The way you are viewed by your demographic, the way you connect and inspire people to rediscover their identity and transform their lives will create an abiding impression about you, helping you to build your image and branding. When you’re focusing on building your brand, driving traffic to your website, converting sales, and growing business, you’ll be relying a great deal on digital marketing tools. The right tools appropriately used will save you time and money, make you more organized and efficient, and grow your business exponentially.
Digital and SEO experts at Miromind have put together a list of the finest brand building digital tools, the perfect ammunition for the war chest of marketers of all hues and ambitions. Whether you represent a small team of energetic entrepreneurs or a booming big business, you’ll lead the wolf pack when you leverage these 20 tools.
If You’re Not Equipped for Search Engine Optimization, You’ve Lost the Battle of the Blogs
A business is (ideally) equipped to handle anything that comes its way, but SEO is a different ball game altogether. Search Engine Optimization has become so complex and challenging with algorithms changing by the moment that this is a task you can’t do solo. Either you hire a professional to do the job, or you equip yourself with cutting-edge technology in the shape of digital tools that keep you one step ahead of the competition. Moz, SEMRush, and Ahrefs come to mind.
If you want to show the microscope on your site and keep an eagle eye on what the competition is up to, Moz is indispensable. You can analyze your movement in Google page ranking, study the traffic you’re drawing in through backlinks, and research and optimize trending keywords, and Moz fits the bill.
It gets even more exciting with the Moz Local Listing Score which shows you precisely what your local business scores in organic search listings. If you’re not going great guns, the Moz listing tool will show you how to fix the problem.
You don’t have to hire detectives and pay hefty fees so they can snoop on the competition and give you inside information. You just sit back and let SEMRush do that for you. Competitor analysis is the USP of this unique tool. Pretty soon you’ll be wading through valuable information identifying who your biggest competitors are, analyzing the keywords they’re using, and probing the effectiveness of their inbound links. Just feeding the URL into SEMRush gives you info on keywords or sentences that are scoring huge traffic and are zooming competitors to top ranking spots.
Ahrefs is the David slaying the Goliath in the link analysis tool arena. Ahrefs has its own bot crawler that tracks a humongous database exceeding a trillion web links, and this data is updated within 30 minutes of each index refresh.
You can use Ahrefs as a site explorer (viewing the competition), analyze your SERP position, generate reports, and play a host of tests and tools that keep your SEO ecosystem fine-tuned. The simplicity of its user interface and power of its indexing directory makes Ahrefs an automatic choice for the entrepreneurial blogger.
If You’re Not Lubricating the Content Creation Engine, You’re Not Generating High Quality and Engaging Content
Just think over these stats; more than 70 percent of B2B content marketers are generating more content than ever before, more than 80 percent of B2C marketers are leveraging content marketing, and more than 90 percent of B2B marketers swear by content marketing. There’s a simple reason for this trend; web searchers are in a frenzy, searching, sourcing, and sharing content they like. In short, content connects you to an audience that is ready to buy your product or service.
With a content creation tool, you maximize planning to minimize the time you spend generating engaging content.
With Giphy you can access animated looping videos that draw attention to your content. The Giphy Chrome extension gives you one-click access to an enormous directory of GIFs that you can use to hook Twitter and Facebook users. The results will blow you away because visitor engagement will be six times greater than using plain text.
Landscape, the Social Media Image Resizer
There’s nothing like an image to add funk and spice to reams of boring text, but sourcing and handling images can be challenging. Not if you use Landscape. Banking on the consumer’s growing appetite for visual cues, all you need to do is to choose an image, and Landscape optimizes the image to fit the social media that your content is targeting. This is a must-have tool for branding your product in social media.
Programmatic Advertising Tools Take Branding to a Whole New Level
Businesses weighed down by budgetary blues and flooded with media buying options waste a lot of time finalizing their advertising strategy. Solution: Shift to programmatic advertising – get the software to automate media buying so your media manager can focus on content quality.
Your site is probably losing customers through a high bounce rate. AdRoll is a retargeting platform that is very effective in getting back those customers that evinced interest in you but didn’t stick around. The beauty of this tool is that you can show customized ads to consumers across multiple browsers, apps, and devices.
