Best digital marketing tools
Digital marketing can be a bit overwhelming at first. So many parts of it and so many things to take care of - SEO, social media, content, emailing... the list goes on. What tools should you use to make your life easier? Check out our curated listed of digital marketing tools to fit all budgets.
Most brands are unaware of what digital marketing really is - or if they are, the number of components it involves merely overwhelms them and as a result they either decide to deprioritize digital marketing or work with a very basic version of it. In this post, I’m going to walk you through some of the main aspects of digital marketing and the best digital marketing tools that you could use for each aspect.
Let’s start with the basics: What is digital marketing?
According to Hubspot, “Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.”
At first glance that definition may seem a bit too broad, but if you take a closer look and break it down into components, it should be much easier to digest.
Why you should invest in digital marketing tools
And digest we must, since there are over 560 million internet users in India - this is the most effective medium to reach your audience. Most likely, a large part of those who are interested in your brand is already online and actively using the internet every day. It’s the perfect place to reach them.
Data showing the brand chatter around “Coca-Cola” In India over the last 6 months
Moreover your digital marketing efforts online can be easily traceable. The same cannot be said of your offline marketing efforts. Who saw which billboard and called to inquire about your product? Which TV advert brought in your last enterprise customer? You’d never really know - you can have reasonable guesstimations but would you be 100% confident? I don’t think so.
But with digital marketing, all of that is black and white. You’d be able to find out who saw which ad, who saw what blog post and became prospects and ultimately clients. That’s one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing - you can actually make sense of it and your efforts.
Last, but not least, I think it’s a safe bet to say that digital marketing is a versatile medium which is quite budget friendly. For instance, SEO costs nothing if you outreach smartly, a lot of time organic efforts can bring in results from social media as well. So without further ado, let’s start on a list of digital marketing tools that can take your marketing from good to great.
Social media marketing tools
Let’s look at one of the pillars of digital marketing - social media. In fact, social media is such a huge part of digital marketing that more often than not, people use the terms social media and digital marketing interchangeably. The difference is that social media is only about your presence on social networks, and digital marketing encompasses everything - from your website to social media and emails as well.
So what digital marketing tools should you use for this?
Disclaimer: this is a #humblebrag. Want a tool to tell you what to post on social media and track your social mentions? If you want real-time social insights of your brand, receive alerts in case you have a sudden surge in mentions (to track a PR crisis), monitor your competitors’ social channels and posts or even find the best influencers for your brand, Talkwalker Analytics is one of the best marketing tools for you. Here’s why:
Our tool provides state of the art image and video recognition: e.g., your logo would be recognized in images and videos, even if you’re not mentioned in the text.
Data showing usage of the Coca-Cola logo in videos globally over the last 30 days
The tool boasts AI powered sentiment analysis which can be trained to have 99% accuracy.
You can receive alerts for when there is a sudden surge in mentions to warn you of any impending PR crisis (if any).
Not only does it provide you with all of the features mentioned above, it also integrates with Hootsuite to help manage your social media strategy too!
Graph showing the share of voice of the different IPL teams since the start of the year
If you’re looking for a one stop shop that lets you manage your social media activity, then Hootsuite is what you should be looking at. The tool is versatile and extremely user-friendly, but more importantly, it addresses a real pain point - the problem of always having to be connected to social media. Being constantly “on” means that you don’t have time to take care of your other requests and are constantly flooded with ad hoc things to do.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule your social messages in advance and just focus on replying to the important ones or fun ones? Turns out, you can - with Hootsuite. They even have a free version for those who are bootstrapping their product, which allows you to manage 3 different accounts.
Glimpse of the Hootsuite interface with an overview of the Twitter feeds, LinkedIn and more
What’s more important than managing and monitoring your social media accounts? Actually finding out whether your activity makes sense and whether it is worth investing so much time on your social media efforts. Social Report helps you do just that. Additionally, it helps you understand even your paid ad performance which, as we all know is a major lead generator for most companies.
Your one stop digital marketing tool for social media tracking!
Content outreach tools
How do you get new visitors to your blog, with minimal spend?
Outreach. That means getting new or repurposed content onto other sites, to introduce your content to people outside of your usual reach, while giving you some great value backlinks (more on them below).
But outreach can be time consuming, having to spend time on content for other sites that could be spent on new content for your own. Plus, you have find sites with high levels of traffic, a relevent audience, and that are open to accepting guest posts. That's why there's some awesome outreach tools out there to make outreach easier.
This is a great platform for sharing your own content quickly, to a relevent marketing audience. Anyone can nominate a blog post, to be included on the Zest distilled content on desktop, and as part of of the Zest learning tool.
The Zest distilled content. That you can nominate your content to at any time.
The best part is, not all content is accepted. A all content is curated by "a tribe of dedicated marketing professionals to ensure that it is relevant, timely and actionable." That may sounds like a difficult hurdle (your content will need to be good!), but it ensures that readers only get content worth engaging with. Helping build a more active audience.
SEO marketing tools
Search engine optimization, better known as SEO is the foundation on which all websites are built. The higher you rank, the more visibility your brand gets. Think of it as a huge billboard for you - the higher the rank of your webpages, the more prominent your billboard is and the greater the number of eyeballs you grab. Google is the internet’s repository and SEO is dictated by Google’s (constantly changing) algorithms. Some of the basic pillars of SEO are:
Get as many backlinks as you can to your pages - to be able to withstand Google’s constant changes.
