What is Content Marketing? Here is a content marketing definition: It is an inbound marketing approach that aims to attract customers to a company by creating relevant, high value content that will help targets navigate their customer journey. When speaking of product marketing vs content marketing, content marketing provides intrinsic value for the user and is not based on product features and benefits.
Several content marketing free tools exist on the market to help companies get inspiration and tap into topics and themes that are in demand with customers. These tools are helpful for your social media content marketing, your content marketing strategy and your onsite SEO strategy.
We will take a tour here of my 3 best free (or practically!) content marketing tools on the market that I use as a digital marketing strategist to create my content marketing strategies.
1. Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
Semrush is a recognized tool on the market for both search engine advertising (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). Although paid, it is possible to have a 14-day Semrush free trial with the professional version.
Semrush is a powerful tool for content marketing strategy. Using the Keyword Magic Tool, it is possible to obtain:
- Accurate monthly search volumes for each keyword (compared to Google’s Keyword Plan tool)
- Specific questions suggestions that users are looking for on this keyword
- Specific level of competitiveness for a keyword (ranging from 0 to 100, keywords with 30 or less competitiveness are considered the easiest to position themselves)
- Main categories around a keyword to better understand its scope and its variations (questions tab)
- Related Keywords to boost inspiration (related tab)
Example of using the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool for content marketing
A good content marketing example for a cooking recipe media company would be to use the Keyword Magic Tool with a query such as “chicken recipes” to see what Google users search for the most on this topic.
Thus, we can draw several conclusions for our content marketing strategy. For example, users are looking for:
- Popular recipes: red chicken, butter chicken, chicken marinade, general tao chicken, etc.
- By cooking method: baked chicken breast
- By chicken parts:
- Breasts: chicken breast recipe
- Thighs: Baked Chicken Thighs
- Drumstick: baked chicken drumstick
- Chicken thigh
Keyword categories (left column)
The keywords in the left column also allow us to see the main content topics and to dig deeper into the one that interests us the most. For example, we see here: oven, sauce, ricardo, bbq, brochette, etc. I can also draw inspiration from these topics for my content marketing.
Here is an example of the Questions tab which can also give interesting inspirations for creating new content:
We can thus identify some observations of content marketing topics and topics to explore:
- Cooking chicken: how to cook a whole chicken?
- Broth: how to make chicken broth?
Pros: Very comprehensive tool with precise search volume, easy to use
Cons: Paid, 14-day free trial
2. Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool
The Google Ads Keyword Planner is a free tool available within Google Ads. All you need to do is create a free Google Ads account to access it.
The tool allows you to search for keywords and see which ones are the most searched for, including the following components:
- Search volume: approximate number of times the keyword has been searched in Google in the last month
- Competitiveness level: see if the keyword is highly targeted by the competition in the search results
In content marketing strategy, this tool is very interesting to find new keywords ideas that will inspire you to create relevant content since they are searched by users.
Example of using the Google Ads Keyword Planner in Content Marketing Strategy
A good content marketing example of using the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool for a tourism destination marketing organization such as Tourisme Montréal in Canada would be to do a rather broad query such as « Montreal » to find out what the topics most sought after by users around this topic.
In the example here, we see that users search for things to do (things to do in montreal), attractions name (biodome montreal, casino montreal, montreal botanical garden) and specific neighborhoods (old montreal, old port montreal, downtown montreal). This can inspire me to write several articles that meet user needs such as:
- The best things to do in Montreal
- Top 3 attractions in Montreal (featuring biodome montreal, casino montreal)
- Top things to do in Old Montreal
Pros: Free tool, easy to use, connected directly to Google
Cons: Search volumes are estimates on a very large scale (1k to 10k monthly searches for example), it is impossible to have precise monthly query volumes
3. Google Trends
Google Trends is another great free tool to use if your business is in an industry where you need to stay on top of trends and where consumers are looking for new things.
Indeed, Google Trends allows you to identify emerging trends and find topic ideas around these novelties.
Example of using Google Trends in content marketing strategy
A good content marketing example for a recipe website (to use the same example above) would be to use Google Trends with a query such as « chicken recipe » to see what Google users are searching for more on this topic.
We can thus identify trendy chicken recipes such as chicken parmigiana, chicken quesadilla and chicken drumstick. I might decide to create new recipes based on those trends.
Pros: Free tool, easy to use, directly connected to Google, the only free tool to detect trends in Google
Cons: Tool rather limited to certain sectors of activity only. More B2C than B2B approach. It will be difficult or even impossible to have interesting results for a B2B company in a niche sector.
*This article has been written by Karine Miron for the Semrush Affiliate program