I’ve been working as a content manager for Brand24 for three months now. It’s been an incredible journey, with lots of up and downs, and fortunately, the ups far outweigh the downs.
I’ve learnt a lot about digital marketing and content creation. I realise there is still a massive amount of articles and books to read and videos to watch, especially in our constantly online and changing world. Nevertheless, I’d love to share the knowledge I already gathered.
It’s a thorough guide to the most useful apps, which makes my everyday office life so much easier.
A considerable perk of my job is that I get to read a lot while researching topic for my blog posts. One of the articles I’ve read while doing research was about the unique business environment created in Silicon Valley. What strikes me the most is the ability and willingness to share knowledge.
There was a finite number of engineers based in California, so whether they liked it or not, employees worked in many different companies and on diverse projects. That way they were able to create a microsystem that’s become the Holy Grail of the technology industry.
In the spirit of Silicon Valley, I’d love to share some digital marketing tools I find particularly useful. Let’s call it an essential toolkit of beginner digital marketer.
Why Is Digital Marketing Essential Part of Your Business Strategy
You might ask – why do I need to transfer from traditional forms of marketing and implement a completely new strategy? After all, billboards and printed brochures, and all the other forms of advertising were working from the ‘60. At least that’s what Mad Men taught us.
That’s exactly the problem. These techniques were effective 50 years ago, but not any more.
Many business owners still choose not to believe it, but people spend more than twice as much time online today than they used to in 2000. Since marketing is all about connecting with your audience at the right time and in the right place, you have no other choice than to invest in digital marketing.
To clarify things a bit – when I’m talking about digital marketing, I have in mind both outbound and inbound tactics.
The outbound strategy involves all the marketing campaigns you put in front of as many people as possible, either via advertising, cold calling or direct mail. It usually involves targeted ad campaigns on Google, Facebook or other social media platform.
On the other hand, digital inbound tactics focus on attracting, converting and delighting customers. You basically create content, such as blog posts, landing pages that main objective is to draw people to your product or service.
B2B or B2C That’s The Question
Digital marketing works both for B2B and B2C businesses; you just need to implement a different approach.
B2B activities are usually centred around lead generation. The end effect is for a customer to speak to a sales manager, who will advise which plan or product to purchase.
B2C projects focus more on attracting people to your digital channel, without any communication with the sales department. Your concentrate on the customer’s journey, from the first interaction with your site to the moment they purchase your product.
Benefits of Digital Marketing Solutions
With a little help from the right analytics tool, you can see the exact results of your actions in real time.
In the old days, you put an advert in a newspaper, tv or radio station and you had no means of measuring how many people had actually seen or heard about your product, or how they interacted with your brand before making a purchase.
Digital marketing gives you all the pieces of information. You can focus on the channels that drive high-quality traffic and try to scale the results. If your content marketing strategy is bringing new visitors like crazy, then maybe it’s worth considering adding extra people to your content marketing team? If Twitter is your main source of leads, why not invest more in this communication channel?
Offline marketing doesn’t provide these opportunities. You could get the number of people in front of a TV screen when your ad is being played, but these numbers are neither accurate nor precise. Moreover, you can’t calculate the exact conversion rates. You’re like babes in the woods.
I’m not saying that you should abandon all forms of offline marketing. We’re just all shifting towards online marketing, and it wouldn’t be wise to be the one left behind.
How Much Does it Cost?
The inevitable questions when it comes to any form of new investment – how much does it cost? Is the return on investment going to be enough to cover all the expenses and bring profit?
The initial costs of digital marketing aren’t high. If you focus on SEO, content creation and social media, the only extra resource you would have to include is your time and the cost of some of the tools you’re going to use.
Additional costs occur when you decide to invest in email marketing campaigns or pay-per-click advertising. PPC seems like an easy way to drive traffic to your website. However, the expert in SEO, Ahrefs, recommends to develop a sound search engine optimisation strategy and get as much organic traffic to your site as possible.
