Digital Toolbox

Well hello, and welcome to Episode 12 of Aftershock Weekly. Today we’re excited to dive into the Digital Toolbox and give you four tools you can use for the digital marketing for your business. We’re going to talk about Google Analytics, we’re going to talk about MailChimp, we’re going to talk about HootSuite, and then we’re going to finish with the Adobe Creative Cloud. So some of these are free, and some of them have a nominal cost to them, but I’m going to talk about how you can use them to grow your business.

So the first thing we’re going to talk about is Google Analytics. Well, Google Analytics is an amazing software, and just a quick little background on it—for fun—Google Analytics was a company of another name, about fifteen years ago, that was acquired by Google for their Google AdWords software. Google’s idea was, if we can give people more analytics about how their AdWords are performing, then we can go ahead and help them spend more money. Google Analytics will give you more information about your ads and how they’re performing, and when you see they’re performing well, you’ll spend more money. Google was spot on with that, and they’ve kept it free. They do have a premium version, but the one we’re going to be talking about is simply free. And here are the main things that you can measure in Google Analytics. Audience: who is your audience, where are they at? Acquisition: where did they come from, did they come from Facebook, Google, did they come from an email campaign? Behavior: what pages did they look at, how long did they stay on? And lastly, Conversions: you can see if they took an action and what led them to that action so that you can make better decisions, an action like submitting a form, making a phone call, or even purchasing a product off your website.

Next, let’s talk about MailChimp. MailChimp is an email marketing software that allows you to send out emails to your customers—not only on a broadcast or one-time basis—but you can automate it to send multiple emails out in a time sequence that you set up. Or you can segment it out based on the users, to send them different emails, which is amazing. So, as we like to say, it’s the Goldilocks—it’s not too much, it’s not too little, it’s just right for the average business owner getting started that needs to use email marketing. There’s lots of great platforms out there: there’s Constant Contact, there’s InfusionSoft, there’s SendGrid, there’s a million of them. But MailChimp is a great place to start. It’s got a lot of fantastic features. If you have under two thousand users, then it’s actually free to use. Let’s take a deeper dive. As I mentioned, it can be free—and even if it’s not, it’s very affordable on a monthly basis. Contact management: you can create lists of who your users are and you can segment those lists. For example, you can create a list that is a Buyer list, you can create a list that is a Potential list, you can create a list of somebody who has not bought over a period of time. There’s a lot of different ways that you can segment your data and create different lists. You can design and schedule your email very easily with their editor. You can get as creative as you would like, it lets you adjust the HTML and CSS so you can make it look very nice and fancy, or you can have a very stripped-down version that’s very simple. Analytics and demographics: this is great. It tells you how many people opened your emails, how many people clicked on something in an email, it’ll tell you how many people opened more than once or twice, which you can create a list of just those people and send them another one, because you know they are more interested. And finally, it integrates with Facebook advertising, which is fantastic. So let’s say that you have a Facebook Ad running, and you’re running a lead ad campaign. Well, as soon as that lead comes in you can have it sent directly to MailChimp, and you can have it trigger an automated series that you can set up that goes out to that user to inform about your business, your product, or some sort of offer around that.

Next we’re going to talk about HootSuite. HootSuite is an automated scheduler for Social Media posts. So if you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, this allows you to put together a schedule of posts to go out to your audience without you having to go in there every single day. It also allows you to answer and respond on that platform. HootSuite is pretty inexpensive, I think it’s like $9.99 a month. There’s even a free version that allows you to have a few connections with a couple platforms so you don’t have to pay anything. There are other options. There’s options like Buffer, that allows you to do similar things. Find the right options for you. We found that HootSuite is a great, affordable, effective tool to manage your social media posts and engagement.

And the last thing we’re going to talk about is the Adobe Creative Cloud. I’m sure you’ve heard about Photoshop, you’ve heard about Adobe Illustrator, InDesign. They’re programs put together to help you take the creative thoughts that you have, and put them into fliers, put them into website design, put them into all of these different things to showcase your business in an illustrative way. The Adobe Creative Cloud is a great way for you to have all the tools that you need to build your website, to do your graphic design, and it’s very affordable. It used to be you’d have to purchase software like this for about $2,000, and every couple years they would release the next version, and then you would go ahead and purchase that new version. Well, the Creative Cloud is awesome, because you pay $50 a month, and what they do is they will go ahead and let you update all of your software as it continues to grow.

So, those are four great options for you to help grow your business, and I want to say that there are tons of different resources, free resources—things like Canva, for example, that you can put together a bunch of pictures and create Facebook posts. I’d love to hear what you are using out there, if currently you are running your digital marketing, or if you’ve heard about some ideas and suggestions. What’s making your life easier out there? These are just four simple ones that we use here, and that you have the same access to. With that, thanks for tuning in, and we’ll leave you with a quote.