THE BLOG
12/03/2014 05:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Get Back to Business: 5 Pro Tools to Make Measurable Marketing Easy

Women entrepreneurs are superheroes. We have to keep a lot of balls in the air all the time--juggling work, family, and home. Time is at a premium.

Marketing is one of those areas that can really chew through hours of your time. First, there's keeping up with best practices--which, as we all know, change over time as new technologies emerge and market expectations change. Then, we need to make sure our audience doesn't get tired of the same old thing and start to ignore us, or worse, become annoyed.

The marketing-focused entrepreneur's quandary? What do you do when your tried-and-true marketing methods stop producing? Or, if you're just starting out--how can you break through and make initial headway with your marketing campaign?

As is said, "There's an app for that." Here are five high-impact tools to motivate, monitor and measure your marketing in doable ways...that won't add to your workload or over-complicate your life.

1. Canva: Create share-worthy content. Neil Patel of Quick Sprout analyzed 398,582 tweets to figure out what kind of content generates the most shares on Twitter, and seemed surprised to find that tweets with links to how-to or list-based articles performed even better than graphics. (Who knew?!) This is why it's so important for you to create and share quality, actionable content.

But, you know graphics can't be too far behind so, unsurprisingly, graphics were the next most-shared category of content. Now, unless you're a graphic artist on the side (or have the resources to hire one), creating custom graphics on the fly might be a little tricky. Fortunately, there are some really easy online tools to help you out. My new favorite is Canva.com. It's so simple to use, you can learn it in minutes, and there are free or super affordable options, depending on the stock images you choose.

Another finding of Patel's research was that quotes performed really well. So, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Of course! You've seen them all over--an awesome background image with a text overlay--usually a memorable or pithy quote. Why not have the best of both worlds by combining a great picture of your product and overlay a related quote or quick tips? With Canva, you can!

For an example of this marketing tactic in action, take a look at the quote graphic image below. Don't forget to add your business URL before you release it to the wilds of social media. Five minutes and you're ready for social shares. Not bad, eh?

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2. DataHero: Check your stats. I'm hoping you're already using a CRM system and paying attention to web traffic, but are you interpreting your data? Full data analysis can be pretty involved, and hiring a data specialist can be quite pricey for a small business owner. That's why I like DataHero. You can easily drag and drop your data right into their data decoder (yes, that's the real name of a part of their system!) and it will produce visual charts anyone can read. Use their automatic data analysis to identify buying trends or to figure out which marketing technique appeals most to your audience. You can even integrate DataHero with other marketing tools you're probably already using to generate real-time updates.

3. MailChimp: Send more effective email. Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to reach your market and monetize your message. You can use attractive templates to create engaging email messages, test different subject lines, and analyze results from your marketing campaigns. MailChimp also easily integrates with other applications to supercharge your email marketing.

4. Buffer: Automate social media. Buffer is a great app for organizing your social media posts. You can schedule a bunch of posts at once and have them automatically sent out throughout the day when you're busy with other things. You can then check back later to respond to comments and generous retweeters. Buffer's analytic tools will help you determine how well you're doing with your social media efforts. And, if you're short on content ideas, Buffer's app, Daily, will help you curate quality content based on keywords or phrases you enter. Remember, the content does not need to originate from you for you to share it.

5. Rival IQ: Find out what others in your industry are doing. If other companies in your industry are leaving you in the dust and you don't know why, comparing your social media and website SEO data to theirs is easier than you think...and may reveal the answers you need to get back in the game. In one place, you can learn the secrets to their growing Twitter following or why they are ranking first for a key search term you'd like to "own." And, the best thing is Rival IQ tells you what you are doing right across six social networks so you can lather, rinse and repeat.

When it comes to marketing and measuring your success, getting it all done doesn't have to be frustrating or overly time-consuming...and you need not be Wonder Woman. The right tools make organized, measurable marketing easy and let you refocus on everything else a busy entrepreneur like you has to do.