Digital Marketing Tools
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce six tools I found indispensable for anyone dealing with digital marketing. They genuinely helped me a lot, and I use them on a daily basis.
I’m an organisation and control freak. I used to prepare all kinds of bullet journals, but now, as my life got busier, I rely on Trello. I love the fact that you can collaborate with your team members on one project. That way you can make sure everyone is on the same page. And the satisfaction from getting the tasks from to-do or progress tab to completed is enormous.
I admit I have a sort of love-hate relationship with Google Analytics. I know, it’s one of the most important tools there is for marketers. It’s easy to implement, so you should start monitoring activities on your website from the very beginning. There’re still a lot of people who neglect it. It’s a shame because lots of valuable data that is at your fingertips will be lost without one simple line of code added to your website.
You can track every action by every visitor. You can almost immediately see where the traffic is coming from, how your particular social media campaigns are performing, and if something doesn’t go according to your plan, adjust your targets accordingly.
Where does the love-hate relationship come from? There’s always this tingling when you have to check your numbers, especially at the beginning of your marketing journey. If the number of visitors is growing, you are on the right track.
If, however, the numbers are lagging, it’s time to implement my third favourite tool.
SEMrush is a helping hand in all your SEO-related efforts. The amount of information available on this channel is fantastic. You can analyse not only your website but also your competitors. I don’t think I have to explain the benefits of this knowledge.
What I find extremely useful is their keyword ranking and SEMrush SEO writing assistant, which I’m using for this text as well. It basically gives you the most important pieces of information you need to write a SEO-friendly text. You can check the keyword difficulty score, which will tell you how hard it is to position your article on a certain word. The tool will also generate a list of additional keywords related to the topic of your article so that you can get a better ranking in search engines.
I’ve been using this tool on a daily basis, and there’s still a lot to learn. Thankfully, SEMrush runs an excellent blog and provides plenty of tips on how to use it.
When you want to know what are the phrases people type in Google, I recommend Answer the Public. When you input any phrase, it will generate a list of search terms. The round layout is not very user-friendly, but fortunately, you can generate an alphabetical list as well.
If you’re looking for inspiration, it’s a tool for you. I got a lot of ideas for my future blog posts from Answer the Public. It will also help you decide which on keywords you should base your SEO strategy.
My list wouldn’t be complete without Brand24. It’s become a way to start my day – a cup of coffee and Brand24. I monitor mentions related to content marketing, social media strategy and digital marketing. That way, a portion of newest information is waiting for me every morning.
Moreover, I know what people say about Brand24 online. That way, our team can react swiftly to all remarks about our company. We can interact immediately and nip in the bud all negative remarks.
Sentiment analysis allows us to get the general gist of what people think about our tool.
What might be even more interesting, especially if you want to expand your business with social media marketing, is influencer score. That way you can choose the right influencers to work with.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, social media listening is also of great importance. You can assess the credibility of your potential affiliates. Your reputation is at stake here, so conducting proper research is key to success.
Brand24 also helps with developing a sound marketing strategy. See where and when people are talking about your brand. That way you can focus solely on the channels your audience is present.
How would our days go by without Slack? It’s so much more than just a messenger app. We regularly send documents, run polls or call people on Slack.
When your company is growing, a communication strategy becomes a vital part of your business plan. There’s a risk that your channels will be crowded with irrelevant information. That’s why we developed a Slack Police! Our CTO, Piotr, is checking whether we use the channels in correct way. But don’t worry, there’s an off-topic channel where we execute absolute freedom of speech!
Moreover, there are plenty of communities on Slack you can use to market your product. My colleague, Kuba, wrote an interesting article, that explores this topic in depth.
After three months I still get this tingling feeling before I hit the publish button, but I finally start to get a grip on the job. I realise that there’s still a lot to learn when it comes to all aspects of content marketing. Hopefully, this guide will help some newbies in the field.
Which apps or tools do you find particularly useful? I’d love to hear from you!