Content—whether for blogs, social media platforms, email marketing, or video—is a critical part of digital marketing strategy. But creating content isn’t always easy. So what content creation tools can make the process easier, faster, and help you scale your business? You’re about to find out!
Top research tools for content creators
What’s one of the key ingredients for content marketing success? Curiosity! To create content that works and helps you scale, you have to research as much as—if not more than—you write. Here are some of the best ones.
Google search engine results pages (SERPs)
Even if you’re not writing SEO content to rank in relevant search results and drive organic traffic, the Google SERP is a goldmine. You can learn a lot about your audience from:
- Google autocomplete, which can give you an idea of what topics people are searching for and the phrasing they use
- People Also Asked, which reveals related topics people are interested in that you should cover to tap into that interest
- Related Searches, which serves a similar purpose to People Also Asked
- The organic and paid results, which give more insight into what your audience wants and what content search engines consider worth consuming
Pricing: Anyone, anywhere can use Google for free. While paid tools can be helpful, you can accomplish a lot with free tools like this as well.
Since we’re talking about SERPs, thruuu is worth a mention. It’s a SERP Analyzer that gives an overview of the top results for a Google query. To help you write content that ranks, grows your website traffic, and, ultimately, grows your business, it includes info on:
- The average page performance of top results, as well as performance data for each page
- Keywords used and keyword density across titles, descriptions, and headings
- The average word count and number of images across the top results and for each page
- Related Searches, People Also Asked Questions, and info on featured snippets
thruuu even provides content briefs and outlines based on this info so that you don’t have to do it all manually.
Pricing: thruuu has a free version that’ll get you 10 credits per month. And, if you need more, there are a few pay-as-you-go options; no subscriptions.
Just like the Google SERP, Google Trends can help content creators figure out:
- What people in your target market are and aren't interested in
- Whether existing interest is declining or rising
- What kind of content is already being created around the topic you're researching (which can help you set yours apart)
- Find related topics and queries
- Compare topics easily to make picking the topics with the most potential easier
Pricing: Google Trends is also free, although it probably shouldn’t be since the data is so valuable!
There’s more misinformation out there than ever. Not to mention more surface-level, cookie-cutter content being produced on popular topics. So making your content stand out and backing up your arguments with expert quotes is a smart move if your goal is to scale. HARO helps with that by making it easy to:
- Connect with experts in various industries, especially if you don't have an existing network
- Get expert insights that will make your content unique and more credible, even on short notice
Plus, it can be a good way to get backlinks and get your company’s name out there.
Pricing: HARO is another free content creation tool that’s great to have in your arsenal.
Last but not least on our list of research tools is artificial intelligence writing assistant Jasper. To be clear, while he knows some facts from his study of 10% of the internet, he isn’t a research assistant. Jasper’s strength is writing great content.
However, he’s great at creating outlines. He can both give you ideas for what aspects of your topic to research and help you organize the bits of research you collect so that they’re easier to make sense of as you write.
You can create an outline with a Boss Mode Command or with one of the two relevant templates—Blog Post Outline or Video Script Outline. All you have to do is enter a blog post or video topic/title, along with a tone of voice. Jasper will give you a bulleted outline that you can edit or add to as needed.
Pricing: Starter plan pricing begins at $29 per month, while the most popular option—Boss Mode—starts at just $59 per month.
Writing and optimization tools
What about tools for the writing and optimization process? Here are some great ones.
CoSchedule Headline Studio
Headlines can make the difference between people showing interest in your content or not. So it’s important to write headlines that are enticing (not clickbait-y) and show what value readers can expect from your content. CoSchedule Headline Studio helps with that by:
- Analyzing headline type, sentiment, length, emotional and power words used, as well as other important factors to give you a headline score
- Seeing how your headlines stack up to competing content in terms of search engine optimization
Pricing: CoSchedule Headline Studio has a free plan with paid plans starting at $19 per month. (CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, which is like the introductory version of Headline Studio, is also free.)
Amanda Weston of Blogs By Jarvis nicely summed up how Jasper—our user-friendly AI content generator—helps with the writing process. Amanda said: “Writing with Jasper has helped me move from idea to results in less time. Crafting compelling and persuasive copy that really captures my readers’ attention and effectively communicates my message has led to increased brand recognition and growth in my business.”
Boss Mode especially is a lifesaver when it comes to efficient and effective content and copywriting. Boss Mode’s functionalities include:
- Documents so that you can write directly in Jasper (instead of having to copy and paste bits of content from templates to Google Docs, WordPress, etc.)
