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Make Marketing Manageable: Expert Tools and Insights

HubSpot: No. 1 Marketing Tool

USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.5

Business tools are essential for any company to succeed in today’s digital world. However, many small businesses face the seemingly overwhelming challenge of deciding on the right tools and services to choose from. From B2B to consumer facing businesses, almost every company faces the issue of “choice” in marketing tools.

That’s why we put together a guide on choosing a marketing tool and asked top marketing professionals and CEOs about the marketing tools that they couldn’t live without in 2016.

Choosing a Marketing Tool: The 5 Step Guide

Step 1: Identify the Problem

A great marketing tool helps a business solve a problem. Especially for small business owners, it doesn’t make sense to waste money on a tool if it is not helping to improve a process or make life easier for their employees.

Step 2: Talk to Your Team

Before purchasing or implementing a new marketing tool, it is a great idea to talk to your team about the problem you have identified and how you plan to solve it. We always suggest that businesses ask their employees for input during this process. Sometimes employees have great insight or know of a way to solve the problem without having to incur additional expenses.

Step 3: Research Your Options

This is often the most difficult task as there seems to be too much information out on the web. We recommend collecting information and reviews from 3-4 different tools that claim to solve the problem your company is facing. After choosing a few options that could potentially be a good fit, your research becomes a lot more manageable.

Step 4: Trial and Analysis

To prevent a misuse of time and money implementing a company-wide tool only to find out that it doesn’t quite solve your problem, it is important to start any new tool on a trial basis. Sometimes this means purchasing the service for a limited time and letting only a few employees on a team try it out.

The trial period is important because your company can get a feel for the tool or service and decide as a group if it is the best option. If you find the tool doesn’t work, move on to the next one. Repeat until the team is satisfied with the functionality and ready to implement on a full time basis.

Step 5: Full Implementation

This is sometimes a difficult endeavor as some employees may not want to learn a new process. It may feel a bit painful at first to transition into your new tool or service, but if you followed all of the necessary steps the benefits should quickly become apparent. 

Top Marketing Tools of 2016: The Experts Weigh In

Chris McGovern, Owner & CEO
Company: Presh Marketing Solutions
Recommended Tool: HubSpot 

Why They Love It: Today’s marketing environment is so complex, especially from a digital perspective, that it is too difficult to understand what is happening with all of your marketing unless you centralize it. HubSpot keeps all of our marketing channels and tools (social, blog, reporting, email, lead management, etc.) in one area, which allows us, and our clients, to really know what is going on.

With HubSpot, we specifically track the conversion of strangers to visitors, visitors to leads, and then leads to customers. Before HubSpot, we would be looking in different tools (I.e. Social ad managers, Google Analytics, MailChimp, etc.) to get this data, but now we go to one location. We’ve saved time, and know more about our business.  

Brandon Schroth, Marketing Coordinator
Company: Florida Virtual School
Recommended Tool: Majestic

Why They Love It: SEO is really important for our brand, and this platform includes tons of neat tools that really help me do my job more efficiently. It’s extremely helpful for analyzing links and figuring out whether or not you should be approaching certain websites for link acquisition.

One of their newest features is a tool called Clique Hunter. All you have to do is enter a few of your competitor’s websites and it will show you other sites that link to them, but haven’t actually linked to you yet. This is a very effective method of unearthing new opportunities for link building. 

Kat Haselkorn, Director of Content
Company: Go Fish Digital
Recommended Tool: Buzzsumo

Why They Love It: Buzzsumo’s platform has helped us automate the process of researching and compiling lists of influencers that we used to do manually. It does a great job of aggregating all the stats that are relevant to us (for example: the ratio of total tweets to retweets of others) and has dramatically increased the speed with which we do outreach for press and link building.

Evan Harris, Partner
Company: SD Equity Partners
Recommended Tool: Yoast

Why They Love It: The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin has helped ensure that our on-page SEO efforts are targeted and effective. I really like this tool because it is so simple to install, set up, and use.

