50 content creator tools you need to know about

9 Aug

The creator economy shows no signs of waning, with about 50 million people who identify themselves as such. This movement is democratizing the content we consume and taking it out of the hands of the major media companies. Who among us hasn’t forgone a Netflix binge to stare at Instagram or TikTok for longer than we’re proud of?

That’s why, in support of the ever-growing contingent, we’ve compiled this robust list of creator tools to help them do what they do best—entertain, engage, educate and delight us.

Why your brand needs content creator tools

But content creator tools aren’t just for capital-C “Creators.” Brands and social media managers can also tap the efficiency-driving power of these resources to make their own social content more compelling.

And, more than ever, brands are taking advantage of key creators’ popularity to promote their own products and services. The best creators humanize brands—and social media as a whole—and are capable of rallying their formidable fanbases at a moment’s notice.

That’s why it makes sense for brands to be familiar with the creator economy and how it works. So strap in as we detail 50 of the best content creator tools on the market today.

Chart shows marketers' primary goals when working with creators

Getting started: Network-specific content creation tools

To kick off the list, we’re going to give you a rundown of the tools that are specific to the major social networks. Many of these are native, free resources, but we’re also including some paid tools if they offer a network-specific solution.

TikTok Creator Tools

While the most junior of all the social networks in this list, TikTok has carved out a significant place among creators in a short period of time.

  • Perhaps the mothership for creators, TikTok offers a number of tools for them natively within the app. TikTok’s Creator Portal is where you’ll find them. It’s free to use and the suite is regularly updated to include new features.
  • TikTok’s Creator Next is one tool you’ll find in the platform’s Creator Portal. It offers a variety of monetization opportunities to creators. Some features of the program include the Creator Fund, which rewards creators for their engagement and activity; the Creator Marketplace, which connects brands with creators for mutually beneficial partnerships; LIVE and Video Gifts, which give followers the ability to help the TikTok algorithm assess the popularity of content; and Tips, which lets viewers show their support for individual creators via monetary rewards. Just like the Creator Portal, this native TikTok tool is free to use, but there are a few eligibility requirements you’ll have to meet to participate.
  • Outside of TikTok’s Creative Portal, Trend Tok is a TikTok partner that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze what’s popular on the platform so creators know where to focus. The app is free to download, but to be able to use it, you’ll have to pony up $2.99 per week or $19.99 per year.
  • Vimeo’s Create Templates for TikTok give creators a leg up when it comes to creating ad content. You can even sync it to your TikTok account so that you can post directly from the app. Vimeo Basic is free but limited. Paid plans range from $7 to $75 per month.
Screenshot of Vimeo's free video templates for TikTok creators

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YouTube creator tools

YouTube and creators go together like peanut butter and jelly. YouTube’s own Creator Studio is pretty robust, but there are a handful of other tools that can help to elevate your experience on the network.

  • YouTube’s Creator Studio is the platform’s native hub for content creators. It’s free to use and allows channel managers to add metadata, pull analytics, keep an eye on messages and track progress. There’s also a free mobile app available that can help creators stay on top of their channels on the go.
  • TubeBuddy is a browser extension that helps creators optimize their channels to increase views and subscribers. It offers advanced keyword research, templates, cross-platform sharing and even A/B testing options. Start with a free plan, or upgrade to a paid version for $4.99 to $24.49 monthly.
Screenshot of aa TubeBuddy dashboard for YouTube content creators

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  • VidIQ is a tool designed to boost YouTube video views by delivering artificial intelligence-driven insights, ideas and analytics. It also allows you to track your channel’s performance on key metrics over time to keep tabs on your progress. The basic version is free, and there are three levels of paid subscriptions, starting at $7.50 a month.
  • Woobox is a tool that gives creators the option of displaying their YouTube videos directly on a Facebook Page Tab. This capability makes it easier for creators to reach new audiences and extend the visibility of their video posts. Like most of the tools on our list, there’s a limited free version plus four tiers of paid plans from $37 to $249 a month, depending on the functionality you need.

