Every year digital marketing gets more complex with an ever-increasing number of tasks just to keep your marketing afloat–too much even for a large team to accomplish effectively. Hence, you need tools to automate some processes, tools to coordinate your team, communication tools, and more. Here are 7 tools for a more productive digital marketing strategy.
Some tools are free, some allow for a free trial, and others range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month. Choosing the right tools makes for a more productive digital marketing strategy. And, the time to explore tools is before you need them to give yourself time to choose the right ones for your needs.
Some things to consider when you choose marketing tools are:
- Cost — although sometimes you get what you pay for, there are exceptions. Google Analytics is a great example. This free tool is incredibly powerful and, it that isn’t enough for your needs, Google has a version that’s paid (very expensive), which involves a human consultant, an Analytics expert, to manage your account.
- Easy of set up — some tools take hours to set up, Salesforce, for example. Make a mistake in the beginning and you have to start over again to get the full value of the tool. The ease of set up is something to consider when looking for a free trial. Remember, there’s more to cost than money so having to spend hours setting up a tool just to find it didn’t do the job you need is wasteful.
- Easy to manage — pretty much the same as above.
- Flexibility — will you have to change tools as your business grows or as the environment changes. Because these tools take time to set up and you’ve invested hours maintaining them, changing is expensive.
- Integration — just as your team needs to communicate to optimize performance, so do your tools. Hence, you might choose a single tool so you only have to enter some information once and the tool manages multiple tasks. A downside is a multifeatured tool that may cost more and you might have to pay for elements you don’t need.
Just like with other tools, different tools do different jobs. A hammer pounds nails and a screwdriver attaches two pieces with a screw. You shouldn’t use a nail for certain tasks, while a screw might not work in others. It’s the same with digital marketing tools. And, while there are multipurpose digital marketing tools, you may not need all the functionality. Also, we focus on tools leading to a more productive digital marketing strategy. The keyword being productive, so all these tools help improve productivity.
Ultimately, the success or failure of the business depends on your people and their productivity. Tools extend that productivity.
Without much ado, here is a list of tools that I consider essential* for a more productive digital marketing strategy. For simplicity, I grouped them into different categories based on the primary task performed by the tool. Below each category, I list 1 or more specific tools. Tool names are hyperlinked to additional information about that tool on the firm’s website.
Productive digital marketing strategy tools
1. Revenue generation
2. Team management
3. Work management
5. Spy tools
6. Social media
7. All in one tool
Digital technology changes quickly. To keep pace with new opportunities and new tools, your company must periodically evaluate your current strategic decisions. A variety of tools often serve the same purpose. Which one do you choose?
Here’s my short list of tools for a productive digital marketing strategy. I would like to know your views and feedback about the ones I’ve listed or your ideas for better options. Please enter that information in the comments below:
So. let’s jump in.
Affiliate links on your website generate passive profit. But, it’s tedious finding affiliate programs that fit your content and target market. Also, accessing analytics and revenue reports from a bunch of independent merchants means spending time you don’t have. That’s where Skimlinks helps. You join a variety of merchant affiliate programs from one platform and a single report details results.
Here’s an overview from their website:
By joining Skimlinks you have direct access to a global network of 48,500 merchants and 50 demand partners (including Affiliate, CPA, CPC…). Merchants that agreed to offer special commissions to Skimlinks’ publishers are easily identified in the VIP and Preferred Partner Program.
The icing on the cake – IT IS A FREE TOOL.
You probably already have systems in place to track your Tracking performance across multiple platforms every day is time-consuming and frustrating, as it’s challenging to compare performance across platforms. That’s where CallRail comes in.
CallRail tracks calls and forms from Google Ads, websites, emails, and advertisements, giving your critical information for tracking and monitoring
The tool offers suggestions on which keywords fetch more revenue and assist in revenue generation.
Increasing the productivity of an organization is a team effort and managing that team, especially if they work remotely, is challenging. Members must work as a team to achieve their goals. But someone has to manage the process and monitor team performance, while all team members need tools to improve communication.
In that case for better team management, assigning new roles, and fixing responsibilities, we need a tool for efficient team management.
With this tool, you monitor the activities of employees and can take corrective action immediately to increase productivity at work. For example, managers not only see the time spent on meetings or calls but also pinpoints who was involved.
Time Doctor has a GPS tracking system to locate employees throughout the workday.
A little creepy, I know, but sometimes a workforce needs some monitoring to ensure their performance when they’re not in the office or spread across multiple locations.
