5 Free Tools to Make Your Marketing Work For You

Automating your marketing work used to require a minimal level of technical know how. For some complicated repetitive tasks, that fact still remains true, but it’s quickly changing with the tools you will discover in this post. You can now automate some of your tedious day-to-day tasks and free up your valuable time to get on with doing more important work. The task automation tools and services in this post will make you look like a marketing genius, and more importantly, they require very minimal effort.

ZAPIER

Software integrations have been around for a while now. But for the most part, the ability to link two products together was exclusive to those who had coding skiss; people who knew how to get under the hood and develop the code to make the internet work for them. Luckily for us technically challenge individuals, Zapier changed all of that.

Instead of making you set up individual tasks or write code to automate your flows, Zapier can now do a number of tasks one after another to save you time and finish everything on your behalf.

With Zapier you can create a ‘Zap’ or rule that triggers any time someone fills in a form, uses a hashtag, mentions your company name or countless other triggers you’re probably manually checking on a daily basis. A perfect example of Zapier at work is; I’ve set a rule that every time mentions the #FashTech and #FashionMarketing on Twitter, that tweet automatically gets copied into a Google Sheet so I can personally reach out to those individuals. In a sense, I’ve created a self-growing contact list.

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To set up your first integration on Zapier, you follow these steps:

  • Think of one of the most repetitive tasks you do on a daily basis, or a task that you feel might bring more value to your work.
  • Define a trigger: The first event that instigates another action. The trigger might be something like “A New Email in Gmail” or “A New Payment in PayPal.”
  • Define an action: An action is what happens after the trigger. It might be something like “Create a Contact in Highrise” or “Send an email to the accounting department.”
  • Check to make sure your Zap works and then you’re all set. Zapier will monitor for the trigger and complete the actions associated.
  • Repeat for more tasks! You can make up to 5 Zaps for free, and Zapier has paid plans that offer lots more functionality.

IFTTT

If This Then That (IFTTT) is another service that simplifies your life by automating digital tasks to take your productivity to the next level. After all, you’ve got better things to do than manually check social feeds and reports!  IFTTT is a meta-app that connects apps like Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and Google Calendar to automate your daily work tasks.

IFTTT has a lot of novel uses for the average user, but it can be a major marketing ally for small business owners. With the help of clever “recipes” (how IFTTT refers to each automation), you can spy on competitors, streamline your social media, and delight your followers – all without lifting a finger.

So, what can you do with IFTTT?

  • Keep Track of the Competition:
  • Easily Archive Your Competitors’ Emails
  • Track Mentions of Competitors’ Employees on News Sites
  • Track Your Competitors’ Website Changes
  • Monitor Your Competitors’ Blog Posts
  • Stalk Your Competitors’ Stocks
  • Monitor Your Competitors’ Executives
  • Watch Out for Competitors’ New YouTube Videos
  • Spy on Your Competitors’ Website Tools
  • Monitor Industry Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Find Out When a New Site Links to Your Competitor
  • Monitor Your Competitors’ Best Online Assets
  • Track Competitors’ New Project Launches
  • Track Competitors’ Sitemap Changes
  • Monitor Wikipedia
  • Proactive Social Prospecting
  • Keep Track of Google News Mentions
  • Monitor Competitors’ New Android Apps
  • Spy on Your Competitors’ Web Properties

VISIUAL PING

This one’s a little different than the two previous services mentioned above, but still incredibly useful none the less. VisualPing is a super useful service notifies you when a website changes. In other words, you can keep a close eye on your competitor’s website, without having to go back to it every few days.

VisualPing is easy to use and requires no registration. All you have to do is go to the site, type in the website you want to track and provide an email they can send notifications to. These notifications can be set to come in hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. There’s also a trigger option to get notifications for tiny, medium or major changes. Based on your settings, VisualPing will send you two images – a before and an after – to show how the site you are tracking has changed.

WARBLE

What’s the best service to send email alerts upon Twitter mentions? I asked myself that same question a little while ago. After some quick research, the best solution out there is definitely Warble Alerts. Warble Alert is a fairly new platform designed to automate Twitter Alerts and send them directly to your Email Address. Simply put, you subscribe to Warble Alerts, authorizing the app to access your Twitter Account and then create the alerts you want sent to your Email.

HUBSPOT BLOG TOPIC GENERATOR

Besides being completely full of useful marketing content, Hubspot also has a few hidden gems such as their Website Grader and the Hubspot Blog Topic Generator. Let’s face it, there will be days that you know you have to get content out there, but you might be lacking some creativity. Let Hubspot spark up some fresh ideas. They may not be exactly what you had in mind, but they’ll definitely help steer you in the right direction. Simply add a few nouns to their topic generator and let it work it’s magic…

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BACK OVER TO YOU

Are you already using a marketing automation solution? If so, share it with the readers in the comments below.

Oh, and remember… 

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