Content creation is harder than it looks! And in our digital and visual era, if you’re not putting out great content regularly, you’re losing your audience and conversions.
But content creation can be a time-consuming process without the right tools - that’s why we’re here to help! Check out this comprehensive list of the best content creation tools and software.
Content Creation Ideas
Socialbakers Inspiration (Socialbakers is now Emplifi)
With this free content ideas tool you’ll be able to tap into the best performing content across social media platforms.
Curate content with confidence by cutting out the guesswork around what content works and what doesn’t - you’ll see it all here.
Socialbakers offers a free version or the tool, but you can also take its fully unlimited version for a spin with a free trial.
While the Socialbakers Inspiration free content ideas tool allows you to take a more active role in your content ideas search, you can always turn to Google Alerts to bring the content to you.
Choose topics relevant to your content marketing strategy and you’ll have news and content ideas sent straight to your email inbox - allowing you to make the most of trends while they’re still hot topics.
More useful content ideas software from Google. Trends is a tool that analyzes the popularity of search terms across regions, timeframes, and languages and graphically shows the trend in popularity for those terms.
It may sound technical, but Trends is one of the more accessible Google tools with real value as soon as you pick it up.
At a surface level, you can browse top search terms or search for specific keywords you are interested in to pull up filterable data results on search volume, locations, related keywords, and more.
Monitor sources globally with this nifty content ideas tool. Here you can curate content from a range of third-party sources - selected and editorialized for you.
Scoop.it also allows you to share the content you like in a range of different ways - whether it’s key market data you want to share internally with your team, general content you want on all your social media, or pieces that a selection of your audience would particularly love - this tool allows you to segment where your selected content goes.
Infographic Creation Tools
This infographic creation tool encourages users to “make information beautiful.” And with a wide range of fully customizable templates for its nearly 15 million registered users, Piktochart allows you to do just that.
But it doesn’t stop there. This content creation software allows users to create more than just infographics - you can also create presentations, reports, and even print designs like flyers and posters with the same level of unique and intuitive customization.
Piktochart has a 30-day free trial, and monthly subscriptions starting at $12.50 with special pricing for students and non-profits.
Venngage is a free content creation tool with hundreds of unique templates users can choose from to help them tell their story visually.
Simply choose a template, add your charts, text and visuals to the project, and customize your new infographic with fonts and colors to make it your own.But Venngage’s capabilities don’t stop at infographics. Users can also create everything from reports, logos, and newsletters, to mind maps, white papers, and business plans.
This tool also has special pricing for students (50% off!) and nonprofits.
Easelly is a content creation tool that takes a more simplistic approach. Other tools may offer more granular baseline customization, but Easelly offers extras that give it an edge.
This freemium content creation software has a basic free version that’s easy to get started with - including hundreds of thousands of themed templates.
With an upgrade to the paid version, Easelly also includes help from the service’s design team, bulk packages for user seats, and a dedicated account executive for support.
“Speak Loudly. Speak Visually.” proclaims Visme, another freemium content creation tool.
With an extensive library of templates, icons, objects, and more to choose from, Visme helps users create interactive assets and build infographics, ad banners, charts, reports, and social media visuals.
Don’t let all the choice scare you off, though. You can always simply choose one of their template options and publish!
Beyond the option to use its free content creation tools, Visme’s paid versions are very well-priced, with lots of added options - and discounts for students and non-profits.
Stock Image Websites
Where stock photos are generally associated with unimaginative images like “CEO shaking the hand of a white male employee,” or the simultaneously famous and infamous “women laughing with salad” series, Pexels is the curated content of the stock photo world.
Pexels hand-selects its images from a variety of free image sources. Additionally, all of its images are Creative Commons Zero licensed, meaning they are free to use for commercial or public use without attribution requirements.
Unsplash takes a bit of a different approach to stock photos. Working with over 100,000 contributing photographers, content is uploaded and curated by the Unsplash team so that their growing library of over 690,000 photos represents the best of the best.
All images are Creative Commons Zero and with Unsplash, you can expect the unexpected with a unique feel to the images you’ll encounter. Not your average stock photos website!
