Digital Marketers today use a wide range of tools that allow them to develop, create, track, and measure the performance of marketing initiatives and campaigns.
In one recent survey, more than three-quarters of respondents—76 percent—agreed that marketing had changed more in the previous two years than in the fifty years before that. With the industry evolving at such a breakneck pace, allocating your time and resources to meet your objectives depends on using every tool at your disposal.
That being said, some tools will prove more relevant to a Digital Marketer than others, depending on which channels they are prioritizing and what the company’s marketing goals are. The tools listed below cover a spectrum of marketing functions, so whatever your goals, it’s to your advantage to get familiar with them and what they can do.
Top Tools to Boost Traffic and Conversion
SEO and SEM are the heart of the dark art of connecting to the audience you want to reach using the content they want to find. That process starts with understanding your audience and its online movements.
Google Analytics and Google Ads both offer detailed breakdowns of the traffic coming to your site (organically and through the ads you place, respectively). Together, they allow Digital Marketers to identify what’s working and what isn’t, discover new sources of traffic, determine which times of day traffic rises and falls, and much more. They’re indispensable when deconstructing the state of what’s happening now.
SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush, on the other hand, look ahead to what might happen if you were to target specific queries. Enhancing your site’s use of the keywords your audience most frequently searches is a major component in driving traffic. This typically begins with identifying which keywords to focus on—which can be a time-consuming process—and ends with the publication of the keyword-heavy content itself. In fact, almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Digital Marketers worldwide said creating relevant content was the most effective SEO tactic. Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush can help to speed up this process by exploring relevant keywords, checking backlinks to your pages, identifying related keywords based on your searches, and even analyzing your competitors’ SEO. Ahrefs’ SEO toolset is one of the best on the web, and offers most of the features you’d need to optimize your content all on one platform.
But once someone lands on your page, how do you keep them there? You could just guess. Far more effective is to tailor your landing pages for maximum stickiness. While many Digital Marketers still see building landing pages as one of their top challenges, companies that increase their number of landing pages from 10 to 15 see a 55 percent increase in leads. To help build great landing pages, simple-to-use programs like Unbounce let Digital Marketers build, customize, and test out landing pages for maximum conversion, no coding knowledge necessary.
Top Tools for Email Marketing
Access to the inboxes of your current and prospective customers is gold—which makes email marketing one of a Digital Marketer’s best options for massive return on investment. According to some reports, you can expect a return of $38 for every $1 you spend on email marketing efforts.
Given the importance of email to an overall marketing strategy, it’s vital to have an email campaign tool like MailChimp or SendGrid to send sleek, branded emails in a flash. MailChimp continues to lead the industry as one of the top email marketing tools by letting you easily create custom emails, upload, and segment your mailing lists, conduct automated A/B testing, and get a detailed breakdown of your campaigns’ impact.
For larger companies looking to incorporate a full customer relationship management (CRM) program, there are options like Salesforce and Hubspot, which incorporate email marketing features within the larger marketing and sales funnel.
Top Tools for Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a crucial component of any overarching digital marketing strategy—in many cases, that’s where the customers are. According to a report from Deloitte, when social media forms part of their buyer’s journey, customers tend to convert at a 129 percent higher rate. They’re also four times as likely to spend significantly more than those without any exposure to social media. So yes—Digital Marketers use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and all the rest. These channels are useful not only for posting native content and developing a following of your most loyal customers; they also offer opportunities for pay-per-click advertising and sponsored posts.
Managing multiple branded social channels often requires some serious juggling. Tools like Hootsuite, Later, and Buffer let you manage multiple accounts from one platform, complete with built-in analytics and moderation features. Buffer also has a Chrome extension that allows you to automatically schedule whatever website or quote you’re viewing across all your channels—Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Facebook—simply by clicking a button; the tool uploads a highlighted quote or the URL into a formatted post, taking most of the pain out of curating content.
Top Tools for Photography and Imaging
Unless your brand generates visual content, you’re going to need to source photos and illustration, animations, and videos externally. Landing pages, webpages, social media posts, newsletters, and other digital marketing assets often require stock images to make a visual impact and draw in users. While excellent free stock image sites exist—such as Unsplash or Pexels—they don’t always offer exactly what you’re looking for.
If you frequently find yourself sourcing external media, you’ll want to invest in a subscription to a stock image aggregator like Stocksy or Getty Images. Browsing a wide variety of high-resolution images and B-roll video available for just a few dollars, you’ll easily find the professional-looking visual assets you need to polish off your project.
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