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.

Product Launch Essentials for Start-Ups & Small Business

If your a start-up, small business, or a one-man show, you may not have an enormous budget to launch a product like say Microsoft or Apple. Never spend more than what you can afford to lose or gain a new customer. Below are few essentials for a successful product launch with limited budget:

  • Social Media. Set up a refresh of your Facebook page, LinkedIn & Instagram company page. Send out Twitter product launch tweets (schedule tweets 24 hours before launch date), create a LinkedIn group, create a webinar (webinars are huge right now, and they are the easiest way to connect with your audience). If your in retail, use Groupon. If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare or Gowalla. In addition to a review site, Yelp also offers “check-in” offers and “deals” that are similar to what Groupon & Living Social offers. Use these services to reach out to new, potential customers.
  • Website refresh. Create new product-specific landing pages, feature photos (.png’s), blog content, online collateral. Adjust and enhance your website meta tags/keywords to reflect new product information.
  • Review copies. Reach out to influential bloggers + online publications. Send them copies 1-2 weeks before launch with an embargo date. Make sure you have some type of “blogger relations” program at least 6 months before launch. Relationship building with bloggers is key. Get to know them, comment on their blogs, reach out to them and introduce yourself.
  • PPC campaign. Stick to one advertising platform like Google Ads, Amazon, or Facebook ads.
  • E-mail marketing. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. Use Constant Contact software and automate your email campaigns.
  • Press Release. If you have some budget, use Business Wire. A cheaper alternative is PR Newswire. These PR distribution companies now are fully automated and support Social Media + mobile (iPad, smartphone) tools.
  • Work your ass off. Rather then using a ton of money, use your time, energy and creativity!

Its crucial to measure your results after your launch. Go back and re-double efforts on which of the above techniques are working and abandon the ones that are not working.

This Symbol Will Increase Your Opt-In Subscribers

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Are you having trouble adding new subscribers to your opt-in newsletter/email list? Is your opt-in page design similar to that of your optimized landing page? By adding this simple lock icon below, your conversion rates will increase. This is basic opt-in marketing 101. Let me explain.

First, when someone signs up to receive your emails or newsletter, what do you think they want to know? They want to know how you will protect their email address from others and they want to know how you will guard their personal info . A “lock” is a symbol of trust, credibility, and security. This simple symbol instills confidence. This is a differentiation between spam and a credible request. It’s also important that you include 1 or 2 sentences about your privacy policy near this “lock” symbol. There have been several surveys that have captured 70% of users will abandon opt-in marketing campaigns because there is an issue of trust. Its the same with an e-commerce shopping cart. A recent poll of online shoppers by the National Cyber security Alliance (NCSA) found that when they abandoned a shopping cart, 63 percent of the time it was due to concerns about the lack of a security symbol.

When designing any opt-in marketing email campaign, make sure you back it up with a lock symbol.  Also, make sure your landing page is in a secure environment when visitors fill out their personal information online forms (https on top of the SSL/TLS). Google confirmed in 2014 that HTTPS is now a ranking signal. Also, if your site doesn’t have SSL certificates and is on HTTPS, then now would a good time to update.

Product (or Services) Launch Essentials for Start-Ups, Retail, Brick and Mortar

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  • Social Media. Set up a refresh of your Facebook page, send out product launch tweets (schedule tweets 24 hours a day), create a LinkedIn group, create a webinar (webinars are huge right now, and they are the easiest way to connect with your audience). If your in retail, use Groupon. If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare. Make sure your business is already discoverable on geolocation apps.
  • Website refresh. Create new product-specific landing pages, feature photos (.png’s), blog content, online collateral. Adjust and enhance your website meta tags/keywords to reflect new product information. Dont forget your social sharing buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) on all website content.
  • Review copies (product launches). Reach out to influential bloggers + online publications. Send them copies 1-2 weeks before launch with an embargo date. Make sure you have some type of “blogger relations” program at least 6 months before launch. Relationship building with bloggers is key. Get to know them, comment on their blogs, reach out to them and introduce yourself way before your launch.
  • PPC campaign. Stick to one advertising platform like Google Ads, Amazon local advertising, or Facebook ads.
  • E-mail marketing. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. Use email software such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, ExactTarget, Emma Mail, AWeber, or InfusionSoft.
  • Press Release. If you have budget, use Business Wire. A cheaper alternative is PR Newswire. These PR distribution companies now are fully automated and support Social Media + mobile (iPad, smartphone) tools like analytics.
  • Work your ass off. Rather then using a ton of money, use time, energy and creativity.

After launch its crucial to measure your results. Go back and re-double efforts on which of the above techniques are working and abandon the ones that are not working.

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.