Quick List of The Best Digital Marketing Weapons (Tools) in 2021

Digital Marketing tools are constantly evolving and changing. They deliver benefits to any organization willing to build up a digital marketing team. Benefits include enhanced credibility, fast and easy access, increases customer relationships, feedback and reviews are easily tracked, cost effective, and can reach an enormous mass of people in a short amount of time. The below is a short list of digital tools in a ever changing digital marketing environment.

Google Analytics. Enough said on this one. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyze your website traffic. Fundamentals of working with report data to advanced segmentation and analytics intelligence. Key for measuring and tweaking your marketing campaigns. Google keeps adding more and more functionality each year.

Google Keyword Planner. Once known as the Google Keyword Tool, Keyword Planner is a tool that every search marketer needs to familiarize themselves with and get to know inside out. It is a great way to discover new keywords to target in your campaigns, understand how searches across keywords have changed over time, see suggested bid estimates to help plan your Google Ads budget and more. You can extract valuable data about the demand and competition level of keywords you wish to target organically. The tool will also suggest similar keywords to the one in your query to give you alternative, relevant options for your keyword targeting. The Google Keyword Planner can come in handy whether you’re building your very first keyword list or looking to expand and/or switch directions in your keyword and content strategies.

SEOquake. This is a great Firefox extension. SEOquake is a free SEO extension by Semrush which helps you accelerate your SEO efforts on the fly. SEOquake provides you with key SEO metrics for a specific page, along with other useful tools such as the SEO Audit tool, the Keyword Density report, Internal/External link analysis, and even social metrics.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud. A powerful tool that lets you monitor specific keywords and phrases that are dominating conversations across the social media sphere. Marketing Cloud is also a platform for delivering relevant, personalized journeys across channels and devices — enabling marketers to deliver the right message at the right time throughout all phases of the relationship. Marketing Cloud includes integrated solutions for customer journey management, email, mobile, social, web personalization, advertising, content creation and management, and data analysis.

Traackr. Traackr is the system of record for data-driven influencer marketing that marketers use to invest in the right strategies, streamline campaigns, and scale programs. Traackr includes dynamic influencer lists, automates metrics-driven influencer mapping so you can instantly identify the right people for your projects, real-time listening, sentiment analysis, geo-targeted searches, and shows you all of your influencers’ relevant content in one place so you never miss an opportunity to reach out to them and be part of the social conversation.

TweetDeck or HootSuite. Free tool lets you simultaneously manage all your social media accounts from a single interface. Although it excels with Twitter, you can also effectively manage your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Foursquare profiles.

MailChimp. A really easy, dynamic email marketing platform. Your opt-in subscribers will be able to easily connect to social networking pages in order to share your email marketing campaigns. You’ll also be able to use social networking in conjunction with your email marketing. In one click, you’ll be able to send out an email campaign and update your social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Delicious, with your latest information. You can also see who has tweeted about or liked your business.

SurveyMonkey.  I use this one a lot in my own projects. If you have questions about your products or services and you need immediate feedback, SurveyMonkey is THE best web-based survey solution.

SEOmoz. Anything SEO oriented, use this site. Analytics for all your in-bound marketing. There are a lot of free tools and paid ones as well. I use this site and tools daily for years. This site is an incredible value-add to your digital marketing efforts! Moz builds tools that make SEO, inbound marketing, link building, and content marketing easy.

Wistia. Is video marketing part of your digital marketing strategy? If so, you may want to think about professional video hosting from a company like Wistia. Video is a great way to communicate with your subscribers, prospects and customers. Wistia provides your business with a ton of great tools that you can use to measure your video’s engagement as well as make your videos more interactive. Wistia is designed exclusively to serve companies using video on their websites for marketing, support, and sales. Essentially, Wistia is ideal for “on-site” videos.

Pardot (Salesforce). Pardot is a marketing automation solution that helps companies create meaningful connections, generate more pipeline, and empower sales to close more deals. Pardot is Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation solution. If you’re a business who sells to other businesses (or B2B), Pardot can automate your marketing activities and unite your marketing and sales departments so that they can work better together.

Website Homepage Necessities: Privacy Policy

If your website is collecting data associated with your visitors and customers on your website, a Privacy Policy is a MUST (required). Consumers have become more protective of their data, and governments continue to regulate how businesses can gather and use it. Most countries, by law, require that you have a privacy policy in place if you collect personal information from your users.

Your privacy policy should not be hidden in the legal section of your website. Your website visitors must know that it exists and thus it should be conspicuous and hard to miss. If your website uses WordPress, you can easily download a plugin and install a generator, cookie and consent solution for GDPR and ePrivacy, and configure it accordingly. A good resource is here (WordPress plugins). A good article on “Privacy Policy Generators” is here. The article covers the question: How do you create a privacy policy page for your website?

Also, If your website or app uses Google Analytics, then you need to update your Privacy Policy to meet the Google Analytics Terms of Service. Because Google Analytics uses cookies to track user behavior and cookies collect personal information, a Privacy Policy is required.

