When it comes to digital marketing I am always on the lookout for new tools to make my life that little simpler and easier. Although I’m always discovering new programs, tools and sites. For me some things just stand out. Today I thought I’d talk about 5 great free tools that every digital marketer should use. And here they are:
When it comes to managing Social Media accounts it can soon become a huge job in its self, especially if you are a digital marketer who looks after multiple clients. One of the best things I have ever discovered for managing Social Media is Hootsuite. On Hootsuite you can have all your different social media streams in one place. This means that you won’t need to have multiple tabs open in your browser with all your different social media sites open as everything is all in one place so you’ll never miss a notification or customer query again. Another thing I love about Hootsuite is that you can use it to schedule social media posts. I love to plan ahead so this really is an essential tool for me. It is also worth noting that if you upgrade from the free version of Hootsuite you can actually upload your scheduled content in bulk. This makes the process that little bit easier and faster. Also, by upgrading you have the option to add more social media profiles whereas with the free version you are limited to 3 profiles. The free version of Hootsuite is amazing if you’re an in-house digital marketer looking after a single small company/brand’s social media or even if you’re a blogger. However, if you are looking after a substantial amount of profiles or you just want the option to use the bulk post scheduler, the Pro version is a good option that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I pay around £12.00 a month for the service which isn’t too extortionate in my opinion especially for the amount of use I get out of it.
If you’ve not heard of Social Mention before, it is a free social media monitoring/listening tool. You can basically type in a phrase whether it be your brand name, a competitor or even a product and it will bring up mentions on Social Media and various other websites which contain your chosen keyword. Now I will say that you can “listen” to Social Media mentions on Hootsuite, simply by creating a search stream however, with Social Mention you can see the sentiment of mentions (they’re either positive, neutral or negative) now this isn’t always an accurate representation as adding certain words to content can deem them “negative” or even “positive” in Social Mention when in reality they are the complete opposite. For example, a Reddit post about AliExpress titled “Story: I almost got bait and switched by a seller who racked their panties’ prices amidst the confusion of 11/11” is deemed positive in Social Mention however, if you read the article or even the thread title, you’ll probably be able to work out that the seller is talking negatively about his or her experience in a negative light. However, because the post contains a few “positive words” it is deemed as positive in Social Mentions eyes. Basically what I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to use Social Mention, use your own judgement and take the findings with a pinch of salt. Social Mentions findings are computer generated so understandably their algorithm does get it wrong from time to time. As a whole though, if you want to see mentions from a variety of sources such as Twitter, Blogs, Social Bookmarking Websites, Images, News Sites and Question and Answer websites, all in one place, then Social Mention isn’t bad at all and does the trick.
I’ve raved about Google Analytics before (be sure to check out my 3 Reasons Why Google Analytics is Awesome post) but seriously, if you have a blog or a website, I highly, highly advise that you install the free to use analytics software. You can find so, so much information on Google Analytics that will help you massively. In Google Analytics you can find out how much traffic you are getting, who is linking to you, where in the world your visitors are, how old your visitors are, what language they speak, their gender, you can see which posts and pages are doing well, if you’ve got an eCommerce site you can see conversion rates for each page, you can see which products perform the best, which posts have high bounce rates and people aren’t interested in, basically there is a lot of information all in one place which is entirely free (with a Google account of course) Now when you first sign up to Google Analytics it can be quite overwhelming and you can feel like giving up when you see all the different sections but there are lots and lots of tutorials online to help and I promise you, it really is worth persevering as in the end you can really improve your blog, brand or business with the information that you find and you’ll soon enough get the hang of the service.
A tool I’ve recently discovered is Teamweek. Teamweek is a simple but absolutely brilliant task planning tool. I use it to plan out all my blog posts, any social media campaigns I might be running and any tasks I’ve been asked to complete or I have deadlines for. It is essentially a big calendar where you can really easily drag and drop in events or tasks essentially whatever takes your fancy. You can even colour code certain things for example, an event could be a blue coloured reminder whereas a blog post could be a red coloured reminder. Now a lot of people might think that Teamweek doesn’t differ that much from a standard computer calendar however, you can add up to five team members to your schedule so you can all work on the same document. This is great if you work as part of a team so you all know what needs to be done and who will be completing certain tasks. The best bit? Adding five team members is totally free. If your team is bigger than five, fear not, Teamweek give a 30 day free trial for those with larger teams and prices start at $29 a month, which is a great investment for any business suffering from dis-organisation. I also like how Teamweek is visually pleasing. It is bright, clear, uncluttered and extremely easy to use.
And last but not least is the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This is a totally underrated tool in my eyes and I wish more people took advantage of it. Now the Keyword Planner is intended for use when you are planning your Google AdWords Campaigns (Pay-Per-Click advertising) however, there is nothing at all stopping you from using it for planning your site content. It is free (provided that you set up a Google Account for AdWords) But how can it help? Well every time I begin writing a blog post I research the keyword that I have in mind. In AdWords I can find out how many average monthly searches a certain keyword gets, how many monthly searches by mobile or desktop it receives and also the search volume by country, region/state and city. Google also provides predicted data including projected clicks, estimated costs and impressions. This is useful in seeing how popular a keyword is and whether there is a potential audience for your content. If your chosen keyword is poor performing, then you can use another keyword and research its performance.
What digital marketing tools do you recommend?