There comes a point in every digital marketer's life where one must graduate from an amateur to a professional. Once you've fully grasped the foundation concepts of marketing, learned the inner workings of the best digital strategies and platforms that work for your business and figured out what metrics are applicable to determining ROI; it's time to get some weapons in your arsenal that match your sharpened marketing skills.
The marketer who fully understands the role that tools play and masters their vital functionalities will be a force to be reckoned with. While some may say that automation tools have especially made marketers lazy, and there’s some truth in that. However, those who treat the tools as a means to amplify the service and care provided to their community rather than employing a set and forget approach are those who truly excel.
Here are 7 tools that fit the bill.
Over your lifetime as a digital marketer, you've probably accumulated a significant number of programs, applications and spreadsheets that collectively tell the story of your business growth and status. Cyfe is a comprehensive all-in-one dashboard tool that allows you to monitor and analyse the information those tools provide.
It integrates with almost all the major financial, social media, search marketing and website monitoring tools such as PayPal, FreshBooks, Google Analytics, GetResponse, and the list goes on. And if you happen to be working with a tool not covered by Cyfe, or wish to visualise data on spreadsheets, you can build a custom widget.
Since Cyfe allows unlimited dashboards and widgets, you only need one account for all departments. You can also export branded PDF and CSV reports and create read-only dashboards viewable by virtually anyone. While it is used by large corporations such as AT&T, Whole Foods and Citrix, it’s just as accessible and applicable to small businesses or marketing consultants managing multiple brands.
The best thing about this robust monitoring tool is its price. Cyfe offers a free version of their tool for use by individuals, while their paid version, which only costs $19/month (or $14, if paid annually) allows for a custom logo, custom domain and unlimited users.
Oktopost brings social media monitoring and campaign management to B2B marketers in a way they've never experienced. The majority of monitoring tools on the market focus mostly on B2C marketing, putting emphasis on engagement and interactions. Oktopost, on the other hand, focuses on the main networks used for B2B marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, with special emphasis on LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
Additionally, it gives users the ability to create and manage campaigns, built around links, which is prefect for those who use a lot of landing pages and build mailing lists. Oktopost also integrates with some of the most popular tools used by B2B marketers including Google Analytics, bitly, Feed.ly, Salesforce and GoToWebinar.
One of the things users will readily notice is the minimal, easy-to-use interface Oktopost has, especially their calendar layout for showing scheduled messages – something you probably won't find anywhere else.
Oktopost subscription plans range from $9/month, for 1 user, 10 social profiles and 5 LinkedIn groups, perfect for small businesses and consultants managing their own online presence, to the $249/month for the Business plan with 5 users, 50 profiles and 150 LinkedIn groups. New users get a ‘no credit card required' 30-day free trial of any package to test out the application.
Imonomy is an advertising network that connects advertisers with publishers online and takes the concept of display advertising to the next level. Rather than displaying ads in the sidebar or via interruptive text boxes in the middle of their publishers' posts, they facilitate in-image advertising.
This is great for advertisers since their ads, shown based on their relevancy to the pages content are shown precisely where viewers tend to look when they visit any website – on images. There are also a variety of ad-types to suit different needs, for example the myFlip, which flips when someone hovers over it or the myTips, which reveals online deals for products featured in the associated image. Imonomy’s service comes at a time when banner ad blindness is a real threat to ad performance with typical click through rates below 0.2%. Their ad products are a unique alternative.
A major attraction for bloggers and other content creators is their offering of thousands of copyright-free stock images that can be used in articles and other copy. Images can get inserted by using their free plugin which links directly to their database of images. Images are great for capturing attention and publishers often spend a lot of time and money finding the right images for their posts, so this is an offer that's hard to refuse. A point that is further demonstrated by Imonomy's website which states they have over “10,000 publishers, 600 million monetised images and 20 billion impressions.”
Customer relationship management is extremely important and has been a foundation marketing principle for decades. Yet, with so many channels of communication, it's difficult to keep everyone in place and connect all the dots. That's where Cloze comes in.
Cloze is a relationship management app available on the Web and for Apple and Android devices, most suitable for solo professionals who have difficulties keeping up with all their contacts across the numerous networks we use today. It pulls in all communication and contacts from email, your phone book, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn then uses this to provide you an up-to-date view of all the ways you are connected with each contact, along with their recent activity on any of these channels.
The app's main mission is to keep you in touch with the people in your life and it does a very good job of this, by making custom lists of ‘Key People' and those you are ‘Losing Touch' with. These lists are determined by an internal algorithm which gives an assessment score based on its six relationship strength values: dormancy, frequency, responsiveness, privacy, freshness and balance.
Since the app is still in beta, it's available free online and in the app store. This means there are a few minor kinks that still need to be straightened out, yet even in the earlier stages you can tell that it's very likely there will be a price tag attached once it's officially out on the market. The app promises to be powerful for your relationship building efforts.
CrazyEgg happens to be a rather silly name for what is an extremely helpful product for website owners. This tool implements a tracking code on your website that tracks where visitors click and spend the most time on your site. While most website tracking tools show this information to you in graphs and tables, data tracked by CrazyEgg is shown to you in the form of heatmaps – images of your pages with brighter colours for more frequent clicks.
Visual reports help you to understand user behaviour a lot better than links and numbers. This can help you to make visual changes to your website to improve user experience and conversion rates. This is vital information as you work to understand visitor behaviour and their likely click flow in response to a variety of content.
While this is a sophisticated tool, you can get a 30 day free trial and the basic plan only costs $9/month to track 10 pages with up to 10,000 visits and daily reports. The most expensive plan listed on their site is $99/month for up to 100 pages with 250,000 visits with hourly reports; however, they do offer customised plans for those that need more.
Just like Imonony above, VigLink is an advertising network connecting advertisers with publishers who want to earn affiliate income, except VigLink does this through links.
They allow you to tap into their publisher network of over 300,000 well-known businesses and brands and attract 10 billion monthly views by automatically inserting a link to your product wherever it is mentioned. It also links mentions of products to the highest merchant bidder which sells that product. While many similar service providers have a history of injected spammy links into publishers’ content, Viglink has maintained a decent reputation for being relevant and using high quality links thanks to their mature linking algorithm.
By using VigLink, your brand gains exposure and gets recommended by relevant publishing influencers that already have a listening audience.
Marketing requires working with a ton of content, whether you’re into blogging or not. So you’re going to need an app that is accessible wherever you are, whether you’re online or off, to record and organise content whenever you get that bubble of inspiration. Evernote is perfect for this.
Evernote is perfect for the content curation process because of its focus on linking to tools and services that we already use to consume information. As a serious marketer it’s quite easy to find yourself with hundreds or even thousands of notes and pieces of information you’re using to plan and prepare your content marketing campaigns and other ventures you’ll be plotting. Evernote simplifies the sorting and storage of these notes and makes it a breeze to find the right info when you need it.
With these tools in your belt, you can maximise the potential of your marketing efforts and save a ton of time in the process. The best part is that none of them will break the bank so you're free to test them all out and determine which ones work best for you. Then you can truly call yourself a digital marketing pro!
I hope you enjoyed this look at tools that can help you overhaul your online marketing strategy. Do you use any of the above services? If so, please leave a comment below and give us your thoughts.