It's customary to express gratitude during Thanksgiving in the U.S. Aside from being grateful for my personal blessings in life, I thought I'd share my gratitude for these top 10 favorite marketing tools. After all, they make my life (and job) easier.
Sure there are other blogging and content management system options out there, but I truly love WordPress. There's a plethora of plugins and themes available as well as excellent resources and forums.
Plus, I'm in good company. WordPress is used by 29% of global websites giving it a content management system market share of 59.8%!
Keeping up with social media singlehandedly is no easy feat. My Hootsuite dashboard connects me with my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts as well as my company Facebook page. The platform also has many apps and extensions - several of which are free.
Every time I write a blog post, I test my headline using the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. It's a terrific tool for analyzing the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headlines. Sometimes, I struggle to get a score of 70, and it can get frustrating, but when I get there, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
Whenever I need inspiration for a blog topic, I visit my Feedly RSS feeds. There, I collect posts from many sources on marketing and brand-related topics.
I've written about this tool and its benefits previously. Check it out for more details.
Freepik and Vecteezy
For graphic design, I live on these two free image sites. Freepik has vectors, PSD (Photoshop) images, icons, and photos, and Vecteezy has vector art. If you don't have graphic design abilities, my next favorite is CanStockPhoto which requires purchasing credits or a subscription plan.
Email marketing is imperative for any business or organization. Over the years, I used two other ESPs (email service providers) before researching and deciding on GetResponse.
One of the features I like most is the ability to email recipients who opened and didn't open my emails. That enables me to encourage more engagement with my lists.
Graphics and images help garner social media engagement, and using emojis is part of my marketing toolbox. This site, Get Emoji, has a host of images in addition to a search engine for finding more obscure emojis.
Adobe Illustrator and InDesign
If you have any design talent, these two Adobe programs are an absolute "must have" for marketing communications. They aren't easy to learn without classes, but not impossible. There are many tutorials around and a web search can produce answers to any questions you may have.
To check into these and other Adobe programs, visit the Creative Cloud site.
When I first started graphic design (a zillion years ago), this was the first program I learned. Believe it or not, I still recommend it for non-designers who need a basic design software program.
I frequently use it for simple tasks like creating blog header images or enlarging infographics to save as picture files. Microsoft Publisher is part of the Microsoft Office 365.
When I need to share art proofs with clients, and the files are too large for email, I use Dropbox. Currently, I have a free account as I am the sole user and I don't keep much stored in it. If you need to collaborate or access data over 2.75 GB, there's a business version.