6 Digital Marketing Tools You Must Try in 2018

I love this industry because digital marketing is always changing and there are always new tools to check! New tools open up new opportunities, offer new insights and inspire new tactics.

Here are six tools I intend to give a thorough look in 2018.

What are yours?

1. Topvisor

Topvisor

Topvisor is a newer tool in my marketing arsenal but it’s quickly becoming my favorite tool! I love their keyword research and grouping features and use them every time I plan a content strategy for a new client. It also has a nice rank tracking feature that updates me on all changes that need attanetion.

2. Netpeak Spider

Netpeak Spider

One of the most indepth and flexible web crawlers out there, Netpeak Spider provides smooth experience and lots of features. It automatically checks 50+ parameters and detects more than 60 SEO errors (including http status errors, canonical issues, Robots.txt issues, meta tag issues and more).

Netpeak Spider

It has 5 crawling modes (site-wide, directory, URL list, XML Sitemap and even from Google SERP). Each of them allows to perform certain SEO tasks, for example, by crawling an XML sitemap, you can detect 21 XML sitemap issues in 17 parameters and send the corrected sitemap files to the search engines.

It even has the ability to calculate your site internal PageRank giving your ideas if important pages of your site are not getting enough power internally.

3. Buffer for video

There’s nothing new about Buffer. It’s been around for quite some time now! So why am I including it in this list? Because Buffer never stops and their most recently added feature is a proof!

Buffer for video is the first product to allow native video scheduling to all the big social media networks. So: upload once, share everywhere.

Not in the video game yet? This stats should change your mind:

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • The number of videos in Facebook feeds has grown by 360%
  • In the U.S., people are posting 94% more videos to Facebook
  • 50% of Americans who use Facebook daily watch at least 1 video every day

4. Slack

I am sure many of you are aware of Slack but few people know that it’s not merely about chatting and collaborating. With the ability to add bots, Slack has become one of the most diverse multi-purpose platforms.

The two cool bots to add:

  • Notify: Brings your brand mentions to your Slack feed. It serves as more of an ambient notification feed for these alerts and may inspire more team conversation than individual emails.
  • Statsbot: Brings Google Analytics stats to your Slack feed. Ask the bot about your stats and see the graphs and numbers right in the message thread.

Statsbot

5. Drip

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of Mail Chimp. I find their system overly bulky, difficult to use, and their policies are so unclear you can violate them by accident. I have tried a number of alternatives, but none of them were the simple, effective drip email platform I wanted. Until I found Drip.

It is a cool system that lets you create an easy sales funnel, in a visual way. While I don’t do direct sales, I have found the same principle applies to content promotion. My email campaigns have become much more effective thanks to this little gem.

Drip

Drip workflows seem amazingly easy and fun to set up. Here are options for automation systems and this one seems like a great one to add to the list.

6. Ptengine

ptengine

Ptengine is a great heatmap application, you can find out at exactly what point customers are choosing to leave your site. Isolating that point is crucial, so you can make the necessary changes to push them to the final step.

Unlike many other heatmap tools, this one provides much more insight than just a visualization. See referral information, track social media campaigns and engagement (page views, visit duration and conversions).

If you are planning a redesign in 2018, this is must-have tool to try! M-Connect Media also has a great guide listing more tools and tips.

And which tools are you planning to try in 2018?

Viral Content Bee – A Hot Content Promotion Tool

Do you want more people to share your valuable content?

Are you looking for a promotion tool that allows you to balance automation and authenticity?

I recently discovered an easy-to-use sharing tool that can help you do exactly that. Viral Content Bee is a free platform for social media sharing. It helps you get more shares for your high quality content by putting it in front of niche influencers who love sharing great content.

In this article you’ll discover how to use Viral Content Bee to promote your content across channels in one place while embracing the human touch. But before we jump in realize there are so many content promotion strategies and tools out there. Keep searching and tinkering until you find what works for you and your niche.

Let’s dive in.

Weigh the quality of your content first

Before you dive into the steps of how to promote your content, you’ve got to ask yourself a crucial question first:

Is your content share-worthy? That’s the key to it all. Quality content increases the odds of getting shares. To enhance your prospects of seeing results, undo the knots in your content. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your content solve a real nagging problem?
  • Is it gobbledygookfree, engaging, and lively?
  • Is the headline clear, specific, and gripping?
  • Does it have a captivating header image?
  • And, finally, the big one: is it incredibly useful?

Let me be frank with you: people won’t share lousy content. No app, hack, or platform can outsmart quality. Platform rules state clearly that crummy content will be rejected. Their extensive quality guidelines emphasize quality over quantity.

When you’re ready with a quality piece, it’s time to promote it.

Step #1: Register and enable your social media accounts

First, go to www.viralcontentbee.com and register for free. You can register through your Twitter or Facebook account or fill in a form.

Viral Content Bee

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Once you’re registered, the link in your confirmation email takes you to the platform’s dashboard. Next, activate your social media accounts by going to the settings tab and clicking on social accounts.

Viral Content Bee social media accounts

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The platform supports Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, and Google+. You can use up to five Twitter accounts.