As we continue to build out our website, Yoast analyzes our content, assessing a score on readability, which helps maintain a strong user experience. It also allows me to easily change title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions which is great for someone who may not be overly tech savvy.

Julie Graff, Social Content Liaison
Company: Pole Position Marketing
Recommended Tool: Buffer

Why They Love It: The marketing tool I can’t live without is Buffer. It allows you to set specific times you would like to post updates to your social media streams each day. When you have content, either your own or curated content from the internet, you can specify that it should be shared at the next scheduled time or be put in the next blank slot. Or you can schedule a custom time that goes outside your normal schedule.

It would take hours to schedule content for the several in-house social networks I manage for our marketing agency, plus the few I handle for clients. With Buffer, I am usually able to complete daily scheduling for 9 accounts in under two hours.  

Jacob Dayan, Partner & Co-Founder
Company: Community Tax
Recommended Tool: Facebook Display Ads

Why They Love It: For a B2C enterprise like ours, Facebook display ads are an indispensable tool. Facebook has the largest user base of any social channel, and the detailed information it has on its users enables very powerful segmentation. The platform also has a ton of flexibility built in – you can customize delivery by platform, location and time of day, and you can target specific user actions, like link clicks or form completions, and pay based on these things. You can even refer user actions on your website back to Facebook for tracking purposes. With all this scale, power and flexibility, it’s a cost-effective channel that you can test various tactics with little financial risk by setting spending limits.

Howie Zisser, Digital Marketing Associate
Company: Matchnode
Recommended Tool: Unbounce

Why They Love It: Unbounce is a highly customizable landing page builder. As a digital marketing agency, it’s invaluable to be able to quickly create new landing pages for our clients and then run A/B Tests to seek higher conversion rates. Since it doesn’t require any hardcore coding skills, it’s so easy to use and the impact can be huge for our clients. Also, it’s simple to create multiple versions of the same page to cater to different buyer personas or types of traffic. Unbounce saves us countless hours and leads to conversion rate optimization. 

Evan Fraser, Head of Marketing
Company: GraphicSprings
Recommended Tool: Qualaroo

Why They Love It: Qualaroo allows us to gather information from our users by running survey on our website and landing pages. It has helped us pinpoint our user demographic and allowed us to overhaul the focus of our advertising campaigns.

Creating a user profile was crucial in understanding our visitors and tweaking our landing pages. This helped us find more relevant advertising avenues and redesign our adverts to fit our demographic more accurately. We saw a 41% increase in revenue from a series of surveys that we ran through Qualaroo; using surveys to gather data before creating A/B tests was the key our success.

Clint Evans, CEO
Company: Stand Out Authority
Recommended Tool: Click Funnels

Why They Love It: Click Funnels includes templates to start our online offers. These templates follow a proven model based on data. The pages inside the funnel lead the prospect step by step to become a buyer. It’s intentional and very well-designed.

It’s a great starting point for our team and gives us visuals of each step in the buyer journey. It also allows our coders and designers to the ability to provide customization.

Christine Hollinden, Principal
Company: Hollinden Marketers and Strategists
Recommended Tool: Act-On

Why They Love It: We live in a world of instant, with a need to nurture. Act-On is a marketing automation tool that gives us the ability to nurture prospects based on their interests (based on behaviors – downloads, page clicks, etc); marketing automation provides insights beyond standard analytics.

Additionally, because Act-On integrates analytics, social channels, email marketing, landing pages, and other marketing tactics under one roof, it provides a much clearer picture of how things work together versus each standalone system.

Conclusion

While this list is by no means the end-all-be-all to digital marketing tools, it does encompass a majority of the best digital marketing tools on the planet.

Remember that whenever choosing a tool it is important follow the right process or else you might find yourself and your company wasting valuable time and resources.

See something missing from the list? Let us know down below in the comments!

Category: B2B News

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