5 Essential Social Media Tools to Boost Your Profile
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5 Essential Social Media Tools to Boost Your Profile


Expelliarmus! shouts Harry Potter and the dark wizard loses his wand. Heroes of the fantasy world are incomplete without their tools: Thor’s Hammer, Captain America’s Shield, Iron Man’s suit, and let’s not forget the most tool dependent superhero of them all, Batman.

You don’t need to save the world from the apocalyptic intentions of villains, but you do need tools to save yourself — from the avalanche of strict deadlines, and monotonous tasks. We aren’t talking about hammers, axes, or shovels, we’re talking about the modern war for attention that takes place on social media.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of social media tools that will help you survive. The criteria for the list? The tool has to be versatile enough to be used by both a freelancer just starting out in social, and also by an experienced digital media agency team. It also needs to be simple enough to use for a non-technical person. Finally there are brownie points for being fully functional on a smartphone.

 

1. Buffer Publish

TLDR: A social media publishing application with enough power to suit almost everyone’e needs. Comes with a free plan.

The Achilles heel for modern social media platforms remains their media guidelines. Instagram leans towards square dimensions for photos, while Facebook uses the cover layout for photos, and Twitter…well, that’s another story.

The predicament continues with posting times. While you may want your post to stay relevant throughout the day, in reality, it will be lost in the sea of opinions in just a few moments. Your Instagram posts may stay pertinent for longer, but you won’t be able to hang on to that for long either. How does one battle through these intricacies and still come up on top? You add a social media management application to your arsenal.

The ability to tailor media and descriptions for the same post but for different platforms is awesome

We’ve tested several social media publishing apps, and while many have introduced some radical features, the nod still goes to a veteran application: Buffer Publish.

Buffer allows you to simultaneously post on up to five social media platforms, while also allowing you to schedule posts using a queue. The Unsplash tab on the media hub offers a plethora of royalty free images with just a few clicks. The ability to tailor media and descriptions for the same post but for different platforms is awesome. In addition to previewing your posts, it even warns you of the platform limitations, if you were about to cross any.

Perhaps the most important feature of Buffer isn’t often highlighted: it doesn’t make you use the web version, almost everything you need is right there on the mobile app (iOS and Android).

The free plan, which allows for one user to manage three social media accounts with up to ten scheduled posts is good enough to get started; however, for higher brand ambitions and integrity, you must go pro! Paid plans start as low as $12/month for individuals and $99/month for businesses. All paid plans come with trial periods.

Buffer does have its setbacks, if you are a small digital marketing team that heavily relies on team communication then paying a hefty sum of $99/month isn’t ideal, in that case, you might try SproutSocial or Hootsuite, which are built for teams by default.

buffer_publish

 

2. Animoto

TLDR: A web video creation/editing application that won’t replace a serious video editor such as Premiere Pro, but will do enough that you question whether you need a serious tool in the first place.

Would you rather watch a video of Lebron James slam-dunking a basket or scroll through ten images of him in the process? Unless he’s the reason your team keeps losing — in which case you won’t watch anything at all — you would choose the former. That’s the thing about video, it’s just more engaging than other media.

So, if video is the undisputed king of all media types, why don’t we often see it posted on social media? Well, videos take a lot of work to create, edit, and publish; not to mention the tedious learning curve of video editing software.

Hold your horses though, Animoto is trying to lessen the blow here, by simplifying video creation, one tedious task at a time. It all starts with templates, choose a template that matches your requirements and you’ve already set the foundation for your video. All that then remains, are personalizations, you can customize text, color, border, shadows, animations, transitions and much more, there is hardly an attribute that you can’t change.

Need more flavor? Choose from a myriad of royalty free music tracks tailored for tutorials, demos, slideshows, teasers and everything else you might need.

While pitch perfect video creation, or editing on a smartphone app is miles away from ideal, the Animoto app, available on Android and iOS tries its best, so much so, that you rarely feel the need to use the web version.

Having said all of this, comparing the precision on Animoto to an application such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro is like comparing apples with oranges.

Animoto doesn’t offer any free plans, you will have to shell out at least $9/month for the basic plan, which includes everything that an individual may need. If you need more, you can go for the professional plan which will set you back by $64/month and they’ve also provided a business plan, which will cost you $94/month. If you don’t want to spend much but still want something more premium (and if you don’t mind a learning curve) Adobe offers the Premiere Pro for $33.99/month.

