Inbound is, at its core, a tech driven industry. The marketing industry is constantly changing and evolving and technology is what keeps us on top of it all. We are passionate about not only what we do, but also about the tools we use to do it. Many of these tools are industry specific and a few are well known, but worth mentioning. Without these basic, yet crucial tools, our jobs would be so much harder. In our tech savvy world, most anyone can seamlessly integrate these inbound marketing tech tools and tactics into their business’ marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at some of the industry tools in the Inbound Marketer’s toolbox that are crucial to the implementation of an inbound strategy.
You know what a blog is, of course, but did you know is one of the most powerful inbound marketing tools? Sure is. Blogs drive qualified traffic, build brand credibility, and gain customer trust. A blog is the more efficient way to add new pages to your website, which is what allows search engines to come back, index your pages regularly and ultimately gets you more organic traffic. Though content creation we have the power to engage our visitors and ultimately make them into interested leads by offering solutions to their problems.
While we prefer the Hubspot blog platform when budget allows, but we also are big fans of the WordPress blog platform. We find both to be user-friendly and feature heavy. WordPress offers functionality and ease of customization expected by the technologically inclined, while Hubspot makes optimization simple with automated pop-up reminders and fully integrated features.
These days utilizing social media as a part of marketing strategy is a no brainer. The key is to find where your customers are and set your focus there. The inbound marketing industry spends the greatest amount of their social media time on Twitter. As a result, that’s where we focus the majority of our social marketing effort. To do so we use Hubspot’s Social Inbox and TweetDeck.
We chose TweetDeck over other social media management tools because, well, because it’s awesome. See what Mashable has to say:
“Social media managers and casual tweeters alike can benefit from TweetDeck’s organizational tools, such as customizable columns, multiple account toggling and scheduling. With a modern, clean design and automatically refreshing feeds, TweetDeck’s utility comes in its simplicity and ease in setting up.”
Here’s a little beginners guide from Mashable if you want to give it a try. Tweetdeck is the best solution for posting Tweets or other social media posts through one platform without having to log in and out of every website and seeing your feeds in a central spot. Social Inbox, by contrast, allows you to create feeds based on topics and see how your current prospects, leads and customers are making conversation about those topics. It’s a great for prospect listenin, and conversation monitoring.
Salesforce is a robust Customer Relationship Management software or CRM. Eventually we have plans to integrate Salesforce into our sales strategy, but at the moment do not use CRM software. We do strongly encourage the use of Salesforce for any business with a team of salespeople that has a sizeable list of prospects to monitor throughout the funnel. It’s a great way for marketing and sales to communicate and for executives to monitor sales activities. It’s a set of tools that gets the whole company on the right track to increasing sales as a united team by effortlessly automating the nurturing of a potential lead through the sales funnel and turns them into a happy, buying customer.
EverNote is the perfect curator for the unexpected ideas that pop up when out to lunch or getting ready for bed. It is an easy way to capture your notes while you’re on-the-go. Not only is there a mobile app, but there is also a desktop version. As soon as you open either device, it will sync and update your notes so that you always have access to your latest information. The ability to constantly have a virtual notepad like this is so important for marketers who have to keep up-to-date on the changing landscape of marketing, and best of all, Evernote can be used on any device, Apple, Windows, and Android. While I’ve always loved Evernote, Hubspot wrote this amazing blog about using Evernote to be productive even during a coffee break and it made me love it even more.
This tool isn’t directly used for marketing per say but it is a vital tool for keeping marketing on track, especially so for those with full schedules. There is much discussion on which is the best project management platform. Wrike fits great with our workflow and keeps our projects on task, no missed deadlines here (well, a few but I cant blame Wrike). It’s straightforward and tremendously easy to use, I even use it for maintaining personal projects. If you’re like me, you could use a personal assistant. I highly suggest Wrike.
You know why GoogleDrive and similar services are so great- all your digital files safe, secure and in your pocket. With the desktop and mobile apps I can always access my marketing files; blogs, buyer personas, and content calendars, from anywhere, at any time with out any hassle. I can be just as effective a marketer on-the-go as at I am at my desk.
Hubspot is the one-stop marketing shop. Sure there are similar all-in-one products out there but we did our homework, Hubspot is the best. They are ever changing and evolving, and constantly improving their product. Hubspot offers robust alternates or integrations for all the marketing specific tools listed. While some see it as merely a marketing analytics tool, we know there’s a little more to it than that. Tools that assist in better keyword cultivating and effective email marketing, shortening of your sales cycle with lead nurturing, as well as, workflow generation and ‘smart’ landing page builders. The Hubspot Content Optimization System provides dynamic content based on a visitor’s relationship with your company. The tools are truly amazing and a complete game changer when it comes to executing your inbound efficiently. All with more reports than any executive could ever ask for. Hubspot truly is our marketing power tool.
Like I said, these tools are not just for us professionals; nearly anyone that can operate a computer can utilize these tools and take their marketing (and sales) to a whole new level. You are already on social media; why isn’t your business? You read articles to keep up with your industry. Why not blog and share with your customers what you know? You are already using technology everyday, incorporate these inbound tools and tactics and make marketing for your business a little easier and more effective. Do some research, try a few different options find the tools that make marketing easier for you.