- The long-form assistant, which makes it possible to create compelling headlines and content intros in minutes
- Recipes, which—like cooking recipes—give you a repeatable and customizable way to create your favorite types of content and copy
- Jasper commands to tell Jasper what you want him to write
- Power Mode and SEO Mode, which allow you to use templates side by side with documents and optimize your content using Surfer without leaving Jasper’s editor
Pricing: Jasper’s Starter Plan begins at $29 per month. But, if you want Boss Mode for long-form, higher-volume, or more flexible content creation, plans start at just $59 per month.
For those using using AI to support marketing efforts, Jasper integrates with Surfer to help with various aspects of SEO and content strategy execution. Its five key features include:
- Keyword Research: For discovering search terms worth targeting, including keywords for pillar pages.
- Content Planner: For finding relevant content clusters, including clusters that support pillar pages.
- SERP Analyzer: For seeing what content is ranking for a particular keyword, as well as comparing and contrasting the data to determine why Google thinks those pages are worthy of top spots in search results.
- Content Editor: For optimizing your content to beat the highest quality content currently ranking on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Audit: For understanding how published digital content could be improved to make it rank and perform better.
Pricing: Surfer’s plans start at $49 per month and go up to $200 per month depending on your needs.
Last up, here are a few must-have tools that help with the editing process.
Grammarly alternative ProWritingAid acts like a second pair of eyes to catch and correct grammatical mistakes. But it also does much more than that, offering 20 in-depth writing reports for:
- Improving writing style and readability
- Removing cliches and redundancies
- Swapping out overused words and improving word choice
- Detecting plagiarism
- Finding and fixing sticky sentences
There’s even a House Style report that you can customize to fit your needs and make sure that all of your content sticks to your content guidelines.
Pricing: ProWritingAid has a free Chrome extension, but to enjoy all its features, you’ll need a paid plan. There’s a $20 monthly option, a $79 yearly subscription, and even a lifetime deal.
Hemingway Editor is another powerful tool. This content creation software has a focus on clear, bold writing and good readability. It catches issues such as:
- Hard to read and very hard to read sentences
- Poor readability (AKA high reading grade levels)
- Overuse of adverbs and passive voice
- Unnecessary, weak, or complex words
Pricing: You can grab Hemingway for Mac or PC for just one payment of $19.99. If you prefer, you can simply use the web app.
Jasper can help with the editing process in several ways. For instance, you could use:
- The Explain It To a Child template (or the Explain it to a 5th grader button in Documents) to simplify paragraphs that are difficult to understand
- The Rephrase button (or a Jasper command in Boss Mode) to fix sticky sentences
- The Content Improver Template to make a piece of content more interesting, creative, and engaging
- Use the Sentence Expander template to create longer, more well-rounded sentences
Pricing: As mentioned, Jasper's plans begin at $29 per month for Starter and $59 per month for Boss Mode.
Visual content creation tools
Whether you need to create promotional materials for other content or make standalone visual content, here are the top tools to help you.
An alternative to Photoshop, Canva is one of the most robust, user-friendly graphic design tools for visual content and even video content. It boasts:
- Drag and drop functionality
- Customizable templates for all sorts of visual content
- A massive library of stock photos and royalty-free music
- Tutorials and courses to help you create attractive designs even if you’re not a pro designer
Pricing: Canva has a generous free version with paid plans starting at $12.99 per month.
If you need a simple way to create and collaborate on high-quality videos, you’ll want to check out Biteable. It offers:
- Customizable templates for everything from ads and e-commerce promos to social media posts to presentations and trainings
- A library of over 1 million video clips, 2.8 million stock images from Unsplash, and 17.7 million Shutterstock Premium clips
- Royalty-free music and studio-quality animations
- Custom fonts to keep your visual branding consistent and recognizable
Pricing: Biteable has a free forever plan. Its two paid plans are $99 per month and $208 per month, respectively.
Finally, there’s Jasper. While it doesn’t have image or video editing capability, it can definitely help you create the content and copy you need for your visuals. All the features outlined in the writing stage can work during this stage as well. But, as far as templates are concerned, here are a few ideas for how you could use them. The:
- Video Script Hook and Introduction template does what it says on the tin, getting videos off to a strong start
- Product description template is great for e-commerce images or videos
- Creative Story template could work for marketing videos which involve storytelling to gain trust
Pricing: Jasper is affordable with plans starting at $29 and $59 per month.
Choose your content creation tools wisely
"Shiny object syndrome" is, of course, risky. Trying out every tool you come across or using too many in your workflow can be bad for both your content creation budget and your productivity. However, that doesn't mean you need to avoid using tools altogether.
Content creation tools like the 11 we've discussed above have many benefits, including time savings and a better return on your investment in content. And since Jasper helps in all stages of the writing process—research, writing, editing, and even visual content creation—there's no better tool to start with. Sign up today and see how Jasper can make your content creation workflow more efficient and your content more effective!