Making sure you start on the right foot with your marketing is paramount to your success down the road. I stopped counting how many companies come to us and ask us for help, only to find out that they haven’t set up the right codes, or they haven’t identified the best keywords to target, or something as simple as tracking codes on their campaigns to understand if a campaign was truly successful.
I would have thought by now, that it’s obvious to add the proper codes or use the free online tools to make sure your online advertising, or even make sure that your campaign is organized so you don’t miss any steps.
Unless you have a marketing professional that lives and breathes this stuff, odds are leaning on the fact that you’re going to miss some important elements at the research and planning stages and therefore your strategy and setup stages might be off the target and as a result your campaigns won’t reach their highest potential.
As my teachers always reminded me “If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail”. If you want to be set up for success, then you need to make sure your marketing tools are set up properly and used efficiently. Otherwise, you’ll end with frustration that could have been easily avoided.
That’s why we wanted to give our recommendation of marketing tools 101 and make sure you’re set up for success. There are many types of tools we could have focused on, we felt that we should narrow them down to three categories.
- Data Analysis
Before you even get started
The first step to ensuring that you’ll accomplish your goals is getting organized. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with companies, and they can’t see more than a week ahead because they just don’t have their tasks organized outside of a spreadsheet. Or the departmental communication internally and externally is non-existent which allows for tasks and growth to fall through the cracks.
Sure, there are expensive tools like Salesforce or SEMRush that look great and have amazing features that connect with sales. The question you need to ask yourself is “What do I need now?” that won’t take too much time and effort to get set up, so you can be off and running with your whole team or across multiple departments in the same direction.
Two elements you should look at are communication and accessibility. You want to make sure the tools that you are using are going to help you communicate better and make sure its easy for the whole company to access the information. The last thing a manager or VP wants to hear is that a team member couldn’t finish a task because they just couldn’t find the information, or they didn’t get a response about their query.
If you are looking for the best tool to collaborate across departments or projects, this is the tool you want to get everyone on the same page. For a while people were recommending WhatsApp groups, however Slack has one feature that can’t be overlooked. When a new group member joins in WhatsApp they can’t see older messages, in Slack when you add a new person they have access to the full stream of messages, so they can search easily for keywords to help them find what they want. Even better yet when you tag someone in a comment they also get an email notification that links to the comment so it’s even easier to understand the context. You can even send team members direct private messages if you don’t want to bother the whole group.
The second part of staying organized is having a task manager. There are so many options out there for this type of tool and I’ve used so many of them, only to be frustrated. My favorite to date is ClickUp. It’s great for small or larger projects and super easy to use.
As much as everyone I see is promoting Trello, I’m just not a fan of the user interface. It is super easy to use, but I just get overwhelmed when I get to a board and there are so many tasks. Like any tool you need to make sure you are using them correctly to really see the benefits. (I’ll write more about this in the next section.) Asana is a great tool but it’s a bit more expensive and takes some time to get used to the interface and use all its features.
Social Media Posts
The go-to and leader in the market is still Hootsuite for organizing and scheduling social media posts. It’s just easy to use and you can clearly see what you’re planning on social media. Oktapost is great too, so it really depends on budget and how the dashboard is set up and what you feel comfortable using.
Use Your Knowledge
The quintessential mistake that many people make with technology, is using something more advanced to do the exact same thing they were doing before. When you decide to start using a new software the key to its success is to understand what exactly it’s going to change from the way you are currently doing it. Not just efficiency but actually changing the way we engage and complete a task itself. This is the case for the following software. If you use new software and set it up properly, make sure that you act on it by making changes to your business strategy.
By now, most business owners have heard of and are using Google Analytics. Unfortunately, most people don’t use it properly. Most people and companies I worked for, use it to track what is happening on their website. That is only a very small part of what Analytics can actually do. The reason most people stick to the basic functionality comes down to how it’s set up.
When you start using Analytics, make sure that you get some basic work done beforehand. Adding Google Analytics code to a website is a great start, but there is so much more that you can do that will help your business grow.
- Define your Goals
In general, this will help with your business strategy, however specifically, in Google Analytics that is an option to set up your goals that will allow you to understand if your website is doing what you want it to do.
This means setting up goals within Google Analytics, to allow Analytics to understand what a success is on your website. Is it completing a form? Is it reading a blog or watching a video? Is it purchasing a product? Each one needs to be valued and then you can understand if your form, blog or purchase pages are successful.
- Setup Conversion Codes
Once you have defined a goal then you need to add the appropriate conversion code to the website based on the goals you set for yourself. The conversion codes are usually based on the purchase you want a visitor to make.
Once you have these 2 parts set up, you can start analyzing what is successful on your website. Then the challenge comes, if something isn’t successful on your website, then you need to change it. Knowing the information isn’t good enough, you need to act on the data that they give based on what you set up. Even if a page is successful, you can always make it better and update, based on keywords, and content updates.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Google Analytics can do.
Google Analytics can tell you a lot about what’s going on your website, and some people consider heat maps something of a luxury. Heat maps are basically a tool to understand where people are specifically clicking on the website. Which buttons, links, images or pretty much any part of the website gets the most attention.
The most well-known software that tracks this for you is CrazyEgg.
Again, if you add this code and you see what is working and what is not and don’t bother to change anything then what is the information good for? Start A/B testing different buttons or parts of your website to see how visitors engage. If something isn’t getting traffic to replace it. Or maybe place it somewhere else. If you see a spot on the website that is getting great traffic, and clicks, make sure you use that space for your most important goals for your website.
Honorable mentions for collecting data and understanding your website’s keywords and what word will help drive traffic:
Make it Pop
Sure, I can just write that the best way to get quality designed online ads, with top notch customer service is through our branding studio…
If you want to handle design by yourself, the leading program is Canva. If you have the flair for design but lack the technical knowledge to use one of the many advanced design programs, then Canva was made for you in mind.
Their online program will help you design professional looking ads with a huge library of templates and design styles, with static and animated options to choose from. Not to mention it’s organized by the platform too, so finding the correct size is really easy.
They also have options for design flyers, logos and presentations, they even have categories preset for upcoming holidays, and local and international commemorations.
No Overnight Success
There are no budget excuses or even lack of time excuses anymore. There are so many great tools out there to help you start or grow your business. Make sure you get organized from the start, once things pick up, it will be difficult to set good organizational habits. Which means you can’t be short-sighted. When you create your 5-year forecast, don’t be too general, look at the steps you need to take to make sure you get there and then springboard to the next 5 years. Setting up your website, email and social media with the right codes, so you can accumulate the data you need to evaluate your status and make important decisions for the future. Lastly, don’t be so scared of designing on your own, the platforms out there understand your concerns and are ready to make it easy for you to produce quality good looking marketing materials.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today and elevate your marketing and branding.