Digital marketing — reaching and engaging with your best prospects electronically, delivering the right message at the right time in the buying process — can be the difference between business success and failure. Traditional marketing doesn’t deliver the returns it used to. Growth requires new thinking.
Many companies realize the importance of digital marketing, but even as they work to implement new strategies, tactics and tools, they struggle to see results. The problem often isn’t the strategy.
In this blog, we’ll look at four tools you need in your digital marketing toolbox — beyond the standard ones that businesses are quick to adopt like email marketing or social media. We’ll look at how these less glamorous but equally critical tools work in your overall strategy and how they can solve the problems holding you back.
Four Critical Digital Marketing Tools
For many businesses, a digital marketing strategy can feel like a juggling act. There are so many moving parts. Success requires collecting and evaluating data to optimize, while constantly rolling out new content and new campaigns. In the beginning, a business will rapidly launch new initiatives without considering how they will be supported.
We’ve focused this guide on those supporting tools that provide a strong foundation for success. They aren’t on the frontline of your marketing efforts, but are just as important as your email provider and CMS — helping you work better.
Let’s get started:
Success with digital marketing takes time. It requires a long-term plan for identifying, engaging and converting sales prospects. You’ll need not only marketing resources, but additional support and outside expertise.
An editorial calendar is the best way to take a long-term view of your strategy and resources. You can schedule work to maintain steady progress toward goals. You can map out projects, assign work, track progress and ensure workload meets expectations. With it, you can forecast gaps and problems, and implement solutions before you start missing deadlines
Don’t start planning your next blog the day before you post it. Use the calendar to eliminate wasted effort and frustration, and see how individual tasks help you meet overall goals.
- Digital Marketing Tool to Use: There are many editorial calendar templates out there, and even something as simple as Outlook or a wall calendar will work. Here in the office, we use Trello. You can assign work to different users, track work over multiple stages and switch to a calendar view to see the big picture.
Want to know if you have the right digital marketing strategy for your target audience? Engagement metrics, or tracking the interest and use of content, can help. You know what works and what doesn’t. You know if your strategy is really having a positive impact on your target audience.
There are many metrics you can use to track engagement. Page views on your website, time spent on a web page and engagement with an email — how many times an email is opened and if the audience is using it — are critical data points you can use to optimize your efforts.
Before launching a blog or starting a campaign, you’ll want some way of tracking engagement and some way to measure success.
- Digital Marketing Tool to Use: The tool you use will depend on the digital channel you are targeting, which may mean you’ll need more than one. Google Search Console, for example, is a free tool that helps you track search results and traffic on your website, and can be integrated with other tools like Hubspot. Digital marketing platforms like Hubspot have built-in tools that track engagement across a range of channels.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System
The goal of digital marketing shouldn’t be collecting clicks and likes, but building business. That means finding new prospects, moving prospects toward sales and evangelizing customers. It’s a cycle that delivers success.
Raw engagement data doesn’t really track individual prospect movement. To really track movement, manage the buyer’s journey and evaluate success, you will need a CRM. A CRM lets you track and manage interaction with prospects and customers. It tells the story of each prospect. With a CRM, you have the data to better target prospects with content that drives sales.
- Digital Marketing Tool to Use: Sales and marketing will both use the CRM, making it a great way to align your business growth efforts. You need to make sure you use a tool that works equally well for both. While Salesforce is one of the most popular CRMs, Hubspot CRM is free and provides an excellent bridge to more advanced digital marketing tools.
Collaboration is critical to digital marketing. You’ll need to work with subject matter experts and a range of creatives to produce engaging and targeted content, manage content on different channels, and align the work of sales. It’s not a one-person job. Collaborating, getting your experts to work together, is critical. It’s easy for work to hit a choke point, pile up, and suddenly have your campaigns grind to a halt.
Collaboration tools can help — streamlining the process and aligning work effort. They can improve communication and automate tasks so your team can focus on the highest priorities without letting other requirements slip. With the right tool, everyone stays focused working toward the business goals.
- Digital Marketing Tool to Use: Depending on project needs, you may have a range of collaboration tools in place. Slack, for example, is an excellent messaging app that supports channels and team conversations, as well as archiving and recording messages. Basecamp and Asana are project management tools with functionality that makes it easy to assign and track work. Select the tools that work best for your team.
Getting Started with Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. Change can happen fast, with new tools, new technology and new channels providing both risk and opportunity for your business.
Some tools you’ll find are the foundation of your efforts — like your email marketing and the website CMS. Other tools are more specialized and focused, like a keyword tracker or SurveyMonkey. The tools we’ve outlined above are often overlooked, but can be the difference between a project that takes off and drives new business, and one that flounders and leads to frustration.
Find success by launching your next digital marketing project with these tools in place. If you need additional help, or still have questions on any of the products or strategies we’ve discussed here, then contact the experts at GO2 today. For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping companies just like yours meet their business goals with digital marketing. We know how the right resources and expertise can deliver a huge return for your business.