You have a nicely designed website. Your products are fantastic. You have great customer service. But how you do get the exposure you need to grow your business?
If you don’t have the budget to assemble a crack team of marketing experts, you’ll need great tools instead. We’ve pulled together a range of recommendations to help you make the most out of marketing.
Finding the right content
Content is still king – especially if you have a blog or social media. However, coming up with ideas and putting together something unique for each and every post can be time consuming. With the right content curation, you can shave off valuable time creating unique and interesting content.
See what the world is searching for and what interests have changed over time. For example, running a search for “html5” reveals the interest over time as well as related searches, which you can use to expand the range of your content.
Enter a keyword into BuzzSumo and you’ll get detailed reporting on exactly how previous pieces on the same keyword have performed. See what works, what doesn’t, and find entirely new sources you can reference in your content.
An RSS reader and content aggregator, Feedly gives you a convenient place to pull all the content together, whether it’s a blog, a newspaper, a YouTube channel, a keyword search, or more. Organise, file, and store information to make it easy for you to create content based on these sources.
Niche subreddits can provide you with great discoveries on what’s trending worldwide. By focusing on your target audience, you can see what catches their attention and move your content more in that direction.
Twitter isn’t just a great platform for posting your own content, it’s also a great way to see what’s popular with your audience. Search trending topics to see what’s popular worldwide or in a specific region, or search hashtags to see what subjects are of interest for your potential audiences.
Building great visuals
Once you know what content you want, adding in visual elements makes your content more interesting and provides variety. Instead of just putting up a blog post, you can use the following tools to create infographics, videos, and animated presentations.
Create eye-catching infographics quickly with their wide range of templates and their easy to use drag and drop interface. Add charts, graphs, images and text to make a highly shareable and entertaining infographic without needing to hire a graphic designer or spend hours tinkering in Photoshop.
Whether designing pie charts, bar graphs, or maps, Infogr.am makes it easy to visualise data, and has the convenient option of adding live data via Google Sheets, making it easy to update charts in a matter of seconds.
Add even more flash to your content by creating animated videos or presentations through PowToon. Use their templates and royalty-free music, and create yourself a quick animated presentation that shines.
If you only make a few images, purchasing something as expensive and tool-heavy as Photoshop can seem like a waste of money. Canva gives you a way to create and edit images within your browser, even if you’re not a designer at heart.
Optimising for search engines
You all know that SEO is such a big part of making sure your website is seen. And there are tools that can help you refine your optimisation without breaking the bank.
Along with a blog filled with plenty of tips and tutorials, Moz has research and analytic tools that can help you keep track of your current rankings as well as providing tips to optimise your existing site. Moz Local also helps you improve your local SEO listings – important for anyone with a bricks-and-mortar location.
Find out exactly what Google thinks of your site, and how you can improve its performance with Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). Built to work in tandem with Analytics, GWT not only shows you automatically what pages would look like in Google search results, but also tells you how to improve your site, points out security issues, and generally gives you the latest tricks and tips you need.
Track your competitors and see who’s linking to them, what their ranking is, and how you compare with this convenient analysis tool. Enter in a URL, and get backlinks, search terms, and more all in one convenient page.
Download their free SEO Spider tool and have Screaming Frog crawl through your site, finding broken links, analysing page titles and meta data, and generating XML sitemaps quickly and easily. Audit your site before you restructure it, make sure your current site is working as well as it should, and make sure you don’t have duplicate content or bad redirects.
Producing perfect emails
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to get your message across. And there are plenty of tools out there to help you take it one step further and make them shine.
See how your email subject lines appear on the most popular mobile devices and make sure that when your subject line is truncated, it isn’t at an awkward bit of phrasing. The last thing you want if to become a trending topic on Twitter not for your amazing deals, but, instead, for the email subject line that appears to end in profanity.
Email copy needs to be short, direct, and active. With Hemingway, long sentences, difficult phrasing, adverbs, and passive tone of voice are all identified and highlighted, making it easy for you to change your text to really drive the point home.
Mastering social media
Your target audience, no matter who they are, is spending time on social media. And it’s one of the most important channels for you to engage. Thankfully, there are also plenty of tools to help you manage your social media presence.
One of the most popular tools for managing your Twitter account. Create different columns for specific terms, keywords, hashtags, and accounts and easily keep track of everything, whether you’re being mentioned by top Tweeters or seeing the hottest trends in your field.
Finding that period of time when your audience is engaged is vital to your social media performance. Tweriod analyses both your tweets and your followers’ tweets to see when that sweet spot is, making sure that when you do tweet, you’re reaching as many people as possible.
Want to make your own hashtag? Tagboard makes it easy. Search to see if something similar already exists, and once you have the perfect word, register it on Tagboard with a description and let it loose into the wild. Whenever anyone uses Tagboard to search for that hashtag, your description and image will pop up.
Designed for Twitter analysis, FollowerWonk helps you find, analyse, and optimise your Twitter work. Use it to gain insights into your followers, or find new influencers you can use to spread your message.
Finding the right people to pass on your new content can be difficult. Onalytica takes your work, whether it’s your latest blog post or a white paper, reviews it with their algorithm, and then finds you key influencers who are best situated to spread the word. Then get in touch with them to see if they’ll retweet, or just follow them to keep an eye on the latest trends.
With these twenty tools, you can build up your marketing prowess cheaply, easily, and without taking up valuable time. So get out there and make your website shine!