Today’s marketers juggle a wide variety of different responsibilities and projects: producing emails and landing pages, maintaining a presence on social media (have you checked your Klout score today?), event marketing, blogging, and focusing on how your next call-to-action can lead a prospect further down the conversion funnel. Not only do we have to stay on top of projects for our clients, we must be thorough in our own company’s marketing strategy as well.
To help us get through our day-to-day responsibilities, let’s not forget about these online tools every marketer needs to help make our job more manageable and successful.
1. Social Media Management Software (SMMS)
The Gods of simplicity were not messing around when they blessed marketers with SMMS. This tool allows you to connect multiple social media channels to a single dashboard and pre-schedule posts, monitor, or analyze online conversations from just about every social media account you need to maintain a presence on. In short, the same post can be sent to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with just one click. You can also monitor all inbound and outbound conversations and track analytics to document all engagement and clicks per post.
Whether you manage multiple social accounts for your clients or your own company’s accounts, this software makes it so easy to be organized; you’ll feel like your social media presence and engagement is more on point than The Kardashians.
2. Marketing Automation System
A marketing automation system allows you to follow a prospect’s “top of the funnel” activities, such as when they visit your website, fill out a form, or open and click in an email. The most common use of this software is to schedule and track marketing campaigns, specifically email or drip campaigns. The more you learn about a prospect from tracked activity and analytics, you have the ability to segment them into the appropriate mailing lists for future campaigns based on their interests. Overall, marketing automation turns raw leads into marketing qualified leads. From there, enters your CRM software, catering to your “bottom of the funnel” leads, turning a qualified sales lead into an official customer!
3. Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)
CRM Software is where sales and marketing come hand-in-hand with each other. Most marketing automation solutions allow you to link your data with CRM software, or have already developed or acquired a marketing automation system. This way, all of your prospects’ activity and history is accessible through one solution. Once a qualified sales lead becomes a closed deal and a customer, CRM’s track all of your customer records, purchases, or interactions to maintain an active relationship with that client. In short, marketing and sales teams leverage CRM software to increase sales and customer satisfaction.
If you’re indecisive on whether your company needs CRM software or a marketing automation system, look into your sales funnel and decide where you have the biggest challenges. Many small businesses start out focusing on the bottom of the funnel and winning deals. Then later, integrate a marketing automation system with your CRM to generate new leads and increase your customer base.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is when marketers generate unpaid traffic to their website from “organic” or “natural” search results on search engines. All major search engines have primary search results, where web pages and other content is listed and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to a specific user, when they search specific content. In the world of online marketing, there’s a vast variety of best practices to improve SEO, as well as many myths and outdated tricks as search engines become increasingly sophisticated. A search engine friendly site development, link building, and keywords all play a part in improving a websites SERP (search engine results page).
Put simply, SEO helps search engine robots understand web pages the way humans can, what each web page is about, and how it may be useful for users.
5. Project Management and Organizational Software
Before using project management and organizational software, I was an old school to-do list fanatic (or… I actually used my CRAP list). After becoming a Sparksight employee, I was introduced to Asana and my life was never the same again. This type of software is extremely helpful in “enabling teamwork without email”. The status of every project is visible, you can create your own personal tasks and assign tasks to others, make due dates, and effectively work as a team with your entire company. Every morning after I grab my coffee, the first thing I do is open up Asana to see the things I need to get done for the day and the status of each project. If I want to ask our designer Matt about creating a funnel icon for my blog (beautifully showcased above) I can check and see what kind of work load he has in Asana before I ask. Aka if today is the right day to annoy him or not.
There are many applications like Asana to help keep you and your entire team productive, organized, and communicate effectively. Depending on your budget and company size, I would recommend the following: Mavenlink, Basecamp
So there you have it! Leveraging these tools is a great way to help you manage your time and keep your marketing strategy going in the right direction. Are there any other online tools you like to use that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments section below!