Best platforms, tools and technologies for digital marketing
Digital marketing: Also known as online marketing or internet advertising, digital marketing is a component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies like desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms for promoting products and services. It helps you to connect with and influence your potential customers online.
In simple words, digital marketing is defined as “an act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging online marketing, tactics like social media marketing, search marketing and email marketing”.
There are countless platforms, tools and technologies in the modern digital marketing landscape. The best ones are:
Digital marketing platforms:
Facebook: Facebook advertising is a platform, which has a very granular targeting to find your ideal target market. No other marketing platform allows for such in-depth capabilities.
LinkedIn: For B2B advertising, LinkedIn can customize the ad and make it highly targeted to a buyer persona. Also, you can target the ad to people’s profession instead of simply what they like on Facebook. This helps B2B companies stay top of mind to the executives they are aiming to target.
Instagram: Instagram has made its way to be the best advertising platform for sales. It’s all about influence and marketing. Unlike any other platform, Instagram will help you target that audience and increase your engagement if you know who your audience is and there is a product/market fit. The other platforms require huge ad budgets and give you very little in return.
The Google Ecosystem: The reporting and attribution integrations make Google’s advertising products second to none. Many platforms don’t play well together for attribution. Google has unified audience targeting across their stack of products from search display to video so you can understand every customer touch-point and apply the different tactics within the platform.
Quora: Quora tends to provide high volume of qualified leads, as it tends to be great, top-of-the-funnel leads at a great price. It is a great way to fill the top of the funnel with inexpensive leads when combined with remarketing through Facebook and Google, and then push them down the funnel through remarketing.
Digital marketing tools:
HubSpot: No matter what stage your business is at, HubSpot has several tools to help you grow your business. There are several tools available for free that includes setting up web forms, popup forms and live chat software for capturing leads. Also, you can send email marketing campaigns, pipe all your data into the free CRM and analyse the behaviour of your site’s visitors.
If you go for a paid plan with HubSpot, things get really sophisticated with advanced marketing automation. From managing your content and social media to tracking emails and connecting with your leads, HubSpot becomes an all-in-one solution.
Google AdWords: It runs on a pay-per-click model or pay-per-call structure. One of the most popular options for advertising your business on Google’s search engine results’ pages is Google AdWords. It hosts the Google Keyword Planner, where you can research which keywords you want to include in your ad and your other content. You can set budget caps on how much you want to spend. Ultimately, the tool helps you funnel more prospects to your website. Also for very specific queries, it is an excellent way to display your products or services on Google’s results pages.
Google Analytics: Being a free tool, Google Analytics is the gold standard for website analytics. If you don’t have some level of Google Analytics experience, it is hard to operate as a digital marketer. At its most basic level, it can show you who is coming to your website, from where, and on which pages they’re spending most of their time. Beyond that, you can set up goals to track conversions, build an enhanced ecommerce setup and track events to learn more about user engagement.
Ahrefs: To punch up your website traffic, Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool. Having data for around 150 million keywords in the US and even more for 150 other countries, Ahrefs is great for competitive analysis, allowing you to check out who is linking to your competitors, what their top pages are, and more. You can see where their content ranks and, using the Content Gap tool, identify key weaknesses for your content areas. The Top Pages tool lets you see which pages get the most traffic, and you can see the amount of traffic going to competitors’ sites.
Proof: Using social proof to boost conversions on your site, Proof connects to your CRM or website. It implements social proof messaging (i.e. “25 people are viewing this post right now”), reviews, and videos geared towards targeted customers once they visit your site. Customers’ perception of your brand are boosted, and prospects get a look at how other people respond to your product by the popular Live Visitor Count and Hot Streak notification feature. You can identify your visitors and examine their journey throughout your site, which can help optimize your site design for higher conversions.
Digital marketing technologies:
Social media: For reaching out to your existing customers and to find new audiences, social media can be used to build your brand identity. For enhancing your SEO rankings and as a direct channel for people to interact with your brand, it can be used for thought leadership. Knowing what you are using it for is the key to using social media.
Example: Hootsuite is very popular for enhancing social media output. Allowing users to update multiple networks in one step, it supports more than 150 integrations. You can create a dashboard that perfectly tracks your business’s goals as it is capable of analysing over 200 metrics. When you are investing in your social media management, Hootsuite is perfect.
Paid media: Including PPC advertising, branded content and display ads, paid media is an external marketing effort that involves a paid placement. By picking the right platform and targeting the right demographic, paid media that is a crucial part of any marketing strategy, can ensure your message reaches the right audience.
Example: SpyFu, which enables you to carry out PPC competitor research, gives you insights to help put together a highly competitive campaign strategy.
SEO: Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about staying visible on search engine results pages. As Google forever changes its algorithms, SEO feels like an arcane art sometimes. Staying on top of these changes is hard enough but being able to adapt your SEO to these changes and stay ahead of competitors is the real challenge.
Example: Moz is a great bet for continued SEO success. Not only does it offers useful educational resources to keep on top of SEO best practice, but the all-in-one Moz provides the full range of capabilities that you need. Allowing users to easily keep tabs on any and all active keywords, it tracks desktop and mobile keyword ranking. This intelligent keyword analysis is supported by other features like link building and opportunities, site audits, search visibility score and page insights.
Email: Great email marketing isn’t just about open-rates but click-through and conversions. It’s not just about getting people to open your emails but also you need to offer actual value. Email inboxes are awash with communications competing for our attention. With so much competition, you need to make sure you optimise your emails so they stand out from the crowd.
Example: MailChimp, a best choice for sending out emails, allows you to automate your email marketing with simple A/B testing, ready-to-use campaign templates and a simple email designer, so you can focus on the strategy to guarantee that your emails add value to the target audience. ‘MailChimp reports’ make it easy to track how successful your audience is engaging with your emails, using advanced segmentation for precise targeting, distribution by time zone and comparative data reporting.
Reporting: 40 per cent of marketers said that demonstrating the ROI of their marketing activities is one of their greatest priorities. Marketing professionals are under pressure to prove that their campaigns are creating business value. These days, marketing is very much a numbers game. You need to be able to report back to the C–Suite with hard evidence that your campaigns are working, otherwise the budget for your next social campaign will dry up.
Example: Google Data Studio collects real-time data from YouTube, Google Ads and Google Analytics to help you create dynamic, interactive dashboards. It’s also compatible with multiple third party data sources like Twitter, MailChimp and Salesforce. Google Data Studio helps users put together reports that are fully customisable, easy to filter and easy to share.