Today is the third and final installment in CEO Julie Lucido’s B2B Marketing Strategies. If you missed either Part One or Part Two, they’re just a click away. This third and final entry by Julie is not only a fantastic read, it arms you with actual tools you can start using today!
B2B marketing is serious business full of potential pitfalls, and without the right tools to support your efforts, your marketing plan could easily go off the rails and end up wasting time and money. Whether you’re a savvy marketing pro or a newbie, it’s important to be aware of all the tools at your disposal. Some tools are simply designed to do tasks more efficiently, some measure your audience engagement, and still others will help you create and modify your entire marketing plan and budget. Marketing tools are the secret weapon of any modern agency, but you don’t necessarily have to be an advertising specialist to make use of them.
To start with, you should be aware of the tools available for managing search, display and social marketing. Here’s a list of new and popular apps that belong in your company’s “marketing toolbox.
Social media tools will save you lots of time, and provide the granular insights you need to really use social media effectively. Social media is gaining in importance in every marketing plan, and managing social accounts has long gone past the level of simply posting a few items on Facebook. The apps below allow you to automate your efforts and share content right from your browser or dashboard. Some of the most interesting tools we have seen are listed here.
- HootSuite – The major player in web-based tools that allows you to manage and monitor posts from one place.
- Mention – A user-friendly app that captures all the places your brand is being referenced online, with functions to help you fine-tune your positioning and do efficient reputation management. Available in your mobile device’s app store.
- Addvocate – This browser plug-in allows multiple marketing employees receive content recommendations from your company’s central marketing team, which they can then recommend on individual social platforms.
- Swayy – A program that delivers content into a dashboard where you can scan the most interesting and relevant articles, then share across multiple platforms.
- eGrabber – This tool lets you research prospects and other information that is normally hidden on LinkedIn. Considered one of the most effective prospecting tools in the business.
- Compfight – Easily find photos in Flickr’s photo database that are licensed under Creative Commons, i.e. free to use in your website or blog. The app links directly to your web properties so you can post them almost as soon as you see them.
- Tagboard – Tracks keywords or hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Vine, so you can pull together content from all platforms and monitor how your brand is being discussed.
- Socialbakers – An awesome platform with an analytics function that gives you insights about your brand in all major social channels, like engagement rates, channel growth and user activity. You can also use it to curate content, and manage most other essential social media tasks.
Search and display ad tools have been around longer than most social media tools, and there are several that have proven to be reliable workhorses. There are also a few new ones that provide extra levels of insight and ease of use.
In our opinion, these are the top must-have programs in your marketing toolbox:
- AdWords Editor – The free desktop app that supports your Google AdWords search ads. Unlike the web interface, the AdWords editor makes creating and changing copy and bids a snap.
- Marin Bid Management Software – Marin is the workhorse app that many marketers scale their entire business with. You can manage limitless numbers of campaigns, analyze data and make advanced segmentation choices across all platforms with a few clicks.
- Google Analytics – It is hard to overstate the importance of an analytics tool, and Google Analytics is the main player. Track and measure sales data like conversions, and get real insight into who’s looking for what products — and why customers came to your website.
Other important marketing programs include the following:
- Adobe SiteCatalyst
- WebTrends Analytics
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- SEOmoz Pro
- Google Webmaster Tools
In future posts, we’ll be talking more about how you can optimize your B2B marketing efforts:
– Strategies for introducing new products to the market
– Five ways increase your market share
– Creating a new market segment for your products
– Six tips for implementing consistent brand messaging
In all things marketing, we are here to help you on your way to success. We welcome your comments and questions, and look forward to hearing from you!