Whether you’re on a small team, a team of one, or a large team with divided responsibilities and resources, marketers all have a few things in common:
We need to accomplish things quickly, handle multiple projects at once, stay inspired, keep ourselves updated about current events, and collaborate with others across our team or departments. Another similarity? Tools, technology, and coffee keep us running.
Since there are so many tools out there, our marketing team came together to compile a list of our favorites to share with you. If we forgot any, please comment below and let us know (we’d love to add them to our stash).
For when you need to stay organized:
Evernote: Take notes in Evernote to keep them organized and available on the go. We like having Evernote’s web extension on Chrome to easily save articles, snippets, or images for a marketing swipe file.
OneNote: If you use Microsoft 365 you should have this app predownloaded on your computer. OneNote is a digital notebook with nice organization tools, making it easy to cleanly jot down meeting notes or brainstorming ideas.
Trello: Is something like “the ability to juggle multiple plates at once” the first line in your job description? Trello and Airtable are two good project management software tools you can use to help keep those plates in the air. If color coding and checking things off your to-do list send your productivity soaring, Trello is your new organizational best friend.
Feedly: Peruse Feedly for content inspiration and to keep up with what’s going on, bringing your favorite sources together in one simple place. Twitter works, too, but if you need a more focused alternative, Feedly is great.
For when you need to collaborate:
Google Sheets: Tired of playing the version control game? Google Sheets and Google Docs are helpful for when you need to collaborate in real time, because various people can all work on a single document at the same time (with permission, of course).
Dropbox: For when you need to send large files, check out Dropbox, WeTransfer, or WeSendit. Make sure you check with your organization about any security or privacy protocols first. Out of space? Fun fact: You can earn up to 32 GB of extra storage through the Dropbox Referral Program.
WorldTimeBuddy: When you’re working with different time zones, WorldTimeBuddy keeps you from being that person who shows up an hour late to a call in another time zone. Have a coworker who is always doing this? Send them this article (as a not-so-subtle hint!)
Join.Me: Share your screen with anyone on demand using Join.Me, helpful for focus groups, conference calls, presentations, etc. They have a free version which works well on a limited basis.
Quip: Everyone who knows the feeling of getting one too many “reply-all” emails will appreciate Quip, a new collaboration tool for teams. Conversations stay focused in their own thread (although we can’t guarantee those “reply-all” chains will stop), and you can keep your feedback in one place.
Basecamp: We’ve got another project management/collaboration-type software on the list since we’re all a little different in how we process information. We’ve found Basecamp to be especially helpful for tradeshow planning.
Realtime Board: The visual learners will appreciate Realtime Board – it’s an online whiteboard and collaboration space where you can put your ideas together on the screen. Remote teams may appreciate this, since it can be harder to brainstorm together when you’re not in person.
For when you need inspiration:
Blogs and Podcasts: Everyone needs a bit of inspiration from the outside world to inspire their inner creative. What are other marketers up to? What’s the latest in terms of email strategy? How are people talking about hot topics that concern you? Whatever your question, seeking out the top blogs and podcasts in your industry will help you stay current and informed.
Your own inbox: We promise this isn’t a cop-out – you should curate your inbox as carefully as you do your Instagram feed. When you find a blog you like, subscribe (start with this one)! That way, you can sort of guarantee you’ll actually spend time reading them.
For your analytical needs:
Google Analytics: Do you know how to check where your website visitors came from? Or how long they stayed on your site? Google Analytics can provide you with this info and more. Google also offers a free certification to help you get up to speed with the tool.
Google Tag Manager: To make great use of Google Analytics, you’ll want to have Google Tag Manager in your back pocket, as well. You can add tracking code to your links to learn more about your website visitors (the tracking code is that long stuff after the slash in the URL when you click on a link in an email).
GTMetrix: You can analyze how fast your site loads using GTMetrix. This can be a big factor for SEO, both because search crawlers prioritize sites that load quickly, and because who among us has time to wait around for a site that doesn’t load after three seconds? Not I.
Optimizely: Testing and experimentation helps you back up your digital decisions on data and make sure you’re spending your money efficiently, and Optimzely is a platform built for testing. Google Optimize is also a great, free option for testing.
For help with customers, prospects, and members, oh my:
Drift: Employ AI using live chat software. With chat, you’ll be able to gain customer intelligence by talking with prospects on your website.
Salesforce: Salesforce is a customer relationship management system, helping you keep track of your prospect and customer data. Whether you use a CRM, an AMS, or some other type of customer/member software, you should dedicate time to learning how to use it and its reporting functions well.
Siftrock: This tool takes care of OOO replies, routes human replies to the right person, adds new contacts from autoreplies, and helps you clean up your database. With Siftrock, you can easily mine new sales contacts out of auto-replies.
For competitor intelligence:
Gainsight: Customer success can feel like one of those intangible objectives marketers are always striving for, but tools like Gainsight provide practical reporting and measurement tools you can use to make customer success more tangible.
Ahrefs: Competitor intelligence is great, but competitor intelligence about your competitors’ SEO? Even better! Ahrefs provides insight into what kind of web traffic your competitors are getting and ranking for.
Owler: Find out competitor details on Owler. You can view Owler’s repository of data for free for a limited time, but after a few views you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version.
