Digital marketing is not a linear process; it involves several activities and platforms. Digital marketing messages and tactics vary according to where consumers are in the buyer's journey, their psychographics, demographics, and their place in the sales funnel.
You need several tools and platforms to handle the planning, creation, and execution of digital marketing campaigns. Mark Liska, a prominent digital marketer, once said, "It is all about the platform, baby." To be a successful digital marketer today, you should be familiar with various digital marketing tools and how to work with them to achieve the best results.
These tools can be related to analytics, CRM, content marketing, content management, and social advertising. They also include social media management, SEO, email marketing, and chatbots. Here we give you a low-down on the 14 digital marketing tools you should be proficient in to get optimum results.
1. Google My Business
Considering Google's dominance among search engines, Google My Business is a blessing for startups and local businesses. Your presence on Google My Business ensures your visibility on the search engine.
When you upload your business information directly to Google, you cut through the many old-school SEO practices, such as registering your website on various low-quality directories and business listing sites. Google My Business is even more crucial for local businesses because it helps them appear on local searches. It is a free tool that can send tons of traffic to your website and divert business inquiries, especially if you have good reviews on it.
2. SEO Crawlers
SEO crawling tools give you an unfair advantage in online marketing. They save you a lot of effort and time by providing you with crucial competitor SEO insights. They also help you identify issues on your client's websites and create quality backlinks.
3. Google Search Console
It allows you to control your presence on Google. You can use it to submit your sitemap, test site speed, and assess organic search term traffic. You can also find the webmaster tools of other search engines such as Bing and Baidu; each is important for lead generation.
4. Content Management Systems
Website management and content publishing are crucial parts of digital marketing as you need to tweak your website, add links, and update content regularly. A content management system (CMS) like WordPress or HubSpot allows you to manage your web pages and edit existing content, graphics, and links.
5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
The more customer-focused your digital marketing campaign, the more successful it will be. A robust CRM system helps you tailor your campaign according to specific customer requirements and interaction history. Using CRM, you can upload contact lists to your campaigns and keep a tab on new visitors and customers. CRMs like Salesforce and Zoho help you shape your campaigns as per the buyer's journey and target your audience according to their interactions with your brand.
6. Google Ads
Being well-versed in Google Ads is as essential to your agency's success as having killer SEO skills. Google Ads should be an indispensable component of your digital marketing campaigns. You can use it to increase your online presence with video ads, display ads, search ads, in-app ads, and shopping ads. It is vital for B2B, B2C, travel, healthcare, ECommerce, and education domains, allowing you to multiply your traffic and leads using paid ads.
There is no digital marketing platform better than Google to target users. Google uses many metrics such as demographics, browsing behavior, and user interests to help you target the right audience. Google Ads also allows you to remarket, an excellent way to convert leads. Google paid campaigns are designed to bring you qualified leads.
Paid advertising gives you an average of 200% ROI; the traffic that comes through it brings 50% more lead conversions than organic search traffic. A whopping 66% of buyer-intent keywords are paid clicks. You can also use Bing Ads; it works much like Google Ads but targets a different audience.
With its 2.5 billion active users, you cannot ignore Facebook. It's the largest social media site offering laser-targeted advertising features, the ability to engage with audiences, and manage conversations. Both organic and paid promotion on Facebook is indispensable for any digital marketing agency.
However, since FB is continually evolving, there are no textbook rules to help you ace Facebook marketing. It is an engaging platform that expects you to go the extra mile to learn your audience's online behavior and interests and leverage them to your advantage.
If you can connect with your target audience and keep them engaged with your content on Facebook, you will create a loyal fan-base. Facebook pays off your efforts many times over through both organic promotion and paid advertising. You should use this powerful platform to follow your audience's content preferences and offer them instant customer support.
Facebook also offers various courses for marketers, businesses, and agencies. You can take them to learn advanced techniques. You can also check out case studies to know how brands are using FB to succeed. These courses will help you create the ideal marketing strategy and adopt the right mindset to leverage FB to your maximum advantage.
