Despite a plethora of physiological similarities that we share with other life forms, one of the things that make us stand out is the advanced tool use. It all started with sticks and stones, to where it’s now building machines that do work we’re physically incapable of. This is, of course, an oversimplification, as the sheer amount of tools that allow us to affect and manipulate various aspects of, say, virtual reality, is truly mind-boggling. In an attempt to help you find your way around, I’ve listed a number of marketing tools designed to improve your overall performance. Go ahead and take a look.
Regardless of whether you’re a one-man marketing department at a startup, or work as a part of a corporate team, using the right marketing tools can make a real difference.
As you might have already figured out, the level of marketing automation is growing (these damn robots are taking all of our jobs!). Thus, young pups and old dogs alike can learn some new tricks from this post, to boost their efficiency, surprise the boss and generally do their jobs better.
I’ve divided the marketing tools that I want to draw your attention to into several groups. Obviously, there’s a lot more to marketing than these areas, but I thought they’re universal enough and apply to any industry out there. No matter what you’re advertising during your daywork, you’re likely to move around in one or more of these fields.
Marketing tools to facilitate workflow and collaboration.
JIRA – The self proclaimed “#1 software development tool used by agile teams”. Use it to plan, track and release software, as well as to improve performance thanks to reports. You can enhance JIRA with add-ons or integrate it with tools you already use.
Trello – This is a great way to organize things, in general. Trello employs boards and cards to manage projects in a visual way. Kind of like a pinboard on steroids, this might be a great way to start if you’re a small business, or haven’t yet used a project management platform before.
Harvest – Everybody knows time is money. Harvest lets you track time across multiple devices, adding in invoicing option and expense tracking, so that you stay on top of your finances.
Todoist – Have you ever noticed that simply drawing up a to-do list helps you get things done? This is a smart task manager with clean, non-distracting design, that people use to accomplish more than just business tasks.
Chatwee – A group live chat widget that can facilitate real-time communication between team members. Super easy installation, option to send and preview files and videos, as well as clean looks make it an attractive alternative to email exchanges.
Search engine optimization
Marketing tool to help you become more search engine friendly.
Moz’s Open Site Explorer – If we’re talking marketing tools, we surely have to take SEO into account. This tool helps you research the ever important backlinks, discover potentially damaging links and search for link-building opportunities.
Screaming Frog – Is a small, desktop SEO spider program available for multiple platforms. This tool allows you to quickly crawl, analyze and audit a site from an onsite SEO perspective.
Yoast – This is a neat WordPress plugin that analyzes your post content in terms of its SEO quality. Use it to improve on the keyword density, meta description, links, etc.
WordStream’s Keyword Tool – This is an excellent keyword research tool, that helps you eliminate the guesswork out of your marketing campaigns.
UberSuggest – No, it’s not a new line of business of the taxi company. UberSuggest provides you with much-needed keyword ideas. A new, decluttered site and an instructional video are available for SEO newbies.
Marketing tools to help you with your content ideas.
BuzzSumo – This might be one of my personal favorites among the marketing tools I use, so I felt like I have to give them their due shine. BuzzSumo helps you assess the social performance of your content and reach sources that shared it. It can also be used to search for content that’s performing well, based on keywords or URLs.
Feedly – Feedly helps you organize content from the sources you trust and follow in a single place. News sites, blogs, YouTube channels and more – use this web app to read, search for and share content.
Inbound.org – Is a site for marketers to keep tabs on the latest trends and stay connected. It’s a place for meaningful discussion of all-things marketing, where you can learn and share your expertise as well.
Reddit – “The front page of the Internet” where lots of things happen. Trends get started there, content pieces go viral, people provide their fresh perspective on pretty much any topic you can think of. A place to get inspired and contribute yourself. Just don’t get lost in its wacky parts.
Quora – This is a platform where people ask questions and receive quality answers, due to the site’s stringent anti-spam policy. A place to pick other’s brains, do research and get some meaty parts for your content pieces.
Writing & content creation
Marketing tools to facilitate the writing process.
Google Docs – Personally, I was a late adopter, but once I started using them, I’ve never went back to another word processor. An extra boon is the option to get other team members involved in working on a single, cloud-based document.
OneLook – A reverse dictionary which is exactly that – just type in a short description of the word you’re looking for to get a bunch of suggested terms to choose from. Kind of like Thesaurus, a must-use for any writer.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator – Struggling to overcome your writer’s block? The deadline is creeping up on you? Just need some fresh ideas? Try this fun tool to get your gears going.
Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer – One of the most interesting marketing tools on this list. The EMV engine will analyze your headline to determine its Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. The header is the most important part of your copy and you should surely strive to reach your audience on an emotional level.
Grammarly – Essentially, a writing-enhancement platform that will check your copy for misconstrued sentences, punctuation mistakes, misspellings, and other grammatical woes. Add it to your Chrome browser for free to deter Grammar Nazis for good.
Marketing tools to boost your social media presence.
Buffer – A leader among social sharing and scheduling tools, that syncs with all major social media platforms. Buffer is intended for individuals, social media teams and agencies alike.
Sprout Social – A bit of a competitor for Buffer. Use it to schedule and share content on social sites and then analyze the outcome. You can also do things like provide customer support and collaborate with other team members.
Discover.ly – Here’s another Chrome plugin that helps you to keep tabs on what’s going on in the socialverse as you browse the Internet.
Followerwonk by Moz – Twitter might be the single most important social media platform for any business. This marketing tool allows you to dig deeper into the network’s analytics to get to know your followers better, as well as pinpoint and reach out to the influencers’ in your niche.
Klout – Social media aren’t just for business entities, there’s plenty of strong personal brands out there as well. Basically, Klout measures your social influence using a number of metrics pulled from the profiles you add to your account. See how well you do and whether you improve over time.
Marketing tools to enhance the visual aspect of your content.
Death to Stock Photos – Now, this service deserves a mention just off of its name. Their promise is simple: Free photos by email every month. How could you not want that if you’re a content creator or a marketer?
morgueFile – Another shocker name right there. This is a free photo archive for illustrators, art directors and pretty much anyone else who wants to have the visual aspect of their content on lock.
Unsplash – Free, high-resolution photos is what the site offers. Scroll down their homepage and you’ll surely find something that fits your copy. No permission for commercial use needed.
Twenty20 – What makes the Twenty20 library stand out is that all the photos are taken by a community of photographers. This certainly adds real-life feel and authenticity to your text, something you’ll never achieve with regular stock photos.
Stocksy – Stocksy is a collection of royalty-free photography that covers a huge variety of themes, so that anyone will be able to find that perfect visual to go along their story, report, presentation or blog post.
Marketing tool to help you analyze your performance.
Google Analytics – A real staple when it comes to marketing tools and website analytics. Place the code snippet into your HTML to gain insights into your audience and its behavior on the site, as well as the performance of your content.
Dasheroo – This is a free business dashboard that helps you track key performance indicators and access the data from any device. What makes it even better is the ability to share the data and get the rest of your team involved.
KISSmetrics – KISSmetrics has been another household name when it comes to web analytics. It is a solution focused on providing a better understanding of your website visitors, so that you can improve the ways in which you engage these people.
Clicky – This tool provides real-time, detailed web analytics to help you monitor, analyze, and react to changes in traffic on the go.
Raven – Here’s an actual suite of marketing tools to help you with reports, SEO audits, keywords, social media and more. This would be an excellent add-on for any agency trying to generate that extra value for their customers.
Marketing tools to help you track time and increase productivity.
Time Doctor – Accurate time tracking and time management software. Time Doctor provides you with useful analytics of your workday. Combine this with its integration with the popular project management tools out there, it’s a powerful tool for productivity.
Toggl – Track your billable time with just one click. This is a simple online timer with a really useful timesheet calculator to let you know how much time you worked.
TimeCamp – If you prefer automatic time tracking, then TimeCamp is for you. It also tracks the applications you used and websites you visited. And, it helps you understand how you spent your time.
ActivTrak – This tool is ideal if you are on a tight budget. It is a free employee monitoring tool that tracks web and application activity by installing an agent to the devices you wish to monitor. It helps you see who is doing what and for how long.
TSheets – Where Tsheets stands out is in its GPS location tracking that gives you details of your employees on the go. This is in addition to its key features which are time tracking and employee scheduling.
Final word on marketing tools
There you have it! A rather comprehensive list of marketing tools for you to chew on. Some of them you may be already familiar with, others might be new to you. The bottom line is that all of them are great and will help you turn your efforts up a notch.
No matter how good of a marketer you think you are, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re trying to take that next step in your career, as well as improve your company’s business performance, marketing tools are definitely a way to go.
Don’t try to play hero ball by diving head-first into 10 of them. Start will 2-3 that support and enhance the areas you already feel comfortable in and take it from there. Good luck!
PS. As we all know, some people have difficulties using Google and tend to ask silly questions. You might want to educate them using this fun tool. Disclaimer: you probably shouldn’t use it on your customers, though.