This is the Part 2 of the "Recommended Marketing Tools" series -- where successful bloggers share the marketing tools they couldn't live without. In case you missed it, you may check out the Part 1 here. Co-authored by James Richman.
In collaboration with James Richman of 1stWebDesigner, we've asked some of the most influential bloggers as to what are their 3 most recommended tools for content creation and promotion. We asked these successful bloggers what tools do they use on daily basis and here's what they shared.
Founder and CEO of Triberr, a SaaS solution that makes media buying in blogs, podcasts, and videos easy, scalable, and effective.
Frequently featured as an expert commentator on new technologies and the latest social media developments on sites like ReadWriteWeb, Dino is also the co-author of the book Engagement from Scratch along with Guy Kawasaki, Mitch Joel, and other notable authors and community builders.
3 Tools Dino Can't Live Without
Is the only platform I use to drive traffic to my sites. Partly because I'm the founder of it, but mostly because I want to track its effectiveness. If I used SEO or other techniques and platforms, it wouldn't tell me anything about the effectiveness of Triberr alone.
The other tool I love is an appointment scheduling app. It doesn't matter which one you use (I happen to use ), what's important is to add a scheduling link to your email signature so that when it's time to have a one-on one conversation with a prospect (or anyone else), you can ask them to pick a time that works for them and book it using the link in the signature. This eliminates a ton of back-and-forth.
The third tool I love is Boomerang. It allows me to re-send an email in my inbox to myself in a few hours or days. This is great when you want to work on something in a few hours but you don't want to forget about it, or when you need to follow up with someone in a week or two.
Juan Felix is passionate about helping businesses build meaningful connections with their target audience. With over 15 years' experience in marketing for one of the best marketing organizations around (including Hallmark Cards, Macintosh Retail Group and Ahold) today he runs his own relationship marketing agency, Felix Relationship Marketing.
Notable online entities including Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith hire Juan as customer experience professional to support their social team with community management and content marketing, so they can attract more qualified traffic to their website.
Some of his social media endeavours include Editorial Contributor to Social Media Magazines, Editor in Chief in Nieuwe Media Gids, Associate Writer: Social Media Consultant for Businesses and Marketers in Smedio, and Blogger for Mirror Yourself.
3 Tools Juan Can't Live Without
Social media management tools. One of your key tools should be a social media management tool (I use HootSuite), because it allows you to manage your content across all the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.
Monitoring what people say about you(r) brand is absolute essential if you want to join the conversation and build a solid relationship with your audience. And by listening really well, you'll learn how people value you(r) content. By regularly interacting with your audience via social media you grow a real community of ambassadors.
Use tools like HootSuite to feed this community with content that is interesting and not self-promotional. Use the scheduling feature to share great content while you're doing other important things to grow your business.
But don't forget to check your streams regularly and join the conversation if necessary. Thank people if they help you promote your content.
Photo / Image editing tools. Tablets and smartphones have changed the way people consume content. Social visual communication is becoming more important. As the amount of online content is growing every second, you need attractive high quality images to stand out on all social platforms!
Visual communication is absolutely essential if you want to grab people's attention and connect on an emotional level with your audience. Emotions, how something makes us feel are the main key drivers of our decisions. So, images play an essential role if you want to create content that triggers a big desire or taps into huge frustrations.
That's why my second essential set of tools are Photo Editing Tools like Photoshop, Canva and Picmonkey. Spend enough time to create the right visual for the content you share on social media!
Web analytics tools. Finally, all your content creation, curation and promotion efforts should all lead to inviting people to your central hub (website) where the essential conversion happens. This could be sharing your content, signing up for your newsletter, contacting you for more information or buying one of your products.
Google Analytics is absolutely essential if you want to monitor your website traffic, see where your traffic is coming from (source), understand more about the behavior of your website visitors (what content has the most page views) and learn how effective you are in promoting your content on social media.
Use the Google URL builder to make the content you promote on social media trackable with Google analytics. By adding special UTM codes to the url's of the content you share, you allow Google to track where your website traffic is coming from! This will teach you how much of the social traffic to your website was actually generated by your own promotional activities (versus the promotional activities of other people sharing your content)!
Formerly the Social Media Marketing Manager at Samsung's North America HQ, Esteban led the strategic direction, management, execution, and measurement of social media marketing efforts.
Esteban oversaw Samsung's U.S. brand presence in social media as well as the integration of social technologies and game mechanics into broader marketing campaigns, CSR efforts, and Samsung's website and mobile site. He also is the author of Social State: Thoughts, Stats and Stories about the State of Social Media in 2013.
3 Tools Esteban Can't Live Without
SAAS Social Relationship Platform. "The most powerful technology in the market," according to Forrester. For everything social.
Cool CMS for my site Social Nerdia
Ruhani is a seasoned business executive with 17+ years of corporate leadership and IT experience in the social media and IT sector.
Recognized by Huffington Post USA (2009) and Business Insider (2014) as one of the most valuable technology industry influencers at Twitter, he leads a social media following of over 240,000 for a tech-based Twitter feed that shares upcoming technology and social media related content.
3 Tools Ruhani Can't Live Without
SocialOOMPH & Buffer
Both of them can do extensive job on scheduling social media posts. I find myself switching between these two frequently so I had to put them together. Buffer is simple while SocialOOMPH is in the details.
Compete lets you do comparisons on domains and traffic. While analytics is important, it is much more important to understand where your competitor stands. It also allows you to discover similar domains. Compete's data is not primed. It is more of an estimate rather than the actual value. But, it helps me to understand competitors nonetheless.
Most social media accounts needs content that is visually designed to attract people. Images on Facebook and Twitter - Canva does a simple yet effective job to get brand messages delivered across the social hemisphere.
Ramon De Leon
Extreme passion & high energy are words that best described Ramon's love for the pizza business. He has been using Social Media channels since before the word existed. AOL Instant messenger was his micro-blog before Twitter was invented.
He had a business presence on Facebook in '05 before Facebook opened up to brands. His Social Media strategies were highlighted at Gravity Summit Harvard & streamed Live on CNN.com.
Awarded the 2011 "Chicago Social Media Person of the Year Award" by Chicago Social Media Marketing Group.
3 Tools Ramon Can't Live Without
When I had six Domino's Pizza stores it was extremely important to be found online. I needed to make sure the information people were reading about my brand was correct. "Can you imagine if online it said we were closed on Sundays!"
The web interface and the recently launched Mobile App now make managing your brand's presence mobile and easy. No small business should live without this.
Data is at the core of decisions we make today. The problem is curating the data and having a hub for your insights. SimplyMeasured gives you insights into all of your social media channels in just a few clicks.
Need to know which of your content performed best and when? Who are the most influential people that engaged with your brand? Need to export the data into a spreadsheet or quickly save the insights into a full powerpoint presentation? All of this are just clicks away.
Where else can you get a sense for what is going on in the world, around the corner or about your brand in 140 characters or else 24/7 in real-time?
You can be a fly on the wall and hear what people have to say or you can showcase your brand and let the world get to know the face behind the logo. I Love to use Topsy.com to search for content on Twitter. I can filter the results by language, influencer, content format and how long ago was it shared.
Creator of RelationShift, Tamara is a successful entrepreneur, Tamara who has been through business ups and downs as well as life restructuring, inevitably leading herself to another total life make-over and reinvention project.
She is a national speaker, business performance specialist, writer, social media expert and relationship economist. She's also the creator of the trademarked RelationShift® method, enabling individuals and businesses to improve virtually any relationship.
3 Tools Tamara Can't Live Without
I absolutely couldn't live without TweetDeck. TweetDeck helps me follow, organize and schedule everything I do on Twitter. It's also easy to use and straight forward. Bonus... It's free!
Both products are amazing and provide me with an incredible depth of information on how my social media campaigns are performing. They allow me to also benchmark myself against the performance of other social media influencers so I can learn what really does work in the real world.
Bitly is great for helping you shorten those massively long links you would like to tweet or share on social media. Additionally, Bitly tracks who actually clicks on the links you are sharing and how often they are actually read. People may favorite or retweet the material you share, but are they actually reading it and engaging?
Camilo Olea is a Digital Marketer from Mexico with many years of experience in Travel & Destinations Marketing.
Currently working as Digital Marketing Manager for Hard Rock Hotels Mexico & LATAM, he is also co-founder of Smart Map Cancun, a Travel Startup in Cancun Mexico.
3 Tools Camilo Can't Live Without
No Online Marketing initiative is complete if results are not being measured. These days there are a lot of Digital Analytics tools available -some paid, some free-, but you can't go wrong with Google Analytics. The free version provides more than enough tools to start measuring your campaigns and getting a clear picture of ROI.
You can of course pay for premium access and get even more useful tools, but if you are just starting you can do interesting things with the free version. Of course, it's always better to tag your links with Google Url Builder so you can get a detailed view of how each Online Marketing Campaign is performing.
This free Google tool is very useful for developing PPC campaigns. Literally, it's Google telling you wich keywords are searched the most and which not so much; extremely valuable information for developing optimized and cost-effective PPC Adwords Campaigns!
When you manage more than a couple Social Media accounts, it's always best to use a tool like hootsuite. You can control different accounts from one single dashboard, streamlining the process.
The post scheduler and team features are perfect for having more control and less room for mistakes, which can be costly. If you are just starting, I'd recommend the free version; but once you get the grasp of it you'll want to upgrade to a plan, they're not expensive at all and provide you with more functionalities.
Ellie Mirman is VP Marketing at Toast and previously led the inbound marketing funnel team at HubSpot. She specializes in lead generation, email marketing, sales & marketing alignment, and marketing analytics.
Hands-on marketing leader with track record of launching successful marketing programs. Experience ranges from lead generation and marketing automation to product marketing and customer development.
3 Tools Ellie Can't Live Without
I know this one is obvious for me, but I really do live inside HubSpot all day. It has everything I need for creating content, running campaigns, and doing analysis of my marketing.
