Homework 3: Digital marketing tools
Digital marketing tools
The power of social sites goes far beyond organic reach. Paid platforms can get your brand in front of large groups of active users that you’d otherwise be unable to reach. The major social networks have so much data on their users that targeting can become extremely granular and effective, making social an ideal place to pay for impressions.
Email Marketing Tools
The first email was sent way back in 1971, so it’s kind of strange to think of how big a part it still plays in digital marketing at large. Despite being old-school, email is easily one of the most effective marketing channels in terms of ROI. Email usage continues to grow approximately 4% year-over-year and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
HubSpot, a company well known for its CRM and inbound marketing software, recently launched an email marketing product. HubSpot Email Marketing is easy to use, boasts impressive deliverability, and of course, comes natively integrated with all other HubSpot products, such as the free-forever CRM, as well as hundreds of other popular marketing tools. The tool comes with a Free Plan which includes up to 2,000 email sends/month, contact lists, a drag-and-drop email builder, and ready-made templates so you can get started right away.
MailChimp represents an absolute giant within the email marketing space, with over 250 billion emails sent by its users last year. The beauty of MailChimp is the platform’s usability and sliding price tag based on the size of your email list. In particular, their “forever free” plan is perfect for smaller marketers looking for an introduction to email marketing. If you’re new to digital marketing tools or email in general, MailChimp represents a great starting point.
Display Retargeting Tools
Ads that “follow us around” from sites we’ve visited or shopped on have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. These are retargeting ads, and even if you haven’t heard of them by name you’ve certainly been targeted by them in the past. Retargeting is incredibly efficient for getting customers back to your site to make a purchase or become a lead when they otherwise would have been bounced traffic.
AdRoll is one of the most well-known names in the retargeting space, boasting a customer base of over 35,000 advertisers. Its platform grants access to over 500 ad exchanges, which includes most of the major social media networks. It offers a self-service platform, but you can also leverage its employees for additional help if you need it. The success stories behind many AdRoll users are absolutely insane, with reports ranging from a 35% lower CPC to a 265% lift in sales in some cases.
ReTargeter is a diverse tool that uses site retargeting, search retargeting and dynamic retargeting. You can use ReTargeter as a self-service platform or you can pass all of your campaigns onto an account team to run your retargeting for you. You can use these search services à la carte or combine several into a custom package. The platform emphasizes use for ecommerce brands given that the ReTargeter has access to consumer behavioral data of over 150 of the web’s top retailers.
Programmatic Advertising Tools
Programmatic advertising refers to the use of software to automate the purchase of media from both online and offline channels. In other words, ads are purchased and displayed automatically based on data. Two of the largest benefits of using programmatic media buying solutions is you can reduce the time you spend finding the best networks to advertise. Secondly, you gain access to the plethora of data that most of these companies have access to.
ChoiceStream’s technology is able to process a ton of audience data and discern which of it is actually useful knowledge for brands. ChoiceStream then uses that information to properly target ads to your audiences it knows will be a good fit, boosting the relevance of your ads to your targets.
14. Rocket Fuel
Rocket Fuel is a popular tool with a feature called “Moment Scoring” which sets it apart from the competition. Moment Scoring assesses anonymous user data to calculate how likely someone is to respond to your advertisement and then uses that information to decide when and where to serve your ads. Rocket Fuel offers both a self-service platform and managed services.
Website Testing Tools
The smallest changes can make the biggest difference when it comes to getting people to convert on your landing pages. Just changing the color of your call-to-action button can spell the difference between scoring a free trial sign-up and someone bouncing. Among the digital marketing tools in your toolbox, anything that helps you test or optimize your site for conversions is a major plus.
Unbounce is an amazing tool for quickly building, tweaking and publishing new landing pages to test. One of the most fantastic features of Unbounce is how easy it is to use the platform to create brand new pages. Even if you’re not much of a designer, you can use some of the templates available as a jumping off point, then tweak them to fit your style.
17. Oracle Maxymiser
Maxymiser is a tool that goes far beyond the realm of landing page testing. This enterprise-level software solution was built to test multiple aspects of any given site and to run several different tests simultaneously. Maxymiser also allows you to segment who you want to send to each test, creating a more catered experience for your website visitors.