Adobe Marketing Cloud
Industry leader Adobe brought transparency to advertising by packaging the programmatic advertising tool within its suite of services. It’s a great relief for the marketer who knows precisely what his ad campaign is delivering compared to his overall ad spend. The software also advises how ad expenditure can be pruned.
Email Marketing Tools – Your Cost Effective Way of Creating a Buzz Around Your Brand
The email marketing tool is the central weapon in the marketer’s armory. Not only does it provide a chance to write engaging messages, but you can also organize your mails, create user categories, and actually track the effectiveness of your campaign.
This gentle giant straddling the e-marketing domain generates over 250 billion emails. Its “forever free” plan is heavily subscribed by thousands of small businesses that are learning the ropes in brand management. If you’re familiar with WordPress, you’ll be taken in by this tool’s smooth integration with that platform. The same holds true of Magento and Shopify.
You get a simple mail creator, merge tags that help you personalize messages, and a whole range of tracking tools that help you analyze the consumer response you are getting. To enhance user experience you can time mail delivery to the targeted customers time zone.
Beginner marketers couldn’t ask for more. An impressively simplified menu helps you segment demographics and create intelligently automated mail campaigns matching the needs of specific groups. This tool is a must-have because it seamlessly integrates with lead generators like SalesForce, OptinMonster, and Google.
Affiliate Marketing Tools That Strengthen Brand Imaging and Power Ecommerce Growth
You affiliate (partner) with companies to sell their products (and possibly your services too) for a fee, receiving payment for actual sales – that’s affiliate marketing, and it is often more profitable than setting up your own shop. If you’re seriously into affiliate marketing and handling a spectrum of products, then you will need a robust affiliate link management tool.
For those familiar with WordPress, ThirstyAffiliates is the ultimate tool that effortlessly inserts affiliate links in websites and blog posts. You can categorize your affiliates, provide email marketing services, and track how each marketing campaign is performing.
You blogged a post linking that to a product sold on eBay. VigLink locates and converts the eBay link into an affiliate link. You’re a tech firm, and one of the users evinced interest in Apple’s new MacBook. You sense a business opportunity in promoting that intent. Easy, you get VigLink to add an affiliate link to a distributor of MacBooks. VigLink is an incredible tool to support sale oriented contextual advertising.
Website Analytics, the Killer Tool That Guards Your Business Citadel
If you can’t measure your progress, you aren’t progressing; you’re probably stagnating because you have no clue whether your investment is sailing or sinking. Facing the challenges and growing the business is half the job done; the other half is all about tracking statistics, analyzing data, and projecting future growth. You need to be clear whether or not you’re scoring a handsome return on your investment. That level of clarity and insight come from Website Analytics Tools.
It’s difficult to broach this topic without mentioning the Big G of them all. It’s like you look at a car cruising the highway and you’ve no idea how it’s performing. But you look under the bonnet, and a clearer picture emerges of design flaws and operational issues. It’s the same with Google analytics – you use it to gain a bird’s eye view of your website or blog, and glean information that helps you decide whether your “car” is fit to challenge the Grand Canyon.
Just look at the data that comes through – the number of visitors that came knocking, how your site handled them, and what the visitors did inside the site – all in real-time. Half the business is about knowing the customer and watching and learning how the customer behaves or expresses intent. Google is giving you this analytical bonanza for free.
If a business is all about acquiring, retaining, and growing one’s client base, here’s a brilliant tool that’ll help you automate customer engagement. Consumer behavioral analysis, consumer segmentation, and consumer email marketing are all combined in one deeply satisfying package. From curious customers to converted clients, this tool will take you step by step through the entire sales funnel.
Video Hosting Tools Carry High Tech Branding Features and Advanced Performance Analytics
The consumer in his busy schedule may spare seconds to scan reams of text, but the very same person wouldn’t bat eyelids viewing videos. It’s like time flies fast over the printed word but time stands still when a video is in play. This is the reason why the video has become an integral part of every marketing plan.
