Online marketing is facing yet another massive evolution, where the rules of engagement are starting to change. This happens every couple of years, as customers demand something new, and companies are scrambling to adjust their brand’s tactics accordingly.
New technology is often a driving force behind such changes, and this time is no exception. The ever expanding reach of mobile ecommerce is now moving to other devices to a greater degree, like gaming consoles, smart TVs, and even refrigerators. Artificial intelligence is becoming a real, usable thing. The way we promote has to grow with it, or our brands will suffer.
These are nine online marketing tools to try this year that will help you to meet the demand for new services.
Email marketing has pretty much remained at the top of the marketing food chain over the years, and for good reason. It is tried and true, testing well today, just as it has for years. But you need a reliable, feature-heavy platform to run your campaigns, and most services in the past just haven’t been up to the job.
GetResponse is a more thorough platform that not only makes email marketing easy, but incorporates other crucial features you will need. They specialize in email campaigns, landing pages, marketing automation, and webinars.
Unlike other platforms that shall remain nameless, it is simple to use, and doesn’t have a million hard to follow rules. It starts at just $15 a month, which is perfect for small businesses that plan to expand their email efforts as they grow. Their pro version includes advanced features, like webinars, web analytics and smart landing page builder.
Salesmate is a helpful sales assistant that manages the whole lead generation process. It collects contact information, notes, conversion process and much more.
It’s surprisingly affordable giving you lots of tools to make your sales process better organized and easier for you and your team. It works well to increase conversion rates too.
Next to email, content is the other heavy hitter in the marketing world. Technically, you could say email and content marketing are part of the same species, with one informing the other. But how do you make sure you are always providing the very best content, whether it is in an email, on a blog, or anywhere else?
Buzzsumo is a research tool that lets you find out what content is performing the best, keep an eye on competitors, and get keywords that will help improve your SEO. This is one of the best content tools to come out in a while. Of course, if you really want to take advantage of the features you have to use one of the premium versions, which are a little steep. But it is worth it if you want quick content based growth.
Is your brand being mentioned somewhere online right now? Is an industry scandal, secret, piece of news or announcement starting to whisper through social media? You don’t want to be the last to know, or even the second to know.
Bump yourself up to the first in line with Brand Mentions. You and your team will get alerts at every brand or industry mention set by you, and you can reply from within your dashboard. Since you can see all other mentions and replies, you will be able to keep it in context.
Slack is a team management tool, but I recommend it to all marketers. You can create channels for you and your team to communicate easily. Invite some people to one channel, keep out others. Host mass chats for industry talks.
You can even create channels for customer service, feedback and support. It is a pretty versatile tool, and one that is easy to use.
Mattermost is a self-hosted Slack alternative which you may want to consider too.
I haven’t used Drift 2.0 much yet, because it is still a new release. But it is an interesting platform that aims at expanding customer service on the web, and letting go of call center support.
You create customized widgets, embed them into your site, and communicate with customers from there. We will have to wait and see how this one takes off, but so far it seems like it will be a big one.
The term growth hacking isn’t usually applied much to social media, but Tweetfull promises to do just that, using lead generation and user engagement. Honestly, this one may work for some, may not work for others. A lot of that has to do with how aggressive you plan to be on Twitter, and how much social factors into your marketing strategies.
But if you are an active Twitter user, and your brand is trying to really establish themselves there, it is worth using. The newcomer plan offers a pretty solid starting point for those who only need one account monitored, and are fine with steady growth over months, rather than fast growth over weeks.
Zoho Social lets you collaborate, publish and share posts from a single dashboard that combines the powers of content and social media.
While a lot of tools promise the same thing, Zoho also offers analytics, monitoring, and a few other goodies that put it ahead of a lot of the competition. They have a free plan you can try to see if it is for you.
Viral Content Buzz
Getting seen on social media can be hard, especially in the beginning. Even as you begin to gather more and more followers, it isn’t always easy to get above more visible influencers and brands.
With Viral Content Buzz, you can trade posts with others who are facing the same problem. They will share your content, you can share theirs, and you both benefit.
Bonus: Helpful Resources
- 101 Internet Marketing
- 101 Social Media Marketing
- 101 eCommerce
- 101 Web Hosting
- More Internet Marketing Resources
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments!