Being successful in marketing means that you need to be instantly aware of any changes in the mood of your audience, the behavior of your competitors, the exact state of your campaigns and the way they are interacting with each other. To top it all off, you also have to be able to immediately respond to these changes.
Even though the number of threads you have to keep following is intimidating, it has been gradually growing to this point. This means that we have had plenty of time to adapt by creating scripts, extensions, tools and platforms which improve the efficiency of tasks, ranging from something as simple as copying URLs to something as complex as SEO campaign monitoring.
Relying on tools can sometimes cost you some accuracy, but it allows you to keep a close eye on all facets of your marketing efforts. Without these specialized utilities, you would have to delegate individual segments to employees who would need coordinating, and possibly never, even as a collective, reach the understanding of the broader picture.
What follows is a starter list, one that will help you explore some of the benchmark software dealing with the majority of the needs of an average marketer.
A lot of the time, tools that might fit in this category could also qualify as market research tools. By performing basic SEO research, you cannot help but be exposed to invaluable information on the market you are catering to. Sure, if you want to check the page load speed of a particular site, you’ll need an SEO tool, but you could also use one to find out about the mood of your target audience.
It would be a disservice to them to still refer to this utility as a backlink checker. While that is how they started, they’ve made good use of the huge index they’ve been building for ages. Aside from using that abundance of data to conduct amazingly useful case studies, they’ve been using it to both recognize what the marketing community needed, and to provide it.
Aside from being able to provide you with the backlink portfolio of your competitors, along with relevant metrics (number of referring domains, domain rating of linking pages, anchors usage percentages), Ahrefs also allows you to do a number of other things. This includes keyword analysis, content research, PPC competitor research, etc. Regardless of your specialization, we recommend you take this tool for a ride. Their trial allows you to do this without making a full commitment.
If you would benefit from being able to train a crawler of your own, one that would seek out particular elements of websites (meta descriptions, featured images, links containing a string you can specify), and then allow you to easily export all that data, this utility is perfect for you. It’s a desktop app, which also offers a free trial, but one not allowing you to really examine its full potential.
Although it’s an essential part of any marketing strategy, a lot of agencies shy away from this marketing channel. The reason for this is that, when done manually, staying on top of everything is incredibly demanding. Luckily, there’s a multitude of social media monitoring toolsthat enable you to track and respond to any changes that demand your attention.
Marketed as a social media marketing and management dashboard, Hootsuite allows you to create a digest set of information you want to be presented with from all the major social media platforms. You can set which events should be tracked and reported on, allowing you to respond to everything that might require your attention. Aside from monitoring, you can also use this tool to schedule posts on the tracked platforms, and gain precious insight through detailed metrics analysis.
We mentioned that Hootsuite can schedule posts, so you don’t have to be available 24/7. If you have gotten comfortable with this kind of automation, you’ll be thrilled to learn that you can also avoid composing those posts. While not a strategy that we would recommend to someone with only one brand to think about, if you are in charge of several clients who need their social media accounts to be updated regularly, you might let Quu take care of some of those posts. Namely, by connecting Quu to your social media scheduling tool of choice, you are getting a service which feeds you popular content of the type you’ve specified, which is then automatically queued for posting.
There are one-way forms of marketing, where you are communicating something to your users, but not really being in the position to get their feedback. TV advertisements are one example. However, in digital, you have both the privilege and the duty of staying responsive to your customers.
You are getting visitors to your site, but they are not converting because they don’t understand a particular procedure, and have no way to conveniently ask you? You want to set up a newsletter, but have no way to organize your subscribers and to schedule update emails based on the duration of their subscription? If this is not yet a problem for you, it is likely to become one as soon as your customer base grows. Examine Intercom’s features, and see if you might want to give this platform a try.
With just about every conceivable market being faced with a pronounced surplus of supply in relation to the existing demand, keeping track of every single facet of your marketing efforts is at the same time obligatory, and extremely demanding.
You need to keep observing your competitors, your audience, the changes in your varied campaigns, and a multitude of other, less predictable occurrences. At the same time, you have to remain active on all channels you are observing - dissipate user concerns, answer their questions, and keep their attention when everything is going well.
Synchronizing these efforts is impossible without an adequate set of tools, catering to each of your individual needs, while also allowing for the centralization of your efforts for the sake of comprehensiveness.
Written by Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade - and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing, and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle, or catch up with him on Twitter.
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