In the modern world of smartphones and inventive entrepreneurs, it’s common knowledge that if you can solve a problem or fulfill a need with an app, there’s an app for that. You can pay for your Starbucks drink, update your 300 followers about your day, and even track your steps all with your phone or tablet. But while you may be playing Candy Crush Level 300 on your iPhone 5S, the Marketing Master is using her phone to launch a new business or market a new product.
The following apps are indispensable to any marketing professional, and can help you control the amount of time you spend working (which can lead to more time for games and Starbucks trips).
Social Media Management – Hootsuite
There are many social media management sites and apps out there, including ones made by Twitter and Facebook, but Hootsuite is by far the best bet for the Marketing Master. The website and app both allow the user to post to Twitter, Facebook and Google+, either simultaneously or individually. Hootsuite also provides access to the Analytics of various social media platforms.
Posts can also be scheduled several weeks ahead time, which eliminates the need to check into your business’ Twitter account every day to make sure you’re represented on your followers’ feeds. If you have a great marketing idea, but need to wait and post it in a few weeks, never fear, you can schedule it on Hootsuite.
Analyzing Web Traffic – Google Analytics
Google Analytics is not for the faint of heart. The installation process for inserting the tracking code into your website is something that requires either your web developer or a good understanding of HTML. However, the information gained from using Analytics is always beneficial to understanding how your audience gets to your website, and where they go from there.
The Dashboard contains easy-to-read pie charts and graphs for understanding the traffic on your site, and even allows for custom reporting based on specific keywords or how the browser entered your website. Analytics allows you to concentrate on exactly who visits the website and how they find it, better allowing Marketing Masters to develop the best website possible for their target audience.
Tracking Social Media Mentions – Mention
Using a similar concept to that of Google Alerts, Mention gives marketers the power to know what people are saying about their business on almost every web-based platform. The app provides marketers the option to create specific tracking based on key expressions and phrases. While Google Alert often only pulls up the top searches for your business, Mention tracks everything from Twitter to online articles and deciphers which are most important based on your past usage of the app.
The only con of this app is the price. While a free plan does exist, it does not offer nearly as many capabilities as the Pro Plan, which costs roughly $20 per month. However, you would get your money’s worth, as the app is much more effective at tracking mentions than Google Alert.
Shareable Task Management – Trello
Trello is one of the best apps for keeping every member of your team on task in a project. Whether you are launching a new product or rebranding your organization, Trello offers team members the ability to check-in on their own progress and the progress of others. The app is also a website, so one can easily switch from laptop to phone or tablet.
The app offers teams the ability to customize the way that their checklist is organized, which allows lists to be tailored to fit the team’s personality and work style. For example, if you have a specific deadline that you’re worried about reaching, you can label each section within the app by how many weeks till the assignment needs to be completed, then have team members assigned to individual duties every week. There is no wrong way to utilize Trello!
On the Go Sketchpad – Inkflow
Inkflow is the sketchpad you reach for when inspiration strikes and you’re out and about without a spare sheet of paper in sight. Whether you think up a great new floor plan idea, imagine a new logo concept, or start to rethink that brochure layout, Inkflow is there for you to jot down your ideas in a digital sketchpad available right at your fingertips.
You can also arrange and reorganize your sketches, add text or photos, and zoom in to full resolution to get as detailed of a sketch as you’d like. Inkflow works great for brainstorming, planning, sketching, and prototyping layouts. When you’re finished with the details, you can export your images to PDFs or high resolution JPEGs, and even share them through Twitter, Email, or other apps. Best of all, the Basic Edition of Inkflow is completely free!
Cross-Platform Writing – Evernote
Have you ever had that moment where you come up with the most riveting press release, but it is 2 AM, you’re in your bed, and your laptop is sitting on the kitchen counter (presumably dead)? With Evernote, you can just grab your phone off the nightstand, pull up the app, and type away. The app will save everything on its cloud-based system, and you will be able to pull it up on your computer the very next day.
The app also works great for taking in-meeting notes, and even allows you to snap photos of a presentation. Users can write to-do lists, save all their future marketing ideas in different folders based on content, and even save links and old email content to look back at later. That’s not all; you can also share your notes with others, instead of sending around a Word doc for everyone’s to download, copy paste, and edit. Imagine a world where instead of going through a paper and adding in everyone’s changes, they make the grammar corrections themselves. With Evernote, it’s easy.
Visual Conferencing Platform – Google Hangouts
We’ve all had to make the decision, either last-minute or due to travel constrictions, to video conference with a client or partner, rather than meet up in person. When video calls are a necessity, you want the most reliable, best option available, and when you’re a gmail user, that best option is Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts is especially appropriate on-the-go, where you can use your smart phone app to conference with a client, close to face-to-face, in any coffee shop or lounge. With partners or team members, it can be a fun tool as well as functional, allowing for play with Draw or Effects additions and providing a good setting for group conversations that need visual contact and auditory attention, but don’t necessarily require everyone to be in the same physical location.
E-Newsletter Creation/Management – MailChimp
Creating an e-newsletter and managing its contact list can be a daunting task for a simple email system. This comprehensive system allows the user to insert photos, videos and content with absolutely no need for HTML knowledge.
MailChimp’s app gives you the opportunity to check out the newsletter, make tweaks before sending it out, and even look at the analytics for your newsletters and marketing pieces while on the go. The best part? It is free for any company with less than 2,000 subscribers, meaning you can try it out without busting your budget.
File Sharing – Google Drive
Google has been mentioned a fair share of times during this post, and for good reason too. First off, Google Drive gives each user an incredible chunk of storage, 15GB to be exact. The app allows you to open any of your documents while on the go, and make quick edits before sending them out to your partner, teammates, or clients.
You can pull up PDFs, Word Documents, and even PowerPoint Presentations. With Google Drive, you can easily display a digital version of a new logo while out at lunch with a client, just using your phone or tablet.
Daily inspiration – TED
This last app for the Marketing Master is both for work and for play. Have you ever had a bad day at work, and left the office feeling uninspired and unimpressed with the world around you? This is where TED Talks comes into play. TED Talks offers hundreds of inspirational videos for the young entrepreneur to view. You can even save videos to watch later, rather than having to pick just one on your lunch break or commute. With this option, you never have to lose out on all the other interesting talks and topics.
Open this app and get prepared to be inspired to act, whether that inspiration serves to change the world or just finish that blog post you have been avoiding all week. The app even has a “Surprise Me” feature that chooses the video for you, based on what you need and how much time you have.
Which of these apps do you use the most, and which were you surprised to see on the list? Have any apps you use on a daily basis for marketing and more? Let us know in the comment section!