There never seems to be enough time in the day for a professional services marketer. In my constant battle to get more things done in less time I have learned to leverage an extensive arsenal of tools to improve my efficiency. These are not tools most all of us have heard of, such as Google Alerts, OneNote, and Hootsuite but rather others I have discovered over years of trial and exploration. The key behind using any of these types of tools is to ensure that the value gained far exceeds the effort spent using the tool. With time I have found that some tools simply are not worth the effort, while others have become vital to my job and to our firms’ success. While there are dozens of tools we could look at, I wanted to share with you 8 tools that you are probably not using today that I believe will make you a more effective marketer:
Media tracking and monitoring – mention.com
In my role I need to know immediately when our firm’s name is in the news or in an online publication. As many of you know Google changed their formula for the popular Google Alerts several years ago and it is no longer sending you every mention in the news, rather it now only shows sources that generally show up in the top 100 search results. I spent months looking for a tool that would send me up-to-the-minute updates whenever Timmons Group was mentioned on the web to replace Google Alerts and found it with the tracking and monitoring service mention.com. If you search the site long enough you will find a basic version of the service that is free. With Mention you will get an email, usually within minutes, whenever your firm’s name has been posted online, ensuring that you are the first to see your name in the news.
Title Capitalization – titlecapitalization.com
I know what you are thinking: what type of marketer doesn’t remember how to perfectly utilize AP style or Chicago Manual formatting on titles? The answer is me. It might be simple, but titlecapitalization.com easy a fast and easy way to copy-cut-past in a title and copy-cut-paste it back to Power Point, Word, Prezi, InDesign, or anywhere else you want.
Google PageSpeed – developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Your website is running slow, and Google knows why (Google knows everything). Google has hundreds of tools for web developers, that anyone can use, and one of my favorites is PageSpeed. It is buried under the speed optimization tools in their developer’s toolbox so just search for it or use the link above. What you’ll find is a measure of your websites page load speed and specific actions you can take to speed it up if it is running slow.
Camtasia – camtasia.com
It was bound to happen, I was going to share a tool with you that costs money (all of them up to now have free options). There are hundreds of video editing software platforms available, but this one is easy, affordable, and can do just about everything without switching between multiple products to get your video completed. It does all of the normal video editing things you would expect, but is also provides screen capturing, it has a cell phone app for capturing video, allows for editing multiple tracks, and even has advanced volume leveling capabilities to balance out voices that always seem too loud or too quiet.
Website page monitoring: visualping.io
If you have ever checked a website every day for weeks waiting for an RFP to come out then you need Visualping. The website monitors webpages for you and will send you an email whenever there is a change on the page. I have found this to be especially helpful for websites that only publish RFPs once or twice a year, but that we have to check weekly to make certain nothing is missed. Simply set up an alert and get an email whenever a procurement webpage has updated or changed. Try it out, trust me this website can save you an extra 30 minutes of time every week, and yes it works for any type of webpage.
Graphic Design: canva.com
It’s true, we do not have a graphic designer on our marketing team, but give us some amazing templates and software that is easy to use and you’d be impressed what we come up with. Canva is not a replacement for InDesign or Photoshop, but what is does is give you the tools and templates to ensure that your marketing looks great. Give Canva a try if you are not a graphic designer but want to ensure that what you create looks great.
Website monitoring service: montastic.com
Websites go down and Montastic will ensure that you are the first to know so that you can do something about it before anyone else knows it is down. I have used several services over the years for website monitoring but finally stuck with Montastic because it is free, allows multiple people to be notified, and even sends SMS text alerts. Just be forewarned, Montastic is great at website monitoring, but they are not great at designing the layout of their own website, it is ugly.
Website link checker: cloudtrawl.com
Once a year I have gotten into the habit of cleaning up our corporate website. Over the course of a year you would be amazed how many links on your website get broken and how many images are no longer available. These broken links impact your Google ranking. Most of the time this occurs with links to external websites, but it also happens when someone inadvertently makes changes inside the website. Cloudtrawl sends web crawlers throughout your website to check every link and every image on your website. About an hour after you start the process Cloudtrawl will send you a report identifying every broken link on your website. You can pay for an annual subscription, but I typically just sign up for the free trial once a year. In two weeks you can get just about everything fixed and then you can sign up for a free trial again the next year.
I hope that some of these tools help you get more done with less effort as well, and if you have another tool to share please be certain to share them with me on LinkedIn.