Animoto is a tool for everyone looking to bypass video editing software, with enough ability to yield good quality videos that’ll make you stand out from the crowd.

animoto

 

3. Canva

TLDR: An ‘all-in-one’ photo creation/editing application that will have an impact on your current social media reception.

If video is the undisputed king of media types, then image is the crown prince!

However, the prince of media types suffers the same fate as the king, images are harder to create than text and the editing part is better left of to a professional, not to mention the cost of expensive photo editing software.

Canva is trying to provide high-quality customized images to people who would prefer to avoid the learning curve and hefty license fees. Canva offers you templates that cater to Display pictures, cover photos, brochures and even book covers.

We are talking social media here, so lets stick to it, whether it be designing a cover photo for your Facebook/Twitter page or be it a fancy Instagram post, you can do it all with Canva. Selecting a template sets the foundation for the image, then you can design however you wish and your designs will come out very professional.

I found that when the servers are undergoing maintenance I can’t work at all

Even when I do know how to work my way around a photo editing app, sometimes using an app like Canva is just easier, when I am not worried about contrast, photo filters, and all that jazz, it’s just much quicker to use a template from Canva.

Canva does offer a basic free plan, which is good enough for a newbie but if you want to unlock the real potential of this app, then you must go pro. The paid plans offer better typefaces, stock images, larger cloud storage and much more. The paid plans start from $12.95/month, which you can try for free on a 30-day basis.

While Canva is great most of the time, it is an online app. I found that when the servers are undergoing maintenance I can’t work at all, literally! The application tells you to come back later, which can be frustrating when you want things done quickly.

Canva is a blessing of an application for all sorts of people who don’t want mega accuracy with their edits and who don’t want to bother themselves with overlay definitions and Photoshop’s learning curve. If you can live with the glitches of a web application, then for sure, you must try out Canva.

canva

 

4. BuzzSumo

TLDR: A tool that unfolds enough clues to solve the content puzzle without ruining it for all creative purposes.

It doesn’t matter if you have a social media manager app like Buffer publish, custom art from Canva, the most eye-catching videos made with Animoto, in the end knowing the content that interests your audience is the key differentiator for your social media success. It’s like being a baker and knowing exactly what kind of muffin the neighbourhood likes.

It’s like being a baker and knowing exactly what kind of muffin the neighbourhood likes

BuzzSumo is one such app which lets you know exactly what kind of content is trending around the world. While we do have free apps such as Google Trends, BuzzSumo takes it to another level. While many of us make the same mistake of labelling apps such as BuzzSumo as a mere ‘Keyword Search’ tool, there’s so much more to it than we may think.

You can filter trending topics based on date, location, trends, effectiveness and much more. Having problems coming up with topics? BuzzSumo suggests/recommends content topics for you, all done with a sophisticated tab. BuzzSumo even lets you keep a tab on content posted on pre-defined tags/topics, so you always know what your competition is up to.

BuzzSumo isn’t cheap though, plans start at $99/month and can go up to $499/month. A newbie social media content creator can benefit from knowing what is trending, however, paying $99/month is a bit too steep, especially when you have a free tool such as Google Trends available. BuzzSumo is for the level two tier for content creators who want that edge over their competition, and if you fall in this category, it is well worth the price tag.

buzzsumo

 

5. Buffer Reply

TLDR: A tool that will streamline all your audience has to say, so that you can connect more with less.

While your content quality may invite audiences, there are other factors that keep them there. One of them is how your audience connects with you, and this connection is what builds a loyal fan base. While you may automate analytics and uploads, the communication part is done by hand and that is where the problem lies.

From the team that brought us Buffer Publish comes Buffer Reply, the younger sibling that does enough to make a name for itself.

Buffer Reply collects the comments/replies/mentions on all of your social media accounts and presents them in an ‘all in one’ inbox. It also features an auto responder which can add a professional touch to a business account/profile.

All this comes at a price though — there are no free plans — the paid plans start at $50/month. The subscription fees are worthwhile for those who have a considerable following on most of the social media platforms, for individuals who are just started, it may not be worth investing that much money.

buffer_reply

 

Featured image via Unsplash.