Depositphotos is a microstock agency that allows amateur photographers and hobbyists to submit photos as well as professionals. The photos are evaluated and selected so that only the best are added to the site for you to choose from.
This great content resource is also able to keep its prices incredibly low as a microstock agency - at around $1.13 per on-demand stock photo. That price drops even more if you’re willing to sign up for a subscription.
The founders of Death to Stock had a goal in mind: help businesses, bloggers, and creatives overcome the difficulty of finding quality stock images that fit with the individual style and vibe of their brand.
Death to Stock takes a bit of a different approach to stock photos - you can join a mailing list for a monthly batch of stock images you can use, or sign up to a premium membership for an affordable monthly fee. You can also take advantage of a two-week free trial to test it out.
Revenues from the premium subscriptions help fund photography trips to keep the content coming in.
Photo Editing Tools
This freemium content creation software aims to make photo editing and graphic design accessible to everyone, and encourages you to dive right in.
There are content creation tools for photo editing, collage-making, and design tools for posters, invitations, etc, allowing you to create professional-looking images with ease.
Upgrading to a paid subscription unlocks more tools, such as the ability to remove objects from images, batch editing, and additional design features.
This cloud-based photo editor is another great option for content creation software. You can use it online or download the free desktop version.
Fotor allows you to apply scalable filters, upload RAW files, and even add images in layers. Its cloud-based aspect allows you to save your unfinished work without fear of losing it.
InPixio aims to make photo editing easy-to-use and professional-looking with creative flexibility. With different downloadable options and content creation tools, this software brings photo enthusiasts the ability to optimize images, create photo montages, remove objects from images, and more.
This tool is particularly useful for people who take photos on their smartphones and want to edit on the go.
Image Creation Tools
Canva hosts some much-lauded content creation tools and is held as an essential content marketing tool for many professionals who use it to create custom images for social media, blogs, and more.
Canva has a few smart features that really set it ahead as an intuitive, easy-to-use content creation software choice. It features many of the templates and object assets that other image creation tools have, but also allows you to create your own to make them really unique and on-band. Speaking of branding, Canva also allows you to save your brand logos, colors, and fonts in their brand kit and photo albums.
Once you have an image ready to publish, Canva’s here to help you optimize it with one touch resizing for any social media platform.
Like to live fast? Stencil might be for you.
This image creation tool is streamlined and designed to reduce the time it takes you to create images for social media. With templates, quote box designs, and more, Stencil allows you to quickly and easily combine images with logos and text.
Perfect for those images you need finished yesterday!
In need of a quick way to make a snappy banner? Look no further than Bannersnack.
This specialized content creation software allows you to create unique banners with your own custom dimensions or one of their prepared template sizes.
Bannersnack’s drag and drop style allows you to add images, buttons, clipart, and more to create static, animated, or even interactive web banners - including stock photos.
Video Creation Tools
Renderforest is a powerful cloud-based content creation tool that allows users to create not only video, but slideshows, infographic animations, and music visualizations.
But Renderforest isn’t just video creation software, is also features tools for creating logos and even building professional websites - with access to Renderforest designers to help out.
A freemium video creation tool, Biteable allows users to create professional videos with HDTV quality videos, 1GB of storage, and up to 5 video projects per month in the free package.
With an upgrade, users gain unlimited videos, access to Biteable’s stock video library, and the ability to upload their own footage - without the brand’s watermark getting in the way.
Lumen5’s niche is its ability to turn blog posts into engaging and shareable video content. Its AI analyzes your blog content, gives you suggested summary text, and even selects images and video from their content library of free media files that might go well with your new video.
This content creation tool then allows you to make your videos your own with your brand color, logo, font, etc.
Screen Capture Tools
Not your average screen capture, the Awesome Screenshot chrome extension allows you to capture screenshots and save them directly to their servers for later use, no more downloading and reuploading every time you need a particular capture image.
It also features tools to blur sensitive information, add annotations, and share the images you create directly.
When you need to record your screen on a Mac, you could simply use the built-in QuickTime Player screen recording option. It does the job, but not much else. Alternatively, you could get something better.