Facebook and Instagram tools for creators

Meta’s social networks, particularly Instagram and Facebook, are the top platforms marketers plan to use for creator collaborations in the near term. There are a number of native tools available for this group as well as some supplemental tools that can help support your Meta presence.

Screenshot of Meta's Creator Studio interface

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  • Storyluxe is an app that gives creators access to more than 700 filters, frames, collages and templates for their Instagram Stories. Many of the options are free to use, but a paid subscription ($2.99) gets you access to unlimited premium elements.
  • PathSocial is a website that boasts the ability to help creators grow their communities (by 4,620 per month, on average) using artificial intelligence. While PathSocial does offer a handful of free tools (e.g., a hashtag generator and an engagement calculator), you’ll have to pay to use this service—from $49 to $69 per month.
  • The primary features of Instasize include a background remover, photo borders, photo resizer, collage maker, filters, photo editor and face editor. It’s free to get started, but the premium version of the app costs $4.99 a month and gets you access to more advanced tools.

LinkedIn creator tools

While LinkedIn might not be the first social network that comes to mind when you hear the word “creator,” they have been increasing their focus on this group in the last couple of years.

  • LinkedIn Creator Mode gives creators the option to optimize their profiles for engagement. When this mode is turned on, creators can display a relevant link and hashtags to show the topics they commonly post about.
  • LinkedIn Newsletters are only available to individuals with creator profiles who meet a set of specific criteria (unless you have been grandfathered in as a previous newsletter author). Once your content is posted, the network sends out push, in-app, and email notifications to your subscribers to help drive views.
LinkedIn Newsletters are a feature available to creators who meet certain criteria

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  • People with a creator profile on LinkedIn can become LinkedIn Live broadcasters, sharing real-time content with their followers. Whether you choose to use a third-party tool or a custom stream, you can schedule your event in advance and promote it on the network.
  • LinkedIn Creator Analytics provides creators aggregate data about how their content has performed over time. Creators can get details about their impressions, engagements, audience demographics, and even a trend graph to show how your metrics have changed over time.
LinkedIn offers robust in-app analytics for creators

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Twitter creator tools

Twitter has a host of free tools available for its creators, focused on relevance, monetization and engagement.

  • Creators can position themselves as thought leaders within their own Twitter Community, where they can surround themselves with people who are eager to hear what they have to say. You make the rules and can decide whether you want your Community to be open access or more selective.
  • Twitter Spaces enable creators to broadcast live audio conversations centered around a specific topic right from the Twitter interface. This free tool provides new ways to get in front of and connect with your audience.
Twitter Spaces help creators connect with new audiences

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  • Super Follows give creators the option of offering a monthly subscription to their followers in exchange for a more premium level of engagement. Note that this feature is still being tested, and is only available to certain creators in the US as of right now.
  • Twitter Blue is the network’s first premium features subscription. It allows creators to preview, perfect and personalize the appearance of their Tweets and also get access to newly released features. This option is currently only available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Subscriptions are priced regionally, and the “subscribe” button should display your subscription price.

Leveling up: More content creator tools to sharpen your strategy

Now that we’ve covered the network-specific solutions that are out there, let’s dive deep into the wider range of available digital content creation tools. This list is made up primarily of software and apps that offer a limited free tier but require a paid subscription to access more advanced features.

Trend spotting and content research tools

If you are a marketer or business owner who’s developed content of any kind, you know that research is a major component of the process. These tools can help make this, sometimes arduous, step simpler.