Each time you share another user’s content, you get credits. Note that you don’t get any credits for sharing content on Google+. More about credits and how they work in a bit.

Step #2: Upload the article you want to share

Once you’ve verified your account, you’re ready to move to the next step – uploading your content. Users are encouraged to be very selective so only submit your best content that has a real chance of doing well. To upload your content you need four items:

#1. The title of the article- make sure it’s clear, catchy, or piques the readers curiosity so they check it out.

#2. The image URL of the piece- remember to brand your image to boost your brand recognition.

#3. A short description of the post- your description should act as a sales letter of your blog article so readers ‘buy’ it by sharing it.

#4. And of course, the URL of the article.

Here’s a shot with the required fields already filled in.

Viral Content Bee submit new content

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A nifty feature you should consider activating when uploading your content is the retweet function. It lets you get notifications when someone shares your post and boosts your clout score.

Boost your clout score

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The platform allows you to customize your dashboard and precisely target your audience by choosing your three favourite categories. This lets you only see the types of content you want to share instead of being clogged with irrelevant content.

Viral Content Bee topics

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Upon registration, you get 10 free credits. That’s enough for you to upload one article. When done, wait for approval. Approval may take several hours since it’s done by a real human to ensure that only quality content gets the nod.

Don’t worry about the queue. Once your content has been okayed several times, you’ll bypass the moderation waiting line since you’ll now be a trusted user.

Step #3: Share other people’s content

Sharing other people’s content is authentic and a breeze.

Each article has a title, a description, and sharing buttons underneath. You can take a peek at a piece and share it through your favourite channels if you like it. No bots share content on this program. It’s real people who’re impressed by your awesome content.

Viral Content

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As you can see from the screenshot above, you can read a brief description of the piece to get an idea what it’s about: if your content appetite is whetted you then click on the title and skim through the article – and if you like it, you just need to click on the social media icons to share it.

The more you share the more credits you get to promote your own content. Credits are allocated on a sliding scale according to your audience size.

Viral Content Bee credits

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As you can see from the shot above, the bigger your audience the more credits you get. Note that you need at least 100 Twitter followers and a minimum of 250 Facebook friends to share other users content.

Use the buffer feature to schedule your shares so they come out at the exact intervals you desire. You can also track the number of shares your article is getting in the stats tab. Here’s some numbers I pulled from the system.

Viral Content Bee results

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The graphic above shows that this particular post of mine seems to be gaining some traction on Twitter. This handy stats feature helps you to see which channel works best for your business so you evaluate your social media strategy and allocate financial and human resources accordingly.

For example:

  • If you see your content getting some traction on StumbleUpon, you’d give StumbleUpon Paid Discovery a try.
  • Or if you notice your posts are popular on Twitter, maybe it’s time to evaluate your Twitter marketing strategies.
  • Maybe you realise your articles doing well on Facebook, so you’d consider investing in Facebook ads.
  • Perhaps you get more shares on Pinterest, it’d mean you make your content marketing more visual and engage more on that channel.

Whenever you share someone else’s content you get credits while you get debited when your content gets shared.

It’s all about keeping your credits bank full so your articles stay shareable. When your credits are running low you get an email notification so you top up. Each time new posts are added yours gets pushed down to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th page and so forth which means fewer shares for you. To keep your content on the first page you have to add 30 credits.

A cool tip to bump up your piece to page one at regular intervals, especially when it’s new, is to add credits in batches of 30 or so credits. If your post gets shared while you don’t have credits, the share doesn’t go live until you earn some.

If spending time earning credits sounds like a big hassle you can always upgrade to the paid monthly plans. There are two tiers. First, there’s the $19.95 plan that gets you 200 credits every month and the $49.95 plan that nets you 500 credits.

Sharing other people’s content builds your authority: more and more people will regard you as a trusted voice in your niche and be more likely to share your content. Not only that. They’ll probably seek out your services and products as well.

Step #4: Reach out, interact, and network

A standout feature of this tool is that it lets you build real human connections with ease. It seamlessly allows you to kick off a conversation by following the sharer to the channel where the piece was shared.

The system pulls out a sharer’s details and the channel they used to share. This lets you interact with people who share your content by clicking on the interact button under the interactions tab.

Viral Content Bee email alert

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Networking is a big part of business. Clicking the highlighted button enables you to instantly follow your promoter on social media, thank them, and grow your network. You can develop genuine relationships with fellow marketers and influencers this way. Here’s how I did that recently:

Interactions

The interactions tab is an effective way to build connections fast and get more shares by liking, retweeting, thanking, and following those who promote your content.

Used right, this content promotion tool doesn’t only get you shares. It also grows your traffic, builds your brand, and enables you to meet business partners. For me, the greatest benefit of Viral Content Bee is that it fosters real human connections and community.

Summary: Viral Content Bee Walkthrough

Here’s the thing: Getting content noticed is tough.

Many content marketers are frazzled by producing stellar content they know deserves to light up the web only to have it go poof into cyber oblivion – ignored, disregarded, forgotten. That’s the harsh reality. According to a Buzzsumo Content, Shares and Links report, the majority of blog posts receive a paltry 2 or less Twitter shares, 2 or less FB interactions, 1 or less Google+ shares, and zero LinkedIn shares.

