Digital marketing methods are ever-changing in order to meet certain requirements. Customers are demanding more and more from businesses; mobile is becoming the dominant platform; and Google continues to develop how it calculates business ranking in its search engines.
According to Gartner reports, 76% of marketing leaders are increasing their budgets, and the average user attention span has fallen to new lows, dropping from 12 seconds in 2000 to about 8 seconds in 2018.
A secret to digital success, the marketing software application stack compiles a range of tools and software, designed to be used to maximize your performance across a range of marketing channels, from email to SEO. Using software applications for these different strategies will help you form our own marketing app stack.
Marketing Automation Software
Arguably the most fundamental piece of the puzzle is using marketing automation software, which will help you push the right content to the right people. This is important as it can be used to compliment all your marketing methods. These tools will help you adapt your current methods by monitoring customer engagement. This is becoming increasingly important as 83% of customers now expect a personalized experience online.
Marketing automation software can help you in email marketing, social media management, landing page creation and with A/B testing. For example, if your business uses email marketing, you could use marketing automation software to send texts to everyone who didn’t open an email, therefore broadening your reach.
An old-school method that many believe is in the past, Email Marketing isn’t finished yet and continues to be the most cost-effective marketing method available to businesses. In fact, according to a study done by Campaign Monitor, for every dollar you invest in email marketing, you get $44 in return.
Using email marketing applications will help you to maintain an efficient approach. You can use these tools to manage your mail listings and segment your users into categories depending on
Social Media Marketing
We’re all aware of what a dominant force social media is becoming in the marketing world. In fact, social media usage is growing 13% year-on-year and reached numbers of over three billion in 2018. Tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer aim to streamline and automate your social media publishing.
Social media marketing software applications often include content calendars, which allow you to schedule social media content to times of peak activity. Content curators help you push out the right content to the right audience, and analytics will help you find the opportune posting time. These functionalities work side-by-side to ensure your social media marketing is as efficient as possible, saving some of your marketing budget for elsewhere.
Advertising online is the 21st-century billboard and is one of the most popular ways to grab an audience’s attention. According to eMarketer, an estimated $48 billion was spent on digital display ads in 2018. Google ranks paid ads higher than organic search results, so this can be a great way to quickly increase brand awareness and visits to your website.
The software that’s available can be critical to the success of these paid ads. You can use software applications to create and manage ads on different platforms and monitor the success of campaigns to make improvements. Such tools will also help get your brand in front of the right people, for example those who may have visited your site in the past but not purchased anything.
Using other companies to increase brand exposure is a common tactic, accounting for 7.5% of spend amongst digital retailers according to research done by eMarketer. Fashion and sports make up for 32% of this, using YouTube and Instagram “influencers” to promote specific products and increase brand awareness.
Affiliate marketing software can help you source the right people, manage your affiliate programs and pay out commissions to affiliates. They’ll also help you create campaign templates and monitor the success of past campaigns. Whether it’s ads, video or voice search, affiliate marketing apps can help you leverage the most lucrative relationships.
The Content Marketing Institute published a report stating that 91% of companies use content marketing, yet 82% said they don’t use the software or tools available to optimize their content. With almost every business including content in their marketing campaigns, content marketing software will help your business stand out, which will be well received by both customers and Google.
Content marketing software helps you plan, track and create content. Idea management functionality will assist teams in pitching, creating and managing ideas. Editorial planning includes a calendar overview to let you schedule and assign content, and it will also help you with publishing, providing space to create and push content to your CMS (content management system), social media channels or email campaigns. You can also use analytics functionality to track the success of content and see what is and isn’t working.
Research shows that customers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business, making this a very important aspect of marketing. Software is vital if you plan to maximize business benefits from customer feedback.
67% of customers are now turning to social media for a customer query or complaint, making it essential for businesses to respond to these requests and reviews. Reputation management software tools will allow you to track brand mentions and get data on the overall customer sentiment towards your brand.
Use this software to encourage users to write more reviews and help amplify the positive reviews. Thanks to the rate at which reviews often accumulate, managing them can be difficult without dedicated tools. And with social proofing becoming such a big factor, having software to help you master yours can help you build trust in your brand.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important for brand awareness online, and if you’re not careful you can be penalized for spammy practices. According to research done by Hubspot, 61% of inbound marketers say improving SEO and organic presence tops their to-do-list.
Doing this can be complicated, but using SEO software tools can help simplify arguably one of the most difficult types of online marketing to master. These applications carry out keyword analysis, giving insight on what words or phrases to include on your website. You can also compare your site to competitors, and a good SEO tool will provide data on how you’ve ranked over time.
Marketing analysis is critical for tracking your online presence and monitoring the overall success of marketing campaigns, and you won’t want to fall behind — it was estimated that 78% of market leaders increased their spending on marketing analysis in 2018.
For every marketing channel, there are dozens of possible sources for data that can help you measure your success. Marketing analytics tools will tell you where to get your data from, while helping with measurement, optimization, segmentation, comparison and analysis.
Use marketing analytics tools to track visitors to your site to see where they’re coming from and which pages are most popular. Facilitate A/B testing for your website, or send people to certain pages of your site depending on past engagement. If you want to get the best from your website, marketing analytics tools can help you steer in the right direction.
Content management systems (CMSs) are all about showcasing your brand. Optimizing the customer journey is a priority for many digital marketers. These tools provide you with everything you need to perfect your website.—, Your site is the first thing people will see when finding your brand online, so it’s essential you get it right.
CMSs provide templates and design options. You can also use them to make your site mobile responsive, which is increasingly important; in a survey, 60% of people said they would not return to a site if they had a poor experience on their phone. Finally, when selling products online, a good CMS can provide an integrated e-commerce platform.
Using customer relationship management (CRM) software will help you keep track of your relationships with customers. 92% of businesses are already using this, or plan to use it within the next 2 years.
CRM features include creating lists to send campaigns to segmented audiences; interaction tracking to keep a record of all touch points you’ve had with customers; lead management to score leads and follow up with promising prospects. A good CRM allows you to gain oversight for overall sales figures and gives you an accurate representation of how you’re marketing campaigns are doing.
Having a marketing application stack will help you put together efficient, successful marketing campaigns for your business.
About the Author: Will is a guest content writer for Saas comparison tool GetApp. With a decade of experience in marketing at software companies, Will now writes on how digital technology is impacting businesses, and how marketers can harness the changing landscape to maximize results.