and that can be used commercially. WikiMedia can also be a good source for free images, but, generally speaking, the photos you’ll find on Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay tend to be better quality.
You have your personas, you have a resource for images — now, what are you going to talk about? An idea generator for content, such as this one from Portent, can help give you your next big blog post or video idea. There’s also Hubspot’s Blog Topic Idea generator to get you started.
Almost everyone reads the headline of a piece of content, but very few people will go on to read the content itself. The trick is to create a headline so compelling and engaging that people can’t look away.
But how do you do that? A headline generator or analyzer can help you out. CoSchedule has a headline analyzer that looks at the type of headline you’ve written, the words you’ve used, and the length of the headline, then gives you a score. The lower the score, the worse the headline. It also provides tips to help you improve your headlines.
The tool is free to use, but you do have to provide your name, email, and some other basic information to get access to it.
Who vs. whom, Oxford comma or no Oxford comma, em dash or en dash? Grammar’s tough. A free tool such as Grammarly can help to ensure that your content’s grammar is pitch-perfect, and that your spelling is correct. The basic edition of the tool is free, and works as an extension in Chrome browsers.
Editorial Calendar Templates
Using an editorial calendar can help to keep your content production on track. It also lets everyone know who’s assigned to what. While you can use a basic Google calendar to create an editorial calendar, another option is to download a free template. Hubspot has one that’s completely free, in exchange for your email address and phone number.
You know what they say — it’s important to use the right tool for the right job. Content marketing resources help you streamline your content creation without busting your budget.