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Four essential ecommerce site optimizations that drive sales Search Engine Watch
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Four essential ecommerce site optimizations that drive sales Search Engine Watch


Four essential ecommerce site optimizations that drive sales

The whole point of marketing is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. But what about conversion optimization? How do you know which tool to use in which area of your ecommerce site that’s key to the customer journey? What’s better for a particular campaign?

In this article, we cover a list of ecommerce site optimization suggestions and tactics that can boost your sales.

1. Design and UX

A. Optimize your home page

So, there’s the home page of your ecommerce site. The first thing your target visitor expects to see on it is the product/service you’re selling.

Since a person’s eye first falls on the center of the page, it is better to attract his attention with a bright thematic image of the main product.

Suppose the image has worked and the user has decided to stay. Now he would like to know what shop he got into, whether it’s worth buying here. The vision moves to the bar in the top of the site, where it’s necessary to place:

  • Company logo – always in the upper left corner
  • The search bar
  • Contact details (obligatory – phones, in addition – addresses and hours and other means of communication, button to order a call). According to the survey results, 90% of respondents confirmed that they once became the victim of fraudsters when making online purchases. This means that the trust of customers must be earned, and detailed information about the store – one of the effective ways.
  • Shopping cart (always on the right)

Here you can also find a horizontal menu with product categories or information pages (delivery and payment, reviews, FAQs).

Becoming acquainted with your shop, the visitor will surely want to explore a variety of products. As usual, on the left side of the screen, they will look through the category menu. A left sidebar is an appropriate place not only product categories, but also news, promotional, and top products, if necessary – the benefits of buying.

B. Simplify your product categories

The visitor gets to the category page in one of three ways – goes from the main page, goes from the search, goes from advertising. In each case, they want to see exactly the products they’re looking for.

On this page, everything should be extremely simple, clear, and convenient – especially the images of goods to make sure that the person got to the address.

The left-side docket provides the advantage of sorting products in customized searches and detailed views.

Important: If the product is out of stock, it’s better to gently notify the client – to offer to buy under the order or notify about the receipt of goods.

If the visitor opened the product card, the main thing they want to see here is a good photo, price, a button to buy. These are the elements that need to be highlighted and worked through.

Therefore, only high-quality professional photos may convince the customer to make a purchase, with the possibility of magnification, taken from different angles. Place a photo in the left upper part of the card. Being acquainted with appearance, the client for certain will be interested in the description of the goods.

The card should be compact but filled with the basic characteristics, feedback and evaluation of the product by customers (psychological trigger of social evidence). This will increase confidence in the store.

The order of placement of all elements in the product card should follow the logic of the client: What is the product/service? How much does it cost? How to buy and get?

This information is offered to the person consistently, which corresponds to the AIDA marketing model:

Attention → Interest → Demand → Action

2. Understand and fix server site errors

Much has been written about the usability of the site. Today, anyone who has their own ecommerce site understands what is needed at the start. But, even working with large sites, you can notice a certain tendency of repetition in usability shortcomings. One of them is related to displaying server errors.

A. Error 404 is helpful

The 404 error page is one of the most common and yet undeservedly forgotten errors. Keep in mind that our main task is to ensure the longest interaction between a user and the site. That’s why even the 404 page should not lose a user at least but redirect them to another useful section of the site.

Act as a guide and prompt your site visitor the following steps: “Return to Home”, “Order a call”, “Pick up similar ones?”

Again, act creatively – it’s a whole free page on your resource. Ask yourself, “what can be placed there?” Once again remind your target audience about the company with the logo, give a coupon/discount to the “Top Sales”, make an announcement of upcoming promotions, lotteries or the opening of new sites.

Do not forget about the correct title for pages 404 error. For example, “404 Not Found”. In a series of open tabs in the browser is much more convenient to see immediately “broken” URLs.

And, of course, check that all links on your 404 page are working.  If you redirect the user to the main page or directory, the links must be correct and working. Finally, owners of ecommerce sites, in particular, should know basic information about HTTP code errors and how to fix them.

3. Improve the shopping experience

A. Setup structure so visitors can easily find products

If you have a good understanding of your business, it will be easy to identify the main product categories and divide them by their key attributes.

