When you’re building a successful digital marketing strategy, you’ll need the best tools to support you. All of these tools can either help you build your strategy or can support you in executing it.
Jordan, Senior Outreach Manager: Pitchbox
Pitchbox is a link-building platform. It allows you to find websites and influencers across industries through intuitive keyword research. Top SEO tools are pulled through to the platform such as Moz, Majestic, SEMRush. This means that we can compare metrics and approach the most authoritative publications.
You can set up multiple folders for clients with focussed campaigns. The best part is that you can customise each outreach email to target opportunities, without manual input. You can set up automatic follow-ups for those who haven't responded. This automation saves us lots of time so we can work on other outreach priorities.
Another great feature is the reporting side of Pitchbox. It allows you to monitor and tweak your outreach emails and subject lines. This ensures you’re always creating the most relevant pitches to journalists and publishers, maximising ROI for your clients.
Brendan, SEO Account Manager: Hemingway Editor App
I'm a big fan of the Hemingway Editor App as an editing partner for copywriting and content creation. Although Hemingway-quality fiction isn't always what we're aiming for as digital content writers, the tool is leagues above Word (for example) in terms of providing useful editorial suggestions.
Not only does the app calculate a readability score, but it also uses colour coding to highlight opportunities to shorten, simplify or tweak your writing to add impact.
As someone who's always had a high reading age and a tendency to wax lyrical at the detail level, I'll regularly dispute some of the changes the app suggests to me. Yet, I still find it invaluable for curtailing some of my worst (or less customer-friendly) instincts as a writer.
Kate, SEO Account Executive: Google Analytics
Google’s Marketing platform is a powerful tool, with more capabilities than I have the space or time to write about here, but it’s hard to top Google Analytics.
Google Analytics gives you insights into who your visitors are, what they care about and more. You can also identify your top landing and exit pages, find out which pages are converting, analyse how people use your site and much more. It’s all fantastic data for putting together your user personas to make sure that your digital marketing strategy is targeting the right people!
Matt, Organic Search Manager: Screaming Frog
My favourite tool is Screaming Frog. While it looks pretty simplistic on first glance, it's actually one of the most useful and cost-effective tools in an SEO's arsenal. Yes, it can be used to crawl your site and give you a list of pages, redirects and errors, but there's also a lot more to it. Use it to identify a site's structure, create sitemaps, test whether a list of redirects is working, find exactly where any broken links may exist, and more.
Screaming Frog also has integration with Google Analytics and Majestic, meaning you can pull in traffic and link data in an instant. Previously, this took a long time to collate and required strong Excel chops, so this addition is a brilliant time-saver for content audits, where gaining this extra detail is really handy to answer more complex questions like whether the site's structure is hindering traffic levels for deeper pages.
Nathan, Email Strategist: Campaign Monitor and Litmus
Campaign Monitor is great because it's easy to use but still feature-rich for power users. It has a clear UX, and can be used for simple campaigns and complicated automated user journeys. In addition, their help team is fantastic and quick to respond, and they are very engaged in the wider email community.
Litmus is also very much a part of the email community, and they really get email. They host amazing conferences every year, and their help team is very knowledgeable. Litmus provides (amongst other things) previews of how an email will render in most email clients, and I consider them an essential tool in email development.
Chris, Performance Search Director: Keyword Wrapper & Phrase Builder Tool
Keyword Wrapper and Phrase Builder Tool are little-known time-saving tools for paid search account creation.
The first allows you to paste a list of keywords into the tool which at a press of a button are converted into every different keyword match type. This seems like a simple task but it saves a huge amount of time when populating an account with different keyword match types.
The second tool allows you to automatically build a list of combinations of keywords and phrases. For example, if you have a list of locations that you want to prefix with a keyword, like "Italian food London", this tool will automatically build a list of phrases saving you masses of time.
Louise, SEO Account Manager: Google Search Console
Although Google Search Console has been through a lot of changes over the years, it can still give you great insight into how your website is seen through the eyes of 'the all-mighty one' (Google)!
It's one of the first places I go to when conducting a Technical Audit, allowing me to check any potential errors with the site quickly and efficiently, including manual penalties. It can even give me insight into what work might have previously been conducted for the site, with information such as crawl error fixes and disavow files.
Iveta, Digital Executive: Feedly
I really like using Feedly to stay up-to-date with the latest news from different industries. You can choose to receive new posts and updates from any website that offers an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary depending on who you ask!).
Feedly is especially great because you can also set up Google Alerts, which are great for keeping track of brand mentions on new web pages. You can also follow certain Twitter feeds from right within the application too.
