HubSpot. Slack. Google Adwords. There are quite a few tools out there that help marketers meet their goals. Some are helpful for analytics, others streamline and automate day-to-day tasks and some are just plain fun. While you can find must-have marketing tools from publications like Entrepreneur, what better place to get a list of essential marketing tools than from an actual marketing agency that uses them on a daily basis?
In honor of this (and #MojoCrushMonday), we decided to compile a list of tools we couldn't live without. It's tool time!
I’ve become infamous around the office for writing too much since my portion for the last #MojoCrushMonday blog was five times longer than everyone else’s, but that’s not going to stop me from recommending three tools to you today instead of one. What can I say? I have major "overachiever-itis."
I know you're all thinking that since I’m a designer, I would just pick Photoshop, but I just can’t stand being that predictable. I also wanted to recommend you tools that anyone can use — with no learning curve — that will make your life so much easier:
Adobe Color:Have you ever wondered, “what color goes with chartreuse?” At Adobe Color, you can start with a base color on the interactive color wheel and choose one of their built-in palette-makers to discover chartreuse’s perfect color companion. The palettes are based on color theory and include analogous, compound, monochromatic, triad, complimentary and shades. Or, if none of those tickle your fancy, you can go rogue and create a custom color palette. It even generates the RGB and hex codes for you, so you can implement your new favorite color everywhere!
WhatFont (Chrome Extension): WhatFont is a delightful Chrome extension that, once installed, all you have to do is click the f?button, hover over whatever font is driving you crazy because it kind of looks like Open Sans, but it could also be Lato, and then WhatFont tells you, GASP! It’s actually Source Sans Pro–the NEW hot sans serif in town…
ColorZilla (Chrome Extension): Let’s say you and a colleague are arguing over whether or not a color is black or dark gray. Just pull out your handy ColorZilla eye dropper tool, click on the color in question, and ColorZilla will give you the hex code of that color. It even automatically copies it to your clipboard, so you can immediately message your coworker that it was in fact #1D1D1D and NOT #000.
When you want to know the hottest topics in an industry, BuzzSumo is the go-to tool for seeing which articles are trending in a specific category. This is especially useful if you're searching for curated content to share on your clients' social channels. This tool takes into account how many shares a piece of content receives on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which provides not only some of the most compelling content on the web, but insight into topics that might resonate with your target buyer personas. Though you need to be careful as you manually filter through the articles for relevant content — not everything that's sharable is actually valuable — it's a solid starting point to find what's buzzin'.
Whether you pronounce it "GIF" or "JIF," chances are pretty good that you've enjoyed a graphics interchange format or two on a blog post, social media update or email. Giphy not only has a vast library of GIFs that you can easily share, but they also have a GIF Maker that's super easy to use. Simply paste a YouTube or video URL (or upload your own video), customize the start time, duration and caption, and BOOM, you have yourself a completely unique GIF that's automatically added to the Giphy library. If you have a special affinity for GIFs (like myself), you can download the official Giphy app and have tons of fun with its mobile-exclusive features (e.g. funny filters, GIFs on your keyboard, the ability to record and create a GIF instantly, etc.). Since it integrates with Slack, we use Giphy on a regular basis here at Mojo and it definitely makes things more interesting!
When it comes to inbound marketing, HubSpot is the software to lean on. If you've heard of — or better yet, used — HubSpot before, I am sure you can come up with some reasons to love it too! However, HubSpot is not only useful for marketers, but also for sales reps. Here are my favorite tools inHubSpot:
Publishing Tool: Publishing not only makes your life easier when it comes to posting, but it also gives you the best times to schedule your post. I personally love this feature because it allows you to attach links, images and specific datesor times to schedule the post. It also lets you see how effective your posts are in terms of clicks and interactions.
Monitoring Tool: Now this is my favorite feature! Who doesn’t like being able to monitor Twitter? From the creation of streams, lists and social media updates in general, this is the go-to feature for interacting with your Twitter followers, influencers, etc. It is also beneficial when interacting with your potential prospects, leads and customers.
Lists tool:Ever written an email or blog to a specific group of recipients, but have to hand-pick those people when you're ready to send it? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Well this is why I love the lists tool.You can segment a list with specific personas and separate them by lifecycle stages, roles, cities, etc. How is this related to emails and blogs?
