If a marketing apocalypse suddenly hit us in 2018 and you only had 10 marketing tools to pack for defending yourself against black-hat SEO zombies and spam email monsters of the interwebs, which ones would you choose to help you survive??
If you haven’t started prepping for this potential digital disaster, then this article has you covered! Lucky for you, we’ve compiled 10 of our favorite must-have (and mostly free) marketing tools to survive any threats to your online presence. These tools can help you create, organize and analyze your marketing campaigns so you can be as epic on the web as our favorite no-nonsense sheriff from The Walking Dead is on the streets.
Here’s 10 sharp-shootin’ marketing tools we recommend for your survival toolbox:
MARKETING TOOLS FOR ORGANIZATION
IFTTT is kinda like a katana-wielding organization machine. This free tool offers several customizable applets that help program automated tasks on your mobile device, computer and applications. It even works with Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and other Smart Home accessories. The applets are easily found in categories such as blogging, business tools, calendars and scheduling, developer tools, notifications, social networks, task management, time management, etc. Some of our favorites are “Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter,” “Keep your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures in sync,” and “Track your work hours in Google calendar.” There’s even “Get yourself out of an awkward situation!” (Michonne would definitely keep this in her marketing toolbox.)
Another must-have tool in your marketing apocalypse toolbox, Todoist is a simple, intuitively designed task manager that offers more features than other comparable tools. Praised by Forbes and Entrepreneur, Todoist provides sub-tasking, collaboration, notifications, intuitive and recurring due dates and cross-platform synchronization in real time. It’s free for 80 tasks and five people per project—a great option for growing businesses or agencies. Todoist Business offers up to 200 projects with 50 collaborators for $28.99 per user, per year.
MARKETING TOOLS FOR ANALYTICS
When a swarm of keyword-stuffed content is coming to swallow you and your surviving marketing group alive, AdWords Performance Grader should be your weapon of choice in combatting these post-apocalyptic terrors. With this tool, you can analyze your Google AdWords performance in under a minute (for free) and compare your campaign performance to the best of PPC practices. AdWords Performance Grader presents you with an overall grade percentage and a detailed review of key areas, such as wasted spend, click-through rates, account activity, long-tail keywords, landing pages, PPC and more.
In any end-of-the-world scenario, you want an expert tracker at your side to help you know where your prey (or website visitors) are going. This tool serves that exact purpose, allowing you to analyze a heat map of where people are and are not clicking on your website. It lets you know where your visitors discover your website and when they stop scrolling on your site, eliminating the engagement guessing game. The basic package is free forever, but more robust plans range from $29-$589 a month, depending on how much data you want to collect.
There’s also the chance that you find other survivors (or competitors) who want to take over your space or resources. Don’t let them by using SEMRush. This awesome tool offers both organic and paid search analysis, allowing you to easily evaluate your website, as well as your competitors’. Its top features include competitor analytics, keyword tools, backlink analysis, side-by-side domain comparisons and project analytics. You can try the limited free version before selecting one of their three plans, which start at $99/mo.
Meet one of your most valuable post-apocalyptic sidekicks: KW Finder. An alternative to Google Keyword Planner, this tool provides real-time keyword and SERP lookups right at your fingertips. KW Finder provides complete feature use for free with a limit of three searches per day and offers 100 and 500 search premium packages up to just $25!
MARKETING TOOLS FOR EMAIL
For the remaining survivors, communication is everything. BuzzStream is your go-to email management system for making sure you get the right message out at the time you want it received. With contact management, tracking, templates, reminders, metrics and link monitoring all included in their lowest-priced package, at $24/mo. You can also see what the hype is about with their 14-day trial at no charge.
Who doesn’t want a trusty sidekick when you’re fighting off digital parasites left and right?? Sidekick, the HubSpot tool, is just as trusty. On top of the usual email sequences, templates, tracking and scheduling, Sidekick provides information for anyone that emails your company, and it even shows read receipts for the emails you send. This is one of HubSpot’s most useful features and it’s totally free! Another similar tool: Bananatag.
MARKETING TOOLS FOR CONTENT
If you’re struggling to create some quick design elements—whether social media graphics, presentations or marketing materials—Canva is the answer you’ve been looking for. Select a size or design type to get started. Then, either create your own from a blank canvas or replace elements from a pre-made template, add your own elements, and voilà—you’re a designer! Canva offers thousands of free backgrounds, stock photos, fonts and other design elements, as well as premium elements for a small fee. Other free design tools to check out: Adobe Spark, Pablo and Gimp.
Just like you’d have shifts for people to take the night watch during an apocalypse, Grammarly is there to watch your back when you can’t. Imagine your proofreader took the day off and you need to schedule a piece of content within the hour. Grammarly is an innovative proofreading software that can easily be added onto your favorite web browser, which proofs for contextual spelling and grammar anywhere you write on the web.
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.