Technology is praised when it improves the quality of life.
Technology is also blamed when it leads to less employment.
But, in reality, technology isn’t something to be feared — much less for marketers.
Recent AI releases such as OpenAI’s GPT-3 may have scared programmers, writers, and marketers when we all witnessed what this language generator was capable of.
But when you think about your career. What kind of work is replaceable? And how can you leverage technology so it can improve your career, instead of replacing it?
With technology taking giant leaps every year, marketers need to adopt tech and use it to enhance their job, not to replace it.
Well, that’s exactly why this post is important because you’ll go through the kind of tools that you can leverage today as a marketer and the technology trends you should be preparing for.
Let’s move forward.
The Benefits Tech Offers to Business and Marketing
It is inevitable. Technology will never stop developing.
Sooner or later, your business will need to embrace technology to remain competitive — and you can’t do anything to stop it.
The reason is simple, the benefits technology offers to businesses are almost infinite. And they’re so good that they’re now the standard for any working business. Some of these benefits include:
- Increased productivity with automation.
- Smoother workflow, thanks to project management software, CRMs, and content management systems.
- The ability to work remotely.
- More access to data than ever in history because of the big data. They are allowing businesses to measure KPIs and analyze metrics.
- Effective team communication with apps like Slack.
- Better ways to access documentation, knowledge base, and resources with cloud services.
For marketing, technology has changed the way people interact with your brand, the content formats your audience consumes, and the channels you can use to interact with your target customers.
And here’s the truth: technology can determine the marketing channels we use, how we use them, and the marketing tactics we use to reach out to customers effectively.
But it can’t change the fundamentals.
Fundamentals we learned back then from Claude Hopkins, Seth Godin, Dan Kennedy, and the likes.
So, as long as you are clear about the fundamentals of marketing, you’ll not only be financially safe, but your value as a marketer will only increase with the release of more robust technology over time.
That’s why it is crucial to understand how to use technology to your advantage, instead of submitting to its power.
6 Essential Marketing Software Tools to Boost Your Business
You can only work at your full capacity when using the right tools.
There’re tons of marketing software out there you can check on sites like G2. But in this post, you’ll go through the essential tools you’ll most likely use daily when working on marketing material.
1. Podcasts Platforms
A podcast is an audible content format, allowing you to use your voice to speak to your audience more humanly and build authority.
Podcasts are a great way to diversify your content formats and repurpose your marketing content.
To create a podcast, you can just record audio and upload it to Spotify — however, if you’ll use it for marketing purposes, you’ll need more than that.
First, using the right equipment such as a decent microphone, audio interface, and an isolated studio (faraway from outside noises).
As for software, you’ll need:
- Audio editing software. You’ll need to edit your podcast before publishing, removing awkward sounds, and making your voice more understandable.
- Podcast recording software. Both Zoom and Skype do the job, but you can also use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to both record and edit your podcast in the same place. Reaper, ProTools, and Adobe Audition are popular options.
- Podcast hosting services. You have to publish your content somewhere. Podcast services like BuzzSprout and Libsyn allow you to put your podcast content on popular channels like Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts, recommending it to your target audience.
Other platforms such as Anchor.fm allow you to do everything in the same place. It’s worth checking if you’re just starting in the podcast business.
2. Blogging Tools
Everyone is publishing content these days, and only the best blogs will stand out from the crowd.
So, to approach content marketing, you need the right set of tools to create content efficiently.
To start a blog, you only need three platforms:
- A healthy website that’s optimized for SEO.
- A CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress to manage, create, and publish content on your blog.
- Google Docs.
And with nothing else, you can start writing top quality content with no problem — the sky's the limit.
However, there’re plenty of tools you can use to aid the content creation process, whether for topic ideation, outlines, or SEO. And these may include:
- Content idea generators like AnswerThePublic, Portent’s title maker, and Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.
- Headline optimization tools to brainstorm catchy headlines that get clicked, and CoSchedule’s headline analyzer to evaluate them.
- Content editing tools like Grammarly, Hemingway App, and Power Thesaurus to fix grammar, simplify your content, and find synonyms.
- Content Curation tools like ContentStudio to help you create and publish more content out of your existing content.
These tools can help you take your content beyond regular quality, manage your links, get more organic traffic from Google, and give your brand a chance to cut through today’s media noise — generating more leads for you.
3. Webinar platforms
Webinar comes from “web seminar.” And it’s a content format where you can speak directly to your audience — live on camera.
Starting a webinar is as simple as going to your Zoom account and hitting “create a webinar” if you are on a paid plan. But the same as podcasts, you need more than that for marketing purposes.
If you’re going to put your face in front of a webcam, you’ll need to invest in a decent camera and condition your room’s light for the best video quality.
As for tools, there are plenty of webinar software platforms you can choose from depending on your needs. The list of alternatives include:
The most useful features for marketers are analytics, replays, and schedule automated webinars.
Webinars are great for both leads nurturing and lead generation. And they also position your brand as an industry authority.
This is why it is crucial to pick the right webinar software that best suits your business.
4. Photo and video editing software
88% of social media marketers get a satisfying ROI when using video. Hence the need for marketers to produce high-quality media regularly.
Whether you use visual media for social media, infographics, product pages, or ads, it’s essential to use the right editing tools to ensure that your productivity is not hindered due to unnecessary complexities.
To edit photos and images, you can straight-away buy photoshop and get every functionality you’ll ever need. But as a marketer, do you know how to use photoshop to its full potential?
Depending on the kind of videos you want to publish, you don’t need much video editing skills to create high-quality videos as software solutions like Loom and Animoto (among many others) are video makers designed specifically for non-producers.
Today, you live in an era where you don’t need specialized skills and certification to create visual content that:
- Engages your audience
- Generates leads
- Increases conversion rates
- Builds brand credibility and authority
Technology is giving you fewer and fewer excuses to avoid making visual content (especially videos).
