By Ty Collins
Marketing demands that you not only reach customers all day, every day, but effectively hold their attention too. We'd be lost without handy online marketing tools to help us tackle every part of the process. Here's a list of our favorite online marketing tools.
Image source: Zendesk
Customers are increasingly going online to reach out to brands with their inquiries and complaints—and you need to be there consistently to help them. Zendesk provides a comprehensive solution for reaching out to people wherever they are at that time.
Conversations on Zendesk can flow seamlessly across channels, as its ticketing system allows you to respond to phone calls, emails, chat, and social media communications all in one place. This means no time is wasted keeping up with different threads, and you have more energy for helping the customer.
Image source: Calendly
Even when you're responding to messages, you’ll often need to set up a meeting with a potential client. This can be time-consuming with back-and-forth emails, and you don’t want to lose the interest of your lead along the way.
We're going to shout about Calendly in our lineup of online marketing tools. Our application helps you turn visitors into scheduled meetings by engaging in real time to immediately send a link to your leads. Include your Calendly link in emails or embed it on your site with a clear call to action (CTA). From there, your leads pick a time, and the event is added to your calendar.
Calendly works with Google, Outlook, Office 365, or iCloud calendar, so you'll never end up double-booked.
It's old-fashioned, but it works—email still generates $38 of revenue for every $1 spent. It makes sense that HubSpot recently released an email marketing tool to add to its well-established customer relationship management and inbound marketing software.
Access the free plan and you'll get stored contact records, ready-made templates, a drag-and-drop email editor, and up to 2,000 email sends every month.
It integrates with all other HubSpot products, as well as hundreds of other marketing tools.
Mailchimp impresses with how much functionality it packs into its product. It connects marketing channels, analyzes audience data, and provides insights, all from one place.
And it's not only about creating emails—you can design social ads, landing pages, postcards, and more.
You can create a custom website using a domain that Mailchimp provides, then use the built-in marketing tools to launch it with intent. One of the product's best features is its sliding pricing scale—the smaller your email list, the less you'll pay every month.
Affiliate marketing is most effective when it has access to a massive database of content provided by publishers. Sovrn //Commerce works in the background in real time, scanning and adding links to the relevant keywords it finds. It then transforms ordinary product links into monetized URLs, earning you revenue without you having to change a thing.
As a bonus, Sovrn //Commerce will automatically reroute existing product links to the exact same product, but with the retailer that pays you the most commission for each click. Driving affiliate sales never came so easy.
Organic social media
Woobox is a social engagement platform that focuses on interactive content. It works for you across social media campaigns, allowing you to easily pick contest winners from comments on Instagram or Facebook posts—either at random or targeted for a hashtag.
It'll also help on your landing pages by running giveaways, photo/video contests, polls, coupons, quizzes, and more.
With a platform that has a built-in analytics dashboard, Woobox takes the hard work out of running online contests or giveaways.
Image source: Sprout Social
Organic social media
Sprout Social enables you to build and grow stronger relationships across social media. It recognizes that consumer expectations around transparency, authenticity, and brand connection all change over time.
It'll provide you with tools focused on understanding and reaching your audience, engaging your community, and measuring your performance. With these means, you can explore the most effective ways to engage with prospective customers. And with purposeful relationship building comes an inevitable improvement to your bottom line.
Paid social media
Facebook's Power Editor is perfect for creating brand-new ad campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. You can edit your budget, audience, and placement options, including tweaking multiple ads in bulk.
Manage when and where your campaigns will run, and track how well they perform. Power Editor's reporting tools can help you see if your ads are converting as expected. By observing trends over time, you can find the areas to adjust that will improve your campaign's performance.
Power Editor is designed for users of any experience level, and it doesn't ask for a third-party fee to create and manage your ads.
Paid social media
Twitter's tool offers more than 20 product options to showcase your content and media in the best format to achieve your end goals.
It allows you to run objective-based campaigns to build awareness, drive consideration, or deliver conversions. You can track your engagements and cost-per-result against different campaign objectives to improve your performance moving forward.
A real strength of Twitter's offering is conversation targeting. Whenever someone tweets certain preset keywords out or engages with a tweet containing those keywords, they'll be targeted for your ad campaign.
A lineup of the best online marketing tools wouldn’t be complete unless we looked at how to create the most effective content.
Wistia encourages the production of long-form video series for building brand authority. Its software enables marketing professionals to take this approach because it provides video marketing tools to help find, grow, and engage a community of brand advocates.
Advanced video technology provides a stunning, fast, and captivating viewing experience for your audience. Gain insights via video heatmaps or play rates. Grow your audience using search engine optimization (SEO) and tools for creating smarter ads on search and social. And add a custom CTA to the end of each video you produce, making it easier to direct viewers to specific content.
Canva is a free, browser-based design tool you can use to create branded visuals in a variety of formats, including presentations, videos, social media posts, reports, posters, flyers, or cards.
