These five, easy-to-use and inexpensive tools will help you improve your marketing and make you stand out in the boardroom.

 

Google Trends
Google Trends is a free service that provides insights into consumers search behavior. The tool shows how often different keywords, subjects and phrases are searched for within a specific timeframe. You can narrow by region, timeframe, categories and different content types such as news, web, video, etc.

Use this information to track the health of your brand and changes in your consumer’s search behavior due to outside factors. Another great feature is that you can narrow in on trending behavior by region – in a much more cost-effective way than conducting other forms of local consumer research.

To use Trends, just enter a search term in the search box. You can add other terms or just view the trends related to that individual term. You can also limit the data within a certain timeframe.

Check the “Forecast box” to see how Google predicts the search behavior to change in the near term.

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This really is the tip of the iceberg for Google Trends. It’s totally undervalued and we will save a deep dive for a later post.

 

Bit.ly
This super-simple tool allows you to shorten a URL for usage in social, text and email marketing. For a small fee, you can create branded shortened URLs, such as pep.si. And with “Deep Links” you can create a URL directly to your app. The product also allows you to track data on your links such as – when & where consumers click.

Shortened links help make your content look more professional, and allow more room for valuable content. These shortened URLs can increase CTR, site or app engagement, app installs and make your content look professional. Deep Links can actually drive to a specific article or video within an app or on the web. By tracking the engagement by audience segments you can create and target content that is more relevant to that group of consumers.

To just shorten URLs, you don’t need an account, but to dive in deeper, just create a free account.

Once you have an account, you can create branded shortened links:

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And check out your audience’s engagement with the links:

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Re-engage with your active audience later by segmenting your audience, setting goals against that audience and deliver specialized content to specific audiences.

 

Google Analytics
Google Analytics, or referred to as ‘GA’ by digital marketers, allows the marketer to be knowledgeable about the performance of your owned channels (website, blog, video content, etc.) or paid advertising with Google Analytics (GA). Google Analytics provides reporting and data for assets that you’ve tagged through GA or Google Tag Manager (GTM). Use this information to optimize your content to become more relevant to your target audience. With Content Experiments – you can even test out multiple versions of your message or content to see what performs best before putting a ton of dollars behind it.

With Google Analytics, become knowledge about

  • Key performance metrics for your site, social channels, ads and other content over time or in real time
  • Your audience, including demographics, interests, behavior, location, etc.
  • Changes in traffic patterns to your paid or owned channels
  • Consumer behavior flows and conversions

Within Content Experiment you can:

  • Serve up different versions of your webpage or app to a random sample of your customers to see what content works best
  • Test different objectives and get email updates about how your experiment is going

All of this data can help you optimize the content and experience on your owned properties and paid campaigns to reach new audiences and convert existing customers.

Google Analytics in Action
To log in to Google Analytics, you’ll need to have a free account set-up for your brand – it can be the same Google account for the other tools, but you must log in through GA even if you are logged into your other Google account.

Add your owned properties to this account and install the GA tracking code to your properties. To do this, go to your Admin tab and “Create new Account” in the drop down.

Once you added your accounts, you can view an overview of the metrics on the dashboard.

Drill down into key areas on the left hand side. For example, you can look into new and returning visitor information and find out where they are coming from and their behaviors on the site.

To create an Experiment, click on the Experiment tab under Behavior and complete the form, including name, objective, percentage of traffic you want to be a part of the experiment, etc.

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Then configure your experiment by entering the two different pages that you want to test out.

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There is a small amount of coding that needs to be done to implement the experiment.

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Once set up, view data from your experiment in real time on your dashboard.

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What Runs Where
Get the insider information on your competition’s online media and mobile advertising through data on 18 display and 6 text networks from What Runs Where. With this tool, you can find out about your competitor’s display advertising and mobile advertising campaigns and monitor them over time. Recently What Runs Where added both Apple and Android in-app tracking capabilities.

Learning about your competitor’s display and mobile advertising can help you better optimize your own ads, buying strategy and improve your ROI. Discover how your competitors are advertising products online and in-app through performance data on content and placement. You can also find out what ads appear on your competitor’s site and use that information to help monetize your own site. Data from What Runs Where can help give you a better overview of the industry around the globe and any trends that may impact your global go-to-market strategy or content.

The tool is intuitive and easy to use. Use the tabs at the top to search by advertiser, publisher, keyword or ad type. Each section has a search box that allows you to input your competitor’s URL, publisher info, keyword (based on ad type) or ad specs respectively.

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For example, within the “keyword” tab you can search for text ads and include parameters on networks, location, timeframe and score.

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To find out more about how to sign up for a trial offer of What Runs Where, visit their site.

 

Hootsuite
Managing content for your brand can be such a headache. But with Hootsuite it doesn’t have to be because it helps you schedule, distribute and optimize content – for free.

With the app, you can schedule upcoming content on all of your main social networks at once, rather than having to remember to post individually every day. And over time, the tool can get smarter about what content is doing well and suggest the best times to post. With the tool you can monitor the performance of your content to inform future campaigns, create better content and push it to out the right audience who will see it the most.

Hootsuite is simple to set-up. Just sign in with a social network and add more social networks to that profile.

You can “add a stream” to monitor conversation about your brand or company across social networks. For example, select the following: mentions your handle, retweets your post or follows you and you’ll view streams of that information.

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To schedule a message, all you have to do is highlight the social channels you connected to the account and type in the message, attach a photo or video, ad location, target the content and select the time you want it to appear on each channel.

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digitalbrief trainers are quite passionate about digital marketing tools and technology. Keep an eye on the blog for more posts about the marketing tools and technology we are using.