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it offers the option to include Instagram when placing your ads, allowing you to simultaneously use both platforms, eliminating the need to invest time and efforts separately for Instagram.
However, both these platforms attract audiences in different ways. Therefore, you should have separate ad content strategies for each. If you are into fitness, travel, modeling, entertainment, education, food, hospitality, fashion, beauty, and cosmetics, a strong presence on Instagram could be a game-changer for your business. Since it's a visual medium, Instagram should be the go-to platform for businesses that thrive on optics.
A prevalent social networking tool, it is used widely for digital marketing. Hashtags first made an appearance on Twitter in 2007, thanks to Silicon Valley product designer Chris Messina. Hashtags and mentions are integral to Twitter, and you should use them skilfully to your advantage. Using hashtags is an art; all are not good, and some can even be counterproductive for your brand. Therefore, you need to keep experimenting.
According to Twitter, it's an excellent platform for businesses because it offers them:
- Latest, real-time trends
- Excellent social listening features
- Free business promotion
- A platform to expand your reach, connect, and engage with new audiences
- A medium to network with partners, identify influencers and start a conversation or a movement
Though it can be beneficial, Twitter doesn't offer the same ROI as Google and Facebook for various reasons. For instance, it has only 152 million monetizable daily active users compared to Facebook's 2.8 billion active daily users. Meanwhile, Google remains the king of the Internet, with 63,000 searches per second.Ā
LinkedIn was officially launched on 5 May 2003 for employees and employers to network and explore job opportunities. Later on, it became the favorite network for recruiters and B2B marketers. With 40 million mass affluent users, LinkedIn users have twice as much purchasing power as the average web audience. It is an incredibly useful platform to hire highly skilled employees.
With over 760 million users in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is the most popular platform for working professionals worldwide. It also has profiles of businesses, startups, schools, NGOs, agencies, freelancers, and consultants. LinkedIn allows you to send inMail messages with its paid membership, a great way to connect with your intended audiences. If you are a recruitment marketer, you can't ignore LinkedIn.
11. Social Media Management and Scheduling Tools
Businesses often find it challenging to keep track of their posts on various social networks. There are tools such as Hootsuite, and BufferĀ that can help. They allow you to schedule your posts on all your social handles. With their help, you can create posts in advance and schedule them for the entire month as per your calendar without skipping any important events or milestones. You can also use these tools to research, manage, and create social media campaigns.Ā
12. Deep Linking Platforms for Apps
If you have a highly functional and engaging app and want to send the user to a particular location inside it for quick conversion, deep linking platforms such as Branch and deeplink.me can help. Even if the user hasn't downloaded the app, a separate link will take them to Google Play Store to download and access it. However, if you do not have an app, you can't use these tools.
13. Email Marketing Tools
For industries like consulting, education, healthcare, and pharma, email marketing can be a godsend. Email marketing tools allow you to create custom emails according to the message you want to send to your subscribers. They help automate various email marketing tasks and analyze results using inbuilt analytics. You can use tools such as Constant Contact and Mailchimp for optimal results.
Websites use chatbots to retain visitors and assist them if they cannot find what they are looking for. They collect visitors' contact information, provide customer support, address queries, and help users smoothly navigate websites with a vast volume of content. They also offer automated solutions for lead generation.
Chatbots are a much more efficient way to collect website visitors' information than annoying opt-in popups. Though most chatbots are expensive and out of reach for startups, you can use several affordable options, such as mobile monkey.
Though we have tried to cover the most popular digital marketing platforms, this is not a comprehensive list. Successful digital marketing needs various processes such as content creation, campaign handling, and data management. You may need Canva to design and create infographics, picture messages, posters, and edit images. You may also need video editing and creation tools such as Lumen5.
Innovation is the key to successful digital marketing campaigns. There is no end to learning when exploring game-changing digital marketing tools. We would like to hear more from you in the comments section about the various other digital marketing tools that you use and think are indispensable for agencies and marketers.