Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of a business. Of course, there are plenty of challenges to overcome, starting with creating a comprehensive business plan, and moving on to securing financing, developing and implementing a marketing plan, and more.
But have no fear — there are always new tools, tricks, tips and trends surfacing that can help you develop a successful strategy. And one way to be more informed is to implement marketing tools. With all the different and helpful attributes they offer, these offerings can help you make more informed decisions on how to create and optimize content for your business.
Marketing tools come in an array of different forms, and in the age of technology that includes automated email marketing campaigns, social media campaigns and more. They also cater to specific functions to help you carry out your marketing strategy. Before trying everything at once, consider the following:
- Who is your audience?
- Where could you find your audience?
- What information will your audience find the most useful?
- How can you deliver information to your audience in the most efficient way?
After answering these questions, you should then be able to slim down the list of what your brand considers the most valuable areas where marketing tools could help. Among the top uses for today’s marketing tools:
1. Marketing Automation
Whether you want to save time doing your marketing tasks or simply cut time spent on email marketing and organizing files and spreadsheets, having a tool that makes your life easier and saves you time is the ultimate goal. According to VentureHarbour, some of the macro-level benefits that marketing automation offers for the business as a whole are as follows:
- Reduced staffing costs — By setting up lead-nurturing and marketing campaigns that are automatically triggered based on certain criteria, you’ll cut the amount of time staff must spend performing these traditionally tedious, labor-intensive tasks.
- Increased revenues — By automating your cross-sells, up-sells and customer follow-ups, you’ll likely notice an increase in your customer lifetime value.
- Improved accountability of marketing & sales teams — If marketing is capturing hundreds of leads but none of them are being nurtured to become “sales-qualified leads,” the marketing department will receive instant and impartial feedback that they need to improve their nurturing campaigns.
- Increased effectiveness — No matter how large or small your team, you have a finite amount of resources to grow your business, and marketing automation can help maximize their potential.
- Reduced repetition and increased creativity — While marketing automation provides clear benefits for staff productivity and effectiveness, there’s a softer and less-tangible benefit related to the boosts in creativity and overall happiness that comes from focusing your staff on varied creative work instead of mundane, repetitive tasks.
- Refined marketing processes — While this might not sound riveting, creating processes around the customer journey enables you to gradually refine how you target and nurture your leads.
- Increased ability to target potential customers across multiple channels — One of the most powerful benefits that marketing automation offers marketers is the ability to reach customers in a personalized way across different online and offline channels.
- Continuous A/B testing for campaigns — Unlike with traditional landing page or email A/B testing, where you might split test a campaign once or twice before sending it out to your mailing list, marketing-automation tools make it easy to run ongoing A/B tests.
- Reduced campaign-creation time — Most marketing-automation tools feature a drag-and-drop interface, enabling you to build email campaigns, landing pages and social campaigns with no technical or design expertise required.
- Increased ability to repurpose existing content to nurture leads — Through marketing automation, you can give your existing content a second life by setting up automated rules to recommend content that educates your leads and customers over the customer lifecycle.
There are also plenty of email-focused marketing-automation tools you can consider that will save you much time when building your subscriber list. According to codeinwp, there is a handful of critical factors worth considering when choosing the right automation tool.
Google Analytics is one of the best free web-analytics tools out there. When integrated with AdWords, Google Analytics can help you manage your online campaigns by tracking various metrics. These include lead generation, sales, downloads, referrers, bounce rates, geographical locations, etc.
You probably already use Google Analytics if you’ve been managing your website for a while, likely to analyze your daily traffic and compare it to previous results. Google Analytics lets you see how many people visited your website, but also details behavior from visitors who eventually bounced — which means they didn’t find what they were looking for. This tool will show you which pages are experiencing a high bounce rate (giving you insights on which pages might need improvements) and which ones are exceeding expectations.
This will then give you an opportunity to upgrade or edit a few things like mobile optimization, design, content length and usefulness in an effort to generate more conversions and earn returning and valued customers.
Here is a list of 10 ways Google Analytics can help your business. It can help you to:
- Understand what kind of first impression you make
- Figure out where your users are coming from
- See where you rank in search engines
- Set your goals
- Implement and improve segmentation
- Learn about keywords
- Study your competition
- Make a decision on which social media to target
- Learn how compatible you are with your users
- Determine what to offer next
Apruve explains in great detail the ways Google Analytics can help your business. If you know how to use it properly, it can give you a lot of useful information on how to improve your website, create lifetime customers and keep in line with, if not above, your competition. Learn how to use all the elements, graphs and reporting to gain advantage and more conversions.
