Have you ever tried to put something together without the right tools?
Maybe you realize too late that you don’t have the right size screws or you’re not quite sure where you placed your hammer. Either way, you try to scramble to find an alternative that still gets the job done.
Unfortunately, this rarely tends to work out. Instead of a solid, finished product you’re proud to show off, you’re left with a mess that’s barely strapped together with duct tape and superglue.
Eventually, it’s going to fall apart.
Your content works the same way.
While we may not be talking about physical tools like hammers and screwdrivers, your content planning toolbox still needs to be full of the right equipment to ensure that you’re fully prepared for whatever comes your way.
Why Should You Invest in Content Planning Tools?
To put together excellent, creative content—rather than boring, dry copy that nobody wants to read—you’ll need to manage your schedule.
Nothing good comes from scrambling to meet deadlines—or never having them in the first place.
Quality, consistency and organization all go hand in hand.
So, ask yourself: When should all the research, writing, editing, publishing and promoting of your content happen?
Once you figure this out, get your tools set up and have everything running like clockwork, you’ll be able to focus on making your content as creative, detailed and valuable as humanly possible.
There are a number of different tools out there that will allow you to take control of your content planning—heck, tools have gotten so streamlined that they’ll pretty much control your content planning for you, freeing you up to focus on more important things than day-to-day minutiae.
However, the tool you select will depend on your unique needs and goals. You’ll need to choose wisely!
Let’s take a look at a few of the best content planning tools you can use to build (and execute) your content strategy.
Content Planning Tools: 4 Top Tools Catering to Your Team’s Size, Tasks and Goals
1. The Best All-around Content Planner: CoSchedule
Have you ever come across a really great tool that’s awesome at performing many different tasks, like a Swiss army knife?
Well, in the content marketing world, as far as I’m concerned, that tool is CoSchedule.
As an all-in-one content planning tool, teams can use CoSchedule to plan their content, post it on their website and even map out social media posts related to their new content. Through automating the content process, CoSchedule users are able to get more done in less time.
CoSchedule is also great for monitoring your big-picture plan. Because you want each piece of content to build off of another, the CoSchedule calendar function allows you to see what kinds of content you’re creating, when it’s scheduled to be posted and how it’s going to be shared. CoSchedule also allows for easy collaboration with your team, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Who Should Consider Using CoSchedule?
CoSchedule appeals to everyone from the solopreneur to major corporations. It offers unique packages catered to the unique needs of virtually every kind of business, so just about everyone can benefit from using the CoSchedule content planning tool.
CoSchedule functions best when used with a WordPress site. While you can still use CoSchedule if your website is hosted elsewhere, it doesn’t have the same functionality as it currently has with WordPress. This means you may not get the most bang for your buck if you’re using Squarespace, Wix, Weebly or another platform.
How Much Does CoSchedule Cost?
Like all good multipurpose tools, CoSchedule isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s well worth the investment if you’re going to get good use out of what it offers.
The cost of a CoSchedule subscription will depend on the number of features you’re looking for and the size of your team. For bloggers or solopreneurs looking for just one user and limited features, CoSchedule will cost $30/month when billed annually.
For teams under five users, the cost jumps to $60/month. Other options include $300/month for 25 users or $1,600/month for access to multiple calendars.
2. The Best Free Content Planner: Trello
Trello wasn’t necessarily designed to be a content planning tool. However, it still makes an awesome program for organizing your content and creating a marketing plan. But the best part about Trello is that it’s completely free.
Trello allows you to organize your thoughts and ideas based on boards, lists and cards.
You can create a board for each project, such as your content marketing strategy, and then develop lists based on the various stages or processes that it needs to go through to be completed.
Then, you create cards for each item. Within that card, you can have conversations, share files and create to-do lists to ensure it moves through the process appropriately.
Trello may not be specifically designed for content marketing, but it’s all about planning. It’s a great organization and planning tool. With Trello, you can easily get your entire team on the same page.
Who Should Consider Using Trello?
Trello doesn’t offer the same posting features as a program like CoSchedule, but it can help teams get more organized.