But if you are just starting your online business, you may have problems forming the structure of the catalog. In this case, you need to arm yourself with your own buying experience and proven recommendations for building a directory structure, analysis of competitors and their comparison with popular search engine queries.

Try to form a directory tree by keeping a balance between sections. There are some rules to follow when creating a directory structure:

According to the psychology of perception of information, 7 is the optimal number of sections of the highest level in the directory, in which the user can simultaneously capture the view.

In each subsection, there should be no more than 100 items. If any category has hundreds of items, and there are only 10-20 product cards in the neighbouring categories, it means that you should divide a large section into subdivisions or create a handy filter for key features.

The maximum level of nesting sections – no more than three: The buyer should go from the catalog to the product card in three clicks:

Section – First click > Subsection – Second click > Product – Thirsd click

The catalogue should be balanced: in each section, there should be an approximately equal number of subsections, and in each subsection – an approximately equal number of goods.

4. Tweak and test your ecommerce checkout process

A. Offer a variety of ways to buy wisely

Let’s start with the fact that there is no and can’t be a single ideal list of payment instruments for all sites. The list of payment methods is formed depending on several key factors:

  • The size of the average check
  • The geography of business
  • Goods or services
  • Habits of clients (buyers)

Next, we will give you some tips that will make the page of choice of payment methods as effective as possible.

B. Do not follow the logic of “the more, the better”

In most cases, only a couple of payment instruments are really in demand. The largest selection of payment methods provides its customers with coupon services, online software stores, ticket offices, and other services. In the vast majority of cases, 99% of online payments will fall on two-to-three payment instruments. Do not forget that most customers prefer to pay for large physical goods on delivery and check the quality of goods before buying.

C. Structure your payment methods

If you provide your clients with a wide range of payment instruments, create a separate section for bank cards, a separate section for electronic money, and a separate section for payments via mobile operators. Visualize payment methods with icons and logos. In large amounts of text, attention dissipates, sometimes it is difficult to understand how they differ. All discounts and commissions should be immediately converted into the final amount of the order.

D. Don’t scare the client with terminology

Your buyer does not have to know the terminology common among Internet entrepreneurs. Separately, it should be noted that even payment service providers, not to mention stores, often use completely different terms to denote certain phenomena of “payment reality”. Talk to customers in their language, and get rid of rejections at the stage of choosing a payment method and at the stage of payment, the additional burden on the call center and other consequences of misunderstanding.

E. Do not pass on your work to the customer

Often ecommerce businesses that accept payments through several payment services (aggregators, payment service providers, bank-acquirers) offer their customers to choose, but most likely, they hear about any for the first time.

F. Do not overload the payment page with unnecessary links

The buyer should not be distracted by unnecessary information and leave the payment instrument selection page. This breaks the conversion chain and negatively affects the proportion of successfully paid orders.

G. Let customers checkout as guests

Do you need to force a user to remember another login and password? I don’t think so. You should not create another obstacle to the client’s way of payment. Forcing users to register an account on your site is too obsessive, especially for first-time buyers. Mandatory registration is another winner of the “killer conversion” rating.

Usability research conducted by Smashing Magazine has shown that the main reason why users dislike registering accounts is waiting for unwanted spam. The study also noted that many customers do not understand why they need to register at an online store to buy something, while in offline stores they do not require registration when buying. Another disadvantage of registration is that it adds a few additional fields to fill, which delays the process of ordering and negatively affects the conversion. To make life easier for customers and increase the chances of a favorable outcome, it is necessary to minimize the customer’s time for ordering and request only the necessary minimum information from them.

In conclusion

The answer to increasing online sales is simple, use the tools listed above. All of the tips on internal and external factors we’ve covered in this article are based on a long experience with customers and the term of world-renowned online stores.

Feel free to share your thoughts and queries in the comments section.

Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an Entrepreneur, internet marketer, and Co-founder of Lbswebsoft. He can be found on Twitter .

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3 Essential Design Trends, March 2020
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3 Essential Design Trends, March 2020


Color, heroes, and a new way to create design depth are what we are looking at this month.

Two of these three trends comes with some usability concerns but are a lot of fun to look at and play with. Would you take the risk of trying one of these design techniques? The third trend (up first in this list) is a new take on bold color palettes that shifts from some of the colors that have been overwhelmingly popular for a while.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

 

Warm Colors, Especially Reds

Warm colors – especially red tones – are back in!

