Relying on the right digital marketing tools means saving not only time but money as well; and not to mention, it helps maintain our sanity too. In this article, we will examine the 5 tools that you can’t afford to miss as a marketer. These five tools based on their importance are Social Media Marketing and Social listening tools, Website tools such as SEO tools, SEM tools and Web analytics tools, Content Marketing tools, tools for email marketing, and tools for online ads.
1. Social Media
There is a reason we are keeping social media at the number one position in the list of tools you can’t afford to miss as a marketer. It is not surprising that social media generates more traffic today for a website than does SEO. And not just that social media engagement contributes significantly to page and domain authority. This, ultimately, helps in SEO. So naturally, for us, social media mention comes before website tools, content marketing, email marketing or even online ads.
Tools for Social Media
Marketers connect with their audiences wherever they go. Often, that means connecting with them on their preferred social channels. While the most preferred social media management or SMM tools keep changing based on the social landscape, there are some that are a must-have. For example, Video is the best way to capture the attention of the audience today, and tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, Microsoft Movie Moments, and VideoPad are some of the best video editing tools that are must to create video content for Youtube and other social media platforms. And in days to come, AR-based gamifications tools for hyper personalization would probably become more talked about than videos. There are dedicated tools developed exclusively for specific social media platforms. And there are tools that can sync with many or all social media platforms. Some of the best tools that can be explored for social media management are Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social.
The most recommended tools for social media are Buffer and Hootsuite. With just a few surface-level differences, Hootsuite and Buffer both provide great options. Hootsuite is probably your best option. But if you’re only managing a few social profiles and want to stick to a small budget, Buffer might be right for you. And if we had to select one, we would go with Buffer.
Buffer offers a platform for the web as well as mobile. It is designed to manage multiple social media accounts, by allowing users to schedule social media posts across a range of social networks. Buffer also analyzes the results and engagement of content across various social media platforms and communities.
Why do we recommend Buffer for SMM?
- The post composer offered by Buffer is extremely media friendly. It means that we can add hyperlinks, pictures, GIFs and videos to the posts directly through Buffer.
- We can customize scheduling of posts so that queued posts are published on their own as per a predefined day and time.
- Once a specific post is published, it is easy to see engagement statistics such as clicks, likes, replies, comments, and share, etc.
Tools for Social Listening and Analytics
Given the huge volume of data pouring in from various social media platforms, it is not possible for marketers to really make sense of the data unless they use sophisticated tools for social listening and analytics. Social listening is the monitoring of your brand’s social media platforms for customer feedback, direct mentions of your brand, and discussions regarding related keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis of this data to gain further insights and act on these opportunities. Konnect Insights is ideally suited for this requirement as it offers the best of the coverage, Dashboards and the BI tools. Our focus has always been to make the most robust and the simplest of the social listening and analytics tools where the learning curve is minimum but the dashboards and analytics is best in class.
Konnect Insights is a Social Listening and Analytics tool with power of 4 products in one. Konnect Insights is used by Marketers, Customer Care, Top Management, Analysts, and CEOs to make data driven decisions, active social listening, getting actionable insights through the embedded analytics features and managing online reputation through the Konnect Insights ORM tools. And as mentioned earlier, they do not need different tools to do all this.
Why do we recommend Konnect Insights for Social Listening?
- Once you sign up with Konnect Insights you don’t have to manage or buy multiple tools. You get power of 4 social media tools in one.
- You don’t miss a single conversation anywhere on the web. Konnect Insights crawls millions of sites and all social channels.
- Konnect Insights offers one of the best UI/UX in the industry.
- You have the flexibility to create your own custom dashboards with ease.
- Lastly, Konnect Insights is trusted by some of the top global brands and agencies.
Digital Marketing starts with creating your first digital property. And most often, websites are the first digital property of any business. And all it takes to run a successful website is to equip yourself with the right tools. Let’s talk a bit about some of the most important tools for the website owners.
For a long time, search engines used “on-page” signals to provide their “Search Engine Results Pages” (SERPs). However, now major search engines, such as Google, process far more “off page” information when determining their search results, by using semantic processing, collating user data, and applying neural networks for the machine learning of patterns, trends, and personal preferences. Hence, basic SEO tools of the past that focused primarily on “on page” optimization may not be enough. To be effective with SEO, no one tool would suffice. In fact, a number of tools should be used together to be able to see the larger picture. Some of the must-have SEO tools are Google Search Console, SEMrush SEO toolkit, SEO spider, Majestic SEO Tools, and Moz Pro. Although these are the paid SEO tools, there are some good free tools as well that can be considered. These are Google AdWords keyword planner, Google Optimise, Ahrefs Backlink Checker (both free as well as paid). Web is full of SEO tools but using just any tool is certainly not advisable. These tools are often not updated with the latest changes in search engine algorithms.
While it’s critical you employ organic strategies to attract traffic over the long-term, sometimes, it becomes really hard to compete on the SERPs without spending a bit on paid search – and that’s where search engine marketing or SEM comes into play. To ensure you’re able to reap complete benefits of SEM and be effectively on the first page of the SERPs, you must use some of the best tools available. The best tools you can count on for SEM would be SEMRush, Google Trends, Keywordtool.Io, Google Ads Keyword Planner, and SpyFu.
Website Analytics Tools
There are plenty of tools out there that can give insight into web visitors. When it comes to website analytics, Google Analytics is a must-mention website analytics tool. GA offers tremendous insight into the performance of a website, behavior of website visitors, and even demographic features of the users. Other top tools that can be considered for website analytics are Ahrefs, SEMrush, Matomo, Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, Moz Pro, Adobe Analytics, and Clicky.
