By Kim Jarrett
Marketing technology tools are important as professionals juggle a long list of tasks every day. Remember when Facebook was the only social media tool in the box? Now social media marketers work with Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and many others. Marketing professionals who work with an agency or small company often find themselves in charge of blogging and email marketing, as well. And don’t forget all the marketing efforts must be analyzed to see what is working and what you may need to tweak.
Thankfully, marketing technology is continuing to introduce new tools to help marketers and business owners use their time wisely. No, an app or program has not been invented that will stop you from getting too caught up in Facebook drama when all you really wanted to do was post a picture. While marketers do many things, let’s look at just five key tasks and two tools that help with productivity.
Planning Your Marketing Efforts with Marketing Technology
How many times have you heard the Benjamin Franklin quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” or a variation of it? This is true when it comes to marketing. Technology has moved us beyond large dry-erase boards. You can find a lot of free tools online to help you, or you can sign up for a service like CoSchedule or Smart Sheet.
CoSchedule’s platform includes editorial calendars for blogs and social media as well as ways to manage projects. You can try it out for free to see if it works for you.
Smart Sheet expands beyond marketing and offers project management and planning to a variety of industries. For marketers, the platform has tools for campaign, event, PR and website management.
Researchers say we spend at least 57 minutes a day just on Facebook, so it’s a no-brainer that social media marketing is important to businesses of all sizes. But if you are posting across several sites, it’s very time-consuming.
Hootsuite began in 2008 as a way to manage multiple Twitter accounts and within a year added Facebook and LinkedIn. Today you can also manage multiple accounts on Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus and WordPress. Hootsuite offers a free account to those who just want to manage three social media accounts.
Sprout Social entered the social media management arena in 2010. Like Hootsuite, you can manage multiple social media accounts. You can try it for free for 30 days.
If you want to add some creative memes or artwork to your site, Canva will help you create them. The site has some great design tools that even beginners can use.
A report from technology marketing firm Radicati Group says that 3.7 billion people worldwide will use email. But not all of those people are your customer, so you need a plan to reach them effectively. And you can’t send an email to every individual.
MailChimp not only automates emails, but it also measures their effectiveness. The platform also works with Facebook and Instagram to find new customers. You can use their free service or upgrade for more options.
Litmus offers many of the same features and a tool that tests spam features. You can try the service for free for seven days.
Before the Internet, companies had few forums to tell their story. You could send a press release to the media and hope to get a call for an interview or at least see it published. Advertising in the media was another option, but even then, it was costly. You also had the option of other alternatives like direct mail, billboards or other offline marketing opportunities, which could be very costly.
A blog allows you to tell your story unfiltered. You don’t have to be a writer. You can hire a writer or post other types of content. If you don’t know how to start or maintain a blog, several tools will keep you productive and on task.
WordPress is a one-stop shop for the beginning blogger. You purchase your domain name and pick a design from the company’s many templates.
So, you have the blog, what do you write? HubSpot offers many free tools to help marketers be more productive in their daily activities. Their Big Ideas Generator targets bloggers who just can’t figure out what to write. All you do is type in nouns related to your industry, and you will receive several ideas.
Analyzing Your Efforts
You have a plan, you are working on it every day, but is anybody paying attention? While you should consider your audience when strategizing your marketing, you need to make sure you are getting the results you want such as product sales or affiliate clicks.
Google Analytics is the gold standard for measuring website traffic. But what if you want to know how all of your content is performing? Cyfe is used by ABC, Groupon, and AT&T according to the company’s website to monitor all marketing including social media and website traffic. Businesses can install the dashboard for free or upgrade to a premium account.
HubSpot Analytics reviews data from blogs, social media, email, landing pages and more to guide marketers to what is working best for their business or industry. HubSpot provides training and support.
Technology is improving daily, and many of the tools listed will change. You have to find what is best for your schedule and your marketing plan. If you need help managing your marketing technology, contact Manage My MarTech today!
About the Author:
Kim Jarrett is a native of Georgia with more than 25 years of experience in journalism, content writing, and social media management. She has won awards from the Georgia Press Association and won Gabby awards from the Georgia Association of Broadcasting in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 in several categories including best use of digital media and best newscast. A native of Georgia, she received her B.A. in communications from Shorter University.