As a point of reference, warm colors are vivid and bold and can sometimes be overwhelming because they can occupy and fill space will a feeling of fullness. Warm colors include reds, oranges, and yellows. They are all on the same part of the color wheel, which can be divided into warm and cool colors (blues, greens, and purples).

The nice thing about these warm colors is that they are bold without the same levels of brightness that have been popular for a while. They aren’t as overpowering as brights on smaller and darker screens and really set a different tone for the design that’s a little more serious.

Each of the examples below uses a warm (red) color palette in a different way.

Skull & Roses uses a red and purple (warm and cool) palette to create contrast and fun gradients and color.

Amanda Braga uses a full red monotone color palette for the about page of her portfolio site. It’s bold, in-your-face, and demanding of attention. Even the photo has a red color cast on it.

Catalyst uses pops of red with gradients to draw you into the 3D geo shape in the hero image. It creates a sense of motion and excitement for the event.

 

Full-Screen Heroes

An oversized hero image is nothing new. But hero headers that occupy the entire home screen are.

The trend also seems to come with another new element — no obvious navigation or need to scroll (although it’s often there). The result is a trend with super clean designs, with the possibility for design or usability challenges.

This trend works for one reason: Thanks to mobile usage, people are getting more accustomed to (or trained) to scroll. Small screens make it a way of life and this trend is relying on that to work.

But, will users know what to do and get past the homepage?

Can you find the visual cues in these examples?

The Island has a fun full-screen video loop and has a right-hand scroll bar as a visual cue and a tucked in scroll icon on some screen sizes. A hamburger navigation menu can also help you find what you are looking for in this clean design.

Wayout looks cool, but doesn’t have a scroll feature on screen. The phrase “And there’s more” is all you get to encourage looking further into the design. (There’s no navigation menu either.)

Ubisoft uses a full screen video that you get a glimpse of within text elements. There are no obvious scroll cues (and there is a scroll), but the hamburger icon is a visual cue that there’s more to the site than just a homepage.

 

Neumorphism

This trend is one that is a mash up of popular web and app design techniques that’s starting to show up most commonly in app concepts.

Neumorphism (or new skeuomorphism) can be traced to an analysis by Michal Malewicz of Hype4 who did a nice deep dive into what this trend is (and isn’t) and how it works for designers. Neumorphism seems to be most popular when designing card-style interfaces.

The style can be identified by use of inner- and outer shadows to create an illusion of softer shapes that seem to lift off the background canvas.

Here’s how Malewicz describes it:

A Modern / Material (upgraded) card usually is a surface floating on top of our perceived background and casting a shadow onto it. The shadow both gives it depth and also in many cases defines the shape itself — as it’s quite often borderless.

While this trend has a cool, fresh look, it does come with some challenges. Primarily those issues deal with accessibility and contrast.

Either way, it’s a fun take on moving away from completely flat concepts to something with more depth, particularly for app-based interfaces. Time will tell if this trend really lifts off or not, since it is still in its infancy.

Want to play with neimorphism on your own? You can try this fun little CSS generator.

 

Conclusion

Of this month’s trends, the return of warm colors is especially nice. Red tones are inviting and interesting and a good shift from the super brights that have been so popular.

The other trends each present their own usability challenges, but have high visual interest. Could you see yourself using them in projects? (A portfolio, maybe?)

What trends are you loving (or hating) right now? I’d love to see some of the websites that you are fascinated with.





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The 5 Essential Digital Marketing Skills You Need (& How to Get Them!)
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The 5 Essential Digital Marketing Skills You Need (& How to Get Them!)


Marketing is not about pitching to customers; it’s about communicating with individuals. It’s understanding what resonates best with them and why, and delivering value on those terms. It’s not asking them to buy, it’s building trust so that when the time comes for them to make a decision, they willingly choose you.  

Digital marketing is no different; it’s just that the dialogue occurs over electronic platforms. While the soft skills required for marketing have not changed—communication, curiosity, empathy, for example—the hard skills for digital marketing are slightly different.