Although SEO, SEM and Web Analytics tools are definitely the tools today’s marketer can’t afford to ignore. Some more tools are making their way into the list of important tools. These tools include tools for engagement such as Live chats and tools for user experience such as session recording and replay tools.
If you look closely at all the website tools – SEO, SEM, and Analytics – you would see that one tool gets a mention in all the categories. And this tool is SEMRush. Hence, if we were to zero in on one tool for website management, we would go ahead with SEMRush.
SEMRush offers audience intelligence data such as website traffic information, keyword related information, projected Google Ads spend, site audits, topic research, lead generation, and many other SEO-related data. SEMrush is considered to be the best SEO tool and it is highly recommended by most SEO professionals across the globe. SEMrush allows marketers to do in-depth organic keyword research, checking on competitors, and building powerful backlinks.
3. Content Marketing
There are hundreds of content marketing tools available. Each tool may serve more than one purpose, from content ideation to creation, and from creation to promotion; optimization, and more. It is very important not to drain marketing budget in average content marketing tools. Some of the best tools to be considered for content marketing are HubSpot, WordPress, Airstory, Yoast, Buzzsumo, Uberflip, Vidyard, Trello, HotJar, Canva, Tweriod, Adobe Photoshop, etc. And as mentioned earlier, each of these tools is able to offer more than one functionality. For example, BuzzSumo is good for analyzing topics as well as finding influencers. Tweriod is a great tool to share tweets when your audience is online and paying attention. Canva is the best tool for designing imagery. Uberflip is a fantastic tool to manage blogs, videos, e-books, etc. from one central location.
If we have to select one tool for content marketing, we would go with BuzzSumo.
BuzzSumo is the perfect tool for finding out influencers in a given industry who can market your content to your desired audience. Marketers can get various content insights by discovering what content is being shared the most across targeted social channels and run a range of analytics. With BuzzSumo, it is easy to find influencers that are industry leaders in a given domain, check out the content they’ve been sharing, and plan influencer-led outreach. BuzzSumo gives content alerts as well by notifying about mentions of desired keywords. You can also get alerts when a competitor posts new content. So essentially, you never miss any content-related activity that you want to know about. Lastly, with BuzzSumo’s competitor analysis feature, you can track how your competitor’s content is performing and compare their results to your own performance.
4. Email Marketing
There have always been questions about the effectiveness of email marketing. The answer is that email marketing is one such tool that digital marketers can never afford to ignore. When it comes to ROI, email marketing crushes social media. And there’s plenty of data to back this up. However, choosing the right email marketing service is important. Some of the best email service providers that can have a significant impact on the success of marketing campaigns are Mailchimp, GetResponse, AWeber, SendinBlue, and Constant Contact.
Out of the above mentioned tools, we would recommend Mailchimp as our number one choice.
MailChimp is a perfect tool for email marketing. It is known for its ease of use and range of features, as well as their free plans. It is important to note, though, that their Mailchimp’s subscription plans are relatively expensive compared to similar tools available in the market. MailChimp offers a very simple, yet attractive user-interface. It lets Marketers send emails, manage subscribers, offer superb tracking, set up autoresponders, create beautiful email templates, target subscribers, create landing pages, do A/B testing, create custom templates, and split test campaigns – almost every possible tool that any good email platform should offer. Mailchimp is the easiest platform to set up and use. And last but not least, Mailchimp is totally free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
5. Online Ads
Setting up and running online advertisement campaigns is not easy. With the right tools, however, researching, designing, and analyzing ad campaigns becomes much easier. It all starts with keyword research. And the best keyword research tools are SEMrush, SpyFu, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, etc. The next step in the online advertising process is Ad Creation. The best tools for Ad creation are Canva, Smart Ads Creator by Wordstream, and Crello. After creating an Ad, there is a need for the landing page where the traffic from the ads can actually land. Best landing page creation tools are Instapage, Unbounce, HubSpot Landing Page Builder, and Leadpages. And the last in the process is reporting automation. Reporting tools are a must to analyze a campaign’s performance. Some of the best tools for this are Optmyzr, Reporting Ninja, Marin, Google Analytics, and Adstage.
When we talk about Online ads, ad retargeting or ad remarketing tools must have a mention. Delivering the right ad to the right person at the right time, greatly increases conversion rates. This is what Retargeting or Remarketing does – a tactic employed by advertisers to deliver ads to users based on their previous interaction on advertisers digital properties such as a website, landing page, e-commerce site, or social media pages. The best of breed retargeting solutions are Adroll, Criteo, SmarterHQ, Artudata, Perfect Audience, Sizmek, Retargeter, Fixel, and Retargeting.biz.
There is no one tool that offers all the capabilities required to run online ads. Running online ads involves processes such as keyword research, designing and ad creation, analysis, landing page design and integration, reporting, etc. As of now, no one tool can be used for all these processes. So, it would be prudent to select the best breed tool for each process.
As digital marketing requires creativity from planning to execution, simplifying each step of the process with the right set of tools can prove to be highly beneficial. There are so many areas and so many tools for digital marketing that it can become confusing to select the most optimal tools depending on your needs. But as a rule of thumb, never ignore five tools – social media marketing and analytics, website tools, content marketing, email marketing, and online ads – to be an effective marketer.
Sameer Narkar is the Founder & Chief Software Architect at Konnect Insights. Although a techie at heart, Sameer has a flair for story-telling and often wears multiple hats as a marketer, business developer and customer experience. He is been the brains behind Konnect Insights, which is the most preferred social listening and analytics platform.Tags: Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Digital marketing strategy, Email Marketing, Marketing Technologies, Marketing Tools, MarTech, Online Ads, SEM, SEO, Social Listening, Social Media Marketing