For perfecting your content:
Hemingway Editor: We can’t promise this tool will make you write novels as good as Ernie’s, but you’ll definitely write with more clarity and concision when you use it.
Power Thesaurus: Regular thesauruses work, too, but Power Thesaurus is crowdsourced, which can be helpful if you want to talk like the kids do.
Grammarly: Use Grammarly’s Chrome extension to get an automatic spell check on everything you draft in Chrome – landing pages, emails, web copy, etc. They send you a weekly update, so if you’re proud of your grammar skills, you’ll especially enjoy the section that says, “you were more accurate than X% of Grammarly users.”
Sharethrough: Wondering how catchy your subject line or blog headline is? Sharethrough will give you a quick assessment, as well as some suggestions on how to make it a little snappier.
For content ideation and search engine optimization (SEO):
Buzzsumo: When you’re planning content, use Buzzsumo to see what types of content are performing well for a specific topic. They also offer access to influencer marketers to help promote your content.
AdWords Keyword Planner: Although keyword research probably shouldn’t be the foundation of your content anymore, you can still find value in the insights AdWords Keyword Planner offers, especially for planning ads.
Quora: Quora is a site built around asking and answering questions. Answering questions on Quora can be a good way to promote your brand’s thought leadership, although we don’t recommend purely promotional answers because they don’t do as well. You’ll also find a lot of ideas for content through browsing.
Reddit: You may not be an active Redditor, but you shouldn’t be ignoring the platform as a marketer. It’s a great place to browse for ideas and understand the perspective of your audience. Avoid brand promotion on Reddit because the community will sniff you out quickly.
Google Alerts: Use Google Alerts to find out if your organization is in the news, or to follow news about your product, service, or industry. Again, browsing the recent news on your topic can also help generate content ideas.
Snipping Tool: Depending on what operating system you use, the name the tool will differ, but you should have some type of screenshot app on loaded on your computer. The uses are endless for blog posts, landing pages, emails, collaborating, etc.
For your inner designer:
Canva: Find simple, easy-to-use design tools on Canva for creating content images without a designer. Not everyone can afford the Adobe Suite (or knows how to use it), and fortunately, there are lots of free options.
Chrome Eyedropper: While you’re designing sweet graphics on Canva, you may find the Chrome eyedropper useful. You can pick colors from graphics or webpages and find the exact color hex, helping you stay on brand.
Pixlr: Use this free image editor to help you accomplish straightforward editing jobs. The free version won’t have all the functionality of Photoshop, but it can do the trick if you take a little time to learn its features.
Piktochart: For those among us who like to bake from a mix rather than from scratch, Piktochart is a nice option for infographic creation. They provide you with templates and icons you can use to create simple infographics.
For your social media needs:
Bitly: Shortening your links and personalizing them is a great way to track your social reach. Some social platforms will have a built-in feature to shorten your links, but if not, Bitly is a nice little tool.
Hootsuite: Most organizations have multiple social accounts, and one person or a small team responsible for managing them all. With a social media dashboard like Hootsuite or TweetDeck (specific to Twitter), you can work across various platforms to keep your posts scheduled and in one place. Buffer is another platform providing similar social media management services.
For sending amazing emails:
Really Good Emails: Marketing emails can be fun to browse through to get ideas and see what’s out there. Really Good Emails compiles clever emails so you can do just that. (Somehow, they’re much less annoying when they’re on a database rather than in your own inbox.)
SeventhSense: Sending your emails at the right time is imperative – you need to get the right content to the right people at the right time. SeventhSense is a send-time optimization tool to help you get this balance right.
SurveyGizmo: A good survey tool is always helpful for getting feedback from your audience (or even if you need to get feedback internally). We had a hard time picking one favorite, so here are a few more:
Life of Pix: Life of Pix has free high-quality stock images. We all know that quality images are a must in marketing – and if you don’t have the budget for your own photo shoots or paid stock photo sites, free stock photo sites can be invaluable. Make sure you check out the licensing on any photo you use, so you don’t get into copyright trouble.
For the event planner among us:
GoToWebinar: Everyone needs good webinar software – and this is one we use often. Since webinars can be a great tool for lead generation and for providing online courses, make sure the software you’re using works well.
Yelp: You probably use Yelp in everyday life to check out businesses like restaurants and salons, but it can be useful for event planning, too. We all prefer getting venue criticism from reviewers on Yelp rather than hearing it from attendees or staff after the event. Google Reviews will also have feedback worth checking out.
FreeMapTools: When you’re doing event marketing, you often need zip codes to narrow down who to include on the list. With this tool, you can find zip codes within a certain radius of your venue.
4imprint: Since inspiration is key when you’re picking out swag, it’s nice to be able to peruse on sites like 4imprint and Metrologo. Whatever vendor you choose, you’ll want one who responds quickly, has a quick turnaround time, and sends you samples or even offers on-site sample visits.
And there you have it: Forty-eight tools that help us do our jobs, whether it’s planning marketing events, managing projects, creating content, generating leads, or sending emails.
Did we miss any marketing tools you rely on? Comment below or tweet to us @HigherLogic and let us know.
Content Marketing Manager
Elizabeth Bell is the Content Marketing Manager at Higher Logic. She’s passionate about communities, tech, and communicating about both effectively. When she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her cooking, reading, gardening, or playing volleyball.
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