Audience developers, like every other discipline, from editors to designers, are dealing with an ever-expanding set of digital marketing tools available to do everything from helping to measure traffic to designing social apps and contests. Here, we touch base with Tony Napoleone, audience development director at Bobit Business Media, to highlight some of his favorite digital marketing tools. There are many other tools available that have similar features, so do your homework to see what works best for your particular brand or operation, but these are some that Napoleone has settled on for Bobit, which has upwards of 40 websites.
What It Is: Shortstack is a self-service, custom app design tool for social platforms and specializes in creating Facebook tabs.
The Breakdown: “There’s also Wildfire (Wildfireapp.com), but Shortstack just worked better for us on pricing and technology,” says Napoleone. “We were trying to find a solution that could handle a variety of brands and promotions for our Facebook pages. This is a relatively low-cost program that will let you put things from mini e-commerce pages on tabs to more complete, HTML-heavy type solutions—contests, light e-commerce, a little bit of everything.”
GA Data Grabber
What It Is: A productivity tool at heart, GA Data Grabber works with Excel and allows users to consolidate analytics and reports into a single report view. It works with Google Analytics, AdWords, Facebook and Bing Ads. Charts and other visual tools can be created automatically, and users can customize the data in Excel. Each module, whether Google Analytics, AdWords or the others, is $299 per year.
The Breakdown: “This is one I’m really excited about,” enthuses Napoleone. “We have up to 40 websites we have to maintain. You can link this Excel macro to your Google Analytics account and you can run reports across multiple properties all at once.”
Google Analytics IQ Lessons
What It Is: Need to brush up on your Google Analytics skills? GA IQ Lessons is essentially the platform’s learning center where users can follow a variety of lessons—from the fundamentals of working with report data to advanced segmentation and analytics intelligence. You can use the lessons to increase your knowledge or train specifically for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification Test.
The Breakdown: “It’s Google’s training tool on how to run reports,” says Napoleone. “Just in case you’re looking for a place start. It gives you a small to large solution.”
What It Is: SEMrush allows you to track and measure keyword performance for your brands and PPC campaigns. The service, which is offered at three pricing tiers—$80 for a single month, $70 per month recurring or $150 per month for larger report volume—lets you track your competitors’ organic search result positions and their ad copy. It also helps you perform keyword research and selection and compare SEO metrics.
The Breakdown: “We’ve been using it for a few years now,” says Napoleone. “It helps you understand the quantity and counts of how many keywords you’re ranking for. You drop in the url, and you see your ranking and search volume and you can see cost per click if you’re using that. As our search traffic goes up and down we can see how many keywords we’re ranking for. And you can use it for your competitors as well.”
What It Is: Remarketing, in this case a part of Google’s AdWord service, lets site owners tag specific pages corresponding to categories they want to promote—events, subscriptions, specific products, etc. If a visitor leaves that page without converting, an AdWords ad follows that visitor as they continue to browse other sites.
The Breakdown: “It’s an extension of Google AdWords, it’s part of the same system,” says Napoleone. “But it uses a slightly different method: Instead of bidding on keywords, this takes advantage of people who’ve already come to your site—the ‘follow me’ ads. It’s a little line of code that you put on your site and people who land on it and have cookies enabled will see your ads follow them to other sites for a specific amount of time. You can track conversions or view-through conversions—people who saw it but came back and registered at a later date. We saw some success with this for our products that have a dollar amount.”
What It Is: This little service provided by Worldata allows you to paste in a prospective subject line and it feeds back an analysis with points (out of 100) taken away for potential issues that fall short of industry standards.
The Breakdown: “They have a more robust tool, but it’s kind of a nice free one if you’re sitting there trying to come up with a good subject line,” says Napoleone. “You drop it in and it will give you some good points. The scoring aspect is good and it’s nice for comparison purposes. They follow what they deem to be best practices and you might not agree with their criteria, but we’ve tested it out and we seem to be on the same page.”