Online Apps to Make Your Job as a Marketer Easier and More Efficient
Multi-tasking dominates our corporate culture these days. We are always looking to make our jobs easier by finding one solution to our problems or one app to do all our tasks.
This is true for companies that have dedicated marketing divisions, but finding that all-in-one app for all your marketing needs is especially important for businesses with limited resources, where every employee wears at least four different hats.
You may have time to write great online content but you don’t have the extra time to distribute it across dozens of individual sites. Maybe you post to Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, but you don’t have time to actively monitor the conversations. (To which I ask, is it worth it?)
Where's an App for That?
Fortunately, there are several apps that help streamline your marketing efforts to make your job of producing, sharing and monitoring your content as easy as clicking one of those big red office supply store buttons.
Here are 5 of our favorite apps to make your marketing department (or marketing hat-wearer) run more efficiently:
Mural.ly As you plan your marketing content, you need a space to organize your ideas. Enter Mural.ly, the Pinterest of online brainstorming. Mural.ly allows you to quickly dump your ideas into one place as you plan your article, blog post or video. With flexible canvases (think Pinterest boards) that allow you to sort by topic, you can brainstorm now and organize later. Sharing your online walls with teammates allow for collaboration. Once you have your team’s ideas fleshed out on the canvas, creating the actual content will be much easier. Cost: $29 per month for up to 3 users.
Word Swag If your marketing plan includes posting more photos to sites like Facebook orInstagram but you find photo library lacking, consider creating images through Word Swag. This iOS app for iPhone or iPad allows you to automatically turn words into lovely text-photo designs that are perfect for posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Simply select a picture (or choose from dozens of backgrounds provided by the app), enter your custom text (or choose from Word Swag’s library of hundreds of captions and quotes), choose one of the nearly 30 text styles and… done! The app offers fresh font and layout combinations each time you use it so that your images are unique. Cost: $3.
IFTTT Once your content is created, the next most important step is obviously to share it across the internet. There are hundreds of thousands of locations where your content could be shared, and no one has time to post something everywhere. IFTTT, an acronym for the common formula “If This, Then That”, automates services between online apps, allowing multiple apps and channels to talk to each other.
“IFTTT is the duct tape that connects disparate social networks and digital services together, to do things they cannot do on their own.”
IFTTT lets you set certain triggers (the “if this”) to perform certain actions (the “then that”) between its 120+ channels following the if-then formula. For example, if you post a picture to Instagram, then it will also post the picture to Facebook. With the right combination of triggers and actions across the right channels, one upload can reach all of your company’s online platforms with just one click. IFTTT even provides a library of pre-written “recipes” to get you started. Cost: Free.
Buffer Sharing content across your various social media platforms can be time-consuming. With apps like Buffer, you can post content to your different accounts at one time. You can customize your posting schedules by pre-scheduling posts to coincide with marketing campaigns, events or blog updates. Because you can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks to your Buffer profile, you will be able to share content to all of your audiences with one click. Buffer also provides detailed analytics and reporting to measures the number of shares, likes and retweets your content receives. The app works on your desktop, iPhone and Android phones to allow you to schedule and post on-the-go. Cost: Free; Business Plans start at $50 per month for up to 25 social media accounts.
HootSuite Once you have distributed your content to your social audiences,it is important to participate in the conversations your users are having around yourcontent. HootSuite’s dashboard allows you to manage up to 35 different social networks, schedule messages, engage with your various audiences and measure the ROI of your content. Monitoring conversations is key in social media, and HootSuite allows you to do that quickly and easily. As a bonus, HootSuite can help you generate future content also. By setting up search streams, you can monitor conversations your users are having to help gauge what types of content will resonate best with your target audience. Cost: Free for basic plans; Pro plans start at $9 per month for up to 50 social network profiles.
Grammarly No matter where you post your marketing content online, it will not gain the results you desire if it is full of grammar or spelling errors. When we get in a rush, it is easy to overlook these errors. Save yourself the embarrassment by running your content through this comprehensive grammar-checker before you post. The site also checks for citation and plagiarism violations, which can be handy if you outsource any of your content. Although a subscription-based service, Grammarly could be worth the monthly rate if you don’t have a grammar stickler on your staff. Cost: $30 per month.