They’ve also introduced an AI Research Assistant called Leo! It scans your feeds and filters out anything you won’t be interested in. You can tell Leo to prioritise and filter keywords, companies, products etc. It can also extract key sentences from long articles so you don’t have to read the whole thing; it really cuts down your reading time!
Louie, Social Media Strategist: Facebook Business Manager
Facebook Business Manager is brilliant for anyone who needs to manage more than one Facebook or Instagram ad account. You can manage these other accounts all from your one account, just by requesting access to the assets you need.
The targeting options within Business Manager are amazing too. You can define your audience down to a really granular level, and the Shop (or Facebook catalogue) retargeting really does follow the audience everywhere!
The reporting through Business Manager is really detailed, which is great for drilling down into why a campaign was so successful or how to improve for the next one.
The Creator Studio within the application is also great for managing your schedule and offers reporting on your Instagram account too.
It’s constantly offering new functionality too. The new Dynamic ads format is fantastic for taking away learnings about messaging, a great addition to A/B tests, making it really easy to quickly hone your ads to make sure they’re performing to their potential!
Susie, Senior Digital Creative: Chrome plugins
Chrome is an excellent web browser, but the sheer array of plugins is where it really shines, and there are plenty of great plugins out there for designers!
The first is a visual and design-led approach to viewing the source code of a website. CSS Peeper makes it really easy to see which fonts and colours a website is using, which is perfect when you’re looking for inspiration or building a mood board!
WCAG Color contrast checker quickly flags any colour contrast issues that might run foul of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It’s smart enough to check the colours that will actually appear on screen; reduced opacity changes how a colour is actually displayed. It also simulates colour blindness, so you can see how your page will look for colour blind users.
Finally, Awesome Screenshot is brilliant when you want to capture a screenshot or video of your desktop and then annotate or mark it up. It’s really handy for when you’re collaborating on a design, and it’s easy to share your captured screenshots via a number of collaboration tools.
Kerry, Designer: Sketch
There’s a well-known adage that says, ‘you often find love once you stop looking.’ My past relationship with Illustrator was brief and frustrating and, in the end, it turned out that we were both happier apart. I moved on with the help of my old friend Photoshop.
Then one day, a different friend introduced me to a vector graphics editing application, named Sketch. My life hasn’t been the same since.
Sketch brilliantly combines the sleek mathematical shapes of Illustrator with the familiar usability of Photoshop. Its unfussy, minimal appearance allies with a user interface that makes a Tamagotchi look technical. Not only that, all its tools work exactly as you would hope and expect them to; I don’t really use anything else anymore.
So yeah, just when I thought I wasn’t searching, Sketch found me. I don’t look back anymore, only forward. I’m sure we will grow old and happy together.
Ollie, Group CEO: AI-generated photos, Keep & Miro.com
I’m really interested in what Artificial Intelligence can offer for the digital marketing strategies of the future, and I could immediately see the applications of this incredible tool: AI-generated photos!
At the time of writing, there are almost 2 million photos available, and I can see digital marketers using them for prototyping and concepts. They’re not all perfect (and there are one or two strange ones in there!), but this could be the beginning of something really interesting.
I've probably tried 100 productivity apps over the years. The one I use the most and works the best is Google Keep. It's so simple. But used well, it's immensely powerful. It allows me to make, manage and plan multiple projects in many places, with lots of people with ease. I love that it now integrates into Gmail too.
Miro.com is a really cool collaboration tool to generate ideas quickly with a number of templates and layouts to get you up and running, it takes mind mapping to the next level!
Liv, Senior Account Manager: Screencastify
Screencastify is a tool I use when a client is experiencing an issue with their site that might be down to user error. I will use Screencastify to replicate the journey they're attempting and then share the video with them — usually they see a step they were missing and voila, issue fixed. It's also useful for showing clients how a new piece of functionality works, and they then have the video shared and can keep it bookmarked for future reference or to share with their team.
I also love using 1Password. It saves a huge amount of time as we can store logins and passwords securely. It means I don't need to worry about remembering lots of the passwords and am safe in the knowledge that they are secure.
Clare, Account Manager: The kettle
An integral tool for all members of the web development and digital marketing teams, the kettle constantly delivers above and beyond for the office's hydration requirements. This necessary tool consistently showcases its agile approach to hot beverage production and can switch between coffee and tea development without affecting the office's thirst deadlines. The kettle's clients are always happy with its delivery time and the final product is always completed to a high standard.
These tools are all great for supporting and building your digital marketing strategy, and there are always new tools being built. If you’re using a tool that makes your life easier, we’d love to hear about it. Get in touch with one of our team and let us know: if we like it too, maybe we’ll feature you on our site!