In this post, we’re going to cover five digital marketing skills that are crucial for success in today’s landscape—whether you’re looking to grow your career or business or both. Plus, we’ll provide a free tool so you can assess, improve, or practice that skill, as well as a free course to help you ensure you’re building these skills on a solid foundation.

1. Copywriting

Copy is written material aimed at promoting and prompting action. Given the number of online channels that exist today, copywriting is a must-have digital marketing skill. Emails, landing pages, event invitations, paid ads, social media posts, chat bots, product descriptions—these all require copy.

Copywriting is a different skill from other writing (blog writing or technical writing, for example) because you need to be able to capture attention, communicate value, and inspire action with a limited number of words and space. You also need to be able to shift gears easily, as the expectations and mindset of an audience varies depending on platform.

digital marketing skills copywriting hellofresh

Copywriting communicates value, resonates with the reader, and prompts action.

Free copywriting tool

Good copywriting doesn’t convince or impress; it is easy, pleasant, and interesting to take in. That’s why we recommend the Hemingway App as your free copywriting tool. Paste in your copy, and it will point out sentences or sections that are complex, lengthy, or choppy. It will also measure reading time and grade level (did you know you should be writing at 8th grade level?!).

With these features, you can ensure your copywriting is as smooth and clear as can be.

digital marketing skills hemingway app

Free copywriting course

If you’re looking for a free online course to help you develop this digital marketing skill, try out Copyhackers’ Conversion Copywriting 101. This course will teach you how to keep purpose and conversion at the forefront of your writing for various forms of web content: landing pages, home pages, headlines, testimonials, ads, emails, and more.

digital marketing skills conversion copywriting 101

2. SEO

Search engines, as you know, are a regular part of the customer journey for just about any business. Whether they’re seeking the closest hair salon, looking at catering options for an upcoming event, or comparing features for a car, consumers look to search engines to help them make confident purchasing decisions.

As such, knowing how to get a business to appear for relevant searches is a crucial digital marketing skill. SEO is a complex subject with both technical and creative aspects, so it encompasses a wide range of sub-skills. You need to know how to produce and promote useful content, how to build effective directory listings, as well as how to structure and secure your website.

SEO is an ongoing investment, but the ongoing benefits of showing up on the first page of Google are hard to beat, so whether you’re brushing up on your skills or just getting started, it’s worth your time.

Free SEO tool

Woorank’s free website review tool provides a free assessment of your website’s SEO. It reports on what keywords your site appears to be focused around and lets you know if anything is missing in the way of title tags, meta descriptions, headings, alt tags, and internal links. It also checks for performance optimizations, such as security, mobile usability, sitemap validity, and file compression. Woorank covers both your on-page and off-page SEO, and it compiles everything into an easy-to-read report with a prioritized task list. It’s a must-have free tool to help you hone your SEO skills and improve your website’s rank!

digital marketing skills woorank

Free SEO course

This free SEO Training course on Udemy covers SEO from basic fundamentals to more advanced strategies. You’ll learn the vocabulary, best practices, and most effective strategies, and get familiar with on-page, off-page, mobile, and local SEO.

digital marketing skills udemy seo course

3. PPC

While showing up first in organic search results brings benefits that compound over time,  it can take a while to establish this presence. An option for gaining relevant visibility more immediately is through pay-per-click advertising. With PPC, your business is guaranteed to show in top spots, but you pay for each click your ad gets. But it’s not always that simple—paying more doesn’t always mean showing up more, because ad relevance and quality are factored in.

This relevance and quality aspect is what makes PPC a skill. You don’t just need to know how to balance or allocate your budget; you need to know which keywords to target, the best channel and ad format(s) to use, as well as how to create a cohesive experience for your audience. The better your ads are, the lower your cost per click and the higher your profits.

And PPC advertising isn’t just on search engines, either. It’s on social media, websites, apps, directories, and more, making this digital marketing skill an absolute must-have.

digital marketing skills PPC rover

Rover has PPC ads on social media and search engines 

Free PPC tool

WordStream’s free Google Ads Performance Grader is a free tool that is sure to keep your PPC skills in top shape. Sign in with your Google account, and in less than a minute, find out where you may be wasting spend and how you can improve performance metrics such as click-through rate, Quality Score, impression shares, and more. The report also includes insights on best practices, keywords, text ads, and mobile advertising. It serves to both improve your online ad performance and help you keep up with your PPC skills.

digital marketing skills wordstream google ads grader

Free PPC course

WordStream’s Growth Academy is a free and interactive learning platform with the courses you need to get up to speed on PPC basics such as account structure, keywords, conversion rate tracking and optimization, bidding strategies, and metrics. It also covers the inner workings and best practices for Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Display Ads, YouTube Ads, and Google Shopping. With Growth Academy, you can obtain or improve the digital marketing skills required to meet your goals, whether they are to generate more leads, sell more products online, or expand into ecommerce or agency account management.