Optimizely combines tools for visual creation and robust targeting into its platform, making it easy to quickly create and target tests to the proper groups of users. The company also has a formidable amount of partners to make it easier to centralize customer data for your various tests.
Even though the mantra of “always be testing” has become a bit cliche, there’s no denying the importance of A/B testing any given page of your site. Visual Website Optimizer streamlines the process by allowing you to quickly play with elements of your pages such as headlines and images to generate multiple versions of your site for visitors to land on. Coupled with a powerful analytics platform, you can quickly see which version of your site is the clear winner in terms of clicks and conversions.
Hotjar’s platform provides a real-time visual record of your visitors’ actions and behaviors on-site. Through heatmaps that clue you in on where people are (or aren’t) clicking to actual video recordings of your visitor’s journey, you can quite literally see what needs to be optimized rather than second-guess.
Video Hosting Sites
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Video content is on track to take over 80% of all web traffic by 2021. As a result, video has become a marketing must-do rather than an “extra” or secondary channel. With much effort needed to create and publish videos, it’s important to make sure you get as many eyeballs on them as possible. A solid way to do that is to host them on some of the popular video platforms which draw in large crowds of viewers beyond YouTube.
Sprout has worked with Wistia on content in the past and the company is such a fantastic group of individuals. Not only does the team rock, but the platform is amazing for brands looking to host, customize and share videos across the web. One of the best functions of its platform is the ability to include a custom CTA at the end of each individual video, making it easy to drive viewers to specific pages.
There are over 35 million people and businesses that trust Vimeo to host their high-definition, ad-free videos. With Vimeo, the concept is to get everyone to host some of their high-quality videos on the site, thereby driving viewers who are looking for visually stunning videos. Take a look at the sample below to see the type of quality content they collect.
Content Creation Tools
Website Analytics Tools
Most digital marketing tools out there have built-in analytics, right? For instance, Sprout Social has social media analytics that show how your content performs on a variety of social platforms. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the data about events that actually take place on your website from clicks to conversions and beyond.
Kissmetrics offers analytics tools that help you increase conversions across your entire website. The platform tracks your site visitors throughout their entire conversion journey and gives you reports on each part of the funnel. This helps you fine-tune your entire conversion process to increase sales and revenue.
30. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the gold standard for most websites these days. Google has advanced analytics that shed light on a variety of your website information, including who your visitors are, how they make their way through your sales funnel and what they do on your website in real-time.
31. Adobe Analytics
Adobe provides an enterprise-level analytics solution for companies who want to gather deep analytics on their website data and performance. The platform has cross-channel attribution functions, 360-degree customer analysis and predictive intelligence which enables you to observe and respond to customer actions in real time.
Woopra is an analytics platform that’s specifically tailored for ecommerce businesses. Looking to help battle the problem of cart abandonment, Woopra analyzes each step of your site’s checkout process to determine where visitors are dropping off and which traffic source is the most valuable in terms of checkout success.
Customer Service Tools
Given that we live in a call-out culture, customers are turning to online channels to reach out to brands with their inquiries and complaints more than ever. If you’re not there to engage with these customers it reflects poorly on your brand, and you could potentially lose their business forever. Consider one of these customer service tools to streamline your customer service process and to ensure you’re responding to all of your inbound messages.
Zendesk provides a full suite of tools that can get your support team up and responding to all of your customers’ needs. The platform aggregates all of your communication channels into one place, which makes it simple to respond to your emails, phone calls and chats. Zendesk also integrates with Sprout, which streamlines your social customer service efforts.
UserVoice’s beautifully designed customer service platform is a great place for large teams to tackle online customer service needs. The reports offered make it easy to see which agents are performing best, and customer satisfaction surveys let you know how your team performs as a whole. Furthermore, the platform optimizes the process of collecting and analyzing customer feedback without interrupting your visitors.
LiveChat takes a more proactive approach to customer service by facilitating conversations with the people visiting your website. The passive chat box that lives on your page lets your potential customers reach right out to some of your service reps, helping you effectively answer questions and inquiries.