Work management consists of keeping track of events going on, the tasks, and goals ahead. These systems work better in an organization with a large number of departments and more employees, who need to coordinate for effective operations.
Team management software tracks the activities of each employee, the work assigned to him or her, the deadlines for completion of each task, and guidelines for successful completion. A quick glance shows where the overall project is in terms of progress, where elements fall behind, and where team members are in their list of tasks, which helps other members of the team anticipate their own actions to ensure success.
Also, work management software helps reduce the emails as the messages can directly be communicated via this tool and there’s a timeline tracking communication.
Colors monitor performance to show which projects require additional resources/ attention and those progressing toward on-time completion.
Trello has several levels, including a free version. Paid versions include additional features and functionality, such as PERT charts.
Basecamp is a nice team management/ project management tool featuring easy-to-use organization based on projects with sections within each project for files, communication, to-dos, and more.
Slack is a better option if you have many departments within the organization. You assign tasks department wise, channel-wise, or project-wise.
With Slack, all departments stay interconnected and take immediate action without necessitating formal emails, which is the main benefit.
Days get crowded, with too much to do and too little time. Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands and that’s where schedulers come in. With schedulers, you set up posts, updates, etc so when the rest of your day is chaos, you have the peace of mind that creating content on a consistent basis (the hallmark of a digital strategy) gets done.
Well, everyone needs content for their web page these days, since fresh content is the key to ranking on search engines.
Everyone wants engaging content that generates more traffic. The time it takes to optimize images, write, research, and format posts can throw your whole day out of whack. Worse, you get so involved in the never-ending daily demands you don’t get a planned post ready.
Wordable makes this tedious task for bloggers, content editors, and content managers easy; reducing the task of hours to a few minutes. NO! I am not exaggerating. See the screenshot to see how Wordable works.
E-mails are an inevitable part of the business but they do reduce productivity.
Some e-mails don’t need urgent attention, but once ignored as not critical, fresh messages push down older emails so you never get back to handle these less critical messages.
Boomerang helps keep track of all emails, keeping your inbox clean. You can retrieve messages whenever you wish and the software sends the reminder to go back to emails you scheduled for followup.
To keep yourself ahead in the race, you need to keep an eye on competitors. Although spying sounds somewhat underhanded, certain types of spying are just smart business.
This tool helps you identify which tools, analytics, frameworks, and shopping carts your competitors using, allowing you to emulate feature superior to the one you’re currently using.
A productive digital marketing strategy means channeling your efforts for a particular project or idea while keeping in mind actions by your competition.
Site Hosting Spy
Site Hosting Spy by HostingPill lets you know hosting details about any websites including those run by your competitors. The tool provides details regarding:
- Hosting company
- Domain Ownership
- Mail server
- IP address
Armed with this information, you make better decisions regarding your own strategy.
Social media isn’t a luxury in today’s world. A sound social media strategy helps create awareness, reminds customers about your brand, and even helps convert prospective customers. Social media is also a time suck where you might lose hours every day without the help of tools for a productive digital marketing strategy.
Viral Content Bee
Viral Content Bee allows you to share your content on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc.
According to Viral Content Bee, it helps you to:
- Improve your social media metrics
- Boost the effectiveness of your hashtag marketing
- Increase your content reach through multiple marketing channels
- Test your content effectiveness before investing in Facebook advertising
Some tools serve multiple purposes. The upside is the convenience and coordination possible through such multitaskers. The downside is other tools might do a specific job better than your all-in-one, which also sometimes cost a boat-load of money.
CoSchedule has a marketing suite to organize content, manage social media, work, and assets all in one place.
CoSchedule also integrates with WordPress, Google Docs, Tumblr, and social platforms.
Certainly, many more tools fit within these 7 tasks to make your digital marketing more productive and this is a small subset. The options grow every day. Choose from this list or replace our suggestions with other products available for a productive digital marketing strategy.
Every business is different, requiring a different combination of tools to maximize opportunities.
*This is a guest post by Chris Wagner and all evaluations are his. I make no promise as to the quality or suitability of the products for your purposes nor do I promise all the information is accurate.
Author Bio: I’m Chris Wagner, Head of Content @HostingPill. I regularly write about Hosting Web Servers, and WordPress. I have more than 9 years of Industry experience. Read my article on the best web hosting companies to find the right host for your website.
Need marketing help to plan your business strategy?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book on digital marketing analytics – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.