December 28, 2018
Once upon a time, marketing was a simple industry that encouraged one-way communication and advertising-focused strategies. But times have changed, particularly in the last couple of decades, with the emergence of the Internet and tons of other digital technologies.
Today, marketing is based on content creation and automation tools that promote two-way communication and user interaction 24/7. This has made the process very complex but also highly efficient. Industry reports prove the power of contemporary marketing tactics:
- 70% of users want to learn about products through content versus traditional advertisements.
- Content marketing drives six times more conversions than traditional marketing tactics.
- The customer journey begins with content since 86% of buyers conduct non-branded search queries.
- Almost 90% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks.
In such circumstances, the only real issue is how to adapt and make the most of your marketing strategy. The answer lies in automation tools and platforms that can help you to launch better and more productive marketing initiatives.
This post will present you 13 useful applications and plugins to increase your marketing success rate.
Content Marketing: Definition and Benefits
Before we move on to the practical marketing tools, we want to explain the purpose of content creation and explain its major benefits.
By definition, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The main features of content marketing are value and relevance. The goal is not to directly promote your products or services, but rather to use credible content to solve prospects’ problems and subtly lead them through the sales funnel.
Keep in mind, however, that it takes outstanding content to win over new consumers. All posts have to be well-designed, perfectly structured, and highly analytical. If you don’t know or don’t have enough time to do it alone, we recommend you hire expert services such as:
All these agencies gather content creation professionals with years of experience in keyword research, topic generation, and copywriting. They can assist you in crafting quality posts, thus allowing you to enjoy the benefits of digital marketing:
- Raising awareness: Quality content helps people find you organically
- Online reputation: It also establishes you as the key opinion leader in your niche
- Drive engagement: Great topics inspire users to engage by liking, commenting, and sharing posts
- Lead generation: A lot of followers and content consumers become credible leads further down the road
- Sales increase: Naturally, a fair share of leads eventually convert
- Customer retention: Returning customers are the ultimate goal of your strategy and quality content helps you build a solid base of loyal clients
Top 13 Marketing Tools and Apps
We’ve seen the content marketing essentials and now it is time to focus on the main part of our topic. Without further ado, here are the top 13 marketing tools and apps:
WordPress is the largest and most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. It gives webmasters a plethora of opportunities to design quality websites, while over 55 thousand plugins make WordPress appropriate for all sorts of organizations and businesses. The CMS often runs updates and provides users with the state of the art security features, so it remains perfectly functional 100% of the time. That is exactly the reason why WordPress currently powers over 30% of websites.
2. Google Analytics
A website represents an anchor of your business, so you have to understand what is going on there and how users behave while exploring your content. Google Analytics is the starting point in website intelligence that lets you discover the fundamentals of user behavior. It has a wide variety of options, with the most important ones being the so-called ABC features: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions.
Ahrefs is a powerful marketing automation tool that helps you analyze almost every aspect of content creation. From content research and web monitoring to backlink tracking and competitive analysis, Ahrefs reveals valuable parameters that can make your website more appealing. That way, you can improve search engine ranking and attract more visitors to the site, which ultimately leads to higher engagement and conversion rates.
Not too many platforms can compete with HubSpot when it comes to combining marketing, sales, and customer service. It is built on the free customer relationship management software, so you get tons of relevant insights about your followers. You can use those inputs to design better marketing and sales tactics, track your leads, and send them customized offers. Besides that, HubSpot integrates with over 200 other platforms to build a comprehensive network of marketing services.
Marketo is another platform that covers everything from acquisition to advocacy, helping clients to drive and measure results in real-time. The biggest strengths of this system are lead management and mobile marketing, but there are many other features that make Marketo so popular among businesses of all sizes. That is exactly why the platform serves more than 500 enterprise customers, including the likes of Fujitsu and Roche.
Consistency is critical to the success of your content marketing strategy, so you could use a tool like CoSchedule to plan a calendar of activities. But it does much more than that: project flow and team management, email marketing, analytics, etc.
What makes CoSchedule special in terms of content creation is its Headline Analyzer. You just need to type in the title of your post and CoSchedule will tell you everything about it: headline quality, keyword usage, words to be removed or replaced, and many more. That way, you can create more attractive and compelling headlines for your posts.
HootSuite is the social media management software that enables automated account handling. It gives you the chance to build smarter workflows, scale across the entire organization, and deliver demonstrable ROI. Besides that, HootSuite keeps all accounts active around the clock, so you don’t have to worry about followers waiting for your response.
8. Sprout Social
With more than two billion daily active users, social media are a quintessential marketing channel. That’s why we want to present you Sprout Social, another alternative in the world of social media management.
This tool is incredibly efficient in discovering and approaching digital prospects. Sprout Social is able to automatically build and strengthen relationships with your followers, while it also enables effortless scaling as your business evolves and grows bigger.
Infusionsoft is designed with the purpose to help small-sized organizations cover all aspects of digital marketing within a single app. This tool integrates all features and clearly displays planned activities, so you can never forget to complete projects, answer your clients, go to the meeting, publish content, and do all those little things that make a small business so dynamic. We recommend you take a free trial to see the pros of using Infusionsoft for yourself.
Email campaigns still represent one of the most powerful marketing tactics, generating $38 for every dollar spent on average. This is why you need to use a reliable email marketing app such as MailChimp to customize messages and ensure the long-term profitability of your campaigns. The platform will seamlessly optimize and automate most of the work, thus allowing you to focus on creating unique campaigns and design better content.
11. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a valuable email marketing alternative that makes complex procedures look simple and easy. It gives you many templates optimized for the mobile experience, as well as other customization features.
You can use the drag & drop builder to rearrange email components, while Constant Contact also allows you to add brand-related elements like logos or watermarks. Of course, the tool comes with pre-built analytics and you can learn in real-time who is opening, reading, sharing, and clicking your emails.
A lot of entrepreneurs who run physical stores neglect the power of digital marketing. This is a huge mistake since people tend to research businesses online before visiting. Vivial is a nice solution for local organizations and marketers who want a simple tool to help them with SEO, content planning, mobile-friendliness, and online discoverability. To put it simply, Vivial will make your local business more popular among online searchers and therefore help you to attract more visitors from the neighborhood.
Content creation is a multimedia activity and you need a tool that allows you to design quality visuals effortlessly. Canva is a commonly used platform because it serves both professional designers and beginner-level creators. With this tool, you can craft wonderful illustrations single-handedly or use the existing templates to make slight changes and come up with well-branded visuals.
Content creation is the most advanced model of contemporary marketing that helps businesses to raise awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions. However, the process is complex and includes dozens of actions and communications channels, so it’s practically impossible to manage it single-handedly.
On the contrary, it takes a full set of tools and automation platforms to successfully handle your digital campaigns. In this post, we presented you 13 useful apps and plugins to increase your marketing success rate.
Have you ever tried any of these tools already? Do you have other apps and software to recommend? Feel free to let us know in comments – we will be glad to hear about your experiences in this field!
Susan Saurel is a full-time digital marketer and a part-time blog writer at UK Essays. Susan lives in Houston, Texas, but she spends most of her spare time traveling around the globe and meeting new people and cultures. As a passionate marketer, Susan is eager to share the professional experience with her readers.