Having the right tools is essential to getting the job done right and in a timely manner. The same goes for marketing. If you want to attract and convert leads online, you have to have the right tools. This is one area where I see businesses fail the most. They get the idea that they need to market themselves but when it comes time to buy tools that will help them maximize results they balk. Now, not all the tools on my list have a fee. In fact, only one is. But even for the free tools, there is a level of buy-in and commitment you must have in order to see your desired results.

This week’s question comes from Mindi Rosser – @mindirrosser

If you could only choose five marketing tools for your business, what would they be and why?

This initally seemed like an easy question to answer, but it actually took me some time. I decided to choose five tools that I can’t live without and that I believe can be helpful to you. Here’s a quick list of them

  • Blog: Content drives your marketing. This is your voice online. It also helps your SEO efforts.
  • Email: Connect with your contacts and nurture leads.
  • Google Analytics: Track what is working and where traffic is coming from.
  • Twitter: For me, this is a great social channel. I drive a lot of traffic and it coverts @ 4.3%
  • HubSpot: Marketing automation is key to making sure no one falls through the cracks. Connects all your tools and syncs your efforts. Not as expensive as you think.

Now, check out the video to get more details on each of the five must-have marketing tools.

If you want to do the job right, you need to have the right tools. Now, tools don’t do the work for you, but they help make the work a lot easier and make sure that what you’re building is built sound, secure, and with a good foundation. Today’s question is, “If I could only pick five marketing tools, what would they be and why?” Let’s get into my five tools that I would choose and how I would use them and why they’re so important to my strategy.

The first tool is your blog. The reason blogging is so important is it’s your voice online. It’s where you get to house your content. It’s where you get to add your flair, your style and really, let the world know a little bit more about you, your business and the way that you run it. Blogging is still an extremely powerful tool. But, it’s got to be used effectively. There are billions and billions and billions of pieces of content on the internet that absolutely suck. This comes from people believing that “if I just post more than somebody else, then my site’s going to rank.” We’ve got all these pieces of content that are just low quality, don’t add any value, but they’re floating around the internet.

That’s created a lot of noise. How do you use your blog to stand out? You be yourself, first off. You write with your own tone. You don’t try to be somebody you’re not. You try to give your business’ voice online the same feel as you would if somebody was speaking to you on the phone. Now, then you develop good content. Now, good content is a very hard term to define, right? Good content is content that’s going to speak to your audience and solve their problems or educate them in a helpful manner. Your blog is really a way for you to add your voice to the internet, add content that speaks directly to the people you want to reach and does it in a tone that really invites them to join in and connect with you. Your blog is still a very powerful tool and if used correctly, can help you generate traffic, convert leads and even turn those leads into sales.

The second tool that I would choose is email. Email is a great form of communication when used appropriately. Now, we all have one reason or another to hate email. Maybe it’s all the spam messages we get. Maybe it’s the millions and millions of just emails we get on a regular basis and we feel like we’re flooded. You can still use email effectively for marketing, again, if you do it in the right context. Email is about communication. Email is about connection. It’s not about spamming. It’s not about just putting more stuff in somebody’s inbox. If you overload people, they’re going to unsubscribe. They’re going to ignore you. Once they ignore you, the chances are, they’re not coming back.

Use email, but use it appropriately. Use it sparingly. Understand, again, your audience. Your audience is going to dictate how much you can send them, what types of content that you can send them and really if they’re engaged or not. Now, we do use email automation but I also use email in a more personal way, where I’ll send directly from my account with just a regular email, asking good questions, but also just trying to connect with people. I don’t use emails to harvest links. I don’t use email to ask people to do extra things for me if I’m not willing to do them in return.

We can use email, we just need to use it in the right fashion. Email is a powerful tool because everybody still uses it. There isn’t another form of communication yet that’s really overtaken email. Yes, we have messaging chats. Yes, we have Facebook business windows that you can message people in, but really when business comes down to business, people go to their email and they use their inbox. Email is my second powerful marketing tool that I would have to have.

