There used to be a time when online marketing was all about optimizing websites, mostly via questionable ways of attracting the attention of search engine bots. And then optimizing websites became all about regularly posting high-quality content and earning high-quality, credible links. Today, optimizing websites is still about high-quality content, but it has also become about engaging with your target audience on various social media platforms. If you are a virtual office assistant helping your client with his online marketing campaign, the good news is that there are a good number of tools that make it easy for you to manage your online marketing efforts, and we will be telling you about these tools.
This is one of the most well-known and commonly used tools for publishing and sharing content. With its user-friendly interface and a robust set of features even in its basic plan, this tool is indeed a good place to start. Unlike other tools of its kind, Hootsuite is web-based, which means you access it through a browser instead of via a desktop client. The basic plan (free) allows you to manage up to three social channels on one dashboard, while the pro version ($5.95/month) allows you to manage an unlimited number of social channels. The tool also allows you to upload an excel file for easy scheduling.
Here’s a quick guide on how to make the most of Hootsuite for social media marketing:
1. Secure your team setup.
It is very important for you to always be aware of who within your organization has access to which social media accounts and how each of them is using those accounts. Hootsuite enables you to keep your accounts secure, even as you add and remove members from your organization over time. One feature, Secure Profiles, is especially useful, as it prompts you to either confirm or cancel a tweet, thereby safeguarding against posting potentially damaging tweets.
2. Engage daily and track your campaigns.
You can use Hootsuite’s dashboard to manage either a one-off social media marketing campaign or your daily community-building efforts. You can set up a separate stream for each type of content you want to monitor, such as mentions and newsfeeds. This feature can be quite handy for tracking your hashtags. The dashboard also allows you to schedule up to 50 different messages and create a list of followers you want to increase your engagement with.
3. Measure your performance.
Hootsuite’s analytics feature was recently revamped and a new interface that allows you to create custom reports is now included. With the built-in Social Analytics reports, you can easily measure the success of your campaigns and implement the necessary adjustments whenever you find a need for improvements in your performance.
This tool isn’t as popular as Hootsuite, so you may be wondering exactly what it is and what it can do for you. Simply put, Karmacracy is a tool targeted towards those who like sharing content online and want their content to go viral. The tool allows you to share and search for content in both English and Spanish. Even better news is that it is very easy to use and signing up for the service is free!
Karmacracy has a URL shortener that makes it easy for you to share your content on various social networking platforms. The service also provides you with detailed statistics on how relevant every piece of content you share is to your target audience. This enables you to gauge just how relevant you currently are to your followers and to make the necessary adjustments so you can increase your influence and authority in your niche. Using its REST API, you can easily retrieve user information, evolution statistics, domains, Facebook pages, relevance statistics, etc.
Karmacracy understands that nobody likes creating and publishing content that no one consumes or shares. This is why they show you how many times you links have been visited and shared. With the resulting numbers, you will then be given a rank, which is displayed on your profile. A higher rank naturally earns you more respect from the Karmacracy community and possibly leads to an increase in your influence in your niche. You can start simply by using the service as a content-sharing tool and then improve your use of it as you familiarize the terminologies and features as you go along.
This web-based tool allows you to create visual content; you could perhaps think of it as a PowerPoint that’s much easier to use. You have the option of creating animated slide presentations or movie files. The presentations can be shared on your Prezi channel and the movie files may be shared on such video hosting sites as Vimeo and YouTube. Although Prezi plans do not come for free—they range from $4.92 to $13.25 a month—the usefulness of this tool makes it well worth the cost.
If you happen to have a gift for storytelling, then you’ll be sure to love this tool. With its ability to let you share information in an organized manner of telling stories, Prezi has been described as an “almost futuristic tool” by Jessica Davis, GoDot Media’s Content Strategy Specialist. What makes this tool unique is the fact that it offers 2.5-dimension navigability as well as a zooming user interface. Where PowerPoint only allows you to move through a presentation via slides, Prezi enables you to zoom in and out or pan in and out as you move through each presentation.
Unlike linear presentations like PowerPoint and SlideShare, Prezi uses a map for navigating through a presentation, which is also called a Prezi. The great thing about a Prezi where online marketing is concerned is that it allows you to keep users eyes on the screen as you guide them through the presentation and focus their attention on your message. You’re also sure to appreciate the fact that you can use both images and video within a single presentation. You may then share your Prezi on your social media pages, incorporate it in a blog post, or embed it on your website.
Here are a few tips for using Prezi to your advantage:
- Take your cue from businesses that are already using Prezi—Coca-Cola, Lenovo, Ogilvy, are just some of the bigwigs already taking advantage of this tool—and familiarize the tool using their strategies before moving on to your own unique way of using the tool.
- Choose your featured content carefully. The extra dimension Prezi offers should be able to highlight certain insights within the content that would otherwise be very difficult to reveal if the content were presented in any other format.
- Bear in mind that search engines are—at least for now—unable to read content presented in a Prezi. Don’t forget to incorporate textual content that makes it easy for search engines to understand what your Prezi is all about. A Prezi is, after all, a piece of content, so you need to optimize it.
This tool enables you to incorporate links onto an image file. Perhaps the most important use of this tool is for enhancing any image file you may choose to publish or share such as memes and infographics. It comes with a free basic version as well as a number of commercial plans ranging in price from $250 to $1500 a month. When you look at the price alone, the tool can seem a bit costly, but when you think about how it can turn still (and perhaps boring) images into interactive ones that effectively engage your audience, then you’ll see it really isn’t all that expensive.
Besides being able to place links on still images, you can also embed videos and SoundCloud tracks such that they’ll play directly from the infographic or ad. This way, users won’t have to click on a link that leads to another page where the video will play; they can view the video right there on the same page, thereby making things more convenient for them and improving their overall web experience with you. This is an excellent way of earning their trust and loyalty and getting them to share your content with others.
Another important feature you may appreciate in this tool is the real-time analytics system that allows you to keep track of user engagement. This helps you determine how successful each of your campaigns is; knowing which campaigns worked and which ones didn’t will help you determine which types of campaigns you need to focus on and what adjustments you need to make. Even better news is that ThingLink is very easy and a lot of fun to use.
These are just four of the most useful tools you can use to ensure the success of your online marketing campaigns. There are hundreds of other tools out there that you just might find useful. But you’re new to the whole online marketing game, then you have to start somewhere, right? Well, the four tools on this list are definitely among the best ones to get your started.