7 Essential Tools for Effective Digital Marketing

Businesses need to have an online presence if they expect to be successful in today’s fast-paced world. You hear this over and over again. But what is it what you exactly need to be effective?

You will get different answers from different people. Most of them are correct. In this post, I listed 7 essential tools that cover the basics of digital marketing. If you don’t have them, get them now!

1. Website

The website is the most basic digital asset you should have. If you do not have this, get one quickly!

Buy a domain name now to reserve your online presence. Just as an example, I bought my domain using GoDaddy. I am hosting my site (and all the files you can see here) through InMotion Hosting.

I used WordPress.org for the “design” of this site.

There are others you can use like Shopify, Blogger, SquareSpace, and Wix. It’s really up to your preference.

2. Blog

This cannot be stressed enough. Remember the cardinal rule in digital marketing? If you are not found online, you do not exist.

How do you get found online? Search engines.

The biggest, most popular and most-used search engine here in the Philippines is Google. If people cannot find you on Google’s Search Results Page, you don’t exist.

Why is a blog important?

The way search engines work is it “indexes” your website to see if there are new content, then rank it to other web pages depending on keywords and a lot of other technicalities. The takeaway, if you do not produce new content, your website would not be indexed regularly; therefore, it will not improve its ranking.

Still too technical? Imagine this situation.

You’re an administrative clerk who processes a lot of paperwork. You receive hundreds of documents you have to rank order of priority for your boss.

Jack and Jill give you some documents on a daily basis. You see him, smiles at you, hands you his files. On the other hand, Jill comes in only once a month to bring in 1-2 documents. Who do you think gets priority?

That’s how Google works. Google loves fresh, new content.

3. Social Media Accounts

This is also mandatory for businesses. But do not jump into all available ones out there.

A strategy has to be set in place if you want to put this to your advantage. For starters, create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Lastly, avoid literally transferring your offline marketing activities to digital. It won’t work. People behave differently online.

4. Analytics Software

What you cannot measure, you cannot manage.

If you do not have any means of measuring your efforts, then there is no reason for you to undertake digital marketing. You are simply wasting company resources.

The most popular and free software is Google Analytics. All you need is a Google account and you install the code to your website and blog, then you are good to go.

5. Email Marketing Software

Email is still the best way to communicate if you want to engage your customers — if done right. It has a longer shelf life unlike a tweet or a status update on your social media accounts.

Email is also more personal. It does not need to be read or actioned upon now.

One rule in email marketing is if you can’t segment your list, you are not doing it right.

Start building your list now. Again, there are dozens of email marketing software out there. I’m a fan of ConvertKit so that’s something I strongly recommend you get as well.

6. Word Processor, Spreadsheet, and Presentation Tool

These tools might already have this on your computer, but your efforts as a marketer are not the end of its own.

You have to report on results and activities to your manager. You have to let other people (your teammates) know what is happening. Yes, you are busy. Everyone is busy.

Just think of it this way, if your boss does not know what she is spending for, do you think you will get that support for an additional budget increase? If she does not see the results of your efforts (note the highlight on results, not on the efforts), she will think you are crazy for asking additional funding because you have presented any results.

7. Calendar / Scheduler

Finally, a calendar is the seventh tool you need to have. Deadlines are called deadlines for a reason. Keep track of your commitments to show your professionalism. It makes you look good and lets other people know you are on top of what you are doing.

Content creation, brainstorming, iterating, presenting, designing, analyzing, proofreading, strategizing — all these should reflect in your calendar.

These are the 7 tools that are essential for effective digital marketing. Master them and incorporate them into your workflow. Eventually, you’ll want to get into more advanced tools that will help you automate the work you do.

Did I miss any of the basics? Let me know in the comments.

Ariel Lim

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.

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