Find a keyword that makes sense for your brand and use it as many times as you can within your content - but NOT TOO MANY TIMES, just as many times as it makes sense for your audience.
Check your competition and see what they’re doing so that you don’t get left behind.
Now the question is, what are the best digital marketing tools to help you do the above ?
This is a really popular SEO tool that helps you figure out not only the keywords you can use but also how many backlinks you need to reach page 1 on Google for those keywords. So in short, not only does it tell you what to do, it also tells you the amount of work needed to make sure you reach page
You get to see what your competitors are doing as well and that kind of information is priceless.
Additionally, you can set it up so you receive alerts for every time a website ranks for a particular keyword - I wouldn’t recommend going down this route too often to avoid spam, but if fierce competition is involved, why not?
A digital marketing tool that gives you an overview of any website (including your competitors)
It’s the perfect tool for when you need to know how to structure your website. As we know, SEO is about keywords, but it’s also important to have a website that makes sense for the end user in case they do choose to explore it further. Additionally, SEO is also about having a website which has a proper structure and makes sense for the end user. The navigability of a website is a big factor that determines the ranking. SimilarWeb is also a great source of information for websites to outreach to - it doesn’t make sense for instance, to outreach to a website that doesn’t get that much traffic and SimilarWeb gives you this information at a glance.
Overview of “eurosport.com” including # of visitors and category rankings
Email marketing tools
Roughly 281 billion emails were sent/received everyday in 2018 (Lifewire). If done correctly, email marketing is a great medium to generate a large number of qualified leads. Additionally, more often than not, email marketing helps you tap into a database of people who are already familiar with your product. And that means they’re more qualified than most people who land onto your website via social media or your paid marketing efforts.
There’s a lot more to email marketing than just sending out emails though - you have to know that sending out too many emails and promotions could result in you ending up in a spam inbox - 49.7% of emails received are considered to be spam. So your email marketing campaigns could go largely unnoticed if you’re not careful. Then there's the matter of crafting quality content - no one would be interested in your email if you don’t have something valuable to offer them. What digital marketing tools could you use to send out emails and analyze their performance? Let’s find out...
MailChimp is an awesome tool that has versions for every budget.
This tool allows people to build curated lists of contacts and send out different campaigns to them. MailChimp is super intuitive and easy to use.
It also integrates with Salesforce, provides statistics on email open rate, click through rates and a whole host of other statistics that are useful for email marketers.
In short, not only do you get to send customized emails, you are also able to analyze their performance, track their progress on Salesforce and so much more with this tool.
The best part - if you’re just starting out and have a small list of contacts then you can do all of this for free.
Various functionalities of MailChimp
If you’re looking at an email marketing tool that analyzes what kind of content works for different segments of your audience, GetResponse is the tool that you’re looking for. This tool takes email automation to the next level and allows users to do everything from setting up customized auto-responders, a/b testing, forms and much more. You could also use this tool to set up webinars and communicate with participants, so it goes beyond just email.
GetReponse gets straight to the point with its value prop bang in the middle of its homepage
Digital marketing tools for website optimization
Website optimization is a huge part of having your business on the internet. You know what they say - you snooze, you lose. Is your website working? Are you getting leads and sessions? Or is your target audience responding well to your content? The good news is, you can get the answers to all of these questions for free!
This is a 100% free tool from Google that gives you a 360 degree overview of your website. Not only does Google Analytics tell you which pages are doing well, what kind of content seems to resonate with your audience, it breaks this information down by campaign, country, and much more.
You get an overview of which paid adwords campaigns are doing well and which third party websites/referrals are bringing in leads.
It is mostly an all-in-one digital marketing tool which tells you what works for you and what doesn’t.
We use it on a daily basis here at Talkwalker and strongly recommend that everybody uses it.
General overview of the info Google Analytics can provide
This is truly a dynamic tool born in the tiny island of Malta, Europe. This digital marketing tool provides heat maps about user behavior - which part of your website users spend most time on and which part of your website isn’t doing too well. This is useful for so many reasons - you can find out what content is performing well, what isn’t and if any changes you’ve made on your website have the desired effect ( extremely useful for monitoring A/B tests). It’s definitely bang for buck if you choose to subscribe to Hotjar, even if it is for a limited time - it helps you understand what kind of content/design resonates better with your audience and what doesn’t.
Heat Map from HotJar showing which parts of the websites are the “hottest” with your visitors
We can never get enough of analytics can we? Kissmetrics is yet another tool that takes care of analytics and gives a comprehensive perspective on your website data. You’re able to really dig deeper into segmentation of your audience and understand which segments respond to your content and how. It basically reports figures mainly with respect to the marketing funnel so the entire user journey is put into perspective and this helps users understand their platform/product better. Here’s an infographic from their website on how Kissmetrics can add value to its users’/client’s lives.
Kissmetrics’ value proposition summarized on its homepage
If there’s one thing you can take away from this post, it’s that there are a variety of digital marketing tools out there. Which tools you use to make up your marketing tech stack depends solely on your needs and unique objectives.
It’s important to keep that in mind while evaluating tools - what works for your competitors may or may not work for you. There could be a lot of different factors involved - budgets, manpower and business model. But one thing is for sure, no matter what your objectives, in today’s day and age, a set of digital marketing tools that helps you automate your work would be very useful indeed.