Our calendars are about to roll into a new year and you've probably started thinking about how you're going to do things differently in 2019. Eating better and working out tend to be de facto resolutions, but what about improving the results from marketing efforts?
Marketing is always changing. It should come as no surprise that your strategies and tools also need to change so that you can stay current on the latest trends in content marketing, social media, and beyond.
My marketing team and I are always keeping our eye on the latest tools and trends to make sure that we get the best results for our efforts. Here are some of the tools we'll be using in 2019.
1. More Click-throughs: Headline Analyzer
The value of a good headline is undeniable. By being more strategic with your headline, you can drive more traffic to your site; increase click-through rates; and your audience size.
This free headline analyzer helps you understand how likely your given headline will result in extra traffic and additional social shares.
FYI: the best headlines according to this tool include 20-30 percent common words; 10-20 percent uncommon words; 10-15 percent emotional words and at least one power word.
2. Influencer Research: Fake Follower Audit (SparkToro)
Influencer marketing -- which aims to encourage purchase decisions by leveraging one's influence over others -- has great potential if influencer posts are reaching real people.
Fact is, many influencers' social media channels are bloated with fake followers and companies are spending big bucks to get their products in front of people that don't exist.
SparkToro's new tool shows you how many followers on any Twitter account are fake.
3. Better writing: Hemmingway
For any marketer who regularly has to moonlight as a content writer, Hemingway is a must use. It grades your writing on how easy it is to read; suggests new words if any could cause confusion to the reader; and suggests ways to break up long sentences for increased clarity.
4. Social Media: Facebook Sharing Debugger
Something that you should be paying really close attention to is how your blog posts or website are showing up when they get shared on Facebook. When a post looks wonky, it can make your company look unprofessional.
This free tool from Facebook allows you to preview before you post. If they don't look right you will need to modify the Open Graph tags (which help you control what shows up on Facebook when your content is shared).
5. Better Sales Videos and Demos: Wistia Soapbox
Wistia's Soapbox is a Chrome web app that makes it easy to record video and your screen at the same time. It's perfect for sales demos, training videos, or presentations where you want a split screen video.
With built-in editing and the ability to share with optimized for playback on every browser and device, Soapbox makes video content accessible to marketers and sales staff of all skill levels.
6. Automate: Zapier
Zapier helps modern marketers connect their favorite tools so that they can automate some of their work -- lessening the need to bounce from tool to tool.
What can it do? One great example for marketers is that it can automatically set up tasks in your project management tool based on emails or rows added to an excel spreadsheet. Thus eliminating duplicate work on your end.
7: Talk the Talk: Marketing Dictionary
Marketers need to be clear on what metrics they're trying to influence, and why. But because today's digital landscape is packed with jargon, it's hard for everyone to speak the same language.
For example, do you know what "latent semantic indexing" means -- or why it's important? (Hint: it helps drive more web traffic for the same amount of work.) That's where a trusty dictionary comes in handy.
8. Keyword help: LSI Graph
So here's where it can be helpful to know what "Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)" means. Most landing pages and blog posts should be created strategically with a keyword in mind. LSI Graph will suggest similar terms to drive additional traffic from search.
Say you're producing a landing page about project management software, LSI suggests that you also include terms like task management software and project planning software.
Whether you're a scrappy marketer looking to do more with less, or a small business owner trying to wear multiple hats, the free tools above will help you up your digital marketing game without paying a dime.