Marketing tools are everywhere on the internet, but sometimes the right ones can be hard to find. There are free tools, paid tools, new tools, and used tools. Now that I have gotten the Dr. Seuss out of my system, let's get down to business on a few that you should be focusing on right now that are the most important.
1. Google Analytics
I know that I have talked briefly about Google Analytics on this blog before, but I really cannot emphasize enough how important this tool is for your business. It goes beyond just a hit counter reminiscent of the visitors in a 90's webpage with the trailing cursor. Google Analytics can show you how people are getting to your website, the keywords that they are using, how long they are staying, where you are losing their interest, and so so much more. The absolute best part? It is completely free.
As a self-professed data nerd, Google analytics is my nirvana. While that certainly does not describe all of you, as I rarely encounter another human with my love of pivot tables, it does not mean that you have to be in love with all things quantitative to make good use of Google Analytics.
First, set up the code on your site and then allow it to gather data for a while, and then just browse around after it has done its work for a bit. Look at the traffic on your site during an ad campaign or after. Does your organic traffic increase due to heightened brand awareness? Is there one certain page that people seem to leave more than others? What are the demographics of your site visitors and how do they differ from what you would have expected? You don't have to do a deep dive analysis to glean important information that can help you run your website more efficiently.
I will delve more into Google Analytics later on, but as a tool for any marketer at any level, this is an absolute must!
2. Drip Marketing
Drip Marketing Campaigns are relatively new, but also a very very powerful tool for anybody who has an email list of clients or prospects or both. Drip Marketing Campaigns can encompass a wide variety of looks shapes and feels, but overall they all have one objective: to create more personalized emails that reach out to your consumer at a more appropriate time.
Sending mass email blasts should be a thing of the past for most of you, although many large companies still use this tactic even though there is much better technology to utilize. Many have noticed this in your own inbox, and it is most notable to with re-engagement emails. Have you ever received an email from a company reminding you that you had placed an item in your cart but not purchased it? This is likely the first email in a longer list of drip marketing campaigns that are designed to encourage you to finish that purchase. They might then follow up with a second reminder email; this time it might contain a 10% off coupon. You can see the pattern here. Drip campaigns can also be used with cold leads to stay in front of a prospect and keep your company front of mind. The possibilities are endless.
Most major emailing platforms already have drip campaigns integrated into their systems. A few examples are Constant Contact, ZoHo, and Mail Chimp. Exploring these and other options are ideal for staying in front of current and prospective clients. I recommend looking into one that integrates with your CRM, so that you are better able to track the results and see the improvements of your sales cycle.
3. Scheduled Social Media Posts
Scheduling social media posts is a lifesaver in my opinion. If you are anything like me, it is easier to sit down and think through 5-10 social media posts at once and get them all done and ready to post. But then what do you do with them? You can't post them right away, otherwise you aren't going to be maximizing the use of your time and will just annoy your followers.
That is where tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck are a life send. There are a myriad of different options available to you that will allow you to schedule posts ahead of time and then post them at the optimal time. Some will give feedback as to when the prime time to send something to each social network are, but I generally find that HootSuite's free version is the best place to start for those new to this.
I know these are simple, but I am a realist. I could give you 7, 10 or 101 great free marketing ideas, but what are the chances that you are going to go right out and implement even half of them? I know that I wouldn't. I implore you to try all of these in the next 1-2 weeks and see what difference it makes in your marketing life. Trying to go from 0 to 60 is something that we should save for Vin Diesel in the Fast and the Furious. Instead, let's start small.
Check back in a bit and see what other ideas I have for you when you have accomplished these!