Digital marketing, with its flurry of campaigns, content writing, social strategies, trends and so much more is a career in which all marketers always need to stay on their toes.
One of the most important jobs of a digital marketer is to stay up to date with current marketing trends and which includes a lot of blog and article reading. In this reading we find a bombardment of content recommending all sorts of tools that we need. According to the internet there are over 100 “must have” tools for digital marketers.
In an effort to fight through the noise I’ve created this list of the tools that I often hear about or my coworkers and contacts are using and like.
It is by no means an all-encompassing list. Just a simple list with popular tools and tools that I’ve heard good things about via word of mouth. Hopefully there are a few that you’ll want to try out. Most give free demos and or trials so if one sparks your interest, go check it out!
We’re all so sick of hearing about panda and penguin updates and penalties that we don’t even want to go to the zoo anymore in fear of seeing a panda or penguin.
But, SEO is still a concern and a factor for digital marketers. After all, most of our traffic comes from Google and we’re just trying to make Google happy. So the following tools will help you with that part of your strategy without you having to worry about the silly penguin and panda.
Majestic SEO – They claim to be “the largest link intelligence database on the planet.” They have a free tool on their homepage where you can put in a registered domain and get info on all of the link backs. You can do your own site or your competitors!
Scribe – Both a WordPress plugin and site app that helps you research what keywords to use in your content. It also optimizes it for better rankings and recommends internal content to link to—thus increasing traffic.
Moz.com – This is a no brainer so I’ll make it brief. Moz has a variety of free tools and paid for ones that improve all aspects of SEO and digital marketing. Not to mention their blog is the greatest resource ever.
Raven Internet Marketing Tools – This is one of those tools that it is an all-encompassing marketing tool but they have an extensive SEO component so I put it in the SEO category. Among many things, they offer link building, research and competitor analysis.
Inbound Writer – A software that helps you improve content quality, generate new ideas and measure the results of your content.
Zemanta is a plugin that allows your content to be found and linked to by other publishers. Zemanta not only indexes your content for others to link to but they also optimize it and provide reporting analytics.
Blogger outreach is popular tactic to score word of mouth recommendations from mid-level influencers. There are a few tools out there to help marketers find bloggers and each tool stream lines different parts of the processes. If interested in blogger outreach, all of the following tools offer free trials.
Inky Bee – Geared toward smaller businesses, Inkybee has components that help you manage the bloggers you work with, find new bloggers and streamlines parts of blogger outreach.
Buzz Stream – Focuses more and link building with bloggers. Buzz Stream has features that help identify link building opportunities, manage relationships and helps with the emailing aspect as well.
GroupHigh – Geared more toward agencies and big brands, GroupHigh is an index of 13 million blogs where users can find blogs for any campaign. They also have monitoring, tracking and reporting capabilities.
Obviously social media is one of the most demanding and important parts of a marketer’s job. So, there are a plethora of social media marketing tools. The following are by far the most popular so I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already have one now.
Sprout Social – With Sprout Social you can manage all of your social media channels in one platform. You can also manage multiple social media accounts and work within the platform as a team. Has many components in place to assure another social mention doesn’t go unreplied to. Among many other features you can schedule out social media messages and monitor campaigns within the platform.
Hoot Suite – Free for one account and minimal reporting and they have paid for upgraded plans. You can monitor multiple channels and streams in one dashboard as well as schedule out your messages.
Every marketer has an analytics tool whether it’s Google Analytics or a more advanced platform or even something really dumbed down like bitly. Point is, marketers need to analyze the results of their efforts or they might as well not be marketing at all.
Google Analytics - It’s free so just get someone technically savvy to set it up. It allows you to know where every visitor to your site originated from. This way you can know what pieces of content draw people to your brand. You can even take it one step further and set up “goals” which is a call to action such as a lead gen form that someone fills out after visiting your site. That way you can not only know which pieces of content bring in traffic but also which pieces of content convert readers into customers.
KISSmetrics – Geared to small and mid-size SAAS and ecommerce businesses, KISSmetrics is a web analytics platform that measures your marketing efforts. You can track conversion rates and details about what you’re customers are doing on your site, revenue, and “lifetime value” of a customer. Think Google Analytics but even more personalized.
Link to Tally – is one of the easiest tools to use. Simply go to their site, paste in a link and immediately see how many times it’s been shared across social media channels. Try it with one of your old posts now, it’s kinda fun!
Bitly is a simple link shortener that after you insert it in to a piece of content whether it’s a tweet, Facebook post or blog post you can see how many times it’s been clicked on. That way you can see what links people find intriguing in your content and which ones they don’t.
Monitoring tools fall almost in to the category of analytics. The difference is that the analytics tools know how a customer got to your site or how well a piece of content did in social media. Meanwhile, a monitoring tool picks up your brand mentions from different content outlets and social media platforms so you can know who is talking about your brand, and get a feel for your brand’s sentiment.
Trackur – Social media monitoring platform that monitors the web, blogs and all social media channels for brand mentions. I think they are extra appealing to agencies because you can white label your dashboards for reporting purposes.
Simply Measured – A social media analysis and reporting platform. Many reviews claim that it is very user friendly and the reporting mechanisms are flexible and customizable.
Social Mention – This free tool allows you to type in any keyword—usually brand name—and see which social media outlets are talking about your brand. You can even create alerts.
Ice Rocket – This seems to be the best one because it also includes blog mentions.
Meniton.net – They have a bunch of plans including a free one if you don’t need vast monitoring capabilities. Extensive brand mention monitoring, alerts and the ability to export.
Talkwalker Alerts – Rumor has it that Google Alerts may leave us. So I recommend signing up for Talkwalker alerts. It’s a little spotty but I think they’re working on it!
Project management gets the least spotlight but it’s the backbone of your digital marketing strategy. Without the right management tool and plan, your campaign will be a mess. Check out the following tools for organization—from basic ones that organize your ideas and tasks to more advanced ones that organize project across a whole time, decide which one fits you best.
Trello – Simply a place to keep track of all ideas, notes and tasks.
Evernote – An application that you can sync between all of your digital devices and it organizes all of your ideas, thoughts, photos, voice notes, etc. so that you never lose a good idea again.
Google Calendar - Another no brainer tool but it’s so awesome that it can’t be skipped! Google calendar lets you post your daily “to dos” and dates to remember and you can send out invites so that meetings show up on other people’s calendars as well.
WorkZone – Project management software that allows team members to manage multiple projects as a team flawlessly. Supposed to be very user friendly and more advanced than the prior three tools.
Klout – A scoring platform that gives someone a score of 1-100 to note how influential they are. Score is based on many things such as Twitter followers and if “big influencers” are part of one’s network.
PeerIndex – Geared more toward businesses so that they can located who their influential customers are. Identifies influencers contextually so that brands can engage with people who are a good fit.
Tap Influence – A pricier option but good software to stream line the influencer marketing process since the influencers they work with opt in. The platform also has great reporting info and organizational components to help their customers through the whole campaign process.
Traackr – Geared toward the social media side of influencer marketing. More of a premium platform but great option if you have a budget. It helps you find the perfect influencers and report extensively on the results among many other features.
Marketing automation is a must have tool for any business of any size. The following are the most popular three and they all have very similar features, I’d recommend doing demos of all three and seeing which one just fits better.
They all have CRM capabilities, identify leads or customers who are engaging with your emails and webpage, the ability to schedule out mass messages and many many more features.
The best part of having a marketing automation platform is that it’s a great and easy way for sales and marketing to effectively work together and set goals while tracking results.
The following two tools make email marketing easier but they aren’t fully integrated systems like the previous three.
Mail Chimp – This is a great email marketing tool to merge contacts and schedule out your promotional content. It’s free for small businesses.
SendGrid - A cloud based email delivery infrastructure that has many packages and manages all of your email transactions. You can schedule, optimize and track emails.
It’s one of the most important jobs of a digital marketer to produce awesome content that attracts readers back to the brand. There is nothing worse than having a fantastic or even epic piece of content that just floats in digital space because a digital marketer lacks a network to promote their content in.
Here are some tools to help make sure this doesn’t happen!
SlideShare – This tool is especially fantastic for any digital marketer in the B2B space. You can simply create a visual presentation on power point and upload it to SlideShare. The basic SlideShare plan is free and it’s fairly inexpensive to upgrade to the plan that allows you to include a lead capture form. Great and easy way to generate new leads!
Whatfix.com – What if not only your posts and ebooks were visually enticing but your guides and how to’s were visually driven as well? With whatfix.com you can create quick tutorials and step by step explanations easily and for free. Try explaining how something works with this tool instead of a technical guide that is hard to follow.
Gaggle AMP Is a simple to use platform where social media users join a “gaggle” and share eachother’s social media content on their own channels increasing visibility with team work. The most common use cases for Gaggle AMP are within large businesses where employees share content or where people with the same interests join a gaggle together so that they all share each other’s stuff and they write about the same topic so it works out well!
Scoop.it – This content gathering platform allows users to put content in topic groups and share these curated articles and pieces of content with others. Great tool to use to put your own content in one place and recommend it to the digital world.
Triberr – Triberr is a place where influencers can come together and share good content. They also share each other’s content.
Communities: Use communities as a tool to share your content. G+ and LinkedIn communities are by far the best.
As new marketing has become word of mouth and relationships with influencers, PR now blends into digital marketing. Thus having tools that help find and maintain relationships are an important part of the toolkit!
Cision – Among many features, this software is best known for its media database. It also has press release distribution, monitoring capabilities, analytics and content marketing components.
Vocus – Vocus is geared both toward digital PR pros and digital marketers. It can connect you with journalists and bloggers and you can also use it to send press releases, monitor news and streamline many components of the digital outreach process.
Mobile is becoming such a huge piece in a digital marketer’s strategy. With so many consumers seeking out information and making purchases via their iPhone or tablet—having tools that enhance mobile marketing is no longer a choice, it’s a must!
Exact Target – A marketing platform that focuses on both email and mobile. Even emails now need to be optimized for mobile.
Heyo – Create campaigns and contests for Face book that are optimized for mobile. Full of templates that are optimized to drive traffic, leads and sales. You can of course create your own templates as well.
Advocate and Loyalty Programs
Zuberance – This platform takes advocacy seriously. It gives marketers a place to manage current advocate relationships and find new ones. Within Zuberance you can manage your advocacy campaigns, analyze campaigns and much more.
Mogreet Express – Allows you to curate opt in text messaging subscribers and then send texts to all the ones on your list. Looks pretty organized and user friendly! Great tool to have to keep in touch with your customers so that you can let them know what is happening with your brand and send them special offers!
Like I said before, this list is by no means all-encompassing but it’s a start and it’s a list of tools that I’ve heard nothing but multiple positive recommendations for.
Feel free to comment with your favorite digital marketing tool if it’s not on the list. Maybe I’ll write a part two post and make sure to include your favorite tool!
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