Online marketing or as we call it as digital marketing has been an important part of marketing today. In fact, many large firms are solely focusing their efforts on digital marketing alone. CNBC stated that Adidas has already stepped away from TV advertising and most of its campaign will be carried out through digital media. Like Adidas, there are many firms turning their efforts towards online marketing. If you want to be successful in today’s world, online marketing is something that you cannot ignore. Whether you have a large business or a small firm, one unique feature of digital marketing is that it can be used by anyone. Small businesses do not have to worry about the cost involved in online marketing since it’s not necessary to have a large budget to carry out your campaign. Also, with digital marketing, you can reach to a large audience at one time and specifically target individuals based on their demographics, online behavior, geography, etc. Moreover, you get real-time data and the results are quite accurate as well. All these features have compelled businesses to start marketing their products and services online.
If you want to start with online marketing, then there are many different things you need to consider such as social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), etc. It is a complex task to manage all these elements of digital marketing individually. Therefore, there are many tools that are now available to help business owners with online marketing. In addition, using these tools can certainly help you gain a competitive edge over your competitors. Here’s a look at various online marketing tools for different purposes.
To help you with social media on all the major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, etc., HootSuite is one of the best social media tools that you will find. According to Statista, there are over 2.46 billion social network users around the world in 2017 with Facebook being the most popular one. It means that if you are not using social media, then you are missing out on reaching to a large population. Therefore, every business should use social media to reach out to a large audience and engage with them. For this purpose, you need to regularly post new content almost daily. To help you manage with social media on multiple platforms, you should start using HootSuite. This tool allows you to schedule all your social media posts in advance. You can prepare your schedule for upcoming week or month instead of posting your content daily. This way you save time and efforts of manually posting content on multiple social media channels. Using HootSuite gives you access to manage over 30 platforms without having you to visit each of these platforms individually through personal accounts.
HootSuite allows you to identify influencers and leads as well. One can also engage with your followers by responding to their comments and mentions with HootSuite’s dashboard. For small businesses, the tool allows to sync three social media profiles which is quite beneficial especially when you do not use too many platforms.
For small businesses or startups, it’s important that you are aware of what’s happening in your market. This is where BuzzSumo comes in handy. If you want to identify what kind of content is the best for your audience and search engines, then you should not think about any other tool than BuzzSumo. Here, I entered the term “digital marketing strategy” in the search query and this is what BuzzSumo’s search result showed.
Apart from showing relevant search results, it also provides data on how the posts are performing on different social media platforms. You can use this information to create content that’s trendy in the current market scenario. Your content will therefore, resonate with your target audience. At the same time, you get a better understanding of what your competitors are doing. BuzzSumo gives information when your brand is mentioned, when there’s new content published by your competitors, if there are any links added to your or competitor’s post, etc. In short, BuzzSumo allows you to come up with the best possible content and how to market it by checking what’s going well for others. Therefore, if you want accurate information to create content and market your business online, then BuzzSumo is highly recommended.
There are multiple tools offered by Moz for different purposes. The Moz Pro helps you improve rankings and visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). It is designed to allow websites to get organic web traffic by following the search engine optimization (SEO) process. This means that all the essential elements of the SEO process such as identifying the right keywords, link building, competitive analysis, finding crawling problems, etc. can be done with this tool. If you have not started with SEO, then Moz Pro is the right tool to help you especially in the initial stage of the SEO process. For every business, optimizing their website is a key requisite for performing well in the digital media. In fact, it complements other areas such as social media, ad campaign, etc. However, SEO is a continuous and a tedious process. Keeping a check on all the different on-page (optimization within your website) and off-page (optimization outside your website) optimization elements is difficult. In such a situation, this tool is very beneficial for business owners since it covers the key factors in boosting your SEO efforts.
For businesses operating in a local area, you need to get hold of local people. For this purpose, Moz has another useful tool known as Moz Local. The tool allows you to get your website featured for local searches. To get listed in a local search result, there should be a consistency of the company’s name, address, phone number (NAP) across different citation sources like Yelp, Facebook, Google, Yellowpages, etc. Moz Local audits your NAP and provides suggestions to fix any issues for free. Furthermore, this tool is useful to push your business listings to all the major data aggregators. So, when a person in your local area searches for the products or services you offer, your business gets listed in the search results. The customers will then visit your website and if they like what they see, they may purchase your products or avail your services. As a result, you get new customers for your business.
Screaming Frog is a great SEO tool which crawls websites’ links, images, scripts and apps, CSS and evaluates the on-page SEO. So, if your website has any on-page SEO issues, Screaming Frog will identify and provides a way to resolve them. Although Screaming Frog is a paid version tool, one can still crawl up to 500 webpages for free. This is certainly beneficial for websites that are new and do not have so many webpages. Additionally, you can identify broken links, audit redirects, analyze page titles and meta data, discover duplicate content, extract data with XPath, review robots and directives, generate XML sitemaps, and integrate with Google Analytics as well. Basically, this tool provides a comprehensive list of features relating to on-page optimization. Thus, it saves you time to identify faults and enhances your on-page optimization process.
