As digital marketers, we live for a good tool or tip that can make our lives easier.
Great tools are so valuable because when you find something that just works, it can have a serious impact on your workflow and productivity. In this roundup, we’ll go through a number of lesser known tools that have worked best for me and others to increase productivity.
Author note: I use these tools but am not affiliated with them. Post does not contain affiliate links.
If you’re in digital marketing, you likely have to manage or help with social media at some point in your work week, or at least help your social media team with scheduling and promotion. Here are some of my favorite “secret” social media marketing tools.
I came across this tool when it was an AppSumo deal, and it has been amazing for promoting my content. You enter RSS feeds of content you want to share (ostensibly, MissingLettr assumes you are sharing your own content, but it could be any content with an RSS feed).
When a new blog post is published, MissingLettr automatically creates a series of social media posts using images and sentence excerpts from the post and notifies you when they are read to approve. It automatically creates enough posts for you to share your content over the next year. The cadence of the posts are set by MissingLettr, but you can change them at any time.
As you review the posts, you can change the images or excerpts from the posts that it selected for you. It also lets you select a handful of hashtags that will appear for each post and tells you their popularity as you enter them in.
The first image from the screenshot is pulled directly from the blog post, and the 2nd was auto-generated by MissingLettr.
Since starting to use the tool for both my blogs, I’ve seen 20-30 percent monthly increases in traffic.
Rebrandly URL shortener is a marketing tool that can be used to shorten, brand, and track every link that you create and share online — turning any link into a promotion for your brand. This tool also provides a detailed analytics feature that enables you to track your links and see what kind of content your audience prefers on any channel.
This is another great social sharing tool; it helps you find external content based on keywords. It makes it really easy to scroll through content and automatically add it to your queue. DrumUp works like Buffer, where it has an automated queue of content for your social profiles that sends out posts at set times.
Another cool feature of DrumUp is that you can share posts multiple times. So if you wanted to share a reminder post about an event a few times, it lets you do that as well.
Admittedly, most marketers have heard of MeetEdgar, but many still don’t use it. It works like Buffer, but when your queue runs out, it auto-fills in posts from a content library you’ve set up. So you could load all your past evergreen blog posts into your content library to ensure that your social media feeds will never run dry. The platform allows for bulk uploads, so you could load a bunch of posts at once.
Unlike DrumUp and MissingLettr, there isn’t a free version of MeetEdgar, but pricing is just $49 per month at time of publication.
If you aren’t sure what hashtags to use on Instagram, or you want to save time by copying and pasting hashtags, the app Hashtagger is available on both Android and iOS for free. You enter in a top level keyword (so for my business Instagram account, I usually enter “marketing”), and then it suggests the top 30 most popular hashtags that are commonly used with #marketing. You can choose to copy them all or only select specific ones to copy and then paste into your Instagram post.
By showing the data of the most popular hashtag, it not only takes the guesswork out of choosing hashtags, but also gives you insight into what hashtags people are using for your industry. This can be helpful for deciding what kind of content to create and to find new users to follow and interact with.
MuckRack is another pretty well-known tool, but their WhoShared tool really is useful, especially for brands who get a lot of industry coverage. MuckRack shows you which journalists and online influencers have shared your content. You can search by root domain and also specific URL (such as a product page or blog post). This can help you evaluate press coverage, find influencers to reach out to and to demonstrate social influence for your published content.
SEO & Paid Search
AppSumo is basically a groupon for SaaS. It runs deals on all kinds of software and digital products that are only available for a limited time. It is my favorite place to find lifetime licenses to SaaS deals. Not only did I find MissingLettr there, but I also got lifetime usage deals for SEO suite SerpStat and online invoicing tool Billy.
I found out about this local keyword builder from a WooRank post, and I love how easy it is to build local PPC campaigns. You simply input a zip code and mile radius, as well as your keywords, and it builds a keyword list for you with cities in that mile radius:
While this isn’t perfect for every industry (it’s likely most of the users who are searching for content marketing would likely just search ‘Kansas City content marketing’ instead of the small nearby town they are actually in), it is an easy way to quickly build a local keyword list for a PPC campaign.
General Marketing & Work
In the digital age, sometimes postal mail is a unique touch that makes a huge difference. Postable lets you mail cards with “handwritten” fonts inside to single people or a large list. They have great designs, reasonable prices, and postage is included.
If your marketing department wants to try out a thank you note campaign to vendors or customers, or even to your freelancers, give Postable a try.
If your company or executives have little tasks they need done but don’t want to hire another assistant or freelancer, consider getting a Fancy Hands membership. Consider it as Uber for 5-10 minute tasks. If you needed to enter URLs into a spreadsheet, research a statistic or do another small task, you can outsource it to Fancy Hands. It also lets you set recurring tasks. Most tasks are done that day or within 48 hours, depending on the request.
White noise or music without lyrics is a lifesaver for me for when I have to stay productive while I’m writing thousands of words per week. This website chooses playlists for you based on your activity. The Tide app and SimplyNoise are also two other background noise tools that are great for concentrating on “big think” projects.
When I’m trying to get a lot done, I will often time myself to see how long it takes to do something. Then next time, I will use that time in this countdown clock to see if I can get the same task done in the same amount of time. It’s fun to “race” yourself and forces you not to procrastinate or get sidetracked, as you know you only have a limited amount of time. This desktop tool works better than a phone clock app because you aren’t distracted by app notifications.
BuzzSumo is a great content research tool, and their Question Analyzer is a new feature that lets you find questions that users are asking online on forums like Reddit that contain your entered keywords. If you’re trying to find pain points or content ideas, this can be a great way to see what users are talking about online.
If your editorial guidelines require Title Case for all your headers, use this tool to automatically convert them quickly. You can do several headlines at once.
Looking for creative commons photos for your content? VisualHunt searches creative commons licensed photos from several sources to show you results all in one place. This can save a lot of time, as you only have to search one, instead of several, platforms. Be sure to check the license for all images before using them to make sure your attribution is correct.
Don’t want to wait to have your content edited? Try entering it into Hemingway. It will grade your content and let you know if it’s hard to read, what grammar errors you’re making, and also give you suggestions to make sentences flow better. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great way to pre-edit your content and to improve your writing.
While these tools don’t replace many of the tools marketers rely on every day, they can be some great additions to your arsenal, helping you save time and get things done more efficiently.
Another productivity tool that will streamline your processes and make you more efficient at work is ProjectManager.com. Our online project management software can be used anywhere and at any time. Plus, features like the real-time dashboard and the online Gantt chart inform you about progress as it happens and keeps you on schedule, respectively. See how your productivity can increase by taking this free 30-day trial.