12 Marketing Tools We Are Thankful For This Year
Posted: December 3 2020 by www.convinceandconvert.com
Back in the early-ish days of marketing technology in 2011, there were about 150 martech solutions available.
But now, there are a seemingly endless number of marketing tools. In fact, according to Scott Brinker’s most recent Marketing Technology Supergraphic, there are around 8,000 martech solutions, up from about 7,000 in 2019. Incredible!
Image courtesy of ChiefMarTech.com
At Convince & Convert, we are thankful to have so many awesome marketing tools at our disposal and to work with so many amazing marketing technology companies (check out our content marketing creation services when you have a sec).
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked our team to share some of their favorite marketing tools this year. This list is in no way conclusive — if it were, we would be writing a book and not a blog post. A few of the tools are from C&C clients (accessiBe and SharpSpring), most are tools we use daily, and all are tools we love!
Let’s dive in now to our list of 12 marketing tools we are thankful for this year, plus a few additional shoutouts for marketing solutions we love but just didn’t have the bandwidth to cover in this blog post.
Audience intelligence platform
“This is a relatively new tool from Rand Fishkin and his associates that is an easy and illuminating way to find circles of influence online. I use it to find possible collaborators, websites to sponsors, podcasts to sponsor, and even search terms and hashtags of interest. It’s a flexible tool that should be part of every project and program.”
Jay Baer, Founder, Convince & Convert
Visual collaboration software
“Miro is my favorite new tool for visualizing content like org charts, content workflows, brainstorming, user stories, whatever. It’s basically an online whiteboard for collaborating visually, which is so helpful now that the entire world is remote.”
Fun Fact: The Miro template library has hundreds of layouts just waiting for you to try them out!
Jenny Magic, Strategist
….and Anna Hrach loves Miro too!
“I’m with Jenny on this, and she was the one that brought it to my attention. I love Miro for visualizing information and content and remote/virtual collaboration. Plus, they have a ton of existing templates (over 150+) to work from that are all easily customizable. The free version of Miro is also fantastic, so it’s easy to try out and see if the tool is a good fit for any organization. Miro also has over 70+ integrations, including Slack and Google Drive, so it fits into a lot of existing virtual workflows.”
Anna Hrach, Strategist
Automated web accessibility
“Over my twenty-year career in digital, I have learned A LOT from web development teams and website requirement documents. What I love about the approach accessiBe has developed is there is virtually ZERO code changes needed to ensure your site is not only ADA compliant but also a positive experience for visitors.
The dashboard is simple to configure, allows for your branding to be matched, and adjusts to the needs of each site visitor without sweeping code changes. At an affordable price, this tool is a win for site visitors, a win for site developers, and a win for marketers. The legal team will likely find it a win as well!”
Fun Fact: accessiBe estimates that “the disabled population in almost every society is about 20% of the residents.” This has a huge impact on the function and services your website can (and should) be offering the entirety of your audience.
Kelly Santina, Director of Operations
Social media analytics
“It’s vital to be able to monitor your social media performance and compare it to your peers or competitors, so you can continue to learn, iterate, and improve performance. RivalIQ is one of our go-to tools to benchmark our clients’ competitors on social media. Not only can we monitor growth rate, breakout posts, and look for boosted posts, we can also use RivalIQ’s ability to tag content to analyze the best performing types of content by medium and content. RivalIQ also makes it easy to bring data from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms into one place to create attractive, easy to use dashboards to share with clients and internal teams.”
Fun Fact: Highly data-driven organizations are 3X more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making, according to PwC research.
Side note: Our founder Jay Baer is an investor in RivalIQ, but our team would still use the solution, even if he weren’t.
Zontee Hou, Director of Strategy
SEO spider tool and crawler software
“Despite the odd name, this SEO spider is a powerful and flexible site crawler, able to crawl both small and very large websites efficiently while allowing the user to analyze the results in real-time. It gathers key onsite data to allow SEOs to make informed assessments, both on your own internal site or a competitors’ site. This is primarily used to identify SEO best-practices and shortcomings (there are always more than one would think), but also helps in content identification that may be difficult to find via main navigation options.
They offer a free version (limited to 500 URLs) and a paid license option.”