Social Media Outreach in 2021

From a product or services firm perspective: Pick two or three social media platforms and concentrate on mastering those (if resources allow). If resources are limited, concentrate on Facebook and Twitter first. Determine which serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.

First things first. Establish Trust. People naturally look to other people as a guide for their own behavior. Don’t get spammy with your posts or tweets. Post social media content that is quality and  compelling (always include an image). Encourage free exchange. Be open to change and continuous learning. Social proof (trust) typically rises exponentially, and it will become a self-perpetuating force.

Remember to establish reasonable goals once you start gaining momentum. Listen to your customers or fans (followers). Always gain feedback and adjust accordingly (iterate). Figure out what to measure when putting together goals. Example: do you measure “followers” or “likes” “retweets” or “retention” or “sales”?

Your goals should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each platform. Take a look at your outreach strategy and review the reasons your business is implementing a social media marketing outreach plan. What do you want out of your social activities? Are you trying to drive visitors to your website, your blog, via Twitter or your Facebook page? Are your competitors on social media? Focusing on your ultimate goal will guide your next steps: what you do (what other channels you will use going forward), when you do it (what schedule you will aim for? Night or Daytime according to your demographic), and what content to share. Be vigilant and always participate every day (even if you have to schedule and automate it). Social Media marketing is a slow process that will pay off dividends in the future!

The Importance of Basic Content Marketing in 2021

Besides driving traffic to your company’s website, good sticky content reinforces your brand – The brand becomes a more noticeable name online as people share your content and start commenting on it, retweeting it, and helping it to build trust. These effects “gel” over time and you will see the website traffic increase, SEO benefits (rank higher on Google) and hopefully a conversion (website funnel strategy) in the end. Strong pieces of content can help you become more visible online, both on search engines and in social media. Your social media platforms are one of the best ways to connect and share content with your target audience.

Content creation success is measured many ways including:

– Spike in visitor traffic and page views on a specific content post.
– The number of Shares, Likes, Pins, ReTweets on Social Media.
– Media mentions and stories covering your business or firm.
– Website ranking (SERPs) increase.
– Conversions. Actual product sales or new clients (example: Financial Services).

If you lack the resources for generating content, outsource to an agency or freelancer for help. The basic purpose is to create content and try to post at least 2-3 times per week. Content is scalable and you can add as needed or when more resources become available. Content Marketing is important! Without it, you’re going to struggle to attract the attention you need to collect leads and convert them into sales or clients!

Why Your Business or Service Needs To Get On Twitter NOW

Digital Press Relations Tips & Essentials

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A short, brief list of digital PR tips & essentials.

-PR blog posts and press releases views happen mostly on Mondays and Wednesdays. First thing in morning.
-Tuesdays are a bad day to issue a PR or a good story on your company’s blog….people tend to work and stay focus on Tuesdays.
-Fridays are bad. Fridays see very little traffic to content. Everyone is out to lunch on Fridays or gets in late to work.
-If you do send out a press release (wire), post it on your company blog as well = more traction.
-Ideal blog post length is between 1,000-2,000 words.
-Make your PR or story post link-worthy. Do not forget a great image (hi-res) or visual to your digital content like an Infographic.
-All Press Releases and PR campaign’s must contain complementary digital assets in order to get links. Links are symptomatic of good PR.
Twitter is a PR wet dream. Use Twitter for media relations. Busy reporters & reviewers do not answer their phones and receive countless e-mails, but they do pay attention to Twitter! Twitter is a great way to link a press release or a quality company blog post. It adds traction and traffic (value-add). Twitter can also be used to Pitch. Before any pitch has been made on Twitter to @journalist follow them for a few months. Get to know them. If you like what they are doing and reporting, retweet them or give them props! Share their stuff and links to their articles. If @journalist needs info or asks for help, reach out immediately and make it your priority. Help them out, and they will help you out. It goes both ways. Let the reporter know you’ve been driving traffic to their story. Keep the pitch respectful and short. Example: @journalist Do you accept story pitches? @journalist I just sent you an email, take a look when you get a chance. Its a good fit for your outlet.
-Facebook. Yes, @journalist use Facebook as well. @journalist will use Facebook on their own or through their publication page. Share their stories + interact with their readers. Interact with them and become visible by liking and commenting on their posts. Establish a professional relationship.
-Build a journalist / reporter list for your niche. Need to build a good list of Press for your particular product or service? Start with research. A good shortcut is to use JustReachOut. JustReachOut is a website dedicated to finding reporters who have written about your particular product or service. Just add your company’s product category in the search box, and the engine will bring up reporters interested and have written about your industry. Connect with them and reach out.

Lastly, Monitor your analytics for referral traffic. Figure out what works, and what doesn’t.