The tool tracks, analyzes, and optimizes your digital marketing efforts. With Kissmetrics, you are able to track and analyze all that you do on digital media and it gives you information whether what you are doing is best for your business or not. In other words, it helps you to select a strategy that will provide the best return on your investments. By analyzing various metrics, you understand what’s working for you and what’s not for all your campaigns. So, it enables you to make right decisions. For example, on an average, if 100 people visit your website and 10 people signed up for your services, then maybe you need to modify your content on the landing page so that your conversion rate is enhanced. This tool is valuable to understand what people are doing on your website and it also delivers behavior based emails to engage them with every step of the lead generation process. The insights obtained from this tool is usually used in planning and executing future online marketing process. Therefore, marketers can increase conversions, engagement, and retention with this tool.
According to HubSpot, 64% of the people prefer rich text emails and three-quarters of firms agree that email marketing offers an excellent return on investments. If you want to get new clients for your business, then do not overlook the power of email marketing. When done right, email marketing can certainly provide with better ROI than any other form of marketing in online media. All you need to do is send emails to your prospects and then nurture them to move towards your sales funnel. Therefore, at every stage of customer acquisition, you need to send different emails with different objectives. Plus, you must ensure that you do not waste time in crafting a new email every now and then. You need to be quick to respond to your prospects. This is where MailChimp is useful to you.
MailChimp is an excellent email marketing tool. The emails are sent when a suitable course of action is triggered. For instance, if a person opens your email and clicks on a call-to-action button such as signing up for your newsletter, then the tool will automatically send a “thank you” email for signing up. Similarly, emails will be sent either weekly or once in two weeks depending on your settings. For each course of action performed by your prospect, you can craft different emails that will be sent as and when the desired action is triggered. This way you do not have to spend time on looking at each email and craft a new one accordingly. Moreover, the tool will provide analytics about how many emails were opened, what was the most preferred time when they were opened, etc. All these insights enable you to come up with better email marketing campaigns in future. In case you have any doubts, then the tool provides self-service support options to quickly solve your doubts. It has a free plan for those with less than 2,000 subscribers and who do not send more than 12,000 emails in a month. With MailChimp, you can build your brand by promoting your business with Facebook and Instagram ad campaign, connect with new contacts, recover abandoned carts for e-commerce websites, boost loyalty by nurturing a relationship with existing customers, and re-engage with cold leads as well. Thus, MailChimp is a one stop destination for generating quick leads in a convenient manner.
HubSpot is a major and quite popular inbound marketing firm. From attracting visitors to closing the lead, HubSpot provides a host of services for your marketing funnel. HubSpot provides services that help in blogging, social media, website, SEO, lead management, crafting landing pages, email marketing, analytics, etc. You name the service you want for online marketing and HubSpot will have a say in each of them. For young business owners, this tool is ideal since you get a variety of online marketing services at one place. Thus, you do not have to purchase or go through different online marketing tools. However, it’s not available for free. The pricing is flexible based on the services you would like to avail.
You cannot think about online marketing and not have a website. Although developing a website may not be your core activity, you can design your website with the help of WordPress. This Content Management System (CMS) is a perfect solution for small websites. There are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In WordPress.com, the hosting is taken care by WordPress and you don’t have to download any software or pay for hosting. In the case of WordPress.org, you should host your own website and there will be many software that you can download manually and install on your own web server. Therefore, if you want a website for your firm quickly, then WordPress is an apt solution for you.
SEO is critical for your business growth and SEOmator is a must have SEO tool. Seomator Audit Tool Crawls and Analyzes Your Website for In-Depth SEO Checks. Information from different and correlative with each other sources are combined and analyzed. Make strategic SEO decision based on the proper foundation to reach customers goals. Dig deeper with full analysis for every page convertible into any form your in-house analytics may wish via service API and CSV export. Fully Customized Reports with How-to-Fix recommendations, Monitoring Alerts Tool and Bulk Processing. They aso offer variety of Free SEO tools.
Apart from the above-mentioned tools, there are many useful tools available such as Followerwonk by Moz (provides insights by analyzing Twitter accounts), WordStream (to assist PPC advertising campaigns on Google, Bing and Facebook), CrazyEgg (analyzes your websites for better results), Pablo by Buffer (to create images for social media), etc. According to the CMO Council, 60% of a marketers’ time is spent on digital marketing activities. Therefore, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, get more time to focus on other core activities, and ease the process of online marketing, then using these tools and software will certainly help you achieve your objective. Simultaneously, you need to be careful in selecting the right tools that deliver the goods based on your organizational needs.
If you have any other tools that you have been using and is extremely valuable, do let me know about it in the comment section.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.