4. Email

Email has been around for ages, and yet it still prevails as one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $42. Rock on, email.

Email marketing is a popular digital marketing skill because it is so versatile. It can be used to convert leads, engage dormant customers, build loyalty, and more. You can send useful content, important updates, exclusive deals, event invites—the list goes on.

With finely-tuned email marketing skills, you can build out your lists and perform experiments, gaining valuable insights about your audience to help drive your goals.

Free email marketing tool

Really Good Emails enables you to learn best practices and gain inspiration from those who have mastered this digital marketing skill. Like Pinterest for emails, you can browse categories, search brands or keywords, and even save your favorites.

What’s great about this tool is that you aren’t just looking at templates with placeholder text. These are actual emails, so you can get inspiration for design as well as copy. Because sometimes, you need more than lorem ipsum.

digital marketing skills really good emails

Free email marketing course

Wishpond’s free Email Marketing Masterclass for Beginners will help you form an email marketing strategy that aligns with your business and career goals. In the 1-hour course, you’ll learn about email campaign types, email marketing funnels and goals, growing your list, A/B testing, and more. Whether you’re new to email marketing or looking to get your skills up to par, this course will set a solid foundation for you.

digital marketing skills wishpond email marketing class

5. Conversion rate optimization

So you’ve got your copywriting, SEO, PPC, and email marketing skills all in order, and you’re using them to generate lots of traffic to your website. Good work! But you’re not a digital marketing master yet. What good does it do anyone if none of these visitors takes action on your site? This is where the skill of conversion rate optimization, or CRO, comes in to complete the picture.

A conversion refers to the specific action you want a visitor to take on any given page of your website—request a quote, download a free guide, sign up for your mailing list. There are a number of factors that influence whether visitors perform these desired actions, and CRO seeks to identify the conditions that drive the most engagement. Your CRO skills involve A/B testing, conversion funnels, and engagement metrics like bounce rate. You also need to be familiar with page elements that influence conversion: copy, layout, button colors, speed, and even site structure and navigation.

Free CRO tool

A/B testing is a core feature of conversion rate optimization. However, sometimes the data can be deceiving. Kissmetrics’ Free A/B Significance Test Calculator allows you to make sure you are correctly interpreting your CRO data. Just plug in the results and it will calculate how confident you can be that the winning condition from the test will increase conversions when applied on a larger scale.

digital marketing skills AB significance testing

Free CRO course

Unbounce’s free Landing Page Course gets you squared away with landing page fundamentals, including page elements and architecture, call to action design, lead capture forms, and copywriting. There are also two video series: The Landing Page Sessions examines real campaigns, while the Landing Page Design series shows you how to apply design principles for conversion.

digital marketing skills unbounce landing page course

Prioritize these digital marketing skills this year

Digital marketing allows business to save money, expand their reach, personalize their content, and measure results. Whether you’re working in marketing or growing your own business, you need to keep up with the appropriate skills so you can ensure you’re getting the most out of the many tools and channels available today. These include:

  1. Copywriting
  2. SEO
  3. PPC
  4. Email
  5. Conversion rate optimization

The channels may may not be new, but the skills required to reap the most benefit from them are constantly evolving. Use the tools and free courses in this post to keep your digital marketing skills in top shape!



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17 Digital Marketing Tools Essential for 2020
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17 Digital Marketing Tools Essential for 2020



Rich sits down with Aaron (content writer) to discuss which digital marketing tools he uses in his career as a full stack digital marketer.

Read the article that came out of this interview and all the links to the tools – https://richandniche.com/17-digital-marketing-tools-that-are-essential-in-2020/

*FREE DIGITAL MARKETING CONSULTANT’S BLUEPRINT MINI-COURSE*
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