You can either work with existing photos from your archives or create your image entirely from scratch. Choosing from the wide range of templates, you can also preset colors and fonts to create a consistent brand identity across all of your materials.
Then, simply share your content on your blogs, social media, and other channels.
Image source: Visually
Visually had the ingenious idea of pairing up those who need content with those who can create it. These creators-for-hire include web designers, graphic designers, social media gurus, developers, content planners, and video makers.
Visually charges a flat rate for each type of project, which can include infographics, ebooks, presentations, and interactive microsites.
If you'd rather not handle your content creation alone, why not outsource it to professionals?
Content curation comes in handy when you don't have the time to create something unique every time you put a piece of content out there. And let's be honest: Most of us fall into that category.
Kapost looks at every step of your content marketing cycle. It aims to analyze your strategic content gaps and help you fill them. It's full of useful features and strategies, such as enterprise-grade editorial calendars, implementation success roadmaps, and real-time campaign plans.
Instead of going it alone, Kapost will continually plan, produce, distribute, and analyze structured content for you.
Any marketer knows that small changes to your website can make a big difference in terms of how many people convert. The change can be as simple as adjusting the color of a CTA button or reordering the navigation bar.
Oracle Maxymiser is an enterprise-level software solution. It'll test every aspect of your site you can imagine and run different tests simultaneously.
And by offering a seamless switch between visual editing and code, Oracle Maxymiser enables both technical and non-technical user input. You can access accurate data insights that will allow you to segment and target audiences more effectively.
Taking an entirely different approach, Hotjar positions itself as a brand disruptor. Traditional web analytics tools help you analyze traffic, but Hotjar doesn't want you drowning in numbers.
Instead, it provides a real-time visual record of your visitors' actions and behaviors on-site. With an interactive heatmap, you can play session video recordings back to see exactly where you lose click-throughs on your site.
Marketers can track customer satisfaction. Product managers can witness how people are really using their products. And UX designers can analyze firsthand user behavior.
Woopra is specifically tailored for e-commerce businesses whose needs are a little different from other sites.
It provides analytics reports to tell you all about your customers' journeys, trends, retention, segmentation, and much more. The aim is to reduce cart abandonment by analyzing each step of the site's checkout process.
You can also view individual user profiles, including contact details and every action they’ve taken. This information will empower you to take real-time action—for instance, with automated interactions that send emails or update Salesforce fields.
It's vital to keep your finger on the pulse of who your website audience is and how they're interacting with your pages.
Google Analytics will give you insight that only Google can, with advanced analytics on who your visitors are and how they travel through your site. You're encouraged to ask for all sorts of metrics in Google Analytics' search bar, such as “week over week growth of sessions” or “top countries by users.” It's easy to get carried away in this rich and easily accessible source of user data.
Gain advanced insights into the behavior of users and how successfully different channels feed into your website. And it's all available for free.
SEO remains something of a guessing game for most of us. Yet a strong SEO strategy can make such a difference to the exposure a brand receives.
Screaming Frog is a tool that quickly crawls website URLs, extracting the data it finds and auditing it for common SEO issues.
It will help you find broken links, plus exact and near-duplicate content. It can create site architecture visualizations, audit your redirects, evaluate page titles and metadata, and so much more.
The Semrush platform is designed to help you track and improve your search rankings.
Semrush boasts an inordinate number of built-in digital marketing tools, alongside simple visualizations of workflows to help you grow organic traffic. Run technical audits, uncover millions of keywords (including local), and monitor fluctuations in ranking.
However, the platform stands out in a sea of SEO tools because you can use it to effectively track your competitors. As you can enter any URL and receive comprehensive data in return, you can effectively conduct a full analysis of any website.
You may have noticed the ads that appear as soon as you've left an online store, advertising the very same site, have increased in frequency. Retargeting is an extremely useful marketing tactic for generating leads instead of bounced traffic.
The AdRoll platform utilizes 10 years of data and machine learning. This provides shopper insights that help you identify and attract the people most likely to become your ideal customers.
AdRoll's IntentMap outlines 1.2 billion shopper profiles around the world, and its platform grants access to more than 500 ad exchanges, including most of the major social media networks.
Programmatic advertising involves using data to automate which ads are purchased and displayed to the consumer. For the advertiser, this strategy reduces the time spent finding the best networks to advertise on.
Simpli.fi chooses not to rely on premade audience segments to categorize data. Instead, it works from unstructured data, which allows you to see exactly who you're targeting and produce individually relevant advertising for them.
This transparency also enables advertisers to see exactly how much of their investment goes into each keyword, domain, media, data, and platform cost.
This wasn’t nearly enough space to list all of the effective and impressive digital marketing tools out there. But which tools are your favorites? And are there any new names from this list you’re now going to try?
Ty is the head of digital acquisition and content at Calendly.
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