  • Answer the Public is a search listening tool that gives creators insights into what their audiences are looking for. Just type in a keyword and get a plethora of autocomplete data from major search engines like Google. There is a free plan that gives you limited access. Or you can upgrade to a paid plan ($79 to $199 a month) for more features and tools.
  • Google Trends leverages the search engine’s huge data repository to help creators understand what’s trending and where. For example, you can discover which NBA playoff team is being searched the most in each American state. As with most of Google’s tools, if you’ve got an account, it’s free to use.
Screenshot of a Google Trends search comparing the Dodgers and Phillies
  • Forekast dubs itself the “calendar of the internet.” Essentially, this tool helps creators and marketers understand what’s going on now and what’s coming up by sourcing from all the event calendars on the internet. It costs $9.95 per month (or $99.95 for an annual plan).
  • Sprout’s new Best Times to Post tool helps identify the best days and times to post on specific networks based on your niche. Just filter by the network you want to research and the industry that best fits your organization, and you’ll get a handy chart that shows post engagement trends throughout the week —super helpful for pinning down your content strategy.
The best times to post on Instagram according to Sprout Social
  • BuzzSumo is a tool that helps creators research popular content, discover new ideas and find top influencers to help amplify their reach. Simply type in a general topic or idea and get data to inspire your next project. Pricing starts at $39 a month for a micro plan and goes all the way up to $499 for an enterprise account.
  • Exploding Topics seeks to identify trends before they take off. You can sign up for their newsletter for free or pay for a “Pro” account to get weekly trend reports, a full trends database, unlimited searches, instant trend alerts and API access. A monthly subscription will cost you $97 at the entrepreneur level and $197 at the investor level.
Screenshot of trending topics in the Exploding Topics tool

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Digital content creation tools

The meat and potatoes of this list, the following 13 tools are dedicated to the actual production of content, whether that be written or in the form of a video, audio or graphic.

  • Sprout’s free Landscape tool lets creators quickly and easily resize social media images. Just upload an image, choose the networks you want to share it to, and voila. Simple as that. Even better, it’s completely free to use.
Landscape by Sprout
  • Animoto is a drag-and-drop video maker that requires zero experience to create stunning, brand-aligned videos that you can share on any social media network. There are tons of templates available for users across categories like social trends, promo videos and celebrations. A free plan allows you to create unlimited videos but limits the features you have access to. Upgrade to a paid plan ($8 to $39 a month) to use the more advanced features.
  • Have trouble remembering what you were going to say when you live stream or record a social video? BIGVU Teleprompter does just what it sounds like it does—it displays a script on your phone so you can read along while you record. If you’re cool with a BIGVU logo watermark on your videos, the free plan will work for you. If not, a starter plan costs $14.99.
Bigvu teleprompter allows creators to read from a script while recording on their phones

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  • GIFs are the love language of the internet. Sometimes a GIF is worth 1,000 words. If you love to use these live-action images to tell stories and convey emotion to your followers, check out Giphy’s huge database of content. You can also upload your own to share with the world. And it’s totally free to use.
  • If you’re a creator who likes to give your audience a peek behind the curtain, whether you’re defeating a new level on a particular game or sharing how you run your business, screen recording software will likely come in handy. That’s what CloudApp does. You can record your screen (and your face) and share it easily as a link. The free plan allows creators to record up to 25 videos, 1.5 minutes in length each, with a limited recording quality and basic analytics. Paid plans start at $9.95 per month and offer unlimited recordings and more advanced features.
  • With its sizable repository of templates, text effects and animations, Mojo helps creators quickly and easily create images and videos for various social media networks. There is a free plan, and paid plans start at $3.33 per month.
  • Flaticon ‘s library of more than 7.8 million free vector icons and stickers can save creators time and money. Easily search for coordinating icon sets or illustrations that can be edited to any color, size and format. You can even create a logo on the site.
  • Kapwing’s online video editor helps creators repurpose content for different formats and channels. The software’s smart tools give you the ability to create a video one time and then adjust it as needed to work for all your social networks. As with most tools on this list, there’s a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $16 a month when billed annually.
Gif of Kapwing's video editing tools

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  • If livestreaming is a major part of your content strategy, you may want to check out a tool like Restream. It allows creators to broadcast in real time to multiple social channels simultaneously. A basic plan is free, and paid accounts start at $16 a month.
  • Unfold (created by Squarespace) calls itself a “toolkit for storytellers.” Really, it’s another robust repository of social media graphic and video templates that can help creators look more professional online. There’s a free plan, but the pro plan gives you the ability to create a brand kit with your unique colors, fonts and other creative assets.
  • Emotypes (created by Webflow) is a fun, free website that lets you browse typefaces based on the emotion you want your words to express. If you want to convey confidence, the site suggests IBM Plex Sans, a no-nonsense sans serif that communicates conviction in every letter.
  • Triller gives creators access to millions of songs (plus video filters and editing capabilities) that can be used to create their social content. The app is available on Apple and Android devices and is free to download. However, premium features must be purchased.
  • Revue (by Twitter) is a newsletter monetization tool that claims to make it easy for creators to send newsletters and get paid for them. Your followers can even sign up for your newsletter directly from your Twitter profile. Publishing your newsletter is free, but the app charges 5% of your revenue for any paid subscriptions.

