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Three Types of Must-Have Marketing Tools

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Guest post by Kas Andz.

In today’s hyper-competitive world, effective digital marketing practices are essential. Some marketing tasks can be repetitive and tedious. But with the help of the right marketing tools, you can automate and improve on those to generate leads and conversions more productively.

The most successful and fast-growing companies employ marketing tools that help them reach the right businesses, at the right time, and effectively sell to them.

It is a stand-out or stand-down world. If your team doesn’t have the right software to help optimize your digital marketing practices, it will difficult to get noticed online.

There are thousands of tools available across the digital marketing technology landscape. The key is to pick the right set of tools for your type of business and your marketing objectives.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools

Solid SEO practices improve the user experience and web site usability as well as your organic search rankings. People trust search engines and when your site sits at the top positions for the keywords they are searching, your site’s credibility increases. Organic search is one of the top two traffic drivers for most websites, and effective SEO provides long-term benefits.

Google Search Console

Google accounts for 87% of all searches worldwide, so it’s the logical focus for your SEO efforts. Google Search Console (GSC) tools and reports help you quantify and assess your site’s search traffic and performance, fix issues, and improve your site’s visibility in Google search results. It helps you optimize your content with search analytics, allowing you to see which queries bring people to your website. It analyses your site’s impressions, clicks, and position.

GSC uses a URL Inspection tool to help you understand how Google search sees your pages. It delivers thorough crawl, index, and serving data about your pages, directly from the Google index.

SEMrush

SEMrush is recognized as the best SEO suite according to US Search Awards 2019, MENA Search Awards 2019, and SEMY Awards 2019. It is also the best digital tool according to Interactive Marketing Awards 2019.

SEMrush is an SEO tool that assists with keyword research, tracks the keyword strategy used by your competition, and runs an SEO audit of your site, looks for backlinking opportunities.

It helps you identify the keyword phrases that are likely to get you the most search traffic and identifies different keyword variations related to a particular root term. This gives you a much better understanding of how people actually search online.

SEMrush shows how your site ranks compared to top competitors along with their top keyword phrases, helping you stand out in search results. Furthermore, it performs detailed SEO audits to help you stay current with Google algorithm changes and improve your link building approach.

All in one toolkit for digital marketing professionals

BuzzStream

BuzzStream offers a set of tools to help with domain research, email marketing, and project management. It’s a comprehensive all-in-one type platform, and the sheer number of capabilities it offers can be intimidating but useful.

It helps you collate lists of results for your target keywords. Then it delivers data about each result, including overall rankings, related social media accounts, domain age and authority, and more.

BuzzStream allows you to study your competitors based on any keywords you are targeting. It displays important data about domain age and authority for specific websites. It shows your competitors’ rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and finds the social media accounts for their sites. It can also let you see what authors who write for competing websites are doing.

Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing is one of the most widely used and cost-effective channels for promoting your business. Email marketing tools automate your message sequences to welcome new opt-in subscribers and nurture leads. The best tools in this category are those keep your messages out of the spam folder and drive clicks or purchases.

Constant Contact

With Constant Contact, you can easily generate mobile-responsive emails that display properly on any device, and trigger a sequence of emails based on client behavior. It allows you to automatically resend emails to those who do not open your messages; and its powerful email list building tools help you grow your opt-in list through social media, your website, and other networks. Constant Contact is one of the most modern, mobile-responsive, and effective email marketing tools.

Mailchimp

One of the easiest email marketing platforms to use is Mailchimp. It makes it simple to create branded emails that look professionally designed. The attractive appearance of messages generated through Mailchimp help improve your brand image and conversion rate.

Mailchimp features a very user-friendly email design tool that lets you generate professional-looking emails in minutes. With the help of Mailchimp’s email automation, you can produce more output with less effort; and it has a mobile app that allows you to create and send emails from anywhere.

AdBase

More than just an email service, AdBase is a predictive marketing system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help you determine what email, text, or sms message to send, when to send, and whom to send it to. It combines tools for email (templates and delivery automation), text messaging, and pop-ups to help grow you opt-in email subscriber list into one integrated offering.

Each AdBase “product” shares valuable metrics with the others, which allows the platform to learn about your customers in detail. These metrics are then used to automatically tune your other customer acquisitions through Google Ads, Instagram, remarketing, Facebook, and other channels.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Tools

PPC Protect

PPC Protect helps you get the most out of your PPC budget. It stops bots from clicking your ads and spending your precious PPC budget, by monitoring every click on your ads and blocking any suspected bot.

With PPC Protect’s huge database of VPN, proxy, and malicious IP addresses, you can run online ad campaigns confident that your budget won’t go to waste.

SpyFu

SpyFu is one of the best PPC tools for competitive research, enabling you to download your competitor’s most profitable search keywords.

With SpyFu’s Adwords Keyword Grouping Tool, you can determine which keyword groups are generating the best results for your competitors. This tool lets you view and download your competitor’s entire Google Ads history.

This detailed research helps you identify keywords that didn’t work well for your competitors, and avoid making the same mistakes. SpyFu also has a PPC Ad Rank Tracker which gives you information about your ad rank across important keyword groups.

Gear Up

It’s essential to have your marketing strategy established before investing in marketing technology tools. With a solid understanding of your target buyers, your product or service differentiators, and your optimal marketing channels, you are set and positioned to choose the most effective marketing tools for your business.

If you’re new to digital marketing and not sure where to start, there are affordable local SEO services that can help you navigate the digital tool jungle.

Kasandz.com is an award winning, full scale marketing and automation growth agency custom tailored to your businesses. Kasandz.com offers Pay Per Result SEO packages for small business and e-commerce email services. Kas Andz Marketing Group will do all the technical work for you and get your business selling.

Advanced Marketing Technologies – More Hype Than Help?

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Advanced marketing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to revolutionize brand messaging. Customers and prospective buyers can be served ever more personalized, relevant, and compelling content, at the ideal points in their decision process.

However, recent research suggests this future may be a way off yet. Most marketers, particularly in small to midsized businesses, aren’t ready to capitalize on these cutting-edge technologies. They have more immediate priorities. Many are still struggling to effectively implement more basic marketing technology (martech) tools.

The Case for Optimism…

Recent studies from the Economist Intelligence Unit and other sources indicate a significant share of business leaders expect AI to help their companies improve decision making, customer service, operating efficiency, and sales revenue.

Further, the positive impacts of AI are expected to be felt soon. Per the Economist, “75% of…business executives surveyed said AI will be actively implemented in their companies within the next three years…(and) 79%…believe artificial Intelligence will make their job easier and more efficient.”

Separate research summarized by Carla Johnson shows marketers expect AI will help them “deliver highly personalized and relevant messages” and eliminate waste in marketing operations.

…Meets the Reality of Advanced Marketing Technology Adoption

In practice, however, organizations of all sizes are struggling to maximize the value of their existing investments, much less adopt cutting-edge applications. Issues like the difficulty in integrating different tools and finding or developing the talent to fully utilize the technology in place remain obstacles to moving forward quickly.

Gartner research director Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, interviewed by CMO.com, revealed some stunning findings:

“Things like web analytics, web content management, and e-mail marketing, which you’d assume are pretty widely adapted and would be considered table stakes, (are) still not being used by 20% of large enterprises. These are things that we consider to be the bare minimum for a fully functioning marketing team today…

“Marketers aren’t getting all the value they should from their existing marketing technology. In some cases, clients come to us asking what is the best new personalization technology, yet they haven’t even tried the standard personalization that comes with their web content management system. They’re out there chasing new, shiny objects, without really knowing what they are already capable of doing

“If they’re not currently using technology that everyone else considers table stakes, are they able to move and scale as fast as they need to be, or should they question their strategy?”

When the largest enterprises struggle to optimize their use of fairly standard marketing technology, it’s likely smaller firms will be even less inclined to tackle more advanced marketing technologies in the near term.

Boost social media engagement with Post PlannerAccording to a broader study reported by ClickZ, nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers “have no plans to invest in new technologies like 360-degree video, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), chatbots and beacons in 2017.” Even the simplest applications of AI are likely to be adopted only gradually: just 9% of marketers said they would invest in chatbots in 2017.

The research cited by Carla Johnson further notes that both marketers and customers have mixed feelings about AI (when does it cross the line from personalized to creepy?), and that CMOs face challenges in adopting AI: “60 percent of marketers said they worry about integrating AI into their existing tech stack.”

Instead, most plan to invest in more established marketing technologies this year, such as marketing analytics, social media monitoring, content management systems, and marketing automation tools.

Walk Before Running

There’s no question advanced marketing technologies like AI, AR, and VR have the potential to significantly enhance the customer experience, or that they will be widely adopted (eventually).

Marketers do need to keep an eye on these technologies and look for ways to experiment with small projects. Standing still means falling behind.

But most midmarket CMOs and marketing professionals recognize the practical imperative to optimize their use of current technologies rather than chase shiny objects.

Create a marketing technology strategy based on your marketing process model. Start with tools to develop compelling content, share and amplify that content, and measure results. Establish basic contact list segmentation before moving on to AI-driven personalization.

Advanced marketing technologies will move from “hype-full” to helpful when they are able to combine measurable improvement in operational efficiency and customer experience with pragmatically simple implementation and use.