So what about embracing these formats now?
5. Email marketing software
As of today, in 2020, email marketing is still essential for almost every business in the world and is proven by the fact that you get $40 back for every dollar you spend on email marketing.
Why? Guess what, because of software.
Nowadays, you can run your entire email marketing on automatic if you want since every email is either triggered or scheduled. The only reason to send emails manually is to respond to subscriber’s replies.
Now, when choosing the right email marketing software, there are way too many options that will make you feel overwhelmed.
To ease the process, here are the essential features to expect from an email marketing software:
- A plan with the number of subscribers you need.
- A wide variety of triggers to automate your emails.
- List segmentation.
- Tag subscribers.
- A/B testing.
- Behavioral workflows.
- Lead scoring.
- Compatibility with your CRM software.
If you know how to leverage email marketing to its full potential, you’ll become an unstoppable marketer worth millions.
Just take the time to learn and test with your own business to figure it out.
What’s certain is: people will keep using email for a long time.
6. Marketing Analytics Tools
According to Venngage, data analysis is one of the most demanded skills. Because marketers these days are now expected to have some level of technical skills.
The same research shows that there’s a shortage of data skills in the market. So, as a marketer, adding data analysis in your skillset will secure your job for a long time.
To get started, you can start diving into Google Analytics and try to interpret the site’s performance, calculate KPIs, and make decisions based on data (the most important part of data analysis.)
Now, to take your brand to the next level, your ultimate data analysis toolkit should include:
- Traffic tracking tools like Google Analytics to measure where your web traffic comes from, their bounce rate, and click-throughs.
- Page performance tools to track conversion rate, visitor’s behavior, on-site events, and calculate KPIs. KissMetrics and MixPanel are popular options.
- SEO tools to keep an eye on your site’s ranking performance, look for SEO technical mistakes, competition analysis, and keyword opportunities.
- A/B testing tools such as Optimizely to compare performance between two pages with different copy, image, color, etc. and optimize your site performance.
- Heatmaps so you can track how your visitors scroll through your website, where they click, where they pay more attention, and much more. Hotjar is a popular tool for this.
- A Marketing dashboard that integrates with your toolkit, so you can track everything in the same place. Cyfe and Kilpfolio are two free examples of this.
Marketing requires more analytics than ever, and if you master the big data as a marketer, you’ll have in your hands the ability to take businesses beyond their goals.
That’s how powerful data analysis is for marketing.
7. Social media marketing tools
Most brands create social media accounts to use them for announcements and post something two times a month.
You don’t have to be like that; social media marketing is meant to build an engaged audience and expand your brand awareness.
There’re many software tools you can use to automate and make your social media work more manageable, such as SocialBakers and HootSuite.
Some of the key features a social media marketing tool should have include:
- Social content calendar builder to plan your context mix ahead of time.
- Content Scheduler so you can post automatically in the best hours.
- A DM manager so you can engage with customers privately.
- A social listening tool to track every mention of your brand, products, competitors, or anything you need to research for.
- Advanced analytics.
Social media is a great channel to build an audience that advocates for your brand and positions you as an authority in the industry.
Growing Tech Trends in Digital Marketing
We’re going through a lot of tech innovations way too fast. So time to adapt is too short.
If you want to stay on top of the game, it is essential to keep up-to-date with current technology news.
Some of the most promising technologies that will surely determine our future are the following:
As explained earlier, data analysis is critical for business success.
Big data is a compilation of web data that you, as a marketer, can access to understand the internet better and make decisions.
Data here is categorized by its Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity, and Value (the 5 V’s). And the potential to store even more data is only increasing.
The IoT (Internet of Things) will soon take over more devices that aren’t called iPhone or PCs, and the sources of data you’ll be able to get will expand.
This is important for marketing because the more ethically sourced data you can get from your customers, the better you can understand how they interact with your product. And that information can help you lead more effective marketing campaigns.
So it is worth staying up-to-date with big data news, the development of IoT, and how the data can be processed with machine learning.
Artificial Intelligence is taking over the world with its progress.
Since OpenAI’s GPT-3 release, everyone suddenly got scared of losing their job due to its impressive capabilities of composing text so naturally.
The application of machine learning in the development of AIs makes these things possible — and it will only improve over time.
But you should not worry about it… if you properly prepare.
In marketing, AI is widely used right now for data compilation, predicting behavior, personalization, chatbots, content curation, and analytics.
And this is today. Tomorrow we’ll see more.
Soon, the majority of internet content will be authored by machines.
But by that time, guess what kind of content will reign over the rest?
That’s right, content that’s optimized by humans who understand the fundamental concepts of marketing.
And you should prepare for it ASAP.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are revolutionizing the way we interact with digital content.
Yet, there aren’t many marketers getting ready for it.
Why would they? Well, imagine what will happen when the standard Youtube video is in a VR format.
It will be optional, sure, but also the standard.
What would you do to create and optimize VR content? Or to implement a responsive design for AR users on your website?
Soon, you’ll need to think about it and be forced to get creative around it.
But getting “forced” to be creative is optional if you decide to prepare early on and take advantage.
See? There’s profit behind adopting technology sooner than the rest.
Technology evolves, trends change, and society becomes more marketing aware.
But marketing fundamentals won’t change. Everybody gets driven by emotion, scarcity, and big ideas.
So if you are clear about marketing fundamentals, you’re safe.
But if you only know about social media tactics and surface-level marketing — you need to prepare, or technology will show no mercy to you.
And now that you know how to leverage technology today and how to prepare for the future, your next step is clear:
Learn and never stop learning.
Those who stop learning will stagnate in their careers. Don’t be one of them.
So make your choice.