Essential Digital Marketing Tools 2017
Digital marketers are unique, precious, (obviously modest) human beings. Some days we are developers or designers, other days we are writers and data geniuses. With such a broad skillset and depth of knowledge, we really should wear capes and fly (we aren’t that biased – honest).
However flying around the digital marketing scene all day makes for hard work. Fortunately there’s a huge number of tech masters out there who have kindly created a whole host of tools to make our working lives much easier. Here we break down our absolute favourites.
Keyword research remains at the heart of all digital content, be that web copy, blog content or metadata.
Seeking content inspiration? Google Trends is a great place to start. It will help you determine the current search volume and long-term popularity of your prospective content themes, as well as emerging new terms, allowing you to make informed choices on where to invest your precious time.
Once you have some ‘seed’ keyword ideas, search for them with AHREFS’ Keyword Explorer to understand variants, alternatives and suggestions. You can prioritise your keywords based on volume, difficulty and click-through-rate, helping you to decide which themes to target and include naturally in your copy.
Pop your seed keyword ideas into Answer The Public and find potential long-tail search queries. These niche little nuggets might just give you a better chance at organic visibility. Don’t be put off by the site’s impatient character. Integrate the platform with the Keywords Everywhere Chrome Extension for even cleverer insights.
Whilst original images are always best, sometimes resources just don’t allow their creation. This is where stock images come in.
For classic stock photography in its finest form check out Pixabay. Its visuals are all released under the Creative Commons CC0 license. This means that they are safe to use without acquiring permission from, or giving credit to, the artist. Pixabay’s assets are even suitable for commercial purposes.
Much like Pixabay, Unsplash allows the use of its images for commercial and non-commercial purposes. What sets this platform apart is the quality and style of its photography. If you are looking for something a little sleeker and chicer, look no further than Unsplash.
A whopping half a billion people are watching videos everyday on Facebook. The trend towards the use of video in digital marketing is on a stratospheric trajectory. Is it any wonder then that we love our little GIFs so much? Giphy is the GIF platform – and if you didn’t know that already, where have you been?
Read More: September Month In Numbers
Whilst photoshop and illustrator remain the designers’ domain, us digital marketers dabble in the art every now and again.
All those who hate a poorly cropped social image say ‘aye.’ “AYE!” Banish those banner blues forever with Canva. This magical platform allows you to create social images easily. Use Canva’s wide variety of templates to tailor your assets to the exact size for each of your platforms. With text overlays and free designs, social assets = done.
If you need a little more sophisticated image editing functionality, but don’t have access to Photoshop, then try Pixlr. This nifty little web editor allows you to layer your images up and perform many of the tasks you would look for from Adobe. Use the express version for lighter tasks and the main editor for more complicated work.
Long on our radar, PicMonkey allows you the kind of portrait style visual editing you would only expect to see on Instagram. Templates can be also crafted for other cool things such as flyers and posters. Only slight downside? All of its super services are now available solely by subscription – but we still love you PicMonkey.
Social media posting and scheduling remains an integral part of digital marketing strategy. It is still the cheapest and easiest way to reach your audience.
Whilst many of the tools we have listed so far are free, Sprout Social does come with a price. For some, Sprout Social is well worth the cost. The level of sophistication it offers is far superior to free platforms such as Hootsuite and Buffer. Start a free trial and find out for yourself.
Though Hootsuite is a little less sophisticated than Sprout Social (ow.ly links, we’re looking at you) it remains an effective free alternative. Its Instagram integration shows just how far the platform has come. Considering this has proven so difficult for many other tools, it just goes to show you really can teach an old dog new tricks.
When characters are oh so precious (and are likely to remain so, even after Twitter’s tweet length update), Bitly still saves the day. Not only does this clever little tool allow you to shorten your links and tailor the slugs to keep them on-brand, it allows you to track clicks too. Never have your tweets been so sweet.
We all know that a good magician never reveals all of their tricks (just enough to leave you wanting more). If that’s you, then please get in touch to find out how we can help you with your digital marketing.