Social media is one of the most important channels for a brand to leverage. As of December 2017, Facebook saw 2.13 billion monthly active users, Twitter ended the quarter with 330 million, and Instagram topped out at 800 million. With these numbers, it’s critical that a company deploys a toolbox of platforms that can streamline their social media management and help create a successful digital marketing strategy.
As the process of digital marketing continues to grow in popularity, new needs are established, and tools are developed to fit those niches. As it stands, there are now hundreds of platforms online to assist with every type of digital and social strategy. To help guide you, we’ve put together 13 of the top tech tools for successful social marketing and the areas in which they can assist you.
Visual Content Creation
With websites like Instagram and Snapchat, visuals as a form of expression have proven to be a highly effective type of marketing. Certain industries, like food and fashion, have seen particular success on these kinds of platforms.
One of the best and easiest places to create quick visual content online is Canva. It’s a free, web-based design tool that allows you to produce several different sized images that you can post on your blog or in social campaigns. The site also allows you to easily share your designs with your team, and even upload branded colors and fonts.
The most effective type of digital marketing is in the form of video so it’s important you have a tool in your back pocket to use for posting it. Not only is video an incredibly popular type of media, but it is easy to optimize for search engines.
The tried and true platform for posting videos, YouTube is great because of how you can tag your videos for SEO. The system also categorizes them for viewers. Additionally, YouTube has a variety of different advertising programs to further monetize your content.
If you are looking to post more high-definition and quality resolution videos, Vimeo might be your best choice. With over 35 million companies using the platform, they encourage visually stunning videos with excellent content.
Social Media Management
Once you produce the content you need, you should be automating as much of the process as possible. There are tons of tools online to help you depending on how tech-savvy you are. The best part about social media management tools is your ability to “set it and forget it” while the bot posts your content for a month.
Created in 2008, HootSuite was one of the first tools on the market for social media management, but it is still one of the most user-friendly. The dashboard supports social network integrations from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and has a variety of streams to support your content scheduling.
Taking it a step further, SproutSocial does everything Hootsuite does, but also has a built-in CRM (customer relationship management) tool. The engagement platform not only allows you manage all of your social channels, but your customer interactions as well.
E-mail marketing took a lull for a few years, but it seems to be making a comeback now that people are incorporating interesting things into e-mails, like personal embedded videos and links to free content. These automated marketing tools make it easier:
In 2016, over 250 billion e-mails were sent with this tool. People have been using MailChimp for years and there’s a good reason why. It’s incredibly simple to craft a gorgeous e-mail or newsletter using all types of media, and then send it out to your mailing list directly from the system. You can even track metrics that tell you which customers are responding to what campaigns.
A tad smarter than MailChimp, GetResponse works much in the same way but takes a sharper focus on automation. The system will deeply analyze trends and behaviors from your e-mail list and then instantly trigger specific messages and auto responses to niche groups. The result is a more engaged list and a stronger e-mail marketing presence.
Paid Social Media Tools
It all depends on who you ask. Some swear by PPC (pay per click) advertising, while other people choose organic. It is good to have a tool or two in your pocket if you decide to pad your campaigns with a little advertising. Here are two of the best tools to use to track all of your paid digital marketing:
Created by Facebook, this is their own tool for users to direct all of their paid social campaigns on the platform. There is no third-party fee involved to create and manage your ads, and this is probably one of the best tools for people starting out in paid digital advertising. The platform has detailed parameters to ensure you are targeting every audience you want and ways to continuously track your progress.
If your company seems more successful on Twitter, this is also a great place to target mobile users. In fact, in 2015, 86% of Twitter’s ad revenue came from mobile. Twitter also has some amazing features for targeting, including keyword segmentation. This will notify you when your audience tweets your word of choice.
Search Engine Optimization
It’s important to always know what the search engines are doing when you want to drive effective marketing campaigns. Their algorithms can change on a whim and your popular keyword can fall from grace overnight. There are a lot of SEO tools on the web but the following two have free features that are easily accessible:
It’s as simple as entering your keywords and looking at the numbers. With Moz, you can track things like rankings, SERP analysis, link building efforts, etc. They also have a feature called MozLocal that lets businesses improve their local SEO listing too.
One key difference between SEMRush and Moz (since they work just about the same) is that with SEMRush, you can also track your competitors and their keyword usage. You can use the tools to monitor their fluctuations in ranking, check out their backlinks, and conduct a complete competitive analysis.
At the end of the day, you have to be able to track your efforts and focus on your successes. Digital marketing starts with research, and it ends there too. Looking at the results of your social media campaigns and how your website is ranking is a continuous action that is vital to the success of your marketing. These two tools are the best for studying your metrics and improving your business through analytics:
Since Google is the top search engine, Google Analytics is typically the golden standard for measuring how you fare on the aggregator. This tool provides deep insight into how your website is performing online and areas that may need improvement. Google Analytics can tell you who is visiting your site, how long they are staying, which of your pages are the most successful, etc…
This platform is about helping you increase your conversions across your entire website. If you are into using a marketing funnel, this might be your match. Kissmetrics tracks the entire life-cycle of your customer and their conversion journey. It then will feed you detailed reports on each part of the funnel. This type of site can help you fine-tune your conversion process and ultimately, increase revenue.
Approach is a big part of what platforms you will choose to facilitate your digital marketing efforts. Budget can also help you to determine which tools work best for you. (This list has mostly free options).
Strategy is always the first step, so prior to signing up for anything, it is critical that you have a plan in place. Running your SEO first might be a good start if you need to better understand your audience and niche. Ultimately, successful social media marketing is about doing your homework, understanding who you are talking to, and tweaking the process the entire way. Choose the tools that best help you do that for your business and you’ll be just fine.