Pinterest Strategies for Success

  1. Publish High Resolution photos of your product. The ideal image dimension is 736 pixels wide. Pinterest will display your image at it’s maximum size up to 736 pixels wide. As long as its 736 pixels wide, Pinterest will adjust the dimensions. Also, highlight customers using your product. Ask them to submit pictures. Acknowledge them and give them a discount coupon for this content.
  2. Make sure your product website is set up to be shared socially on Pinterest. Make the social sharing buttons on your content pages easy to find and use.
  3. Repinning. Repinning isn’t like “retweeting” on Twitter. You’ll want to be sure to update the caption on a repinned pin to make it your own.
  4. Make sure you “verify” your website by Pinterest! Show pinners you’re a trustworthy source. Directions and steps here.

 

How To Set Up Your Small Business on Pinterest

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First, create a business account. Start with an eye-catching profile. Start here pinterest.com/business/create

1. Verify your website (business website). 
> Go to your profile and click on the pencil in the bottom-right corner of the name box. Don’t see the pencil? Go to the menu in the upper right corner, select Settings, and go to Step 2.
2. Enter your web address in the Website field, then click Verify Website.
3. Follow the instructions on the next page. You can verify with an HTML file or a META tag.
4. Once your website’s been verified, you’ll see a checkmark next to it and will have access to your web analytics when you’re logged in

Add the Pin It button to your site. Make it easy to Pin from your website or blog. Go here business.pinterest.com/pin-it-button

Now that your set-up with a business account, below is a quick guide tips, tricks and best practices on using Pinterest. 

1. Get creative. Make your Pinterest board stand out in the crowd. Use high quality .png images. Example, If your a clothing boutique, take digital pics of all your new inventory (clothes) hanging in your store. Images sell. Your selling your store, your style, your products, your design. High quality digital pics drive customers to your store. Think about it being an online mall your walking through. Create a range of boards that showcase your store’s personality and taste, and make sure each board has enough pins to make it feel substantial. Remember that people can choose which boards they want to follow, so not every board has to appeal to everyone. Pinterest users have been more heavily female (about 65%), so keep that in mind as well.  If your customer base is mainly men, Pinterest might not be right for you just yet.
2. Make sure you have your Pin logo up on your website that will allow online traffic to click over to your Pinterest page.
3. Use rich pins to automatically include information like prices, availability, ingredients and reviews with your pins. All you need to do is add some meta tags, keywords, and #hashtags.
4. Learn and keep checking your Pinterest Analytics dashboard! Pinterest Analytics dashboard shows you which pins are most popular with pinners and which ones are driving the most traffic to your site. You can also see what boards your stuff appears on, how the pins are described and what people pin along with your stuff. All of these insights will help you make smarter choices about your merchandising, product development and pinning strategy. 
5. Motivate people to pin. The more people pin your content, the more discoverable it becomes. To encourage more pinning, make it easy to pin from your website and email marketing, and promote pinning in your social channels Like Twitter & Facebook, packaging and advertising. Push people to your Pinterest website and in turn they will visit your actual business website and store in real life. Be sure to add links to your company website and Twitter page on your Pinterest profile. You can also bring users to specific web pages by adding the URL in the pin description.
6. Pin at least once a day so your followers get fresh content in their home feeds. Just like with boards, thoughtful descriptions will make your pins more inspiring and searchable. Never Pin inappropriate material. Keep your personal Pinterest account separate from your business account. What makes a good pin description? Check out these tips: 

  • Recipes: Describe the main ingredients of the dish and how to cook it
  • Fashion: Include what kind of clothing, the designer or season to wear it
  • Travel: Tell people the local on and the kinds of things you can do there
  • DIY: Describe what it is, how you make it and what materials people need
  • Photography: Name the photographer, year, subject or publication 
  • Design: Mention the designer, medium, publication, etc

Last tip: Once you are on Pinterest, add the Pinterest follow button to your social media pages and even your printed materials. This is a good way to jump start your Pinterest presence.

Website Tracking Tools Are Crucial

Website tracking tools are crucial to any digital marketing team (small & large businesses). You have to know what is working, what isn’t, and what trends will make your site the next stop for visitors each day. 

I recommend the following two:

  • Google Analytics. The most popular analytics package available for individual site owners and FREE. GA allows you to dig down deep into your stats to see breakdowns of individual regions, states/provinces, cities and numerous other items to better identify your site visitors. The GA tool can break out data by the day, week, month, or year. Google Analytics uses clearly marked charts and graphs so that even the least tech savvy individual can feel confident with understanding their information.
  • Crazyegg. The definitive heat map visual analytic tool. After collecting at least 1,000 clicks, evaluate whether or not visitors are utilizing main navigation and calls to action, or getting distracted by errant site features. Its a visual A/B testing tool in a sense. Crazyegg is a javascript-based, add-on analytics tool that creates heat maps from website visitor data. It’s important to note that the “heat map” Crazy Egg generates is really more of a click map. Google Analytics has a similar feature but I prefer Crazyegg. Who uses Crazyegg? Ebay, Dell, Hilton, Yahoo, just to name a few. Crazy Egg starts at $9 per month and you get to track 10,000 visits.