If there’s one thing about marketing that’s consistent, it’s that change is just around the corner. Most of these changes are brought about by advances in technology. Today, technology and marketing are joined at the hip, constantly pushing the envelope and redefining what’s possible for businesses of all sizes.
For marketers, this is a “good news-bad news” proposition. The bad news is that truly DIY marketing is virtually impossible. There’s too much to know, and there’s too much that changes from day to day. The good news, though, is that there’s never been more technological options at the disposal of marketers. Whatever you want to do, there’s a tech partner that can help you make it happen. The result is groups of various marketing software working together — marketing technology (martech) stacks, if you will.
While not every business needs every piece of technology available, there are definitely some highlights you’ll want to put into your martech stack. Here’s a summary of what’s out there and where you might want to look for help with your next campaign.
Search Engine Optimization
More than 70 percent of new product purchases begin via a search engine. Despite the popularity and effectiveness of social media marketing, SEO remains the best way to attract new customers that have never heard of your business.
But how do you know what keywords to focus on? If SEO was as easy as optimizing your website around simple keywords, everyone would do it. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that. You want to utilize keywords that are organic and searchable, but haven’t been overtaken by larger competitors. In other words, the right keyword is one that people will actually think to search for.
Google offers its own Keyword Planner, which feeds right into its AdWords advertising program. While this might seem intuitive, it also is designed solely to boost your AdWords spend, which may or may not be what’s best for your business. Fortunately, you can take advantage of free tools like KeywordTool.io, which leverages Google’s Autocomplete functionality to suggest keywords that people may be searching for. Then, run those keywords through an analyzer like the Moz Keyword Explorer and see both how popular those keywords are and how difficult they might be to target.
Once people know about your business, it’s up to you to give them something worth checking out. And today, it’s not enough to simply call your business the best. Instead, you have to show people why your company is the best option for that individual customer. To do this, you’ll need an arsenal of compelling and informative content.
While you can definitely create your own content, it’s important to take a bit of a reality check. Newcomers to your business don’t care about your shoestring budget or how knowledgeable you “really” are. If their first look at your company is a YouTube video that looks and sounds like it was recorded on an outdated iPhone, it immediately colors the perception of your brand. You want to avoid this entirely by making sure all of your content looks as perfect as it possibly can.
Again, there are outside vendors that can help you look and sound great. There’s no shortage of content creators on Fiverr that could whip up infographics for you in no time. For a written piece, you could go to WriterAccess, tell them what kind of blogs or white papers you want, and receive great content while retaining the copyrights on the work you receive. Video content is typically produced by local businesses that can come down to your headquarters and film you and your staff. You can even get help with podcasting; services like Podcast Motor can assist with recording, editing and promoting your podcast.
You may already be using email marketing software to reach out to your most valuable digital customers. And if you’re not, you should be. Email is by far the most-effective way to promote new products and promotions to an already engaged audience. It’s a one-on-one conversation with your best customers — take advantage of this by using email to its fullest.
For an introduction into what email marketing services can do, Constant Contact can schedule emails, track email effectiveness and test subject lines. If you want to go more in-depth, check out Hubspot’s email marketing services, which provide full automation for lead nurturing efforts. This allows you to use data from the CRM you already have in your email marketing. Hubspot can feed off your CRM data and automatically send the right emails to move your leads further down the path to purchase.
Everyone uses social media in their everyday lives, so therefore anybody at your company can easily handle your corporate Facebook account… right? Well, not exactly. The truth is that corporate social media isn’t as easy as it looks. Think about it — do you really want to waste valuable manpower posting the same update to seven different social media platforms multiple times a day?
Probably not. And that’s why working with a social media marketing provider can be a blessing. Not only do you not have to waste the time of your employees, but you’ll also get a better and more trackable social media product, which then helps you attract more customers. It’s a win for everyone.
Hootsuite, perhaps the best-known social media marketing service available, helps businesses quickly post updates to all of their social media accounts while simultaneously curating content from other accounts for reposting. If you’re looking for a company to fully run and create content for your social media accounts, an all-encompassing marketing firm can handle your social media marketing strategy. If you’re already set with your social media posting and just want some help getting the most out of your Facebook paid ad spend, a tool like the AdEspresso Facebook Ads Compass can help you identify areas where your paid ad strategy can improve.
Marketing will continue to change and evolve well into the next decade, and the practices that exist today will become more refined in the years to come. But those changes will be paced by technological developments. That’s why it’s so important for all marketers to take advantage of the tools available to them. A martech stack isn’t just an assortment of cool tricks — it’s the absolute best way to reach the modern consumer. Marketers owe it to themselves to get as much as they possibly can out of these tools.