Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Tools I Use Daily

Here's a list of some digital tools I use on a pretty regular basis - a lot of which daily.

These tools are perfect for those who are in a position of managing a digital marketing strategy, whether that's at marketing manager level or agency side.

Even if you're not specifically a 'digital' manager, many of these tools are useful for running any marketing, especially if you're a new or small business.

There are many many more which I regularly use, but for more technical purposes. This list is just the ones you'll find useful in any position of marketing.

SEO Tools

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is the go-to SEO tool and allows you to quickly (mostly) crawl an entire website to determine on and off page website errors. It also allows you to check tons of stuff easily like canonical errors, redirect chains, insecure contnet, make XML sitemaps, and a ton more cool stuff like integrating with analytics. £99 for a year licence or you can go for the lite version which will crawl a substantial 500 URLs.

Download Screaming Frog

SEMRush

SEMRush is particularly awesome for its competitor and historical keyword research at the push of a button. It also tracks keyword positions daily and has a bunch of tools to show you things like on page suggestions for keyword optimisation and actually which keywords you should be targeting. It can get pretty pricey, although it is the best all round SEO solution in my opinion.

Get SEMRush

Link Building / PR

Linkody

Linkody is a great backlink monitoring tool which will monitor any new links to your website as well as being able to monitor any links you are expecting. Done some outreach/PR for a campaign lately? Put the domains you're expecting links from in Linkody and it'll let you know as soon as they are live. It's also really good value starting at about 6 quid a month. You'll want to set up competitor tracking so you can see potential link building opportunities or just spy on competitors in general.

Get Linkody

Google Alerts

Obvious one here, but Google alerts are still so valuable. They're free, and allow you to monitor mentions of your brand or main keywords on an as-it-happens basis. Probably advised not to set up alerts for popular keywords like 'Protein Shake' unless you want a million email alerts a day.

Set up Google Alerts here

Analytics

Google Analytics

Yes there are better solutions than Google Analytics out there, but they cost money, and Google Analytics doesn't (yet). Considering it is free, it's ridiculously useful and far easier to use than it first looks.

Sign up for Google Analytics here

Analytics Alerts

Still on Google Analytics here, but it's worth noting one of the most simple yet useful features: custom alerts. Head to Admin > Custom Alerts and set up email or SMS alerts for things like drop or rise in traffic on your website. Do some experimenting here as there are a ton of combinations you could use.

Analytics Dashboards

Another Google Analytics feature, and one that's massively convenient, especially if you've got someone to report to on a regular basis.

Dashboards allow you to create your own essentially custom dashboard views tailored to certain information or business goals. Or you could just take the lazy option like me and use some of the badass templates in the gallery.

Check out the Analytics templates

User Experience / Process Formation

Google Forms

It might seem like by this point I am sponsored by Google, but I can assure you I'm not, they just do a ton of awesome stuff. And that includes Google Forms.

It's basically a free, easy to use way to survey people. Just create the form in Google docs and it gives you a share link to send to people for them to fill out.

Most obviously you can survey your customers, but one thing I like to use Google forms for is creating internal processes. If there's a task that you repeat on a regular basis, can it be standardised and simplified by using Google forms? To make it one step easier, use Bitly to create a 'vanity URL' for the link to the form.

For example I recently created a form to capture all new client details that come from a sales team to a marketing team with a URL like bit.ly/easytoremember. It contained many questions similar to 'have you requested Analytics access to team@marketing.com?' which serves both as essential information for sales, and reassurance for marketing. And it took about 10 minutes to set up.

Well I hope that's useful for you! I'll keep adding to the list as new and other tools come to mind.

Interview Tips for Securing a Role in Social Media

After I graduated I began searching for many inbound marketing jobs, and  secured an excellent role within a position focused heavily on social media in which I’ll be running campaigns and also managing accounts. It took me a lot of time and effort to get the role I really wanted, so I thought I’d share some tips for recent graduates on getting a job in social media marketing, as I’ve been to plenty of interviews and know the types of questions to expect.

Be able to describe accounts you’ve managed

Having really clear and detailed examples of accounts or campaigns you’ve managed is very important. Most interviewers will ask you about this, and it’s particularly useful if you can describe things like:

  • Challenges you encountered whilst managing campaigns
  • How you overcame these challenges
  • What you learnt from the experiences
  • What you enjoyed the most
  • Something you changed for the better

Most of all, it is important that you describe even negative situations in a positive way, and be able to demonstrate how you can take these experiences and bring positive learning from them to the new role in a way which will benefit the organisation. I found that interviewers didn’t mind that some of the campaigns I’d dealt with weren’t huge, it was more important to focus on what I’d learnt from them, no matter the size.

