The Most Essential Tools for Running an Effective Content Strategy in 2019

What is it that compels us to click on posts about content marketing tools? The first, trendiest thought that came to mind was FOMO, the fear of missing out. But I think it goes deeper than that.

Please allow me to introduce a new acronym (and a word while I’m at it): FOWO, the fear of working outdatedly.

FOWO is like FOMO but with lingering repercussions. To avoid these repercussions, and to ensure our peers haven’t suddenly started working smarter than us, we click through to confirm that our marketing ways are as modern as they should be, that we’re not (gasp!) working outdatedly.

The goal of this post is to help you make sure that, tool-wise, your team is up to date. To do that, we’re examining the six most voted-on categories from CMI’s content marketing tool fan favorites. For each category, we provide a quick snapshot and then help you determine whether your FOWO is real or imagined. Do you need the tool or don’t you?

If it turns out you need the tool, we’ve also listed the fan favorites for each category. The thought being: if you do need this type of tool, what better place to start than with those that are proven to make marketers happy?

Should FOWO be a rational fear for your content marketing team? Let’s find out together, category by category. Here are the most essential content marketing tools for 2019.

Digital Analytics

The digital analytics tools category is unique in that it’s the most-used content marketing tool, but it may also be the most underutilized. Pretty much every content marketing team has a digital analytics tool, yet most companies lack the right people, the right approach, or both.

Which Digital Analytics Tools Do Content Marketers Prefer?

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Adobe Analytics
  3. Moz
  4. IBM Digital Analytics
  5. Kissmetrics

Is My FOWO Justified?

This one’s tricky. We all use analytics to some extent, and most of us using the same or very similar tools. Very few of us, however, have reached digital analytics maturity. If you haven’t reached maturity, you’re not alone. But if your competition is working with actionable information while you’re working with mere data, then yes, your FOWO is merited.

Content Marketing Platforms

In his first of five content marketing trends to watch in 2019, John Hall notes that content marketing is becoming marketing, saying “successful brands know that content marketing opens the door for two-way conversations and relationships with audiences unlike anything before.”

If your company is like most, much of your marketing would be considered content marketing. And if content marketing makes up the majority of your marketing, it only makes sense to use a platform specifically designed for that purpose.

Which Content Marketing Platforms Do Content Marketers Prefer?

  1. DivvyHQ
  2. Contently
  3. PathFactory
  4. Uberflip
  5. CoSchedule

Is My FOWO Justified?

If you have a content marketing team, and you produce a moderate-to-high volume of content, you should absolutely be using a content marketing platform. When you find a content marketing platform that fits your team’s needs, you can more easily manage everything from a calendar while also facilitating the pivotal planning, collaboration, automation, management and analytics that fuel successful content marketing programs.

Email Marketing

What email marketing lacks in novelty, it makes up for in ROI. Email marketing tools remain so popular because they take technical complexity out of the equation, allowing marketers to focus on marketing.

Which Email Marketing Tools Do Content Marketers Prefer?

  1. MailChimp
  2. HubSpot
  3. Salesforce/Pardot
  4. Constant Contact
  5. Campaign Monitor/Emma (tie)

Is My FOWO Justified?

Let’s face it: if you manage any sort of a list, you’re probably already using an email marketing platform. To attempt otherwise would be inefficient and prone to error. Your FOWO is justified if email is a priority channel and you’re not yet using an email marketing platform to manage your campaigns.

Project Management

Project management tools work similar to content marketing platforms, the main difference being, while project management tools can handle a broad range of needs, most aren’t built to meet the specific needs of content marketing teams (I realize I’m saying this even though DivvyHQ also appeared as a fan favorite in the project management category). This is why content teams may be wise to switch from a project management tool to a content marketing platform.

Which Project Management Tools Do Content Marketers Prefer?

  1. Asana
  2. Trello
  3. DivvyHQ
  4. Basecamp
  5. Microsoft Project

Is My FOWO Justified?

Depends on your situation. If you’re feeling the pain of stitching together a content program with spreadsheets, a project management tool will help. If your project management tool is failing the content marketing stress test, a content marketing platform will help.

Team Collaboration

The cloud and the quickening of the internet have given rise to collaborative possibilities that didn’t exist until recently. Many content teams have taken advantage of this technology to tighten content collaboration across the enterprise.

Which Team Collaboration Tools Do Content Marketers Prefer?

  1. Slack
  2. Trello
  3. DivvyHQ
  4. Confluence
  5. Evernote

Is My FOWO Justified?

Ask your team whether they consider content collaboration to be a strength or a weakness. If it’s the latter, the competition is likely working smarter (or is currently making collaborative strides) and the FOWO is for real.

Social Media Analytics

We might be inclined to think the maturation of social media would mean that businesses’ social media activity would start to level off. Not so, say the numbers. CMI’s research found that 61% of B2B content marketers increased their social media use in the last year. And for B2C companies, “social media publishing/analytics” was cited as the top technology used to assist with the management of content marketing efforts.

Which Social Media Analytics Tools Do Content Marketers Prefer?

  1. Hootsuite
  2. BuzzSumo
  3. Sprout Social
  4. TrackMaven
  5. Salesforce Social Studio

Is My FOWO Justified?

Similar to digital analytics, all who use social media enjoy at least some access to social media analytics, be it through digital analytics, social media analytics or in-platform analytics, with many companies taking advantage of all three. The FOWO here comes down to understanding. Do you have a firm grasp of what’s working on specific social channels and what isn’t? If not, it’s time to reassess the tools you use, or at least how you use them. The right social media analytics tool can make it easier to not just transform data into insight, but also centralize the resulting intelligence, making it easier to apply.

Is There Such Thing As Too Many Tools?

As you’ve probably noticed, several of these categories overlap. The race to tool supremacy has forced martech companies to continually expand functionality, further contributing to the categorical overlap.

While this can be confusing, it also represents an opportunity for marketers to consolidate and simplify. In some areas, it makes sense to find a dedicated solution. But why learn the intricacies of three tools, constantly toggle between them and be forced to connect their data when you can reasonably replace all three with a single tool? In most cases, simplification makes the most sense.

You may also have noticed that DivvyHQ fared quite well in several categories above. Please know that you don’t have to become a customer to see what the hubbub is about. If you’re ready to face your FOWO head-on, starting with a tool that can take the place of several, we strongly encourage you to get started with your free trial.