This open source screen recorder for Mac provides you with more useful presets for your recording, and once done gives you a preview of what you’ve captured along with multiple options for how to save and share it. Kap can also be integrated with plugins from the likes of imgur, Amazon S3, Giphy, and Streamable.
Marketed as the most advanced screen recording software available for Windows, Bandicam offers a freemium downloadable screen capture tool that allows you to record either your entire screen or just the parts you want to include.
Bandicam offers screen recording, the ability to record from other devices, and game recording in 4K UHD Video and capture up to 144 FPS Video.
Hashtag Research Tools
Socialbakers Listening (Socialbakers is now Emplifi)
Socialbakers Listening allows you to put your audience first easier than ever by enabling you to track hashtags that are important to your industry, clients, and audiences.
Not only that, with Listening you can also keep track of mentions and key topics across social media without the extra noise of a busy feed. You’ll be able to spot trends and pain points in topics relevant to your business, allowing you to create timely and on-point content to help drive authentic engagement.
You can also track and label sentiment around your brand with manual sentiment labeling, or let AI do sentiment analysis for you automatically.
Hashtagify is a powerful freemium hashtag search tool that allows you to investigate hashtags you are interested in with a simple search bar interface.
Sounds basic enough, right? The data Hashtagify brings back for you, even as a free tool, is impressive:
You’ll be able to see the hashtag’s current popularity and the trend of its popularity over the last two months. You’ll see hashtags related to the one you are looking into - both in terms of their popularity and their correlation with the search term.
Beyond that, you’ll even be able to see the languages the hashtag is most popular with, spelling variants, countries, and even a wall of recent content with the hashtag.
Don’t know which hashtags you should be using for your posts on social? RiteTag is here to help you out.
This simple-to-use site offers instant hashtag suggestions and analytics - pulling up similar hashtags to the one you searched with data on their use and impressions.
You can even hit “Get Report” on any hashtag you’re interested in to pull up a slick 24-hour data report on that hashtag’s performance. Further data and more comprehensive reporting is available on a subscription for $49 per year.
GIF Creation Tools
Giphy has become a ubiquitous tool to search and share gifs across social media - but it can also be used to create the animated images that have become so popular in the past few years.
Giphy’s database is made up of professionally made gifs as well as user-uploaded content, making it a comprehensive view of the most current and popular gifs.
With this content creation tool you can easily create your own gifs - the site allows users to upload videos or compile a series of images to create gifs. Users can then edit and personalize them with additions like captions.
This free content creation tool allows users to create not only gifs but also slideshows and video animations with optional additions like music.
The tool features a simple control panel for images uploaded that allows users to adjust image size, animation speed, and number of animation repetitions.
There are plenty of web options for creating gifs, but for the tech-savvy digital marketer or social media manager, it’s all about mobile.
GIF Toaster is a free IOS app that allows you to turn content on your phone into gifs to share. Just download the app, select a video or set of photos you’d like to convert, and presto! Just a few taps later and you’ll have a sleek gif, ready for social.
Much like Giphy for gifs, Bitly is one of the most well-known link-shortening tools around.
Long, messy links look terrible on posts, distract from your message, and reduce the likelihood that audiences will actually click through to the content you’re trying to share with them. Bitly tidies up any link you input into a bite-sized url.
You can use it as much as you want for free, or upgrade to the paid enterprise version to tap into more features: brand your links, add keywords, and insert campaign trackers to monitor clicks - then see results in their dashboard.
Rebrandly is a link shortening and tracking tool designed specifically for business. Their paid service allows you to create branded links with custom domain names and campaign trackers.
Depending on the package you purchase, they can also provide monthly reports on the performance of your campaigns with click-through tracking, and extra user seats so your team can tap into the tool as well.
Bl.ink seeks to make links smarter - this link shortening tool takes long, clunky links and not only shortens them, but brands them and analyzes the text of the content you’re sharing to generate smart links to improve click through rates.
Whether you’re looking for content inspiration, need to create awesome infographics, want to track key hashtags to your social media strategy, or anything in between, you’ll need to keep the best tools for the job at your fingertips.
Save this list and tap into these tools to create stunning social media content, boost your engagement and clicks, and increase your ROI.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.