Digital marketing is about taking advantage of smart and innovative tools that were created to help give your business an edge when it comes to finding leads. The more you know about how many creative tools there are out there, just waiting to be utilized, the better off you’re going to be.
But make no mistake about it: don’t assume that successful digital marketing is all about new devices, apps and websites. Digital marketing is still about one thing above all else: your customers.
Technology for its own sake won’t work if you don’t truly understand your audience and who you’re trying to teach. These tools should be used to reinforce a very strong message that you want to communicate to your audience. Your focus should be on how your customers will respond to your social media posts, new website landing pages, blogs or emails, and whether each one provides them with value.
But if you do focus on the customer and understand what they want to see and learn from you, there are digital marketing tools that will enhance your efforts and help you expand your audience and maintain a base of loyal customers.
So here are 10 digital marketing tools that have been proven to help the marketers who start using them.
1. Sprout Social
If you’re using social media accounts to reach your audience, there’s one popular site called Sprout Social that offers social media management, advocacy and analytics software for businesses.
This site lets you communicate more effectively with customers on social channels, employing social media management tools that provide you with faster communication tools by allowing you to monitor, respond, and collaborate more quickly.
For example, Sprout Social will collect social mentions from different networks, putting them in one place, and making it easier for you to manage your responses when your account has been mentioned or when you receive follower comments. Sprout also allows you to schedule your content across platforms and add analytics.
2. Google Analytics
This is a vital tool to analyze how your website is performing, and not surprisingly, it’s among the most popular analytics platforms available today. Google Analytics provides some amazing insights into your users, including how they found you, what they did on your site after they got there, how much time they spent there, even your conversion flow.
If you want a better understanding of your users and what works (and doesn’t work) on your website, this is not only a great tool, but impressively, a free one.
Any business that posts blogs on their website wants to be sure that they don’t simply sit out there in cyberspace, but that people actually find them. SEMRush can help you get those results.
If you know the long-tail keywords to use in your content, SEMRush is an excellent keyword analytics tool. By putting in the keywords you plan to use, this site will show you the organic and paid metrics that apply to it.
You can also use SEMRush to review organic search rankings for your keywords and see what competitors have done.
Buzzstream is an effective tool for finding influencers. While browsing the web you can add new bloggers, websites, and social profiles to your database.
This is a highly effective platform for doing research, and you can track active contact.
5. Mail Chimp
While it can sound old school at times, email is still a highly effective way to do your digital marketing and has been shown to be one of the most effective marketing channels when it comes to your ROI.
MailChimp remains one of the titans in the field of email marketing.
MailChimp is also useful for small businesses that are new to email marketing and could use an introduction.
MailChimp provides users with the ability to create emails from templates. It also gives them the tools to customize visuals and text with easy to use drag and drop tools.
6. Facebook Insights
Anyone who is an admin on your page can use this tool to see how followers are responding to your Facebook Fan Page, then track the number of active users you have. This is an ideal way to better understand how your page is performing.
For example, Facebook Insights lets you determine the best time of day to post, or the best day of the week, and what kind of content has been the most popular.
Facebook Insights is also constantly being updated so you can track the development of your page. You’ll also be able to develop a good sense of the demographics of page visitors and followers. This is valuable audience data.
“Connect the Dots with One Powerful Solution” is the theme for Hotjar, which allows marketers to gain insights into how users are behaving on your website.
That includes heatmapping — heatmaps are a great way to understand what users want and care about, and what they do while they’re on your site — and recordings of user interactions with your site.
Through those recordings, you can observe the moments in the browsing process when users get frustrated and abandon their search and leave.
It also shows you the content that they spend the most time with. Hotjar also allows you to pose questions to users and get direct answers about how they’re interacting with your site.
Hotjar gives you insights into how your site can be optimized in the future.
If you’re doing paid advertising, a good option is Programmatic advertising. It’s the use of software to automate your media purchase, so your ads get displayed automatically, based on data.
Programmatic media buying solutions let you cut down on the amount of time you spend searching for the right networks to advertise on. A good tool for this is ChoiceStream, which can process a lot of data from your audience.
Armed with that data, ChoiceStream then uses it to target ads to people it knows are going to be a good fit for you and your brand.
Your ads then become more relevant to the people you’re targeting.
Display Retargeting Tools are increasingly popular today, particularly retargeting ads that follow web users from one site to the next. Retargeting is an increasingly popular tool for drawing customers back to your site to make a purchase.
A good site to use for this is AdRoll, which provides you with access to more than 500 ad exchanges, including most of the major social media networks.
Marketers who have used AdRoll in the past have reported as much as a 265 percent lift in sales.
Not surprisingly, marketers are looking for an edge to cut through all that online traffic, and as a result, social media management tools have become common ways to improve engagement.
One useful engagement marketing tool is Wyng, which helps transform the way brands can engage and convert mobile and social consumers.
They have a built-in analytics dashboard that monitors how each campaign is performing, and they help boost engagement through hashtag campaigns, contests, referral programs and more.
These are just a few of the tools easily at your disposal for boosting your digital marketing efforts, and there are certainly far more available.
How successfully these tools can be used depends on how much time and money you put into it.
And, until someone invents one tool designed to solve every one of your problems by pushing one button, it’s a smart idea to start experimenting with some of these online platforms, and see which ones work best for your brand.