This is the Part 1 of the "Recommended Marketing Tools" series - where successful bloggers share the marketing tools they couldn't live without. Co-authored by James Richman.
Most successful bloggers are not only great storytellers. They know the best and most effective tools of the trade too.
In collaboration with James Richman of 1stWebDesigner, we've asked some of the most influential bloggers as to what are their 3 most recommended tools for content creation and promotion. We asked them what are the tools they couldn't live without and here's what they recommend.
Winning tools for this round are: Buffer, MailChimp and Google Analytics. Be sure to check out new tools and share with us in the comments what we've missed!
Her blog Kikolani covers blog marketing and blogging tips for personal, professional, and business bloggers.
Tools Kristi Can't Live Without
I am a marketing tool addict. I love seeking out new tools that can simplify specific areas of my business. While I was only asked to share three tools that I couldn't live without in my business, I couldn't help but sharing five that I use on a daily basis.
One of the biggest challenges of being a soloprenuer is finding the time to manage my clients and my business. I use a lot of different platforms for advertising, email marketing, invoicing, publishing, SEO, social media, and web analytics.
Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard software that allows me to see data from most of the platforms I use in one place. It saves me a LOT of time - without it, I would have to go to Facebook Insights, FreshBooks, Google Analytics, MailChimp, Moz, and several other websites to see my business data on a daily basis.
Competitive research can be a great teacher when it comes to marketing strategies. I use Rival IQ to keep up with other freelancers in my space to analyze their website, search, and social media strategy. I also use it to help my clients identify areas in their online marketing that could use some improvement based on what their competitors are doing.
My favorite feature is the ability to quickly compare multiple business's website titles, Twitter bios, Facebook descriptions, and other social taglines and get alerted when competitors make changes to any of these. It's a great way to make sure your business is offering what your customers want.
As a freelance writer, one of the things I do for my clients is promote the content I create. This helps them accomplish their content marketing goals, including traffic generation, social engagement, and conversions. Oktopost allows me to promote content to all of my social channels in one platform and get social engagement and click through analytics.
My favorite feature is the ability to not only post to my social profiles, but also to Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Thanks to the analytics Oktopost provides, I can see which groups offer the most engagement for my content and keep up with comments that need replies within each group.
While Danny blogs about marketing and social media and where we're heading, he also blogs about what it means to us as humans.
How we can tell better stories; be better businesses; and live better lives. After all, business comes and goes; but we only get one shot at being good people, in life and in business. He's the co-author of Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing.
3 Tools Danny Can't Live Without
It's the only social media dashboard worth using if you're serious about keeping tabs on engagement levels, topics that are important to you, and a mobile experience that replicates the desktop one perfectly.
It's not as cheap as Hootsuite, but the features are more than worth the investment (besides, Hootsuite gets pretty expensive if you want the kind of reporting that comes with your Sprout Social license).
It's just perfection. Everyone is busy, and not always around when it comes to growing awareness of you or your brand.
Buffer makes it simple to schedule content delivery, and at a time when it makes sense for your audience. Their analytics are useful for seeing what type of content works, and they just make the web a better place. :)
This is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to create email lists, forms, newsletters, and more.
Their features are excellent, they complement the most popular email services, support is awesome, and the metrics really help you understand how effective (or not) your email list is. Excellent, and the one I recommend every time.
Jacob Cass is a strategic, multi-disciplinary designer & Art Director who has worked with clients such as Disney, Jerry Seinfeld, Red Bull, Nike & VitaminWater.
Although his skill set is vast, his major skill sets lie in the world of art direction, visual design, brand identity design, brand strategy, UX, UI design, interactive design (mobile + web design) and print design.
3 Tools Jacob Can't Live Without
It allows me to find great content to share, across multiple platforms, as well as give key insights to each post.
Follow Up Then
Allows me to follow up with people I email.
Allows me to easily share files while having peace of mind.
Kevan is a professional writer with a knack for storytelling and is a Content Crafter at Buffer.
He specializes in blogging, email marketing, and content creation and writes for Buffer, Lifehacker, Time, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, The Next Web.
3 Tools Kevan Can't Live Without
Quite simply, this saves me the most time in online marketing, every single day. I can schedule to every social media channel I've got, all in one chunk, then spend time the rest of the day to work deeply on other tasks, knowing my social media is well taken care of.
Incredibly, I can create some pretty snazzy imagery at Canva - and I have zero design experience! It's intuitive, straightforward, and easy to learn. I create at least an image a day at the site.
I can send automatic emails every time a new blogpost publishes and greet new subscribers with a custom, happy message. Mailchimp handles it all, from start to finish.
Jason is a digital-preneur and author with 12+ years running a successful digital agency until he sold it in 2011.
He started his digital career with Arthur Andersen in the 90s. After realizing the vast opportunity in digital marketing, he quickly started his digital agency in 1999.
Since then, Jason has worked with some of the biggest clients in the World from Aflac, Lotus Cars, Hitachi, AT&T, Coke and Legal Zoom.
3 Tools Jason Can't Live Without
Infusionsoft is a great platform to organize contacts and automate marketing efforts to help you save time and increase sales in the process.
TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG files. By selectively decreasing the number of colors in the image, fewer bytes are required to store the data. The effect is nearly invisible but it makes a very large difference in file size!