Sad, hey?

With this promotion tool, you can pull your content out of the abyss, get discovered by search engines (and people) and create real social buzz.

Join Viral Content Bee now!

How Brand Monitoring Can Support Your Search Optimization Strategy

SEO isn’t just about optimizing your own content to be easily found by people performing search queries directly in search engines or social media platforms. More sweat is involved to ensure your brand is facing its audience correctly and competently.

As many know, social media plays a significant role in how consumers perceive brands and even in how easily they can find them. Because of this it is more important than ever to include brand monitoring as part of a comprehensive SEO plan. Here is how to do it.

Where to Start

To effectively implement brand monitoring you will need a tool. Relying on Google Alerts is a good start but there are far more effective apps available which provide detailed information and analysis.

Connecting with Influencers

People care about what other people say. Especially if the ones saying it are public figures. Or influencers for that matter. Now, it’s important to understand there are three types of influencers:

  • Local Influencers – their opinion impacts the local industry.
  • Industry-Specific Influencers – these are people that have high authority over specific topics, skills, and industries.
  • General Influencers – people who are public figures, have often hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers on social media.

Five years later, and this post from Copyblogger still outlines the best way to connect with influencers. A few ideas, besides social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram, include:

  • Signing up for their program, product, service – putting some money in before asking for "free" stuff.
  • Joining their on-site events or meetups: hey, if you have an opportunity to connect 1-on-1, do it!
  • Asking the right relevant questions: One smart question can open many doors for you. Prove that you are smart, and that you know what you want from other people in terms of information.

Using Brand Monitoring Tools: Introducing Brand24

Brand24 is one of the newest faces on the brand monitoring tools scene, and has gained a lot of popularity among brands. The tool provides real-time insight into what is being said about your brand and your competition.

Membership plans start at $49 and can go up to as much as $399, plus customer plan for larger brands. However, a $49 plan is sufficient enough for an early-stage startup to monitor their brand successfully. Bonus: this is a pay-as-you-go type of service, which offers the user more flexibility and doesn’t force him into a 12-months contract or an automated payment scheme. The tool is fully automated, offers Slack integration, and has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.

The analytics section provides unique factoring such as advanced search queries, interactivity analytics, estimated social reach, and so on. A demo is available for testing if you need more time to think about it.

If you’ve read my recent article on customer journey mapping examples, then you should understand why knowing how people find you matters in the evolution of your services/products.

How Brand24 Works

Signing up for a free Brand24 account can be done with an email or using their Facebook integration.

Brand 24

Once you sign up, you will be asked to type in your target keywords or phrases. You can also specify what language you want results to be targeting.

Add keywords

The menu is located on the left of the dashboard and offers intuitive controls.

Controls

The overview portion of the dashboard is equally intuitive. It allows users to sort information by days, weeks, or months and to view by the most popular mentions or the most popular authors.

Overview

The bottom of the dashboard is especially valuable for identifiying the influencers who dominate the converstaion for your project’s keywords. Users can view the most influential profiles or sites and view associated statistical information.

Dashboard

The free version of Brand24 is robust. Those who want additional features can also choose to upgrade the service to one of the paid subscriptions.

 

Now What?

Once you are monitoring brand mentions there are two powerful ways to use this knowledge to support your SEO efforts.

Request Mentions beyond Citations

Just because someone has cited a brand somewhere doesn’t mean they have linked to the website. Inbound links from authoritative websites are a valuable portion for your marketing efforts.

If a person is already citing a brand by name, they are more likely to be willing to include a proper mention with a link to their website, social media, or email address. You can use services such as HARO, or simply go the old fashion "blogger outreach" way.

Control the Narrative

If people are talking about your brand on social media, you need to be part of the conversation. Brand monitoring makes it possible to take action and instantly reshape the narrative if the brand is being mentioned in a negative light.

Alternatively, if the brand being complained about is a competitor why not swoop in and save the day? Monitoring your brand is a powerful tool but monitoring the competition can offer even wider perspective into what potential customers are happy with and what need has yet to be fulfilled.

Market Research

Brand monitoring can maximize marketing efforts by providing direct consumer insight from those consumers who are already invested in your service or product. This allows you to learn exactly what they want so you can provide it and gain greater brand loyalty.

It will make it easier to identify the platforms on which they are most active so marketing efforts can be directed toward the right locations. If you know more people are mentioning your brand on Snapchat suddenly, it makes sense to invest the resources into developing a presence there. This is true for the reverse as well. You can avoid those platforms that have limited brand engagement to maximize marketing resources.

Important Takeaway

Any tool will work to a certain degree, whether you choose to pay $500+ a month or settle for $49. But people make the difference – and Brand24 excels in helping you reach those whose opinion counts. Other than that, you should make sure to have behind every brand monitoring tool, a sharp, detail-oriented employee or contractor who knows what they’re doing. The human factor should also be part of your marketing efforts, not just from a customer perspective, but also from an "in-house" operational point of view.