Marketers. Love them or hate them. They are everywhere. Kind of like crappy players on New York sports teams. Now, I know, you probably think marketers are the worst type of people you know. They puke buzzwords and are smugger than the commenter on a YouTube video. Most good marketers are usually too busy helping businesses market than marketing their accomplishments. Part of my job involves talking to marketers and helping them get things done. Apart from big ideas and hard-work I notice many commonalities in successful marketers. Particularly what tools they use and how they hire. Below are some of the common products/services that we’ve seen in use by many of the successful marketers we support.
SEO reporting’s new hero is the all-in-one solution that is Agency Analytics. This powerhouse analytics software focuses on SEO, PPC and website performance to ensure that websites are problem-free with its constant auditing technology. Its campaign monitoring capabilities allow businesses to have every analytical report that matters front and center on their own custom dashboard. Clients and businesses demanding results need Aency Analytics. Marketers that use Agency Analytics or tools like it are more than happy to be transparent and upfront with how their marketing helps the bottom line. Too often organizations invest in marketing without accountability…which is one of the most idiotic investments they can make apart from buying the team Thighmasters to improve work-life balance.
There are hundreds of content management software options on the market, but HubSpot continues to be the dominant choice for marketers. As the inventors of the term and methodology behind inbound marketing, a concept that aligns content with target customer interests, HubSpot is on the cusp of all marketing trends. This is largely due to the HubSpot marketing platform. The all-in-one software provides marketers with a portfolio of conversion driving tools and provides sales with real world intelligence that helps to drive smarter conversations. Instead of bootstrapping multiple tools together to facilitate email marketing, social, analytics, SEO and marketing automation, HubSpot facilitates focused marketers. Full disclosure, Computan (the company I work for) is a HubSpot user. The only thing negative I have to say is that their infatuation with orange and plaid is a little unsettling. I can’t tell if it’s a mandatory, work-uniform thing or something else. If it’s not and they just instinctively ‘like’ orange plaid and dressing in the colors of their company style guide I think more questions need to be asked.
Slack has become the rising star of the team communication market. It’s embraced by major brands and is designed to integrate marketing and app counterparts onto one platform. When the connectivity of a team is paramount, Slack has become the answer. Slack does many things that makes marketing easier: think reduction of internal emails, communication channels for projects, and integrations with your favorite tools like Google Drive, DropBox, Salesforce and Trello. All of which are also tools that successful marketers seem to use. Of note, Slack seems to be drinking the chatbot chai and has integrated with GrowthBot, a chatbot developed by HubSpot. There is a little irony in the fact that the gang at Slack named their product after the the thing it’s trying to reduce – slack time. With that in mind perhaps it’s time Pepto Bismol changes their name.
HotJar helps marketers visualize the behavior and desires of visitors on their business websites. Hotjar uses heat map technology to display a user’s touch points, clicks and scrolling across all devices. This technology dives in deeper to provide eye opening feedback on your lead conversion opportunities, form performance and overall visitor performance. If you want a transparent view of how well your website works with multiple types of visitors, HotJar is your answer. Also, HotJar has a nifty little gadget that allows you to record what visitors do when they visit your website. So if you run out of things to binge watch I’m sure nothing beats snuggling up with a bowl of popcorn and watching a few recordings of visitors navigating your website from throughout the day.
Live Video on Social
Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat
Live video has been a successful format for decades. This format has become incredibly accessible for marketers through social platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and SnapChat. Video dominates social platforms, and as the most consumed post type, it’s also the most shared. Marketers now have access to an inexpensive tool that will propel brand engagement to a new level using an authenticating and trust-building outlet. There are some caveats with live video though and marketers need to make sure they know how to broadcast properly. I think everyone can share a digital cringe and wait in anticipation for that awkward moment when someone’s (probably a celebrity) pocket-dial opens up a live video session instead of just calling someone.
BombBomb is all about building trust and connecting with leads. It takes the concept of the in-person sell and applies it to email, only using prerecorded sales videos. The result of BombBomb for sales is higher engagement. That looks like higher conversion rates, more clicks and more email replies. BombBomb’s intelligent software delivers incredible insights like when an email is opened, clicked and viewed and how many times your leads return to that email. This is a marketing and sales tools marketers want in their back pocket next to whatever shiny new Apple product they always seem to be carrying around.
Any small business owner or marketing agency owner knows that operational items like accounting are a tedious yet necessary part of the job. Plus most marketers and accountants we know go together like peas in vanilla ice cream. Regardless of personality clashes, invoicing and tracking expenses can’t fall to the wayside and that’s where Freshbooks comes in. Freshbooks provides a professional, intuitive cloud based accounting software. It comes with built in technologies that add transparency like a time tracker, mobile app and the ability to accept recurring and one-time credit card payments online. You can also link your bank account and track expenses. Overall, Freshbooks makes accounting a lot easier. Why wouldn't you want to make your life easier? Is someone bribing you into a difficult life with Panda Express and a Batman movie marathon? Let me know when you get to Batman & Robin!
Not every project can be accomplished in-house and if it can, I commend you with hardiest of handshakes and a long stare that borders on uncomfortable. Truthfully, I don’t know many marketers that can pull off doing everything in-house. For the other 99 percent of marketers who staff for strategy and outsource for design, development and even content writing, having a wealth of talent at your fingertips is necessary. Upwork has become the largest “online workplace” for freelancers. It’s quickly become the go-to spot for agencies to find freelancers that fit perfectly with their team. Upwork offers a platform to find talent, post work and collaborate on that work. Do be careful though. Upwork as a platform is great, but it’s not responsible for the output or the people you hire from their platform. Remember, Upwork is basically Tinder for freelance help. Someone may look like Spiderman in their profile pic, but perform like the Condiment King. You can go there and search their diverse, user-friendly and vast database for your freelancing soulmate, but ultimately it’s up to you to qualify them and make your relationship the stuff of a pre-Lincoln Lawyer Matthew McConaughey movie. So if you’ve ‘lost a freelancer in 10 days’ or your last project ‘failed to launch’ (cough, cough) then we’ve laid out some ways to outsource some core, but not critical, marketing functions to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
About the Author:
Sajeel Qureshi is the Vice President of Operations at Computan. Computan helps short-handed marketing departments and marketing agencies get more agile by providing them affordable and reliable back-end support.