But loading a video on a blog or website will squeeze bandwidth and storage. So you need a video hosting platform to do the job for you and reach a far greater audience.
Wistia was born to tackle the scalability and branding requirements of fast-growing businesses, and even though it’s a tad expensive, what you’re getting is one of the most potent video hosting services on the planet. Regardless of the device, platform or browser the consumer is using, Wistia gets your message across quickly and efficiently.
Wistia’s most useful feature is the customizable call-to-action at the end of the video that can drive viewers where you want them to go to churn sales.
For giving YouTube a run for its money by providing visually appealing high-definition (and ad-free) video hosting, Vimeo takes the cake and the candle. For the businesses that are very brand conscious, Vimeo adds a professional touch and gloss that’s very convincing. Short films and professional documentaries are very well received by Vimeo subscribers.
If You Are Brand and Image Conscious, Use Customer Service Tools to Upscale User Experience
Modern consumers don’t fight shy of engaging businesses, raising queries, and getting their complaints sorted out. And, if you’re not there at the receiving/responding end, your image takes a beating from which it may be difficult to recover. So, use customer service tools to engage, respond, and honestly service your customer’s genuine needs.
Probably, the worst thing a business could do is to host a flurry of departments each servicing customers at different levels, one hand not knowing what the other is dong. The best solution is to have all customer-centric services operating under a single unified command – and that is precisely what Zendesk does for you. Every communication channel is streamlined so you can closely monitor each and every email, call or chat that a customer experiences.
Ticketing solutions document every step of customer grievances redressed, live chat is enabled, talk support can be delegated to dedicated agents, and a content management system aggregates customer data.
If you don’t care for the sound and fury of an all-in-one service platform and want a simple tool to engage the customer, LiveChat fits the bill splendidly. It’s easy to install and appears as a small bubble that sucks in customer queries and feedback. Being a top of the line product, LiveChat comes with some nifty features which if used appropriately can boost customer confidence in your brand, increase your competitiveness, and expand your market.
Website Testing Tools That Assure a Smoother Glitch-Free Rollout
Your website needs to be user-friendly across a host of devices, browsers, and platforms, besides providing smooth hassle-free access to web applications that searchers use to communicate with you. You need cutting edge tools that work behind the scenes testing site functionality, enhancing security, improving usability, ensuring software compatibility, and peak performance
Web testing aims to encourage people to convert and buy your product or service, and even minute changes can spell the difference between success and failure. A successfully user-friendly website is a combination of hassle-free navigation, appealing color schemes, and effective audience targeting.
If you aim to speed up page building, modify an existing page, or publish a landing page for a quick test, you’ll find Unbounce crucial. The tool is ideal for people with little or no coding background, and it’s a cinch dragging and dropping, resizing, recoloring, readjusting, and tweaking any feature that you feel captivates the visitor. The tool provides maximum freedom for creative expression.
Visual Website Optimizer (VWO)
Companies using VWO read like a Fortune 500 who’s who, and the tool amply justifies its reputation as an efficient website optimization and web testing platform. As a tool, it provides a comprehensive overview of how visitors are engaging your site. AWOs USP is A/B testing where you can pit two versions of your page against each other to see which performs better. It has a personalization menu and provides accurate website reviews that help you reassess your status compared to the competition.
Clearly enterprise-grade, this tool is ideal for businesses that are scaling operations faster and handle complex pages. You’ll get a clear snapshot of page performance, and the tool easily identifies and removes bottlenecks before they blossom into bugs and other pressing issues. WebLOAD is highly compatible with many technologies, protocols, and applications and is ideal for load testing for DevOps.
This collection of essential tools is just a sample and is not an exhaustive listing of technologies that are emerging daily in your blogosphere. These tools are designed to remove the drudgery from website optimization, but they won’t absolve you of the responsibility of generating great SEO optimized content, and of restructuring your product descriptions to suit the intent of your core demographic.
Treat these tools as mentors guiding you through a maze of complexity; follow their suggestions, tweak your pages, improve conversions, and rebrand your product in the image that the consumer wants to see, feel, and enjoy.