5 must use digital marketing tools for small businesses

I would like to share with you 5 free or low-cost digital marketing tools I always recommend to my clients. During my training sessions, I share lots of tips, tricks and free tools that make my clients’ lives easier. And these 5 tools are some of the ones my clients get most excited about. They improve their branding, productivity and help them get leads through social media.

1.      Canva

Best for: Branding and consistency

Canva is a fantastic graphic design tool for non-designers. It is free to use and the platform is all online. I recommend it for creating any designs you don’t want to pay a graphic designer to do. They offer templates for all social media formats, from Facebook covers to Instagram posts and Twitter banners. You can also create your own infographics, flyers, menus, etc…

Canva is very easy to use as it is drag and drop. And you can upload your logo and any images from your computer. It offers beautiful fonts and lots of icons for your designs. Once your design is complete, just download it to your computer. It is also automatically saved on the platform. All you might have to pay for are premium templates, icons and images.

2.      Google Keyword Planner

Best for: SEO and blog topic research

Originally Google Keyword Planner was created for preparing Google Adword campaigns. But it is also useful for researching keywords and blog topic ideas.

In order to access Keyword Planner, you will first need to set up a Google Adwords account. You don’t need to pay anything or run any ads to get access.

Researching priority keywords is important because you can use them strategically in the content of your website to optimise it for search engines. Google Keyword Planner comes in handy because it provides you with insight on your keywords and it suggests other keywords related to them. It will tell you the average monthly searches and how tough the competition is.

If you are looking for new blog topics or ideas for new pages of content for your website, you can click on the Ad Groups Ideas tab, which suggests ways of grouping keywords and might give you some inspiration. 

3.      Pocket

Best for: Saving time when creating content

You can either download the Pocket app on your phone or install the Google Chrome extension on your browser.

Pocket is a very useful bookmarking app because it lets you save interesting pages or articles you read throughout the week or when you are on the bus on your way to a meeting. And then when you are creating your weekly or monthly content you can go back to all those interesting articles you have read recently and plan to share them on your social media platforms.

You can also label different content, for example work or personal, or according to the different topics you want to cover on your platforms.

4.      Later

Best for: Instagram productivity

Later lets you schedule posts for your Instagram account from your computer. Why does this help productivity? If your photos are on your computer or you want to retouch then it is easier to access them there. Additionally, most of us are quicker at typing on a keyboard than a phone touchscreen. You can also save lists of hashtags, meaning you don’t have to retype them for every post.

Later is best used both on your computer and on your phone. So, start by signing up on your computer and then download the app and sign in.

Instagram doesn’t let third party applications automatically post on the platform, but Later makes it a lot simpler for you. When it is time for one of your scheduled post to be posted, you will receive a notification on your phone and all you need to do is approve your post and it goes up.

Later is free for up to 30 posts a month so definitely worth a try!

5.      Manage Flitter

Best for: Getting leads through Twitter

Manage Flitter has a free version but I recommend upgrading to the premium version, which costs under £10 a month.

This Twitter management tool has a few great features. First it lets you type in a Twitter handle and see all of their followers, who you can easily follow back. This means that you could choose one of your competitors and follow all the account that are interested in them.

Another useful feature is the Bio and Tweet search engine, which has keyword searches and advanced searches such as location or minimum number of followers. It means you can search for accounts in your target market or who are talking about a specific topic. For example, a wedding florist might search for bio with the word “engaged” in it or tweets with the words “wedding planning”.

 

I hope you will find these tools helpful! Let me know what you think of them and please contact me if you would like to learn more digital marketing tips and tools.

 

 

Digital Marketing 101 for entrepreneurs

Learn the basics to managing strategically and efficiently your digital marketing! 

I am organising a workshop designed for entrepreneurs, giving you tips and tools to do it yourself or to ask the right questions when hiring a partner. 

This three-hour workshop will help you: 

  • Better understand the digital marketing spectrum
  • Decide which channels are best for your audience
  • Set up a content strategy
  • Understand how to make the most out of your digital marketing budget
  • Decide what to do in-house and what to outsource
  • Understand what your agency should be doing and make them accountable to you

I will be running this workshop on the following two dates: 

  • Tuesday 13th June 10am-1pm 
  • Monday 17th July 10am-1pm

Cost is £65 per person and includes coffee and cake!

I have chosen a really nice, homely and informal venue - Somers Town Coffee House
60 Chalton St, Kings Cross, London NW1 1HS. It is just 5 mins walk from Euston or King's cross. 

If you would like to find out more about it or to book fill in the contact form or feel free to email me at claire@masterdigital.co.uk. 

