Whilst the marketing basics have not changed much over the years, the way we can implement our key messages and speak to our target audience has changed dramatically.
The old ‘targeted marketing’ has now transformed and is true to its name, being able to hit the bullseye on the dartboard, rather than being hit and miss.
You can now speak directly to many of your ‘perfect customers’, rather than having to rely on less effective, mass marketing activities.
So this all sounds good – but how do you do it? You go back to the basics of strategic marketing. You look at one piece of content and determine how you can use it effectively, in more than one way.
And how does technology fit into all this? There are apps to help you schedule your content, a wider variety of places to put that content and analytics to tell you how effective it has been. If you’re not using technology to help you leverage your marketing, you’re missing out.
I have put together a list of some of the tools you can use, but remember this is not a definitive list!
Technology is changing (seemingly) daily, so you need to ensure you keep your ears pricked and your eyes open for what will be relevant and useful for your business. (In addition, I had to cull to ensure this article wasn’t thousands of words, so I have just picked three for each category.)
One of the regular roadblocks my clients and customers throw up is that they can’t think of what to write for their blog. The Answer the Public website gives you some insight into how people are searching and what phrases they are using. You can then use this to develop content you know is going to be relevant.
In AdWords you can use the Keyword Planner to expand upon your current keyword list to determine new content ideas.
This is a great app to let you collect ideas as they come to you. So it’s like an app that captures your brainstorming! Then you can tick it off as you use an idea.
For almost any form of content you create you need to ensure you have some sort of image to go with it. This used to be difficult for businesspeople to do themselves, as it was expensive to access graphic design programs. Canva is an extremely flexible tool which allows you to make stunning imagery.
That said, the most effective tool is still Adobe’s InDesign or Illustrator. You can do so much more, but you do need more training.
And if you don’t want to do it yourself you can use a site like Fiverr to have something created. I don’t recommend you use sites like this unless you have a very clear brand guide and perhaps templates they can work from. Remember, you only get what you pay for, so unless you provide them with graphic designer parameters you’re unlikely to get something that is usable.
If you are doing your marketing right – being strategic and leveraging every piece of content – you need to be able to track everything. A project management tool like Paymo is extremely helpful as you can create tasks, assign them to people, communicate on that task, as well as track time.
In the same vein, Trello is an app that helps you to manage your projects. It is a bit more visual than Paymo with a lot of drag and drop functionality, however it doesn’t have a calendar function or time tracking.
With Google Docs you can save documents that can be collaborated on. Meaning you don’t have to worry about version control! Similar to Google Docs, Dropbox is a great place to save all your files, because you can then access them anywhere, on any device.
This is just one of many social media scheduling tools! But I did have to pick just one, so I chose Hootsuite because you can manage multiple accounts in their paid version. If you are looking at just one social media outlet specifically – say Instagram – there are better social media scheduling tools just for them, such as ScheduGram.
I had to highlight Facebook in this section as they have created a great tool for marketers. In terms of their scheduling, you can pretty well do anything you need to PLUS the feedback is that if you use their tool (rather than a scheduling tool like Hootsuite), they will favour your content. In addition, their analytics are really in-depth, so make sure you are reviewing how your posts do.
How amazing is it that Google provide Google Analytics for free! This can really be a goldmine of information, so make sure your website is set up with it, and then ensure you actually look at the results.
MailChimp is one of my favourite email marketing tools for small and medium sized businesses. It’s free up until 2,000 subscribers and you’re able to send 12,000 emails per month. So lots of businesses don’t need to pay! However, if you want to use the automation features (which I suggest you do), you need to pay. I think their pricing is really reasonable for the amazing functionality you get.
ActiveCampaign takes things a step further and also enables you to integrate your sales and CRM. It’s also not as user friendly as MailChimp, but that would be because there is much added functionality!
Infusionsoft is generally considered the holy grail of email marketing tools and they have a price tag that reflects it. So yes, it is awesome, however it may not be a smart financial decision if you are just dipping your toe in the water. You really need to commit to ensure you use it right and get the most benefit.
Extremely flexible, my 6-week online marketing workshops offer advice and information to almost any entrepreneurs, particularly for SME business owners, marketing graduates and administration staff.
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