1. Email Marketing Tools
Email sells. In some ways, Ian says, it's the biggest social network out there. Everyone has an email address, so make it work for you by finding a provider that will allow you to automate and segment you lists for a targeted approach.
Ian likes MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact. Many like to start with MailChimp because it has a great free option for users with up to 2,000 subscribers. It does allow you to segment your lists and (with a paid subscription), send auto-responders.
To get started, get a group of people you can test on. Play around with the templates in MailChimp and get some feedback. You can also have your blog posts auto-send, but Ian likes a more personalized approach.
2. Analytics and Reporting
Everyone knows about Google Analytics and you should definitely have that set up for your website. A nice free tool is Quill Engage, which connects to Google Analytics and gives you actionable insights based on trends on your site.
Social listening - Mention.net the free version will let you know when someone is talking about your business. You can also check out TalkWalker. It's a heavy-duty tools with matching price tag, BUT it has some useful free tools as well.
I love the sources report in HubSpot because you can see exactly where leads (and even customers) are coming from Conversion reporting is tricky without an all-in-one like HubSpot. But you can get much of the information on traffic and conversions if you set it up well! It's definitely something you CAN figure out, but it takes a while.
3. Social Media Publishing, Monitoring, and Interacting
Hootsuite is the number one provider of social media publishing/interacting. If you're considering HootSuite, check out Ian's articles:
We both love Buffer. It is purely a scheduler, but it integrates with Twitter, Facebook pages and profiles (and even groups you own), LinkedIn, Google+ Pages and now, Pinterest! The Awesome plan is $10/month. It does not get any simpler than Buffer.
4. Content Curation Tools
Content curation is simply sharing information that your audience will find useful.
Feedly allows you to collect and look at new content from your favorite websites and then share the best.
Triberr is a place where bloggers can connect to amplify their reach. Find a tribe with similar interest and quality content. Share their content, they'll share yours. It's a great way to start relationships with other bloggers. Create your own tribe of people who create consistently great content and share without worrying about quality!
5. Website Builder
You can use a one-click program from SquareSpace or your hosting provider, but 20% of websites are built on WordPress and using WordPress gives you fantastic options for expanding and customizing your site. I promised Kelly we'd include this YouTube video of the SquareSpace ad. :)
Back up your websites!!! Don't rely on your host. Add a backup system and consider a managed WordPress hosting service. You can install WordPress in about 30 seconds
Random Hacks of Marketing
IFTTT and Zapier will take the accounts and tools you have already set up and supercharge them. Once you have your foundation, start browsing around. We love the recipes that send Pins to Twitter and Instagram photos to Facebook pages. There's also a great one that will send your saved Feedly items to Buffer.
Ian is the owner of Seriously Social, where he keeps us all informed about social media and blogging tools. He’s also partner at Select Performers, a family-owned internet marketing company. He organizes techy events in his local town of Cheadle in the UK AND he is a professional singer (check out his SoundCloud account)! He is also the Chief Executive Research Dude for the Web Search Social podcast and a very nice guy with a cool accent.