4 lessons in video marketing from some of the most successful publishers

They say a photo is worth a thousand words, well a study by Forrester estimates that a video is worth 1.8 million words! Video marketing is not just a trend, it is here to stay. But the way we consume video changes constantly, mobile consumption of videos increases by 100% each year.

So here are 5 tips learned for top video creators to make your videos more successful

1 – Make your video audio independent

It is important to think about how viewers are consuming your videos. Often they watch videos on the move, while travelling on the bus for example. In many situations, they don’t want to turn the sound on to watch a video. So it is a good idea to make your videos viewable with no sound. A common way of solving this issue is to add subtitles to your videos. This way viewer can watch your video with or without sound.

Popular publishers such as 5-minutes crafts do this well.


2 - Make your videos short

A study shows that 38% of consumers view videos over 5 minutes in length, but 56% view videos under 5 minutes. Also, 5% of viewers stop watching a video after 1 minute and 60% by 2 minutes. So the lesson is keep your videos under 2 minutes if possible.

Now This is a great example of successful short videos. Most nuggets of news last under a minute.


3 – Give a good reason to click through

You don’t want your consumer journey to finish at watching your video, so give a good reason to viewers to click through to your website. Tasty does this very well, as viewers watch a short video of a recipe and need to click through to the website to get the full recipe. You can add a link to your website above your video on Facebook or add a call to action at the end of your video.


4 - Show people, not just products

Many of the most popular YouTube channels are by vloggers. People love watching them, their personality and their quirks. So don’t be shy, you might find that your most successful videos will be the ones you are featured in!

A great example, is one of the UK’s top bloggers, Cupcake Gemma, she keeps some of her bleeps in the final cut of her blog posts, which shows her fun side.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about marketing your videos yourself. 

#MasterCourses : Taking on the Google Adwords Fundamentals certification

On the Master Digital blog I thought I could be the guinea pig for some of the online courses and exams out there to help you decide which ones might be relevant to you and your business and to give you some tips and advice you might find useful if you decide to take these courses.

So I decided to start with Google AdWords and the first exam you need to pass to become Adwords certified is Google AdWords Fundamentals.

Why would you want to be Google AdWords certified? Well first of all, so you can brag about it, obviously! As a small business studying for the exam will teach you a lot about running your own online advertising campaigns. And if you are an agency it will earn you the Google Partner badge, which gives you a number of benefits (including being searchable on the Google Partner website and access to exclusive events and training).

Preparing for the exam

Google offers a great course, which is divided in digestible chunks on their Academy for Ads website. You will be able to access it once you are registered as a Google Partner (you don’t need to have the badge to be a partner – but you don’t have as many benefits as with the Badge!). The Google Partners AdWords Fundamentals course only takes 1 hr 30 min – in theory – and is divided into 19 five minute sections. I would recommend allowing 3 hours to complete the course path and even more if you are taking notes or if you are not familiar with Google AdWords.

Google also gives access to exam study guides to prepare for the exam. For AdWords Fundamentals there are 4 lessons including a PDF download that summarizes most of the topics that need to be understood for the exam.

A big mistake you could make would be to just complete the course and follow immediately with the exam. But the exam is presented in a very practical way, so you need to understand more than just the theory to take it. So I would recommend creating an AdWord account, playing around with it, creating a campaign and some ad groups to get a more practical understanding of how it works.

Taking the exam

You can access it though your Google Partner page. You have two hours to answer 100 multiple choice questions and you pass with a score over 80%.

My advice would be to take your time - 2 hours is a lot! So take the time to read the questions and answer choices a few times, take a peek at your notes ( don’t tell them I told you that…they never said it was closed book exam…).

Some questions are based on theory and your knowledge of the Adwords jargon. For example – “Which of these is a benefit of online advertising” or “How is your Quality Score measured?”

But a lot of questions take practical examples like “Ross wants to spread the word about his video game blog, what campaign type should he use?”. That’s why you can’t just get away by simply doing the course, you need a real understanding of AdWords.

And if it’s all too much for you today, you can take the course again one week later. So no pressure!

The verdict

Google Adwords fundamentals is a great way to get you up to speed with all the functionalities and options AdWords has to offer if you already have some basic knowledge of it and have already run some basic campaigns. Google has put together a fantastic, easy to digest course, which I would qualify as “for intermediates” as there is a lot of jargon and some terms can be rather confusing for beginners.

Now that I have the AdWords Fundamentals Certificate, next stop for me is one of the AdWords Advertising exams in order to become AdWords certified. Wish me luck!

If you would like to take a more personalised approach to learning Google AdWords, contact us at Master Digital.