Marketing is complicated work. It requires a variety of skillsets and strategies employed simultaneously. Without the right tools, the work can become overwhelming, leaving you without a means of meeting expectations. These days, though, there are handy tools available that can make the work run much smoother, keeping daily duties from turning into a nightmare. Everything from workflow and task management to SEO research and analytics.
This list is a collection of marketing tools that will make your life easier and help you get your work done effectively. So, if you’re looking to do your job better and faster, look no further.
As Bill Gates said back in ‘96, “Content is king.” So much of marketing these days revolves around quality content, and then getting links to that content. The problem is, even small mistakes in the content we create can turn people away and reduce conversion rates. So in addition to being relevant and valuable, our content needs to be pretty polished.
There are a few tools out there to help you make that happen. Below are two of our favorites.
Grammatical errors are bound to crop up in even the most carefully crafted piece of content. A web-based grammar checker that’s free (it has a paid version, with additional features), Grammarly lets you upload documents, and then scours them for grammatical errors. Never overlook a misspelled word ever again.
Just as we all can’t be Shakespeare, not everyone is a graphic designer, either. So if you’re a little photoshop-illiterate, you can finally rest easy. Canva is a tool that streamlines image creation, making it easier for non-designers to put together beautiful visuals in a fraction of the time. It has lots of free layouts, images, and tools, so even if you’re a would-be designer who’s on a budget, you can make a quality image that’s shareable on social media.
Trying to keep on top of your to-do list is a herculean task, and let’s face it, trying to manage it via your email is causing you a lot of headaches. The good news is, there is a better way to get things done.
If This Then That is a unique automation tool, which means it interacts with a number of other programs, apps, and websites to automate mundane tasks. Want to automatically update to all of your social media when you write a post? Done. Care to know when the ISS is directly overhead? Easy. It’s programmable, so you can teach it to do a lot of different things. And who doesn’t like offloading some of their workload? With IFTTT you can, trusting that routine tasks won’t be clogging your schedule anymore.
Email, as we said, is a poor task manager. Why not upgrade to something better? Tools like Asana and Workfront help organize and streamline your tasks, making it easier to keep track of all you have to do. Creating tasks in a workflow manager allows you to remember and track them as they are completed. Also, it allows everyone involved to see progress and make comments relevant to the project. You can share documents and files, create subtasks, and collaborate in real time. Done right, you’ll never need your email again (at least for internal projects).
Social Media Management
Social media is an unruly beast, and it’s not easy to tame. Part of the problem comes from how spread out it all is; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of these platforms operate on different planes, and it can be difficult to coordinate everything the way you want to. Luckily, there are solutions for this problem, too.
For any company that plans on sending regular, consistent social media updates, at some point you’re going to want to schedule them. Being able to plan ahead and have a program to do the posting for you when the time is right is a huge load off your shoulders. No more staying up for midnight releases, no more watching the clock with your finger on the post button. Buffer is the premier tool for handling scheduling across the spectrum of social media platforms. It even has a free version, if you have budget concerns.
Specific to Twitter, TweetDeck is the perfect tool for someone who has to manage multiple Twitter accounts at the same time. Its customizable dashboard allows you to keep track of all your accounts and feeds at the same time, which can be a huge time-saver. It even has a tweet scheduling feature similar to Buffer.
Feedly is an RSS reader and newsfeed organizer, and it allows you to keep up-to-date on things that matter to you. Customize your feed, and stay current with updates from your favorite sources, without having to deal with anything you don’t need to see.
No list of marketing tools would be complete without at least a passing mention of Google’s excellent resources.
It’s hard to overstate the value of Google Analytics. With real-time information about who is visiting your site, what they’re doing there, and how well those numbers are converting, it’s a tool no marketer should be without. Also this service is free, so there’s really no excuse not to use it, and the wealth of information the analytics offers on your website’s performance is practically unmatched.
For those working the PPC side of things, Google Adwords is a must. With Google handling the lion’s share of search traffic, and with its fingers in so many pies, it can be hard to ignore the advantage of partnering with Google to get your name out there. And as you only incur cost when someone clicks on the ad, it can be a lot easier to manage costs.
There are a lot of tools out there for helping and maximizing SEO efforts. Though a good match with an SEO tool will depend largely on the needs of your company, we picked one we think is a pretty good fit for everyone.
At its core, SEMRush is a web-based tool designed to help you identify keywords and search rankings. It’s so much more than that, though. Analyze site traffic, do an SEO audit, compare your online presence and performance to your competitors, and so much more. Learn what the competition is doing well, and what you can do better. A strong tool for SEO and for PPC professionals alike, SEMRush is a must-have.
While experts agree that email can be an effective tool at bringing in and keeping customers, it’s very clear that the quality of an email campaign is the difference between converting your potential customers and turning them away. So if you’re struggling to build an email campaign that’s working for your company, we have a tool that can help.
The way Canva can make designing an image easy and painless, MailChimp can simplify designing email marketing campaigns. It offers a variety of useful templates, reporting features, and A/B testing. With MailChimp, you can know who’s opening your emails, and which emails are performing better (and why). Especially for those who are trying to craft their first email campaign, MailChimp is an excellent tool.
Here are a few tools that are more technical in nature, but are still useful even to marketers. While you may be skeptical about using them as a marketer, hear us out; you’re likely to find these tools critical to your work.
Odds are good you’re having a hard time managing all those login profiles for all those tools, apps, and social media sites. If you’re not, then odds are even better that you’re reusing login usernames and passwords (which is very bad). Rather than open yourself up to severe security problems, why not use a password manager, like 1Password or LastPass. These tools keep all your passwords in a central, secure location, and can autofill login info into most login screens. All you have to do is remember a “master password,” (so make it a good one). You can even use the program to generate secure passwords, so you never have to worry about repeating or forgetting a password ever again.
Your website’s security is a big part of your reputation. What you may not know is that even if you host your website over HTTPS, you’re still at risk from cyber threats like forged certificates, man-in-the-middle attacks, and more. If you want to keep the trust of your audience and your customers, you need to be sure that your website is secure. With a free security risk assessment tool, you can find where your website might be in trouble, and how to fix it.
Our work need not be unmanageable. With the right tools, we can make the most of our work day, conquer the to-do list, and get the job done right.