7 Tools and Apps for the Online Marketer
There's a tool or application for everything these days, but which ones will really help you? I've sifted and sorted through a bunch and here's what I've found works for me.
The Buffer App is a great addition to your social media strategy. It's not always easy to become a habitual social media user, so we try and start people off by recommending 30 minutes a day. But if you slam all your Tweets into one 30 minute block, or post on LinkedIn at 6:30 in the morning while you're having your coffee, you're not always going to hit the audiences you need to in order to make social media valuable.
This is where Buffer comes in. With Buffer you can automate your Tweets, Facebook shares, and LinkedIn posts for the rest of the day (putting a buffer in between to reach your audience). While there are plenty of tools where you can schedule social shares, I really like how Buffer integrates into you accounts and browser. As an added bonus, you also get analytics for your shares that are sent through Buffer.
New to Twitter or looking for some influencers to connect with and help spread your message? WeFollow.com is a Twitter directory that allows you to search out people in your industry or sector or even by location. Finding influencers to help you is a critical piece to any marketing strategy. Start connecting and start engaging! And don't forget to list yourself.
Yeah yeah yeah, we all know about Google. But do you really know how to search efficiently? Google is such a powerful tool, even for the most novice of users, but if you really learn how to use Google to its full potential you'll open yourself to worlds of information you never knew existed. Use this Google employee's blog of search challenges to help yourself learn new techniques.
If you spend a lot of time online you likely have a lot of logins and passwords (sidenote: if you're connecting accounts to reduce the number of logins you should think twice). We all know it's not a good idea to use the same password everywhere, or even slight variations, but how are you supposed to remember them all? Well, I use 1Password. Again, it's built right into your browser and stores all of your login and password information behind one password, so make it a really good one. From there it can generate random passwords for your accounts to make them as secure as possible. Once you hit a login screen all you have to do is enter your one password and the app will fill in the neccessary info to log you in.
This app is basically digital pen and paper. I'm one of those nerds who bought a stylus and I actually take hand written notes on my iPad and I love it! You can use your finger to write, but I find it much easier with the stylus. Because it's digital you can switch between colours, pen thickness, reorganize pages, and erase with ease. I can't write as clearly as I could with regular pen and paper, but it's still legible even when I'm writing at a fast pace.
Although similar to Bamboo Paper, Paper acts more like a sketchbook. It's a great tool for those of you who are visual thinkers; use it to sketch out processes or page layouts. Not only is it a helpful tool, it seems to make me look like I actually have some artistic ability.
PDFs are one of the most common files you will come across online and while there are plenty of options for viewing PDFs, PDF Expert allows you to actually interact with a document. By that I mean you can fill out forms, add notes, highlight passages, and sign documents. A great app for those of you who travel or are always on the go.
Bonus Gadget: Nike+ Fuelband
I'm not going to lie, sitting at a computer for a majority of my day has been an adjustment. It's no secret either that sitting for prolonged periods is terrible for your health and makes you less productive in the long-run. To help remedy the lack motion required to operate a computer, I bought myself a Nike+ Fuelband to force me to move (really it measures my movement and translates it into a "Fuel" score and allows me to set Fuel goals). While a simple timer that dings every hour to remind you to get up and move would likely work, I like gadgets! Plus it syncs with an iPhone app so I can compete against my friends.
Randy's online agency, KAYAK Online Marketing, helps organizations attract quality leads online with business web sites, social media and captivating content that engages visitors, deploying their process: EMA.
Randy is author of "Findability: Why Search Engine Optimization is Dying + 21 New Rules of Content Marketing for 2013 and Beyond" available on Kindle Reader now.