This blog was originally published on 5 January 2017, and has been re-published to reflect up-to-date content.
So you're looking to get your inbound marketing game in top form? First thing you need is to get the right marketing software tools for the job. Digital marketing involves so many different aspects with countless tools for each - knowing which tool is the best for your marketing goals is an art. Luckily, we're here to help!
Let's take a look at the various elements of marketing
Social Media marketing is your most powerful tool to connect with clients/potential customers. Optimising your social media includes pertinent issues like automating posts, scheduling, monitoring and analytics tools.
Rated as the best converting channel, your email marketing should never be overlooked. For many companies it is the number one conversion portal and is responsible for the majority of their transactions, even more so than search traffic or PPC. A successful email campaign very often proves to be your most valuable means of collecting information or responses from customers and allows them a means of reaction as well. Email differs from social media in that it allows your customers a deeper level of privacy when replying and allows you a tailored audience. Email tools enable you to collect and collate client data, schedule mailers, segment and setup email workflows.
The information available on your website, in your emails, on your social media, in your advertising, etc., acts as the voice of your company and brand. Content raises brand awareness, so what would you like your content to say about you and your business? Content is important in developing a relationship with your customers, so it is vital that you create content that says the right thing about who you are and why you do what you do. You will need a tool that allows you to distribute your content across all your social media, and allows you to add meta descriptions, tags and allows for essential SEO plugins.
If content is the voice, then your website is the face. Building a great website not only reflects how much you care about your brand and its services but also about your customers. Creating a site that is easy to navigate through, offers user testimonials or materials, and resources to delight customers; will almost definitely see repeat visits and traffic that's always flowing. Critical tools here are SEO-tools to drive traffic to your site, and analytics tools to report engagement on your web pages and content.
Tools to include in your Marketing Software Stack
Buffer is a great tool for scheduling your posts and analysing the results. The tool is great if your social media strategy is very visual or if you need to collaborate with your team or get approvals on your social content. Buffer posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. It's not badly priced, but you have to sign up for both the Buffer Publish and the Buffer Analyze tools.
BuzzSumo is great for social monitoring and content insights. It helps you discover high-performing content so you can get more likes, links and shares and helps identify influencers to power-up your brand and campaigns. They have a couple of plans to choose from and they let you switch plans at any time.
Hootsuite is another great social scheduling tool, and helps with your content curation with their monitoring tool. Depending on your plan, comprehensive social analytics and reporting are included. You can also Boost posts from within HootSuite.
RivalIQ is a social media analytics tool and includes competitive analysis, influencer tracking, reporting and social media audit tools. A great tool if you're looking to take your social media marketing to the next level.
Mailchimp is a very popular email marketing tool. It has an easy-to-use email builder and great design tools. The email automation tool enables you to implement lead nurturing and the real-time analytics helps you optimise your emails.
Constant Contact is an email marketing tool for SMB's. It has a drag-and-drop editor, email automation and lists. It includes a feature for A/B testing and dynamic content.
Grammarly is a writer's best friend. It assists with grammar, spelling, style and helps you avoid plagiarism. The plug-ins allows checking as you write in your favourite apps, like Chrome and MS Office or you can submit your completed content in the App or online version.
Google Trends analyses the popularity of the top search queries in Google Search and uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries across various regions and languages, over time. It helps writers find out what to write and when.
Unbounce is a tool that helps you create landing pages for you visitors to convert on, without the need for coding. Unbounce gives you more than 100 templates to choose from and helps you to focus in on your one goals for the page and optimise or run A/B tests.
Moz is a great SEO tool and includes a tool for site audits, rank tracking, backlilnk analysis, keyword research and Local SEO.
Screaming Frog is an SEO Spider or website crawler. It allows you to crawl websites to analyse and audit technical and onsite SEO. It helps you find broken links, audit your redirects, analyses page titles and meta data and discover duplicate content... the list goes on! Anything you need in terms of technical SEO, help is on hand from Screaming Frog.
SEMRush is the SEO tool if you're looking to compete for the top spot. It gives you insights into your competitors' strategies in paid- or organic media. You can conduct a deep link analysis, do keyword research, and analyse any websites traffic and online performance.
CMS (Content management System)
Wordpress is a free and open-source CMS that is highly customisable. It includes a plugin architecture and themes to tailor your website to your needs, easily. The plugins and themes are created by the open-source community and will likely carry a cost.
Wix is a free website builder that allows you to build a website without any coding experience needed. It limits the customisabilty to an extent, but is a great builder for start-ups.
Sitecore is a tool that helps you build websites with great and highly custom experiences. It's a very powerful CMS and helps you lay a solid foundation for your digital marketing.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports on website traffic. This is a need-to-have and it's free!
Google Data Studio
If you want to go beyond the data and dashboards offered by Google Analytics, then Google Data Studio is for you. It turns your data into customisable reports with compelling visualisations that allow you to compare, filter and organise the exact data you need, in one report.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another Google web service. It allows you to check your indexing status and helps you to optimise your website's visibility.
Arming yourself with all or a couple of these tools ensures that your digital assets will be ready and fully optimised to give your visitors a great experience. While some of these marketing tools are free or offer free versions, they often come with limitations. The full cost of your marketing software stack is highly dependent on your needs and the plan you go for, but it can easily add-up. Using these tools could get quite expensive, and you need to take into account the amount of time your team will spend on combining data and analytics from each tool into an overall marketing report.
While we at Struto love all of the above tools, our go-to option for our Marketing Software is, and always will be, HubSpot.
HubSpot: an all-in-one solution
HubSpot saves an incredible amount of time and energy by neatly housing each aspect of marketing, in its handy Marketing Hub. The convenience of doing all your marketing from one central portal is great for focus and productivity. HubSpot Marketing Hub includes tools for:
- Marketing Automation
- Social scheduling and monitoring
- SEO strategy
- Landing Pages
- Marketing Database (in the free CRM)
- Lead capture (Forms, pop-up forms and CTAs)
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics
HubSpot also has a CMS Hub to enable a website easy enough for marketers to edit and powerful enough for developers to build great tools. The Sales Hub empowers your sales team to do what they do best by arming them with customer insights and tools to minimise the time spent on admin. The Customer Service Hub completes the circle with a ticketing service, knowledge base setup and customer feedback surveys.
Check out our comprehensive guide to HubSpot for more.
By addressing all of customer-facing needs, HubSpot gives you the tools to deliver a great customer experience from start-to-finish and it's all in one central place, making your analytics and reporting easy and efficient.