In last week’s blog we looked at some of the best-in-class practices leading Inbound Marketers are using to drive their success. This week we’re going to examine the key tools they use to deliver their Inbound Strategies.
From the outset it’s important to note that there is a myriad of free and cost-effective tools that will support your inbound marketing efforts. What works for one company may not necessarily work for another. Setting clear objectives and developing a strategy for what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts will help you find the right mix of tools to help you achieve success.
Overwhelmingly, Inbound Marketers are turning to marketing automation to streamline their efforts and achieve greater ROI. Marketing automation refers to software that automates repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions, making them more efficient and less labour intensive.
By now, we’re all familiar with the term ’SEO’. A website and blog optimised for SEO is essential to search engine rankings. Working your way to the top and staying there cannot be achieved overnight, it takes time and consistent effort. Complicating matters is the fact that search engines regularly change their ranking algorithms, meaning Inbound Marketers need to be on top of their SEO game
Customer Relationship Management (otherwise known as CRM) is software designed to store a customer or lead’s essential contact information, and logs all of your activity with that customer (including when you’ve called or emailed them and when they last visited your website or opened your emails). CRMs have become an essential tool in streamlining the manual labour and repeated efforts of traditional customer management, allowing Inbound Marketers to be more strategic in their approach and close more leads.
Effectively managing multiple social media accounts is a common challenge for Inbound Marketers. Social media management tools allow users to upload posts in bulk and schedule when they are published, making it easier to plan and produce your social media content in a more structured and efficient way.
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader tool is a free program that analyses your marketing efforts. Marketing Grader offers competitive benchmarking, and an analysis of your lead generation, social media, mobile marketing and blog — offering insight into areas where you might be doing well, and where there is room for improvement.
Google Analytics is a free service that tracks and reports on traffic to your website. It can allow you to instantly review site visits, landing page quality and the behaviour of visitors once they arrive at your site, including how long they spend on each page and how they found your site. Google Analytics has become an indispensable tool offering insights into how customers engage with your website, allowing you to make better informed business decisions.
Blogging has often been cited as the best tactic for SEO, but words aren’t the sole source of their power. Open source imagery has become like currency for bloggers, offering access to licence and copyright free imagery that supports their blog posts and websites. Meanwhile new apps and programs have allowed those copyright free images to be transformed into stunning backdrops, calls to action, infographics and even memes that engage audiences and drive them to your website. There are a huge range of programs and websites that allow you to develop and design your own beautiful imagery at a fraction of the cost.