Whether you are an engineer, doctor, teacher, or marketer you have tools that help you improve your craft. Below are the top ten free tools for inbound and content marketers in 2014

1. Followerwonk

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Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool developed by Seattle based Moz. The tool allows you to gain insights into your Twitter following using five tools.

  • Twitter Bio Search is an advanced search tool that allows you to sort, filter, and export a list of Twitter profiles that you may be interested in. You are able to find users based on keywords in their profiles.
  • The Compare Users tab allows you to compare up to three Twitter profiles. You are able to compare their influence, followers, following, and tweets. This can allow you to see overlap among audiences.
  • The Analyze Followers tab allows you to generate a detailed report of a Twitter accounts followers including: gender, location, tweet frequency, tweet quantity, and active hours on Twitter.
  • The Track Followers tab allows you to see when you gained and lost followers over the past couple of months. This is only available through paid subscription.
  • The Sort Followers tab allows you to sort for followers by tweets, following, followers, and social authority. This is only available through paid subscription.

By analyzing your Twitter following you are able to gain insights into your audience persona. This information gives you details into your audience persona that you cannot find anywhere else. After running a Followerwonk report, you will know your audience demographic, when they are most active online, and who are your top influencers.

2. Buffer

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Buffer is a simpler social sharing tool that allows you to schedule posts to various networks. The tool allows you to fill up your Buffer at the beginning of the day and then it automatically schedules your posts throughout the day. It allows you to have a consistent social presence throughout the day. Below are the four main benefits to the Buffer tool:

  • Custom post scheduling
  • Multiple social media accounts
  • Detailed post level analytics
  • Team member access to posts

3. Issuu

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Issuu is a digital publishing site that allows users to upload PDF documents and publish them digitally. This tool can help content marketers distribute ebooks, guides, white papers, and case studies digitally. This allows you to distribute your long-form content through email, social, and the web. Readers are able to download and distribute your content as well. Issuu also provides the following statistics on your publications for free (all statistics are broken down mobile as well):

  • Reads
  • Impressions
  • Average Time Spent
  • Downloads

Simply upload your PDF document, and Issuu does the rest.

4. Google Keyword Planner

Google keyword planner is a tool inside the Google AdWords interface. The tool is used to generate keyword ideas for your search ad campaigns. That being said, the tool gives marketers great insight into the average monthly searches and competition level of specific search terms. Marketers are able to insert keyword ideas that they have, target a specific city, and then click “get ideas.” The tool allows a marketer to search for keyword ideas and add terms to a “Plan.” Your list of keywords can then be exported for future use.

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Select keywords that are searched for regularly, but have a lower competition rating. These will be easier terms to rank for. Once you develop a list for targeted keywords for your content strategy, use these keywords in blogs, ebooks, white papers, videos, slideshows and more. Be sure to use the keywords on pages that will be indexed by search engines. Blogging is the most effective content strategy to prove thought leadership and improve your search relevancy.

5. Buzzsumo

If you are looking for content ideas or other pieces of relevant content to share, Buzzsumo is the best tool out there. Buzzsumo is an advanced social search site. Based on your search term, content type, and timeframe, Buzzsumo will generate the top socially shared pieces of content on the web.

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If you are looking for topic ideas that are gaining tracking online, Buzzsumo will provide the insight. Your team can also export a list of content that is being shared on the web for reference. This tool will allow you to follow topic trends and take advantage of timely content.

A recent update now allows you to view the actual individuals who shared that particular piece of content. You can see what influencers were interested in the content and target them with your personal content moving forward.

6. Topsy

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Topsy is a social search engine with three main capabilities. Topsy allows you to search the social web based on keywords, compare social analytics, and search what is trending on the social web.

  • Social Search: Search for links, tweets, photos, video, and influencers based on keyword terms.
  • Social Analytics: Compare tweet frequency based on domain, Twitter username, and/or keyword.
  • Social Trends: Search for what topics are trending on the social web.

These three tools are very useful when analyzing the reach of your content on the social web. You are able to see how many times your content has been shared as well as who shared your content. As a marketer, you can also compare your social presence against competitors. Use Topsy to gain insight into your content and what types of content resonates with the social web.

7. Canva

The only visual marketing tool on the list for a reason. Canva is a free way to create visual marketing pieces on the web. Canva allows users to produce visual content including, invitations, social media icons, posters, blog graphics, presentations, and even business cards. All pieces of content are pre-set with the correct dimensions. Once you select the type of content you are looking to produce, Canva offers a drag and drop interface to edit the content.

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Canva provides templates for visual beginners. You are able to edit pre-made templates or start from scratch. Canva allows you to upload your own graphics as well.

8. Evernote

The mobile app and web interface work in sync. You are able to take notes as you would on a paper note pad.The key to Evernote is the simplicity and utility that it provides. As a marketer, you are able to save images and web pages for your future reference. You are able to take notes and collaborate with team members on content ideas and marketing strategy.

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Evernote is a note-taking application that improves collaboration and efficiency. Never leave your client notes or content ideas at home.

9. Feedly

Every great marketer knows they need to stay up to date with technology and marketing trends. They also know that no matter who creates great content, it should be shared. Feedly is a personal news app that allows you to read your favorite blog feeds on a visually appealing newspaper style interface. Feedly allows users to categorize RSS feeds like sections of a newspaper. The app is updated automatically when a new article is published.

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You are able to stay up to date on recent trends, as well as share great content from your favorite sources. With the Buffer integration, marketers are able to read and share great content through Feedly.

10. Google Analytics

The ultimate analytics and data tool for marketers. Google Analytics code needs to be installed on your website. Google Analytics allows you to see real-time data on your site, audience breakdown of your site, how your site acquired visitors, the behavior people take on your site, and marketing conversion goals.

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By understanding your online audience tendencies and interests you are able to be a better marketer. You are able to provide relevant content and acquire visitors to your site through channels they want to be reached. Google Analytics allows you to tie your marketing goals to your business goals by proving ROI. Visits turn into conversions.

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