As a digital marketer, do you ever get the feeling that your days could be so much easier – if you only had the right tools? Truly, these days, there is software and a dashboard for everything. The question is, which tools are worth the investment and learning curve?
To answer that question, I’ve assembled a list of tools that I think companies can use to grow their business. This post shows some of the different types of digital marketing tools available,as well as several examples of the leading tools.
Marketing Tools by Strategy:
- Paid Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Display Retargeting
- Website Testing
- Video Hosting
- Content Creation
- Content Curation
- Website Analytics
- Customer Service
- Search Engine Optimization
Paid Social Media Tools
Social media sites aren’t just great for organically reaching and engaging with your customers; they’re also very effective for paying to promote your brand to large groups of active users. The major social networks have so much data on their users that targeting can become extremely effective, which makes social media an ideal place to pay for the right tools.
Nanigans is a multichannel advertising software with an emphasis on Facebook marketing. Its software has access to the Facebook Exchange (FBX) for retargeting and a plethora of other tools that make targeting more efficient. Nanigans is the tool of choice for companies such as eBay, JackThreads and Zynga.
The Power Editor is a tool in Facebook used for creating and running advertising campaigns. Facebook is constantly improving its ad platform, and the tool frequently releases new targeting and budgeting features for users.
The power editor is very smart choice for digital marketers just starting out as there is? third-party fee to create and manage your advertisements.
Twitter is another major social media platform businesses should consider paying to advertise on. Twitter has some fantastic features for targeting, with segmentation functionality that includes the ability to target certain keywords so that whenever someone Tweets out, or engages with a tweet, using that key phrase they’ll be targeted.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing still plays in our online marketing strategies. It’s one of the oldest marketing channels, dating all the way back to 1971. So it is still very useful. In fact, it was predicted that email marketing would be the top target for increased investment in 2015, which is why you should look into email marketing software for your business.
MailChimp is one of the most powerful email marketing platforms on the market. MailChimp’s incredibly simplistic platform structure and free plans make it easy for even some of the most amateur email marketers to get setup with robust email campaigns.
Emma also an abbreviation for email marketing is a strong platform that backs up its powerful features with a notoriously hands-on customer service team. Emma has all of the tools that you need to start creating and testing your own email marketing campaigns.
Marketo is better suited for advanced digital marketers. Although email is a large facet of its business it is by no means the only part of the tool. Marketo allows you to combine email into your entire automated marketing campaigns.
Display Retargeting Tools
Have you ever gone to a website, left without purchasing anything, only to be followed around by that company’s advertisements all around the web?
These are retargeting ads, and even if you haven’t heard of them there’s a good chance that you’ve been targeted by them in the past. This channel is incredibly efficient for getting customers back to your site to make a purchase or become a lead.
AdRoll is a popular name in the retargeting space, boasting a customer base of over 20,000 brands. Its platform grants access to over 500 ad exchanges, which includes most of the major social media networks. It offers a self-service platform, but you can also leverage its employees for additional help if you need it.
ReTargeter is a tool that uses site retargeting, search retargeting and dynamic retargeting. You can use ReTargeter as a self-service platform, or you can pass all of your campaigns onto an account team to run your retargeting for you. You can use these search services la carte or combine several into a custom package.
Chango is an award-winning display advertising platform with robust retargeting features. With Chango you can combine your own retargeting information with audience intent data that Chango accumulates, which adds a second layer of targeting to your campaigns.
Website Testing Tools
The smallest changes can make the biggest differences when it comes to getting people to convert on your landing pages.
Changing the color of your call-to-action button can spell the difference between getting someone to start a free trial of your product, and bouncing from your site. That’s why it’s important to use website testing tools to constantly innovate your pages.
Unbounce is an amazing tool for quickly building, tweaking and publishing new landing pages to test. One of the most fantastic features of Unbounce is how easy it is to use the platform to create brand new pages. Even if you’re not much of a designer, you can use some of the templates available as a jumping off point, then tweak them to fit your style.
Maxymiser is a tool that goes beyond landing page testing. This enterprise-level software solution was built to test all sorts of portions of your website, and to run several different tests all at once. Maxymiser also allows you to segment who you want to send to each tests, creating a more catered experience for your website visitors.
Optimizely combines tools for visual creation and robust targeting into its platform, making it easy to quickly create and target tests to the proper groups of users. The company also has a formidable amount of partners to make it easier to centralize customer data for your various tests.
Video Hosting Sites
It seems like video has recently become the next big content powerhouse brands are taking advantage of, and with so much effort needed to create videos it’s important to make sure you get as many eyeballs on them as possible. A solid way to do that is to host them on some of the popular video sites which draw in large crowds of viewers.