Leadpages is a dynamic software company that creates simple and beautiful software and web apps that allow businesses to grow large and devoted audiences. Their goal is to create insanely useful (and technologically sound) tools that work almost instantly, make life easier, and eventually change our industry.
Lewis Howes is a bestselling author, entrepreneur who has built several multi-million dollar online businesses, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed as a podcast.
Howes co-wrote the 2009 book, LinkedWorking: Generating Success on LinkedIn ... the World's Largest Professional Networking Website
3 Tools Lewis Can't Live Without
It allows me to promote my webinars via email marketing.
My WordPress blog allows me to post useful content to generate more leads for my business
Maria Elena Duron
Maria Elena specializes in creating community, connection and commerce working with high performing entrepreneurs, executives and businesses on how to manage their personal brand, the conglomeration of personal brands in their company and their business brand.
3 Tools Maria Can't Live Without
As founder and moderator of #brandchat, Twitter has been the most useful and effective community building, connection and relationship building tool. It's also a great tool to keep up-to-speed with what's important in my industry and to our connections.
A whole fleet of marketing tools (campaigns, newsletter, event marketing, email marketing, social campaigns, autoresponders and easy social sharing tools) that help the small business owner build their list. The quality of your list determines the quality of your business.
Provides the instant "lead page" creation to be able to quickly segment your list building. Again, your list is key to the success of your business.
Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, freelance writer and professional speaker. He works with both startups and brands improving their content marketing, social media and search engine optimization efforts.
He's spoken at NYU, UNICEF, Huffington Post Live, the American Advertising Federation and for other organizations and conferences.
He is also a contributing writer to Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Forbes, the Next Web, Wall Street Journal and others.
3 Tools Brian Can't Live Without
Saves me time every day and allows me to quickly schedule social content for the weeks ahead while keeping in mind the unique nuances of each social channel I'm active on.
Allows me to quickly create a weekly newsletter that's beautiful, simple and engaging. It's a free way to build a healthy list of subscribers.
Helps act as a mini-CRM to help me better manage the contacts in my greater network. Love using it on the go on mobile to help me better manage relationships with others when I have extra time.
Neal helps mid-sized businesses and enterprise level organizations meet and exceed the objectives for which their websites were developed.
He has a 10 year track record in generating exposure and revenue for companies from the search engines - SEO - major social media platforms, and everywhere else on the web.
4 Tools Neal Can't Live Without
I'm not the typical marketer who solely uses tools developed specifically for marketing activities. As a content marketer, I help clients and myself develop content that has the best chance of securing viral exposure.
I use several tools for this, such as Google Trends, the Reddit Top section, and just recently I've found BuzzSumo to be key in finding content that has enjoyed viral or at least the most exposure among a given topic. From there I aim to tie it to a brand's vertical and develop content ideas. I could also get ideas from random things that are occurring in my life at the moment.
I also use some tools that are developed for marketing purposes. Such as Google's Keyword Planner and Majestic. These are mostly SEO plays; they tell me how popular keywords are and the quantity and quality of links that are pointing to a website I may want get a link from.
Jeremy Goldman has been working with companies looking to take their operations online and inject "social" into their processes for over a decade and the author of Going Social: Excite Customers, Generate Buzz, and Energize Your Brand with the Power of Social Media.
Under Jeremy's leadership, Kiehl's won the 2009 WebAward for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development, achieved a Top 25 ranking in the L2 Digital IQ Index in the Beauty & Skincare category, and received a Top 50 Facebook IQ ranking amongst all luxury brands.
3 Tools Jeremy Can't Live Without
Such an easy to use interface that lets me send content to multiple social platforms at once. Plus, as someone always on the go, the ability to easily schedule content for the perfect time is a must.
As a digital marketer, this is an no-brainer. Evernote lets me quickly and easily store random ideas for blog posts that pop into my head, wherever I am. If I find an article that inspires me, I can email that to Evernote, or use their easy Chrome extension to clip content. It's the second brain I never knew I needed.
The most underrated platform out there for managing and parsing your Twitter following, SocialBro lets me surface interesting and unexpected relationships, create dynamic Twitter lists, target my content at the perfect time, and so much more.
Francisco works with small and mid-size business on creating and implementing successful online strategies through social media, advertising, content and email marketing.
He is also author of the online courses "Likeable to Profitable" and "Email Marketing [not so] 101." As well as he offers training and consulting and blogs at SocialMouths, an award-winning social media blog.
3 Tools Francisco Can't Live Without
Basically because I use email marketing as a lead generation tool, and there is nothing online that can compare to the effectiveness of email to drive conversions. Mailchimp simply because I consider it the best ESP in the market by far.
Just because Facebook practically killed organic reach doesn't mean the platform no longer works to generate leads and drive business. The opportunities Power Editor offers to tap into different kinds of audiences of highly targeted prospects is not available anywhere else.
I use Insightly as my CRM. Many of us focus too much on marketing and then drop the ball on sales. This gives me visibility of the opportunities and the relationships being established at the business level.
We hope these recommended tools by some of the influential bloggers help you better craft your content as well. Writing great articles is just half the battle. You need the most efficient tools as well to aid in your promotion and getting your content discovered by more and more people.
Bonus Tip: For bloggers receiving and sending global payments, you may also want to look into Payoneer. I have been using the platform for almost 1 year now and I'm able to receive and send global payments without any issues.
Check out the Part 2 of Recommended Marketing Tools or share your own favorite marketing tools in the comments!