It’s a great option for teams who may be struggling to map out their content marketing plan or who need additional guidance moving things along.
Trello is also a great option for teams with small budgets. Solopreneurs, small teams or even just those looking to save some cash can benefit from Trello.
How Much Does Trello Cost?
As we mentioned, Trello is primarily free. However, they do offer some paid options.
At $9.99/month, users can upgrade their Trello account to have more security and to integrate apps.
For just over $20/month, users can upgrade to the Enterprise level and create multiple teams within one Trello account.
3. The Best Content Planner for Large Teams: DivvyHQ
Larger teams typically need a bit more help containing and controlling all their content. They need to keep things as simplified as possible, while also ensuring that all the right features are available to everyone who needs them.
This is why DivvyHQ is a great option for larger teams.
DivvyHQ is a content planning tool trusted by some of the biggest commercial names out there, like Ben & Jerry’s, Aflac, Target and Unilever.
In addition to helping you plan out your content, DivvyHQ also allows you to manage your team, ensure production is cruising along nicely and collaborate to improve your content strategy—all within one easy-to-use dashboard.
You can sync up your Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar to work within the platform, if you’re already working in those spaces. And not only that, but you can actually plan and produce your content right within this platform.
They’ve put a lot of energy into making the content creation element robust enough to handle large-scale content production lines. Got e-books, blog posts, webinars, presentations and email blasts to draft up, like, yesterday? Here’s a centralized place where your team can collaborate on that—and everything else related to it.
DivvyHQ is uniquely designed to help larger teams get ahold of their various content needs. Since major corporations are usually dealing with a variety of content forms each day, DivvyHQ allows you to keep track of it all without feeling overwhelmed.
Who Should Consider Using DivvyHQ?
You don’t necessarily have to be a massively large team to enjoy using DivvyHQ. However, it’s a bit more costly than some of the other options on this list.
Major corporations and other sizeable content marketing teams who have the budget for DivvyHQ will have the best experience.
Since you’ll really want all the features and programs to truly benefit from DivvyHQ, large brands with the funds to purchase the more complete packages are really the ones that should consider this tool.
How Much Does DivvyHQ Cost?
At the lowest level, DivvyHQ costs $25/user/month for unlimited calendars, campaign management and tasks.
The next level, which costs $95/user/month, also adds content and social publishing as well as a custom workflow builder.
The most expensive DivvyHQ option is $195/user/month ($2,500/month for unlimited users), and it provides access to all features.
4. The Best Content Planner for New Websites: GatherContent
Getting a new website up and running is difficult. Not only do you need to create the design, but you also need to produce the right content.
GatherContent is the ideal tool for organizing, structuring, reviewing, managing and uploading that content.
GatherContent has a unique focus on developing content for the web, making it a great option for new websites or content marketing agencies.
With GatherContent, you’re able to create templates that fit the structure of your website. This allows content writers to understand how it will appear on a website so they can make modifications as necessary.
The focus of GatherContent is more on building strong websites than the everyday content you’re going to create for your team. However, this evergreen content needs to be strong, making GatherContent well worth the investment for new websites or website redesigns.
Who Should Consider Using GatherContent?
As we mentioned, GatherContent’s primary focus is on website building. If you already have a website that’s functioning and strong copy, you probably won’t get a lot of benefit from the software.
However, if you’re planning a new website or you’re looking to redesign one that’s already existing, GatherContent can assist you through that process. GatherContent also focuses on agencies who help others build and create their websites.
How Much Does GatherContent Cost?
Like the other tools on this list, GatherContent offers options at different price points.
The lowest price, $79/month, offers unlimited users access to all features for 10 projects.
The next level costs $149/month and allows up to 25 projects. Finally, the largest package costs $259/month and gives access to up to 50 projects and 2000 items.
Don’t waste your time trying to put your content marketing plan together with duct tape and superglue.
If you want to create a strong, successful plan that will attract, convert and retain your customers and clients, you need to fill your marketing toolbox with the right items.
Consider your needs when determining which content planning tool is right for you.
With the right tools, you can achieve more with your content!