One of the best functions of its platform is the ability to include a custom CTA at the end of each individual video, making it easy to drive viewers to specific pages.
There are over 20 million people and businesses that trust Vimeo to host their high-definition, ad-free videos. With Vimeo, the idea is to get everyone to host some of their high-quality videos on the site, thereby driving viewers who are looking for visually stunning videos.
Content Creation Tools
We all know that content is king, which is why it’s so important to start creating some of your own to share with your fans and followers.
With so many different content formats out there infographics, blogs, videos the biggest question is which type of content can you create that will resonate with your audience.
Canva is a web-based design tool you can use to create unique images to share on your blogs, social networks and more. You can use Canva to create completely unique images from scratch or to polish up some photos that you already have on hand. One of the best features within the tool is the ability to create perfectly sized social media images using its templates.
Infographics are a fun way to share interesting data with your fans and followers, as the visuals make it much easier to digest a lot of great information. Think through your own great idea and use an infographic creation tool like Piktochart to put it all together.
If you don’t have the time or artistic flair to create your own pieces of content, then you can use a tool like Visual.ly. Visual.ly is a platform that pairs those who need content up with those who can create it. The site charges a flat rate for each type of project, which includes Infographics, eBooks and video.
Content Curation Tools
We constantly need to fill our content calendars if we’re going to satiate the growing need to share actionable insights with our fans and followers.
However, we don’t always have the time to put together something unique for every post we create. That’s why it’s good to have some content curation tools on hand to help you fill up those lulls in your calendar.
With Feedly you choose all of the different blogs, publications and topics that you’re interested in and Feedly aggregates all of the recent topics from those people or about those topics into a feed you can monitor. You can integrate your Feedly feed with a tool like Sprout Social to continuously share these articles with your fans and followers.
Scoop.it is an incredible tool for easily finding and sharing unique, relevant content to your social networks, blogs and more. With Scoop.it you can find months worth of great in no time at all!
Kapost is a platform that takes into account every step of the content marketing cycle. One fantastic function is the ability to assign different pieces of content different buyer personas, which shows which stages of the content marketing cycle your prospects are most likely to convert on.
Website Analytics Tools
Many tools out there come with their own performance analytics. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the data about events that actually take place on your website.
Kissmetrics offers analytics tools that help you increase conversions across your entire website. The platform tracks your site visitors throughout their entire conversion journey and gives you reports on each part of the funnel. This helps you fine-tune your entire conversion process to increase sales and revenue.
Google Analytics is the standard for most websites these days. Google has advanced analytics that shed light on a variety of your website information, including who your visitors are, how they make their way through your sales funnel and what they do on your website in real-time.
Adobe provides an enterprise-level analytics solution for companies who want to gather deep analytics on their website data and performance. The platform has cross-channel attribution functions, 360-degree customer analysis and predictive intelligence which enables you to observe and respond to customer actions in real time.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
SEO is a huge portion of most companies’ online marketing efforts, which explains why there are so many tools out there to help brands take full advantage of the channel.
These tools take something incredibly complicated and simplify it, which is something we should all be thankful for.
Moz offers two key products to customers: Moz Pro and Moz Local. The Moz Pro product helps with the classic SEO practices, such as tracking rankings, tracking link building efforts and informing content marketing campaigns. Moz Local helps businesses improve their local SEO listings. All you need to do is enter your business’s location information and Moz goes to work getting you listed.
SEMRush has a ton of great tools that help both paid search experts and SEOs track and improve their search rankings. One key use of SEMRush is to track your competitors. You can use the tools to pull your competitor’s backlinks, monitor their fluctuations in ranking and conduct a full competitive analysis.
Screaming Frog is a spider tool that can quickly crawl websites, lists of websites or specific web pages to give you a complete analysis on performance. You can use the tool to see if you have any broken links, broken pages, bad redirects and much more. Fixing most of these errors is a quick win for search marketers.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for both content curation and SEO. You can filter results by time, language, country, and type of content. The basic tool is free, but you can upgrade to BuzzSumo Pro starting at $99/month for more detailed content keyword analysis.
All the above mentioned tools when used together in tandem will work wonders for your digital marketing strategy. It might be what you need to put you in fron of your competitors in 2016 and beyond.
While most of these tools require a fee, they are definitely worth the purchase. You can even make use of free trials so that you can get to know the product before you buy it.
Have I forgotten to mention any tools you think belongs on this list? Let us know in the comments below!