Modern marketers can be easily compared to superheroes. The job that used to boil down to a simple exchange of goods for money somewhere at a fairground several hundred years ago has become a genuine art. Nowadays it involves creativity, good command of at least one foreign language, ability to analyze the tendencies of the market, keep track of the latest updates and many other skills. However, the purpose of this post is not to complain on or boast about the job I’m personally doing.
My initial idea was to take a look at some of the tools that help marketers around the world to do their job properly and efficiently. Some of the services mentioned below already enjoy world-wide popularity some of them are less known, some are free and some are not. The only thing they have in common is that they all can be equally useful and make our job a little easier.
Link Monitoring – Opensiteexplorer
This tool can be described as a search engine for links. It enables you to analyze the links pointing to your website. You may compare them to the ones that are linking to your competitors. Opesiteexplorer will help you to search for broken links in order to fix them and improve your website’s google authority. The service is available for free.
Purchase the Pro Version to get some additional features like information about the popularity of your website in social media (the amount of shares, likes, tweets) for $99 a month with a 30-day free trial.
Blog Monitoring – Google Alerts
Technically, I could’ve left this field blank as Google Alerts became an indispensable tool for any marketer a long time ago and most of us are already familiar with this service. For those who are not, I will mention what it is used for. It is a notification service, that allows you to receive automatic emails with the latest updates on the topic of your choice.
You may alter the frequency of the notifications as well as the type of alerts you want to get depending on the search field you are interested in e.g. Google News Search or Google Blog Search. This tool can keep you up-to-date on any issue doing the googling job for you, thus saving you much time and effort. The most pleasant thing is that it is absolutely free.
Social Media Monitoring – Tweetdeck
Tweetdeck is a real time service that helps you to stay in touch with all your contacts in social networks like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and google buzz using one window. The most basic features enable you to keep track of friends, mentions and worldwide trends in social media.
The best part is you won’t have to sign in and out for every network you are using – everything is joined in one account. This is a vital tool for a marketer who wants to know everything about the social media buzz around any product. The application is available for desktop, IOS as well as android devices for free.
Public Opinion Monitoring – Surveymonkey
Definitely one of the most popular online survey tools. You may choose between different templates of surveys, types of questions and possible answers. Customize your surveys the way you want to – from adding your company’s logo to change of the color scheme and language. Unlike other survey tools, Surveymonkey allows you to analyze data using charts, graphs and filters and download it into a suitable format (Excel or PDF).
The basic free plan limits you to 10 questions and 100 responses per survey, but you can always upgrade to a monthly or a yearly plan to get more features like custom survey design or SPSS integration.
Business Process Management – TeamLab
TeamLab has several modules to enhance internal business cooperation. Try to manage your projects by assigning tasks to your team members and setting milestones. Their accomplishment can be controlled using time tracking, discussions and reports. With editing, sharing and version control options available you may optimize document processing.
Now you have an ability to write, edit and approve your articles on the spot. Conducting polls to figure out what brand logo to use or which product motto to choose might also come in handy. The program is available for free, but you may purchase the premium version to enlarge file storage space.
Mind mapping – Freemind
The program can help you in many ways which makes it an irreplaceable tool for work. Create project workplace, brainstorming platform, knowledge database – anything that used to be jotted down on a piece of paper (and was probably lost among piles of documentation) can now be stored in one place on your PC. You can link to web pages as well as directories and files on your hard drive straight from the program. The developers of the service are very proud of the folding feature that enables you to create an organic mind-map structure and not to get lost in the information heap. The program is free.
Web Conferencing – Readytalk
If you are looking for a multi functional conferencing tool, Readytalk might turn out to be one of the most attractive options available. Web and audio conferencing, webinars with expert support are combined in this application. Easy webinar scheduling, automated event reminders, custom registration forms, promotion of events on facebook or twitter make this tool stand out. Flexible pricing can satisfy everyone: those who conduct conferences on a regular basis as well as those who just want to use it occasionally.
Presentation tool – Animoto
Animoto makes it possible for you to design video slide shows using your images. You may import your pictures directly from facebook, flickr, picasa etc. Once you are done with editing share your media with the world via Facebook, Myspace, Youtube or email. If you are looking for a fast way to create an eye-catching video presentation without burning the midnight oil, you may use the cinematic artificial intelligence feature of the program that analyzes your music and images to edit and produce a video like an actual director.
The plans differ from a free version up to $499 a year depending on the amount of features you want to use and the desired quality of your output video file.
If you can think of a tool that in your opinion has to be mentioned in this list, leave a comment.
[This post has been written by Alexander Mitnikov, who is a freelance translator interested in modern business & technology trends. His passion is agile software that helps Entrepreneurs, marketers and freelancers like himself enhance their working process to the full]