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Staying informed on best practices in the realm of digital marketing can be a daunting task. You very well might be the most competent social media marketing agency in terms of both soft and hard skills, however, you are arguably only as effective as the tools you use. Whether these tools are to automate processes and actions, opening up time in your day for you to maintain focus on far more important (and perhaps lucrative) tasks, or tools to rapidly gain insights, analytics, or best-practices (such as keywords or target audiences,) keeping an awareness of the best tools is one of the most critical tasks for any digital marketing professional. Put simply, leveraging these tools in your daily digital marketing standard operating procedure will ensure that you have the data and proof of the results of your work not just to keep your job or client, but get paid more for proving your value as a digital marketing professional that is amongst the best.

As an example of a tool of the trade, social media automation is critical. If you are manually entering and posting posts on all of your social media platforms, bottom line, you are simply “doing it wrong.” The best digital marketing professionals create their content on a set schedule (which is often once per week, but varies based upon industry and workflow,) and automate posting of this content to varied social media platforms on different days of the week with tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. What’s more, is learning the best times of the day to schedule your posts is often possible via these platforms; scheduling your posts for optimal views and impressions is as critical in your targeting as the audience itself. If your audience is asleep or stuck at work, you may not get the impressions and views you want. This small little detail can spell the difference between getting away with a free posting or a paid posting, enabling you to allocate more of your marketing budget to other areas. Conducting research on when your audience is most likely to view social media is as important to understand the keywords they are most likely to use when searching for your products or services.

Speaking of marketing budget, are you using a tracker? As a digital marketing professional, or business owner, if you are not tracking your digital marketing spend, you’re doing it wrong. A truly competent digital marketing professional or business owner should be able to confidently state, in tangible numbers, down to the penny and precise percent, how much they have spent on each digital marketing aspect and the returns gained from it. Marketing analytics are now easier than ever in the digital age, enabling digital marketers to conduct actions such as embedding tracking “snippets” or URLs with tracking codes directly into campaigns. Managers love this: they can confidently recite with high or 100% accuracy that their digital marketing campaign provided a certain percentile of return on investment (which is very handy for justifying future spend increases. This isn’t limited to just return on investment in terms of purchases, either. Conversion tracking may apply to varied KPIs (key performance indicators,) such as newsletter signups, meeting arrangements, or forum signups. Since your client or manager may have numerous goals, you are now equipped to assist in many more goals (instead of just “make us money!”) through indirect methods to bolster their businesses. You just became a lot more valuable to your client or business, so congratulations on the potential raise.

Let’s continue with the theme of impressing your client or boss: becoming a low maintenance service provider or employee is the best thing you can do (besides crush your direct KPIs) for your boss or client. Providing your boss or client with an easy way to conduct oversight isn’t limited to simply creating and sharing a marketing budget/ROI tracker. The most often asked questions may be “when will this Tweet go out?” or “when are we going to send out our newsletter?” Creating an easy way for your boss or client to see, at the click of one mouse button, when your posts are scheduled for, frees up valuable time for both you and your boss or manager, and it will pay dividends. This is extremely easy to do with most calendar applications; for example, Google Calendar allows you to create “new Calendars” which serve as overlays to your standard calendar and can be shared with others. With one mouseclick, the scheduled dissemination will appear on Google Calendar.

In business, numbers and results matter: so differentiating yourself from your less-savvy peers by leveraging these tools and best practices will set you apart in the best ways possible. You are now equipped with some of the most potent time-saving, results-bolstering, KPI-crushing methods and tools in the digital marketing industry.

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