Over the last 10+ years of building a brand and business online, I've come across and used MANY online marketing tools and apps.
From photo-editors and video creation, to email marketing and scheduling.
With 2020 being as tough as it has been and because I've switched-up and grown my business, I've become reliant on a handful of online marketing tools, that have made my job a LOT easier. Here's the low-down...
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I've been harping-on about Pinterest for years now, as I successfully use it to drive consistent traffic to my lifestyle blog, HollyGoesLightly. This year, I've started to utilise it for my Digital Marketing Mentoring business, flourish community and 1-2-1 services, by promoting blog content and lead-magnets.
With over 440 active monthly users, you cannot tell me that your audience is not on Pinterest!
Although there have been a lot of changes, updates and shifts to the way you strategically use Pinterest this year, (and it's a little slower to see the views we saw 10 months ago), I still truly believe that it can be a powerful tool for any content creator, service-provider and product-based business.
Leading on nicely from Pinterest, the second in my top 5 online marketing tools of 2020, is... tailwind*! Tailwind is an approved scheduler and analytics tool for Pinterest and it makes your Pinterest marketing strategy about 100 times easier and quicker.
With tailwind, you can spend just 30-60 minutes per week and have weeks and even months worth of pins going out. It really is that powerful and well worth the £10 or so p/month to go pro!
You can bulk-upload and schedule pins to multiple boards at a time and analyse how each pin is performing, to optimise your strategy over time.
A new feature of tailwind, also lets you create your pins/visuals - meaning it really is a one-stop-shop.
*referral link to get you credit if you sign-up to a paid account (I get credit back for referring).
You might not have heard of my third favourite digital marketing tool, which has made managing my business a helluva lot easier this year... that's Hubspot. Hubspot is a CRM software that lets you manage your database/mailing list and market to them in a variety of ways.
As I have multiple services and audiences, Hubspot has allowed me to segment and keep in touch with the right members of my audience, for the things they'd be interested in. It's helped me automate some key processes, like on-boarding new members to my community and sending out freebies. And it's meant that I can easily schedule newsletters, weekly emails and updates with my audience.
I wouldn't and couldn't be without it, as a growing small business.
Arguably my favourite online marketing tool, as it gets the most use, is Canva.
Canva is a fantastic platform to design and create your own graphics, visuals, print materials and even video. It's grown and developed so much over the last 12-18 months and now has pretty much all you need to create imaginative, impactful visuals.
You still can't beat a graphic designer for something bespoke and original BUT, Canva is a great approachable way for us entrepreneurs to get the job done quickly. If you're just starting-out and can't afford the services of a graphic designer, it's a fantastic option.
At about £10 p/month for the business tier, it's well worth it as you get royalty free images, video and templates. You can also upload your brand guidelines, to ensure you're using the right colour palette and type-faces too. I love love love love it and use it daily!
As I'm an advocate of owning your own content, it would make sense that my final top online marketing tool of 2020, is a tool that you use to build organic growth and presence online. That's Yoast SEO plug-in for Wordpress.
There is a free version which is more than enough to get you started on optimising your blog posts and webpages, to give yourself the best chances or showing-up in SERPs (search engine results pages). There is also a paid premium version, for those of you that are next level (at £89 per year, it's a good business investment if you have a blog or website).
It works on a traffic-light system, giving you SEO prompts and if you go premium, you have access to a wealth of support and learning materials too.
So there you have it… my top 5 online marketing tools of 2020 - the ones that I couldn't be without - that my business couldn't function as easily without... but what about the tools I don't use so much?
Twitter... I have really fallen out of love with it. Years ago, it's where I started growing a social media following, when I was a wedding planner, blogger and relocated to Manchester. I loved it back then for sharing blog posts and networking. Now I think it's noisy, aggressive and harder to build a community. I barely use it (I know it works well for many!).
Instagram swipe-up... It took me a long time to get it and I coveted it for so long. I do love having it, as it makes it so much easier to share content, but I'm not entirely convinced it's the golden chalice it's made out to be... only time will tell! (And I do think it should be made available to all business/creator accounts over 1000 followers).
Holly Wood, has over 10 years experience of building a digital brand and business online. From blogging, to being an influencer, to founding a membership community, to speaking and 1-2-1 mentorship - Holly has a wealth of knowledge in the practical and cognitive steps to building a flourishing brand and successful business online.
Read Holly's Lifestyle blog, HollyGoesLightly.