By Mike Herrington
There are a lot of great technology tools on the market to help improve your productivity and efficiency. Here are a handful that I’d recommend you check out and see if they could benefit your business:
Skype. Not everybody knows it, but Microsoft bought Skype a little while ago and has included it in many Office 365 packages. Skype is a great tool for interoffice communication and lets you send quick chats to your team. In addition, it works well for teams that are at different geographic locations. You can easily video chat, hold meetings and even share screens. Skype is a great tool for teams that are looking to collaborate.
IContact. This is a great tool for marketers looking to add some efficiency to their campaigns. The main functionality of IContact is to offer easy, centrally managed email campaigns. They have TONS of templates to make professional-looking business email marketing campaigns and best of all, you don’t have to know HTML to use them. Everything is delivered in a point- and-click fashion. If you can make a Word document, you can put together a business email campaign.
In addition, you can create an entire campaign at once and schedule when the emails are sent out. You can easily manage groups and target them with specific content, and you can track the results and success of each campaign with easy-to-understand metrics. There is also social media integration so that you can easily get your campaigns out across all media.
Hootsuite. This is maybe the best tool out there for social media management. Busy business marketers can sometimes struggle to keep social media up-to-date and relevant across all platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and more. It’s a lot to manage. Especially since each unique social media has its own flavor and cadence. Hootsuite is here to help.
Hootsuite allows you to easily manage all your social media platforms from one central dashboard. You can easily syndicate content across different social media and best of all, schedule it ahead of time. It’s an amazing tool for social media, and a HUGE time-saver for marketers. You can even check it out free.
Moz. If you want to succeed with online marketing, take some time to check out what this tool can do for you. Moz allows you to track all desired keywords with Google to see where you’re ranking. It makes suggestions on how you can optimize page content on your website to improve those rankings. It allows you to easily track your progress over time, and to track your competitors to see how you stack up.
Moz delivers an easy-to-read dashboard with key metrics, so you can see at a glance where you’re at. It also allows you to do a site crawl on your website to ensure there aren’t any critical errors that would hurt your rankings with Google. It allows you to track your domain authority and how many links you currently have. It also gives you suggestions on how to improve all the metrics it reports on and allows you to check back when you’ve made changes to see new stats. This is a must-have for Internet marketers.
LeadCrunch. Coming up with quality business-to-business leads can be a tedious, difficult task. That’s the exact process LeadCrunch is trying to eliminate. By using artificial intelligence, it’s able to compile lists of quality leads that accurately predict whom you would be most successful at doing business with. Not only is this a huge time-saver, but it’s going to completely change the way we think about sales. If you don’t have an extensive sales team or need help getting started, LeadCrunch will even call them for you and set appointments to start the engagement.
Doodle. This is a cool little app that makes scheduling appointments easier for everybody. It can be difficult to coordinate the schedules of multiple parties. Doodle helps to simplify all of that. The product is simple. Just plug in the times you’re available and when someone books an appointment it puts it directly on your calendar and sends you a notification. Doodle can also send automatic reminders and even be branded with your logo, if desired.
Technology is always evolving and there are new tools that we can use to make our jobs easier every day. These are just a few that I’ve found useful and would recommend.
Mike Herrington is the manager of business development at i.t.NOW.