With more businesses committing time and money to online marketing, there are a growing number of services and tools that have been developed to help savvy marketers get better results from their online strategies. If you’re already dabbling in social media and sending out an email newsletter, check out these fourteen online marketing tools that will help take your business marketing strategy to the next level.
You know the importance of advertising, and you are probably using social media to some extent. You may even have tried a Google AdWords or Facebook campaign. With so many options available, though, it’s easy to get lost in the online world.
Not only do you want to be on the front page of a Google listing but you also want to take advantage of the major players in social media. This can easily be overwhelming, but with the right tools you’ll not only spend less time managing your social media presence, you’ll get better results for your business.
If you’re looking to improve the results you’re getting form social, check out these do-it-yourself tools:
- Hashatit quickly brings up what’s happening on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for any given hashtag. Use it to pinpoint conversations you should be joining, and connect with your market.
- Followerwonk slices and dices Twitter into perspectives any marketer will love. It helps you understand Twitter analytics, your followers and any influencers in your niche.
- Hootsuite is the quintessential social media dashboard. It allows you to view, analyze and post to all your social media presences from a command post.
If you’re in the B2C sphere and haven’t been collecting cell phone numbers and offering special rewards for signing up for text messages, it’s time to consider getting started. With shoppers carrying smartphones in record numbers, text messaging offers a rapid and easy way to get the attention of harried shoppers. Some of the key benefits of text marketing include its immediacy, directness, trackibility, personal feel and eco-friendliness.
There is no limit on your creativity when it comes to text message marketing campaigns. You can send your customers information about sales, promotions or new items. Or, you can reward them with coupons, discounts, limited-time offers and loyalty points. This can help you keep customers interested in your brand and keep them coming into your business.
Tools like SumoText and Outspoken offer easy-to-use solutions for businesses looking to deploy a mobile marketing strategy.
Geofencing, which is a location-based mobile service, is another technique that can boost the effectiveness of text message marketing. By using GPS on smartphones, marketers can know when customers are close to their place of business and alert shoppers to sales and deals or send them coupons or limited-time offers. Check out Thumbvista to learn more about how to apply this to your business.
Email marketing has been around for a long time, but too many businesses aren’t using it effectively. There are three things you need to do to get great results from email. The first is to understand your audience and find a writer who can develop great copy aimed at that audience, the second is to develop an email strategy that varies by target audience, and the third is to secure a service to send your bulk emails.
To better understand your audience, start by developing buyer personas. These detailed profiles of your ideal customer can not only help you refine your email marketing strategy – they’re also useful tools for business planning and sales enablement. Once you have your buyer personas in place, the key is to find a writer who understands the personas and how to write in a way that will capture their attention.
When looking for writers, you can hire someone in house or look at outsourcing. With outsourcing, your choices include hiring a marketing agency or using freelancers through sites such as Elance and oDesk, which give you lists of writers, their hourly rates and their rating. Hiring an agency is the more expensive of the two options, but it is also less time consuming because the agency takes on the responsibility of delivering publication-ready content, whereas you’ll be responsible for managing your freelancers and editing their work.
It’s not enough to simply develop buyer personas and write great email copy – your email strategy needs to be segmented by persona. Here at Quintain, we sell marketing services, website design services, and promotional products. The person who is intersted in buying promotional products shouldn’t be bombarded with emails about our web design services. If they are, they will most likely unsubscribe. Instead, send only information that is relevant to that persona. You’re results will improve – I guarantee it!
Once you’ve got your strategy in place, you can sign up for accounts with an email marketing service such as Infusionsoft, MailChimp, or Constant Contact. These services will ensure you’re compliant with federal CAN-SPAM laws and help you learn about your subscribers’ engagement, website activity and other data, which can help you target them more successfully. If you want to go one step farther, get a subscription to HubSpot, which has built in tools to manage persona-based email campaigns and a complete solution for closed loop marketing.
Other tools for email include Scope, which helps you figure out how others configure their mail, and Email Spam Test, which helps you make sure your mail will get through the spam traps.
All of these tools are just the beginning. Start looking at your marketing strategy and how you can improve, so you can have a happy and prosperous new year!
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