The third tool that I would have to have is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a powerful way to understand where you are and where you’re going. You need to understand what people are doing when they come to your site. Are they leaving quickly? Are they engaging with your content? Are they spending more time on your site or are they coming in through social channels or organic search or direct traffic? Google Analytics is going to help you uncover what’s working and what’s not working. Now, Google doesn’t give you 100% of the information. They have their reasons for doing that. A lot of it comes down to online privacy. For that reason, thanks Google. I really do appreciate it.

Now, we may not get all the keyword data that we used to get. We may only get as much data each month. Even some of the direct traffic is masked because we know that not all that direct traffic is actually direct. It’s probably some organic traffic or referral traffic or social traffic. The data we do get can tell us a lot. We can know who’s coming to our site, what they’re doing on our site, what their interests are. Google Analytics tool has really expanded over the years to give us so much more information than it did in the past. Google Analytics will be critical for me because it would help me know where I am and where I’m going and then where I’m supposed to or should invest more of my time, energy and maybe even money as far as my marketing campaign goes. Google Analytics is my third tool that I would have to have.

My fourth tool is a social channel and it’s Twitter. For me, Twitter is a very powerful way for me to connect with my audience. I drive a ton of traffic to my site through Twitter. Actually, my Twitter traffic converts at 4.3% visits to contact ratio. That’s pretty good for social visits to contact ratio. The reason why I believe my Twitter strategy works so well is I provide valuable content. I’m providing stuff that my audience actually wants. For you, it may be another social channel. Having a social channel that’s really a primary channel is really going to help you really get your message out there because everybody kind of has their niche. Every audience has their channel that they really enjoy being on. Maybe for you it’s Facebook or if you’re B2B maybe it’s LinkedIn. For me, it’s Twitter. I have to have Twitter because I have a large following that really likes what we do and connects with what we do, and comes back to our site, reads our content, engages with our content. Twitter would be my fourth tool, just because of the way it’s building my community and the way I’m able to get on there and just talk to people really quick; short information, short conversations where we can really just get to feed off of each other and share what we’re doing online.

My fifth tool is a little bit different. My fifth tool is an automation software. We’re HubSpot partners. I would have HubSpot. The reason why I would have to have HubSpot is HubSpot is kind of my one in all marketing tool. It controls my social media platform. My website’s on there. My blogs run through there, our landing pages, our email automation, our CRN is in there. HubSpot houses all this information with us and helps us keep track of everything we’re doing, but more importantly it speaks to each other through all the channels. I can see if somebody on Twitter also is on my mailing list and also went to my landing page and has visited my website. I get to actually string all my data together and I get to understand what each one of my users is doing and then how I can better adjust my strategy, my website, my content to meet my visitor’s needs.

When a lot of people think of HubSpot, they go, “Oh, my gosh, that’s so much money.” In reality, HubSpot’s not as expensive as you think. You’re already probably paying for web hosting. You’re already probably paying for some sort of lead pages or other landing page software or maybe marketing automation through an email client. What HubSpot does is kind of gets rid of all the different apps and all the different programs you’re using and puts them under one roof. When you get them under one roof, this is what makes them so effective. Each piece works together. When you have all of your tools working together and focused on a single goal, they work more efficiently and they deliver better results. When you’re trying to piece things together, things slip through the cracks. When things slip through the cracks, you can lose out on good deals, good opportunities. When everything’s together, everything’s working together and getting momentum in one focused direction, you’re going to see better results. HubSpot, hands down, would be my fifth tool and probably the most important tool of them all.

All right. That’s it. That’s my five most important marketing tools that I would have to have if I could only pick five. I have to have my blog. I need to have Twitter. I need to have email. I need to have Google Analytics and I must have HubSpot because all of those working together is going to help me keep my momentum and build my momentum forward. Those are five key channels for me in helping me focus my campaigns on one single direction to optimize my results.

Hope you guys liked this episode of the SMA Marketing Minute. If you want to submit a question, we’ve got a link down below. You can just click that link, submit a question and we’ll answer it on the show for you, right here. Please, like our page on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Be sure to subscribe here so you can stay up to date on everything we’re doing. Happy Marketing. Have an awesome week.

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