Anthony Helmstetter, Strategist
‘”As the resident Airtable queen at C&C, I have both convinced and converted the consulting team of the power of Airtable. A cloud-based DIY software solution uses tools we’re familiar with, like database, spreadsheet grids and calendars, to create unique ways to get work done. Airtable offers flexibility and an ecosystem for pulling together any project. In the past year, Airtable has super-powered the product with pro-level automations, apps, collaboration and integrations.
At C&C, we use Airtable for a range of client and internal tasks and project management. My favorite use cases bring together audience journey maps, content gap analysis, and content marketing production into a single (massive) tool, as we did for clients like Oregon State Ecampus. Tracking the team submissions for our ‘People We Love’ series is emotionally rewarding and brings our team closer together.
To get started, check out the numerous base templates Airtable gives away for free. Then go deeper into the Universe to see how others use this powerful tool to manage their professional and personal lives.”
Fun Fact: Over 15 million bases have been created on Airtable. And their content is also awesome.
Lauren Teague, Strategist
Marketing automation and CRM
“When I joined Convince & Convert, we were using a simple email solution to deploy blast-style emails. No lead scoring. No drip campaigns. No automation. No A/B testing.
As we ramped up our efforts, we quickly reached the limits of our previous solution (we were actually A/B testing emails by uploading our email list to Google Sheets and random sorting—not good!), we evaluated a few marketing automation solutions and finally selected SharpSpring.
Like all marketing technology transitions, there were a few bumps along the way, but within a few months, we got into a good rhythm and really ramped up our efforts. The automations are really easy to set up, and unlike most of the solutions we evaluated, SharpSpring has a built-in CRM, which was key for us. We are a lean sales & marketing team, so we don’t have the resources to manage a standalone CRM. We’re now 18 months into our initial setup, and we continue to grow and optimize our efforts. Plus, the support team is only an email, phone call, or chat away. Big fans!”
Megan Leap, Director of Content
SEO and content marketing
“The other tool I love geeking out in is SEMrush. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing our rankings improve for key terms! The Keyword Magic Tool is ridiculously useful — especially the ‘Questions’ tab. I get a ton of inspiration for our content in SEMrush, and it’s helped us achieve big gains in our SEO.”
– Megan Leap
Email testing & analysis
“I first was introduced to Litmus over 12 years ago when the web developer I worked with used it to test and check the rendering of HTML on emails. Since then, I’ve signed up for it in every single digital marketing position I’ve had. It’s easy to sell a solution to your boss when it makes your job easier, your marketing more effective, and keeps your brand on-point. I even used it for browser testing, but Litmus has since retired that feature in order to focus on email. If you’re sending emails, you need to make sure they render correctly on all browsers and in all email clients.”
– Megan Leap
Social media management
“AgoraPulse is our go-to tool for social listening and engagement. We use this tool daily to monitor brand/name mentions and to engage with our community. We use the browser-based dashboard during normal business hours and the mobile app when on the go. Three standout features of AgoraPulse are its ability to gather comments and activity on Facebook and Instagram ads, its ability to monitor YouTube comments, and its insights on Instagram Stories.”
Christin Kardos, Community Manager
Content marketing management
“I probably use CoSchedule more than anyone on our team. We use it for planning social media content, sponsored content, podcasts and more. There’s no better way to manage and plan multiple types of content across business units and virtual teams (both internal and external). I love it. It keeps me sane.”
Side note: Our founder, Jay Baer, is an investor in CoSchedule, but we’d still use it regardless.
– Christin Kardos, Community Manager
“BuzzSumo offers a great place to start when thinking about content planning. It offers effective ways to stay on the pulse of what is trending in traditional media and in social. It also provides a great place to identify influencers and get new ideas for different topics within your planned content pillars.”
Mary Nice, Strategist
This wouldn’t be a “marketing tools we are thankful for” post without a few other shout outs. In no particular order, here are a few more martech solutions we love that you should check out too:
- Ceralytics (content intelligence platform)
- NetLine (B2B content syndication)
- Oracle Marketing Cloud (integrated digital marketing solutions)
- Cisco WebEx (video conferencing and online meetings)
- Podium (messaging tools for local business)
- Calabrio (workforce optimization)
- Cision (cloud-based communications/PR)
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