This is a great free tool for creating images that my team uses for promoting campaigns. We're not going to spend a lot of time in photoshop most days, so this is a quick way for us to create nice looking images.
Ok, I'm cheating here because there are multiple tools included. And, these aren't strictly marketing tools, but they are critical for how my marketing team works. We collaborate a lot and keep track of all of our projects using a combination of Evernote and Google docs. Aside from HubSpot, this is where I spend most of my time.
Bonus: For a quick and free analysis of your site (if you don't have HubSpot), Marketing Grader is a great tool to give you insight into how you're doing online.
Kartik has close to 8 years of marketing and Communications experience, a MBA in Marketing and a couple of highly fulfilling interns and projects during his Masters.
He has worked in different Markets: US, India and SE Asia and have worked on both atraditional marketing as well as social/earned media. He's been involved in Brand Communications, Social/New Media and Web 2.0, PR/Influencer outreach, Content Creation, Branded Content, Online Collaboration and Insights.
A real-time hashtag tracker for all your social accounts including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A unique platform to generate Twitter hashtag reports and analytics.
A unique visualization platform live Twitter updates which best captures the feeling of an event.
Karen May Dy-Dela Cruz
Social media management is Karen's specialty. As a social media manager, she creates custom social media strategies, delivers a comprehensive social media action plan tailored to meet your specific business goals and execute them.
Karen has worked with several service-based business owners as their internet marketing virtual assistant and social media manager.
3 Tools Karen Can't Live Without
This is hands down the best social media management tool I have ever used. It has allowed me to reach potential clients, drive foot traffic to brick and mortar businesses through geo-targetting, and it has sophisticated analytics.
It makes creating beautiful landing pages, sales pages, or membership sites super easy.
The number of potential clients contacting me has more than doubled since I've used this plugin. If you want more leads, you've got to have this.
Author of the book on 'SOA & Java', executive panelist for Mckinsey Quarterly and is currently associated with Tech Mahindra's Digital Marketing Team. He specialties in integrated digital marketing campaigns, evangelism, agency interaction, SEO and SEM.
3 Tools Malhar Can't Live Without
One of the best tools to manage all of your social networks. Add to that, the ability to have additional accounts of the same platform and also assigning to any of the team member.
Researching your competitor - which ads work well for them, what keywords they target, which devices give the best result. Each of these can be found using SEMrush.
There are many reasons to like Google Analytics. Without it, I would not have been able to measure the success of my marketing campaigns and it's impact on the website. Even the topical features provide great insights to marketers.
Experienced Brand Manager, Marketing Strategist, Project Lead, Content and Social Media Enthusiast Catherine is passionate about building brands, project planning and developing creative yet effective marketing copy.
She complements her 8-year corporate marketing experience by continuously learning about the evolving digital space specifically in content marketing and social media.
3 Tools Catherine Can't Live Without
For queuing up social media posts. Love it for its ease of navigation and fantastic customer support team. To top it off, they have an awesome social media and productivity blog that is great for sharing too.
This free tool is a marketer's best friend. Aside from traffic and referral stats, the main metric I monitor here are Goal conversions. Stakeholders are after one thing. How much of that traffic led to a successful checkout or sign up? So, for every campaign I run, I measure it here.
Hemingway, Pro Writing Aid and Copyscape
These 3 are my go to tools for flawless and plagiarism-protected copy.
Damian is an experienced Digital Analyst, Consultant, Journalist and Researcher who has worked in senior and mid-level editorial, research and policy positions for the past two decades.
He is a regular contributor to major media outlets such as the BBC and CBS Interactive (ZDNet). His writing and research work focuses on how people are using social media and wider trends in local media, technology and journalism innovation.
3 Tools Damian Can't Live Without
I only have the free subscription, but find the Chrome plug-in especially useful. Given how visual social media has become, I love the fact that I can hover over an image and immediately share it via Buffer as part of a tweet or a posting to Google +.
The scheduling function - and subsequent analytics - are also handy as I share different types of stories and news with different audiences across the day. Meanwhile, the Buffer Blog is a must read for anyone wanting tips on how to use social media more effectively.
I'll use this to see who's shared an article I've written; or to follow a particular #tag. It's a very simple monitoring tool; but I love the clean design. I've discovered some great tweeps through Topsy who I now follow regularly.
Another tool that I've been using for some time. Since 2010 I've had 350,000 views to the research insights that I've shared on this platform. That's a lot of traffic! Now owned by LinkedIn, the two sites increasingly integrate better; and now that Slideshare's Pro features are free I'm an even happier customer!
SlideShare is also a great resource for research - if you wanted to see the latest thinking on a particular topic, guaranteed someone will have posted a conference presentation there. As a result, it's well worth adding to the list of sources you regularly check if you're investigating a particular subject for work or school.
Another tool which we'd like to recommend is Booksteam, a pretty nifty online appointment scheduling platform that makes it easy for you to keep track of all your appointments and pretty handy for all business of any size.
We hope these recommended tools by some of the influential bloggers help you better craft your content as well. Writing great articles is just half the battle. You need the most efficient tools as well to aid in your promotion and getting your content discovered by more and more people.