Community-building and audience engagement tools

Another major factor in content creators’ success is driving engagement among their followers. These tools offer solutions to help content creators provide unique experiences and interact more meaningfully with their audiences.

  • Run The World is a solution for putting on virtual events (panels, webinars, gatherings, conferences) for your community. The tool helps with registration and ticketing, the production of the actual event, as well as the coordination of social events surrounding it. There is a free version for events with up to 50 people and a pro version for $79 a month.
  • Another software focused on events, Superpeer helps creators host cohort-based courses, live events or 1:1 sessions. They offer video broadcasting and subscriber management tools. Superpeer charges creators 10% of the revenue their events generate plus 3% for credit card fees.
Superpeer offer video broadcasting and subscriber management tools

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  • Crowdsignal helps creators collect feedback from their audiences via easy-to-create, brand-aligned surveys. The tool also offers a robust suite of analytics to help you make sense of the data you receive. There’s a limited free plan, and paid versions range from $15 to $29 a month, depending on how many team members you have and how many bells and whistles you want.
  • InfluPush is a free influencer-follower communication platform that allows creators to send push notifications to their audiences at the push of a button.
  • Ever considered running a social competition to drum up engagement but worried it would be too complicated to manage? This is where Gleam can help. This platform allows creators to easily run social competitions, automate rewards and capture emails with integrated forms. Complete access to all of Gleam’s features will run you around $97 a month.
Gleam helps creators manage contests

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  • Memberful is a membership software that gives creators the ability to monetize their following via the creation of a private community. This tool works for gated content, private podcasts, paid newsletters, communities and online courses. There’s a free plan with limited features, and paid plans start at $25 a month.

Monetization and commerce tools

With a large enough audience and the right plan for monetization, creators can turn their side hustle into a full-time gig. The tools that follow make that process easier.

  • Payhip allows creators to easily sell digital downloads and courses or earn recurring revenue from memberships. There are three tiers of membership available. At the free level, Payhip charges a 5% transaction fee. At the plus level (a $29 monthly subscription), your transaction fee drops to 2%. Pro level users pay $99 a month but are not subjected to a transaction fee.
Screenshot of the Payhip platform

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  • You’ve likely heard of the major e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Selz, but Big Cartel caters (and markets) specifically to artists and makers. On the platform, you can build and manage an online store without sharing a percentage of your revenue. The pricing model is based on a monthly subscription. For stores with five or fewer products, it’s free; at 50 products, it jumps to $9.99 a month; with 500 products in rotation, you’re looking at $19.99 a month.
  • Want to create branded merch for your followers? Spreadshirt is a global design marketplace that allows creators to customize a range of products—from t-shirts to stickers to tote bags—that they can then sell to their audiences. Prices vary based on the product developed.
  • Similar to Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee is a crowdfunding platform that allows creators to accept donations or payments from their communities via a link. Post your link on your website, in your newsletter or even on your social accounts to monetize the content you share. It’s totally free to create a page, but Buy Me a Coffee charges a 5% transaction fee.
Buy Me a Coffee is a crowdfunding platform for creators

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Content creators: Don’t forget about social media management, analytics and listening

Just like in-house and social agency pros, creators need to integrate management, analytics, and social listening into their strategies. Without governance and oversight it’s difficult to know what’s working and what isn’t. Sprout Social has all the tools to keep creators’ day-to-day operations running smoothly. Whether you want to plan and schedule your content to publish, keep track of your messages and mentions, or review your data for opportunities, Sprout has you covered.

Ready to give Sprout a try? Start your free 30-day trial today.

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