Marketing is a fast-paced environment. When used strategically, your marketing campaigns can help to elevate your business by differentiating you from your competitors. You may think that in order for your marketing to be effective, you need to have a big budget. But thanks to a wide range of marketing tools and software solutions, it’s never been easier for you to maximise the impact of your marketing campaigns.
At Gatekeeper Communications, we believe that effective marketing and PR plans should be affordable to businesses of all sizes. You might choose to make the most of an external marketing/PR consultant to help you tell your story. Or you may have an internal team taking responsibility for your profile. Whatever your circumstances, here is a comprehensive list of useful tools that could help you to make your marketing and PR pack a punch.
Make your visuals pop with carefully selected marketing tools to help you find stock imagery
If you’re trying to make your website or social media channels resonate with your audience, you should consider your use of imagery.
We know that for any business, choosing to invest in corporate photography can be a costly investment. There are some fabulous local photographers available around the Ipswich area. They can help you to make the most of your budget and create some stunning shots that truly represent your business. If you need any recommendations, please ask – we’ve worked with some incredible local photographers.
But your budget may not stretch that far, or you need some photos at short notice. Why not look at the wide range of stock images that are available for you to use free of charge? When it comes to stock imagery, there are a few sites available that offer royalty-free images that you can use on your website at little-to-no cost. Sites such as Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels are often our go-to places to find great images. Here you can find imagery that really lifts the look and feel of your marketing materials.
Foolproof marketing tools to create your vision
In a dream world, we would always advocate for working with talented graphic designers who can turn your vision into reality. We often work closely with design teams, bouncing ideas off each other to find ways to make your marketing materials truly stand out. Sometimes, having a different perspective from a graphic designer can turn a vision from drab to fab!
However, you might need something quick and simple. Luckily, there are various marketing tools and solutions available to help you create stunning graphics. These are ideal, even if you have no idea how to use photoshop!
We extensively use Canva. This is an online design software tool that allows you to create a wide range of graphics, images, presentations, and other visual aids that match your branding. It’s a quick and easy tool to use and has thousands of templates and size variations for you to create the right image for your needs.
Add some videos to your website
These days, more and more websites are making the most of video footage in order to bring your words to life. But choosing to incorporate video doesn’t mean that you have to invest in expensive cameras or equipment.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to hiring a professional videographer then why not use automated software to get you started?
We’ve previously used marketing tools such as Lumen5 to create video footage. This is a system that uses automation and stock video footage to turn your blog post or landing page into exciting video clips. You can personalise it with your own branding choices, and colour options. You can even upload your own footage for use, making it simple and easy to use.
Simplifying your social media presence with scheduling tools
If you’re managing your own marketing, you may find that your social media presences start to get a bit neglected. This often happens when you are busy with other tasks. To help you keep on track, you may wish to use some scheduling tools to help you proactively manage your social media sites.
Being able to schedule tweets, posts, or other status updates in advance means that you can dedicate an hour or so each week to publishing updates. Marketing tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck will give you the option to schedule updates at certain times.
Of course, nothing will ever beat the ‘live’ genuine interaction from social media. But if you have limited time, these tools can help you to keep on top of your social media quickly and easily.
Managing expectations with project management tools
Project management is vital whether you are working with an internal team, or collaborating with a number of third-party specialists.
If you want your campaign to work effectively, you need to ensure that everyone is working on time and budget. It can be easy to lose track of what is taking place if you rely on emails. This is especially true if working with multiple people. Therefore, you may wish to invest in dedicated project management software that can be accessible to all.
We’ve had experience in using marketing tools such as Basecamp, Asana and Trello. Each has its own merits, and you may find that you have your own personal preferences.
In our view, we like the simplicity and ease of Basecamp. It allows you to see at a glance what tasks have been completed, and what is still to be achieved.
For lengthy, or complicated campaigns, a project management tool can make a big difference to your day-to-day operations.
Using analytical tools to check your performance
Finally, once you’re marketing or PR campaign is live, it’s important that you monitor its progress. And that you pay close attention to check that your campaign is working in the way that you intended.
You’ll likely already have Google Analytics set up within your website management system. If you haven’t, then you should integrate it as soon as possible. GA is a marketing tool that will allow you to see where your customers are coming from and what they are doing on your website. It will also help you to determine whether they are behaving in the ways that you expect them to.
You should also pay close attention to the information provided within Google Search Engine. This will allow you to monitor the performance of your website within the search rankings. It will also give you insights into the search queries that potential customers are typing. You should use this knowledge to inform your content marketing strategy. This can help you to ensure that your website is fully optimised for SEO.