In order to complete a job properly, every tradesman needs the right set of tools. This is also the case in the wonderful world of digital marketing. I thought that I’d take the time to write a post about what tools I use in my day to day practices and see if anyone else has any experience using them, or could offer myself any recommendations. This post isn’t limited to all of the programs I use each day, but, is instead just eight task specific tools that I’ve found to make my life in digital marketing that little bit easier.
Have you got a best friend that’s always got your back? Mine is Grammarly!
Grammarly is any social media marketer or copywriters best friend. I stumbled across this tool when I started writing press releases on behalf of my company. The last thing you’d want when sending off an important press document would be a spelling mistake or a sentence that just didn’t make any sense. The easiest way to explain Grammarly is that it’s like Microsoft Word’s spell check in an online form, minus the paperclip assistant that everyone loved. The tool actively seeks out any grammar mistakes as you type and highlights how they need to be adjusted. I personally use Grammarly myself for all of my blog posts, so you’d think that I’d have no excuse for any spelling errors or grammar mistakes, right?.. Lol.
Buffer is a tool that’s used to make the process of sharing content on your social media platforms more organised and less painful. The tool allows you to schedule content to be posted on your desired social channels at whatever time is most convenient to your target audience. Buffer also enables you the power to optimize your scheduled post time for times where user engagements are higher. I personally use Buffer for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to schedule posts that target users in the United States. Unfortunately Buffer isn’t able to publish to Instagram accounts, however, it can send you a friendly reminder to do so. The other major downside of Buffer is that it doesn’t offer any emoji tools for constructing your social posts. This is where my other favourite tool Emojipedia comes in handy.
SpyFu is a cheeky little tool that can help you take a peek at your competitor’s keyword rankings and spendings. Referring to my post about creating a Google AdWords campaign, I consistently use SpyFu throughout the beginning of the AdWords process. I’d highly recommend SpyFu to anyone who is a first time AdWords user, as it takes away the stress of not knowing what keywords to rank for and what an optimal PPC bid is. By simply pasting in your competitor’s URL, SpyFu will produce a report for you that displays how strong your competitor ranks for keywords, how much traffic each keyword drives to their website, what their paid keywords are and how much they pay for them. Although SpyFu’s reports are quite limited unless you’re a paid user, it does offer you enough information to gauge where you need to be.
In my life, there are some things that I’m so grateful I’ve stumbled across. Right at the top with the 24 chicken nuggets for $10 deal at McDonald’s, is finding Canva. Canva offers users a simplified experience to designing beautiful images. It can help you be a graphic designer without, well, being a graphic designer. I use Canva for creating my thumbnail images for my blog, as well as any banners when designing newsletters. Even if you’re not a paid user, the program gives you access to countless free templates, graphics and illustration tools. I’d highly recommend Canva to anyone in the digital marketing space who would benefit from being able to create simple graphics and doesn’t have the time or skills to learn how to use Photoshop.
If you’ve ever had any involvement with email marketing, chances are you’ve used MailChimp. MailChimp is an online tool used to make it easy for anyone to construct appealing emails with images, videos and the freedom to link to external web pages. You can even set up an RSS feed for each new blog you post through MailChimp. The tool gives you the power to easily set up mailing lists where you can customize user segments and run A/B testing. I find that in a world where email marketing can have a bad reputation for itself, MailChimp has uncovered a way to make it great again.
As I work for an apps studio, I was introduced to Mixpanel when I first learnt to publish in-app notifications to increase mobile user experiences. Mixpanel is a tool that when integrated into your app, can record your apps user sessions and information as well as segment target users from each other. Mixpanel is like Google Analytics for your app, only it allows you to create interactions with users. Mixpanel offers an easy way to publish in-app push notifications to your apps users. You have access to A/B testing and scheduling tools to target select users within their current time zones.
Yoast is a WordPress plugin built to assist with the optimization of your websites pages and posts. Prior to using the plugin, I found that I was writing content that wouldn’t follow a strategic method. I was adding in keywords and just assuming that it would be effective in improving our overall keyword ranking. Yoast assists in planning how you will use your desired keywords by ensuring that it meets all of a search engines requirements. The tool can inform you if you’ve used a keyword too little or too much, if your content is displayed in a way that is readable, and if your alt attributions of a page are effective. For an advanced tool, it’s user interface is incredibly easy to follow, not to mention how satisfying it is seeing your page receive a green light once it has been fully optimized.
Google Analytics is known as every marketer’s best friend. I simply couldn’t pass without mentioning how important this tool is for effectively measuring your campaign results or traffic reports. Google Analytics does an incredible job at tracking and breaking down each users session on your website. It can record what drove someone to your site, what pages a user visits, how long their sessions lasted and at what point they decided to bounce off that page. One of the most important factors of marketing is being able to record and track your results, hence the importance of having Google Analytics by your side.
Do you have a tool box filled with helpful programs for your line of work? I’d love to know! Leave a comment or tweet me to let me know what helps you stay efficient each day.