Hi there fellow marketers, and greetings from ISJ Media!
This industry is changing and evolving every day, so much so that it is difficult for even the most advance digital marketers to stay on top of the game. There are countless online courses and digital marketing companies that offer advice, resources and management — for a price. But if you're a small business owner your budget is tight. Like, submarine tight.
Luckily for us there are TONS of free digital marketing resources out there, as well as TONS of free downloads to help us get educated and organized.
Here are just a few:
• Social media templates from Hootsuite
. Hootsuite allows you to manage several social media accounts in one place. You can create and schedule posts, as well as view your social media feeds. You can have a certain number of streams for free, I believe the limit is 3 (I use it for Twitter and Facebook), and you can add more if you opt for a paid membership.
Some of the most common marketing questions are in regards to social media. When is the best date and time to post? What wording should I use to get maximum likes, shares, retweets, etc. What a person should focus on first is setting social media goals for their business. What do you hope to gain from your posts? Sales leads? Brand awareness? Download the social media strategy worksheet to start developing a strategy. Other free downloads at this like a social media audit template (This is very helpful if you are managing several social media accounts for your company), an editorial content calendar and a social media content calendar. These calendars can help you to make sure your not missing important event posts and also to make sure your posts are not too close together. Remember to check back on your posts to see which did well! Pay attention to the wording you used and time on popular posts, this will help you to know what your audience is looking for.
• Digital Marketing Toolkits from smartinsights.com
. Scroll down just a bit on this homepage and you'll see a box where you can type in your email to register for a free account. I only discovered this website today but I already love it. Sign up for a free account to get access to a basic membership and free, downloadable tool kits including Benchmarking templates for improving your digital marketing, a content marketing checklist, social media account management checklist, an essential digital marketing tools guide that includes chapters on page engagement tools, blogging tools, a digital marketing plan template, social media management tools and more.
In addition to the free downloads there is a digital library with more resources: http://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-advice/
Some of the downloads and tutorials here are for those with an "expert" level membership, which requires a payment to access.
• Google AdWords Keyword Planning Tool.
You must have a Google AdWords account to use the keyword tool, but the account is free. And you don't have to create and buy a Google ad to use the tool, though it really makes it seem like you do at first. After you log in to your account, click this link to be take directly to the keyword planner: https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner
Then click "search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category."
Then fill in the search criteria fields, your business type, link to web site and area where your business is located. The keyword tool will bring up a list of search keywords that apply to your business and will report how many times that word was searched for on both desktop and mobile. It will also rank the competition of the keyword from low to high. The competition of the keyword is determined by calculating the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword across Google. The higher the competition is for a keyword, the more you are going to pay per click to have your ads show up online.* The keyword planner will also then give you a suggested bid amount per each keyword.
* Side note: There are thousands of advertisers competing for ad space online. When a user loads a webpage, ads that fit the criteria for that user, including demographic, lifestyle, purchasing history, etc. send a "bid" for the ad space on that website. Whichever ad places the highest bid gets the space, and that is the ad that will load on the page. That's how pay-per-click ad campaigns work. You only pay for each click you receive, but the bigger your budget the bigger your bids for ad space will be.
Google is great for providing tools and training on all of their services. Go to https://support.google.com/adwords/
for infomration on how to use the keyword planner.
Try them out and let me know what you think. And if you know of any great online marketing resources please pass them along!