Consultant at SoftwareSupp
We’re in the days of online marketing. This advertising world looks nowhere near similar to the one we lived in a few years ago. Everything can happen instantly, all the tools we need are right on our desktop and we can manage most of our marketing resources living thousands of miles away from the actual customer. Still, there are many things we do in our online marketing processes like social media posting, marketing campaigns set-up or email outreach which take too much time. Fortunately, some of them can easily be automated.
I believe that 3 things need to happen to make the marketing execution successful:
There is no more space for average content. It just needs to bring some additional value to the world.
Both the content as well as supporting graphics must be well structured and visually attractive or engaging.
Even the most valuable content or material can never see the light of thousands of viewers if it’s hidden in the dark.So probably all of the above need to play together and be well-aligned to make any of your campaigns successful.All of these take a lot of time, but there are some tricks and apps I use to make my life easier, so I can’t wait to show you a few of them and hope that they will help you speed up your marketing activity.
In today’s world, you don’t need any artistic knowledge to design your own posts and make them look both neat and engaging. The times when you need to take Photoshop courses are over and with the use of simple online apps like Stencil or Canva, I can easily design not only social media posts but also business cards, infographics or presentations.
With Stencil, designing a Facebook, Twitter or any other social media posts is just as simple as dragging and dropping particular elements. You can choose from a large base of licensed background photos and enhance your designs with pre-defined graphics and icons. Stencil has been created with social media in mind, so it automatically adjusts the design’s size depending on the chosen network and lets you see the graphics’ preview on different devices. Stencil lets you create up to 10 designs per month for free so I highly recommend to give it a try.
When designing graphics other than social media posts, Canva is something I desperately need. It has a huge library of pre-defined custom designs, like infographics, business cards, presentations, gift coupons or many others. You can easily personalize them dragging particular elements like an icon or graphical objects and changing the template’s pattern or colors. Canva is a free app to use, however, if you want to access premium graphics its “per-object” price model might turn out to be very expensive.
If you feel tired of copying, modifying and pasting posts between different social media platforms you should know that you’re probably wasting your time. A large part of your activity can be automated using the social media management apps like Sprout Social or Buffer which I use to schedule posts for multiple social media platforms in one place. What is more, these apps will give you in-depth data about the performance of your social media marketing channels.
With Sprout Social, you can schedule posts to be published on numerous social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. It also gives you access to the graphics’ library in case you need a quick photo to support your post. But what is awesome about this app is that it’s really focused on analyzing the performance of your posts as well as the whole social media activity. This can really give a ton of information about which channels, posts or hashtags are the most effective.
Buffer does not deliver an advanced analytical functionality as it simply allows for monitoring particular posts’ performance but still it might be a perfect choice if you’re looking for a free app to schedule posts in one place. It easily connects with Facebook, Twitter, and Facebook and from my experience, at SoftwareSupp, it’s just perfect for scheduling Twitter posts in advance.
If you promote your content proactively, sending the materials to marketers, affiliates or any other entities ready to share your material, you might probably spend a lot of time crafting the emails to each and every person, maybe just changing the recipient’s name, company name or job position. A good way to speed up the process is to use an app like Woodpecker or SalesHandy which I use to automate the process of personalizing emails and sending follow-up messages.
With Woodpecker, you upload the list of your contacts in .csv including the first name, last name, company, job position or any other field you consider relevant and automate the process of sending standard non-graphical emails. You just add custom elements to your message and they are automatically filled in with the particular recipient’s data so no more manual email personalization. What is more, you can set specific rules for sending follow-ups (e.g. when somebody doesn’t reply for a specific amount of time). All of these save me a huge amount of time, at the same time keeping conversations personal.
SalesHandy is a little bit more advanced app for more demanding marketers who want to send or monitor attachments. It also lets you integrate with the most popular CRM software, so you can record any activity, which should be especially useful for larger enterprises.
No matter whether you’re preparing a marketing material, blog post or AdWords campaign, one of the first things you’d like to do is to research the keywords you are going to use which would give you a higher chance of reaching your target audience. Using the keywords in the appropriate post’s places might help you increase your position in Google search results but in order to make this happen, you first need to know which keywords are worth using (high-volume) or maybe which keywords are used by the competition. To optimize the content of your marketing it might also be worth checking how high your website performs in relation to particular keywords. This turns out to be quite an easy task with SEO platforms like SE Ranking or SEMrush.
SE Ranking is quite an advanced app to manage your search optimization in one place. It lets you research keywords positioning of your competitors as well as monitor in real time how well you perform in relation to particular keywords. It provides us tons of useful information about your competition which you can then use in planning your marketing campaigns. Even though SE Ranking is a paid app, equipping yourself with the cheapest $7/mo version is definitely worth if you need a source which keywords are truly relevant in your marketing campaigns.
If you’re looking for a quick way of checking volume, popularity or cost-per-click for particular keywords, SEMrush will definitely be of help. You can easily enter the address of particular competitor’s website and check its main keywords positioning or how much they spend on paid traffic. It can deliver all the basic insight completely for free but you can still enhance its functionality with a premium version.
If you’re an advanced marketer deeply engaged into using most popular marketing channels like Facebook Ads or AdWords, you probably know how much time you have to spend to set up, manage, analyze or optimize the campaigns. Fortunately, I automate or at least accelerate many of these activities with advertisement management apps like Perfect Audience or AdEspresso.
If you want to reach the previous visitors or users of your website, you need to dive deeper into retargeting your audience. This can be done manually inside particular marketing channels but with Perfect Audience, you get a chance to manage all of your retargeting campaigns in one place, for mobile apps, Facebook Ads, Twitter or display ads. It is a great way to generate the best ROI out of your remarketing, at the same time saving you a lot of time.
If your main advertising channel is Facebook, the built-in advertisement creator or Power Editor are rather not the best way of optimizing your work with campaigns’ set up. AdEspresso might turn out to be an essential app to increase the efficiency of your work with Facebook Ads with well-visualized analytical data, easy A/B testing and automated optimization recommendations. It’s definitely a cloud software to go with, especially for Facebook Ads heavy users.
In online marketing, it’s not only about finding and running the right marketing channel. It’s also about getting the most of your available time and automating these processes which generate a positive ROI. This is why it’s worth to explore the options of automating and optimizing particular tasks. The above online apps have been a good start for me to increase the efficiency, reduce the time spent on unwanted tasks and to explore new channels for marketing the product or services. Give at least some of them a try and see if they help you become more productive.
SoftwareSupp Ecommerce Store Designer, Shopify Expert