Well now you can just choose your list of recipients and voilà! No more having to hand pick them one by one! (There is also so much more you can do with lists in HubSpot).
I have a trio of tools that I enjoy and use on a regular basis. Here are some of my favorite features for each:
FathomHQ: The management reporting tool that I use to set business, sales, marketing and other critical numbers for running the agency; FathomHQ helps me assess agency performance, look at trends and identify and areas of improvement or opportunities we should consider.
Builtwith.com:This is a tool we use in the sales process to help us proactively collect internet technology on our prospects, such as, analytics, advertising, hosting, CMS and many more. This helps during the sales process to reduce the amount of information our future clients need to collect so that we can recommend the best inbound sales and marketing solutions for their business.
Smartsheet: I have a love-hate relationship with spreadsheets, whether it's Excel, Google or any other platform. Smartsheet, however, blends all the features I love about spreadsheets and removes all the behavior issues that I dislike. It's a spreadsheet, project management tool, accountability tool, team collaboration tool and web collection form all wrapped up in one. And, now it even has dashboards — who does not love dashboards? Decentralized SAAS tools are incredibly inefficient, which costs our agency time and money. Smartsheet, on the other hand, helps by centralizing some of these needs in one tool.
Communication is the foundation of any successful team — we all know that. But are you using tools that help you to communicate effectively? When I started working at Mojo Media Labs last year, I was introduced to the top dog of all office communication tools: Slack. With 5.8 million active weekly users, Slack is increasing team productivity by a whopping average of 32.0%!
After years of using email as my primary form of team communication, it was mind-blowing to see how much more productive I could be with such an accessible tool. It has also made my life so much easier with its "channels" feature. All of our clients have their own dedicated channel where we communicate with them about any information specifically related to client projects. Now, when I'm looking for a piece of information, I don't need to fumble through my inbox; I can easily find it within the channel.
If you're going to communicate, you might as well have fun with it, right? Slack has a variety of different integrations and our team sure has learned to leverage each of them. My favorite, of course, being the Giphy tool that Daniel talks about above. Just type "/giphy" and a word of your choice in Slack and a randomized GIF will appear! Need to articulate how excited you are that you hit your client's goal number of leads for the month? There's a GIF for that!
No one had to tell me twice that visuals are crucial in marketing...we all know that. My problem was how I was going to get quality visuals in a short amount of time and be able to create them myself so I wouldn’t have to pester one of our digital designers. Lucky for me, I found Canva. Not only is it incredibly easy to use if you’re starting your creation from scratch (they already have layouts, background, textand other element options), but Canva also has all sorts of pre-built templates that cut your time in half. With a few clicks of the button, you’ll create a spectacular masterpiece in no time (and with no headache). I’m not a designer by any means, but Canva makes me feel like one.
Keyword research is important for a successful inbound strategy. There are a number of different tools you can use, but I always enjoy jumping into Google AdWord's Keyword Planner. It easily lets you find search volumes, ranking difficulty and an average cost per click. In addition, it can generate a list of "related keywords" that you can use or use to spark other ideas. As an Inbound Specialist, this is definitely my favorite tool.
Zoom really helps me to stay connected with my clients. There's nothing like actually seeing someone to better connect. Plus, being able to facilitate simple screen-sharing makes getting points across a breeze. It integrates super easily with my Google Calendar, so that I can effortlessly add Zoom meetings to calendar invites. I can even record calls and video conferences so that I can focus on really listening and access the details at a later time if needed. I can use Zoom from any device, too!
One of the first steps in auditing a website involves a thorough investigation of how well your website is crawled. A really handy desktop application that we’ve used often is Screaming Frog, which crawls website assets (meta descriptions,keywords, links, CSS, images, etc.) and provides you with a robust report for analysis, showing details on any outstanding issues that should be addressed. Another useful implementation of Screaming Frog is for keyword research when crafting a keyword strategy. It is very helpful in analyzing keywords that have been included in the meta description of your (or your competitor’s) site and can provide a great starting point for planning keywords for an upcoming campaign.
There you have it! What are some of your favorite tools? Let us know in the comments and be sure to stay tuned to our blog for a steady stream of marketing insights.