Have solid examples of campaigns you admire

As well as personal examples of things that work, also think about case studies from some campaigns you admire. What were the best practices you saw from the campaigns? What can you take away from the campaigns and apply elsewhere? Why were they so successful? All these points will help in showing that you have an understanding of social media and when it is beneficial for an organisation. It may be best to use an example that isn’t related to your personal experience; for example if you worked on a B2B campaign previously, you could choose an example that was B2C, to broaden your knowledge.

Be able to describe how you use tools and analytics

Being organised and analysing the work you do on social media campaigns is a real strong point in the eyes of an employer. Data is so important as it directly relates to KPI’s (and therefore ROI) for an organisation.

I won't go into detail about social media and ROI - that’s a subject for another article, but I will say that different organisations will have different KPI’s in mind for their social efforts. Some will focus on gaining followers, some on the conversations etc; and they want to know how these measurable's have an affect on things like sales or visits to websites. This means it must be clear how you used analytics or tools in previous campaigns to measure KPI’s, and how that impacted directly on the organisation.

Even if your tools for measurement were as simple as an Excel spreadsheet - if it worked well for you and you stayed on top of your workload and produced results, then brag about it.

Have knowledge of many networks

This is such a simple point which can be overlooked easily. I found one thing that always impressed employers was my ability to describe why Google+ is so great. It is a great skill if you can look past just Facebook and Twitter and describe why other networks might be worth using and why. For example why is Pinterest so popular with e-commerce or fashion? How do Vine & Instagram provide more human ways of interacting with audiences? Showing that you can be creative with different networks is a really strong skill.

Have predictions for future trends

Employers want to see that you are interested and active in the industry you are trying to break into, and one of the easiest ways to demonstrate this is by following predictions for future trends in social media marketing. The fact that you can show the initiative to be able to follow industry trends will convince the interviewer that you can respond to change and are adaptable. Combine this point with examples of previous campaigns and show how invaluable your knowledge will be to the organisation.

I hope these points are useful, please comment if you feel I've missed anything really obvious out and I'll add it in. I'm also always willing to help out, so get in touch on Twitter @willkennard or on Google+.

Productivity over many operating systems

I've recently turned to the dark side and started using Apple products again. I bought a Macbook Pro and naturally an iPhone followed (because I'm a pretentious dick like that, really). However I've still kept my Nexus 7 because I love the damn thing (and what else am I going use to read the first 5 pages of a book I may or may not buy?) and at work I am forced to use a Windows 7 machine. 

This means trying to balance my personal and work life over 4 computers, and use Microsoft, Apple and Google in a way that they all play nicely. So, after using many apps and web apps and cloud this and that, I've stuck with 3 that play best.

Wunderlist, Evernote & Google Drive.

Wunderlist

, as the name suggests, is Wunderful (sorry). It's a todo list, but has its own sync service which requires only a very fast registration. It's available on Mac, Android and iOS as an app, and you can use it on a desktop PC via a Chrome app or just by logging onto the site. What I like most about Wunderlist is that the design is extremely consistent throughout all devices, to the point that even the wallpaper of the app syncs (sounds lame, but try it, it's really cool). The todo lists are as simple as the Apple Reminders app, but they have more sneaky features like adding sub tasks and repeating tasks as often as you like. Add in the fact that the lists can be shared, and you have yourself a pretty slick project management tool. And I should probably mention it's completely free. 

I'm sure I don't have to bang on about

Evernote

too much, you've probably heard of it already. I used it a while back but got annoyed with waiting for everything to sync and notes being unavailable without connection. The Evernote team seem to have sorted all that out now, and the apps for Android and iOS are just stunning. It's much faster than it used to be too. For meetings, the document capture mode is perfect, and the sharing options almost always result in others following suit. £3.99 a month for the paid version, but it's well worth it.

Google Drive

is essentially Dropbox with balls on. I've blabbed on about it before, but it really is just so reliable. My Macbook isn't connected to the network at work, so Drive has proved extremely useful. I believe I pay $2.49 p/m for 25GB of storage; an absolute bargain. No more messing around with USB pen drives.

Screen+Shot+2013-02-14+at+22.59.57.png

Using these three services has turned me into one organised badass (nerd), and juggling 2 projects at work and many out of work has become a breeze.