4 Vital Digital Marketing Tools for Business in 2018Dave Bouwmeester
I had a customer ask me where they should start to get some quick digital marketing wins. I had a few suggestions for them from my general go-to arsenal, but it got me thinking… Digital Savvy business owners tend to understand the importance of keeping up-to-date in Digital Marketing (every blog or article out there keeps telling us that), but sometimes we do not know where to start.
I thought I would make it simple by running through 4 vital digital marketing tools for business that I think will make your marketing life more manageable in 2018. I am of the opinion that digital marketing efforts should revolve around automation and integration. Why? Business owners have limited time and resources, and every task that you offload to another employee or you outsource saves you time, but the trade-off is that it costs your business money. Money you can spend on advertising and business development.
If you learn how to automate and integrate your platforms and solutions, marketing becomes more comfortable, allowing you time to concentrate on getting out there, advertising your business and focusing on your customers.
Marketing Automation is an excellent tool to have in one’s arsenal as these platforms do what they say they do, they automate marketing efforts. Why? Great marketing automation recognises the needs of your customers, their behaviour, what and how they interact with your digital channels. How? Omni-channel marketing such as Email, SMS, web and landing pages are tagged. Every time a customer encounters a tag (e.g. opening an email or visiting the about us page on your website) they are attributed an engagement score (which is entirely customisable). The more times your prospective customers engage – the hotter the lead they potentially are. You can set-up automatic “do you need help?” emails or simply send alerts to your sales team (for follow up) when a customer scores enough engagements to be classified as a “hot lead”. The best part, the alerts are automatic. No more pencilling notes into a notepad or filling in your calendar with follow up appointments one after the other.
I have used a few different marketing automation platforms in my digital career (from HubSpot to MailChimp) – but none for me compare to the quality and value of ActiveCampaign. The good news is that VYER offers ActiveCampaign with a handy little discount on the standard rate, we also help with implementation should you need it.
Most people would have interacted with a bot before, maybe without even realising it. Have you ever spoken to SIRI, Google Home or Cortana? Perhaps you have been on Instagram and had a random account like a photo of yours and follow you? Or had an automated response on Facebook Messenger? If you answered yes to any of these, you have most definitely interacted with a bot. Let me just say that Bots are fantastic as they combine response automation with integration. You set it up, and it responds to enquiries from you. It is great for getting customers to a specific page (like event registration, contact us form or booking a consultation).
Here at VYER, we use a Facebook Messenger Bot – we have done a few more technical things (forgive the jargon) like connecting it via a JSON API to a Natural Language Processing (NLP) machine learning algorithm for learned responses. However, you do not need your bot to be that complex. We use (and recommend) a platform called Chatfuel. It has a drag and drop interface and best part……They have a free version (with their branding).
Analytics & Data
Analytics and data are not new concepts. You may have heard of the term “Data Science”?, in fact, VYER has recently produced an article called what is data science. We found our customers had heard of it but weren’t sure what data science actually meant. Well, pretty much data science is the process of using your data and analytics to prove a theory you may have (are my users generally over or under 35) – you do this sort of thing every day (even if it is only on a fundamental level).
Integrating analytics into your digital channels allows you to understand what your users are doing. Giving you insights into all facets of your business. The four analytics and data tools I would recommend for any business owner are Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio & HEAP Analytics. These platforms are all free to use (up to certain levels) and allow you to capture enough data to get a good handle on your business’s digital assets. I do want to mention HEAP Analytics especially. This tool is fantastic for those wanting to do a bit more of a deep dive into their site, using their “event visualiser” you can select different elements on your site. The team at HEAP do all the heavy lifting (coding) allowing you to keep that element selected in your dashboard. You can then quickly build a funnel, and voila, you have a pipeline – giving you excellent (and useable) information such as how many people went from homepage to the book now button, then finally submitted the button.
Saving the best till last – well sort of, every tool I have mentioned is impressive but boy, can you do some things with integration tools such as Zapier and IFTTT. I will stick to Zapier as I am more familiar with their platform. Zapier lets you create “zaps” that connect one cloud-based program to another. Just the other day, I created a facebook bot using Chatfuel, designed to collect responses and contact details. The Bot sent an email through to Zapier which then “zapped” (scraped) the email and put the captured email data onto google sheets. But wait there’s more. I also ran a “zap” to push that data over to ActiveCampaign and create a contact. These integration tools are not just limited to a few different integrations; there’s a library of over 100 types of integrations to choose from.
So the theme for business owners this year is “automate and integrate” your digital marketing tools. Remember, should you need help with anything, please reach out to the team at VYER.