3. Project Management
Whether big or small, most companies are constantly working on numerous projects. There are often big teams of people, and sometimes few leaders responsible for making sure each project hits deadlines and optimizes success. As your company grows, more people will become involved with the project-management team — and the more people you have touching a project at different times, the more difficult it will become to move forward without a project-management system in place. There are multiple aspects of a project that need to be organized in a efficient manner, and to maintain all aspects, you’ll need to choose a tool for your company to use.
Listed below are some reasons why you should start relying on project-management tools if you want to maintain your project’s deadlines.
Planning a successful project takes a lot of time, as you have to map out each and every important step. A project-management tool provides you the ability to establish a hierarchy of tasks for effective and efficient completion. It also will help you determine which tasks are dependent on each other and which ones need to be done first. Therefore, this makes it much easier for the team to do work, saving you a ton of time.
Efficient task management
Every project includes multiple tasks that you, your team and most likely cross-functional teams need to complete. Writing all of the notes regarding each step and keeping track of progress can get overwhelming and will take a ton of time. This is why a project-management system is helpful, because it will assign all of the important tasks to employees and monitor the status of each stage. Through better task management, teams can work in unity and give outstanding results that will benefit your company.
Seamless team workflow
Using a project-management system enables a team leader to see the tasks that his team is working on at any time, along with which team members are involved in the task at all stages. And again, when your company starts to grow, that team leader will have multiple people available to perform bigger tasks, and a project-management system helps them work simultaneously to create a seamless workflow.
Shared documents, calendars and contacts
Project-management tools are also useful in supporting the storage and organization of a variety of documents, which is extremely helpful when projects include a high number of documents. If you and your team create a centralized storage plan, every team member could easily access the information and more quickly edit or finalize a piece.
Precise project tracking
Tracking the time spent on every task is of great value. It allows you to collect data about team members to know their work pace and will make planning for new projects much smoother. The team leader can then make much more precise time estimations and foster better performance and faster results.
Utilizing the latest technologies to maximize your performance will help you lead your team to victory. The whole workflow becomes improved as team members are more capable of collaborating on a variety of tasks. This can lead to a significant improvement in productivity and will lead your company to higher profits in the long run.
4. E-commerce (if applicable)
An e-commerce platform can connect a consumer with a point of sale via your website, social media and online marketplaces. It can also help take the guesswork out of marketing with built-in tools that help you create, execute and analyze digital marketing campaigns — an absolute key to business success.
Among the most popular e-commerce options, Shopify is a well-rounded tool for helping business owners market and sell physical products online. With Shopify, you can easily create your own website, streamline the sales process and shipping, manage marketing efforts, and monitor sales through social media.
But there are a range of e-commerce options, and choosing the best online store platform for your business can be overwhelming, as you must take into account a number of different technologies and consider the changes each has made in the last few years. Your business should do its research and correctly appoint an e-commerce platform for your company. Usability, ease of use and a large available developer community are good things to consider when choosing. To start the research, check out the 20 Best E-Commerce Platforms for Websites in 2020.
5. Social Scheduling
In today’s world, social media can mean everything to a successful business. Not only is there an ad program for Facebook, other social media platforms with advertising options include Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TripAdvisor, TikTok and SnapChat. When your company grows and starts using multiple social media tools, having a scheduler to help marketers plan, schedule and send content out through various social media channels is key. It’ll save you a ton of time and can help you publish a balanced mix of content across all platforms that will engage with your customers, each at the right time. Check out this article on 8 Powerful Social Media Scheduling Tools to Save You Hours Each Week if you are looking for a more efficient way to publish your social media updates.
All marketing tools play a crucial role in the success of an organized, attentive business. There are plenty of challenges to overcome, but the five tools detailed above are solutions mist businesses can’t live without. Online brands are thriving right now because of all of the advanced marketing tools there are out there. Developing and maintaining a well-thought-out marketing plan takes time and effort — but with the implementation of multiple marketing tools in your strategy, your projects will be much better off.
Could your brand use some expert help leveraging any or all of these helpful marketing tools? At The Brandon Agency, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists who can cover KPI tracking, performance optimization and much more — including web design, brand strategy, creative, interactive, social media, analytics, conversion rate optimization, SEO and more — all in one place. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.