There are a TON of marketing tools out there. So how do you figure out which ones are best for you as a new home marketer? You need to take into account the different roles these tools will play in your organization and find the best from there.
Sounds like a lot of work...
Good thing we've done a lot of that background checking for you already!
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This article is going to break down different marketing tools based on their "department" so you can find exactly what you're looking for. Because there are tools that fill multiple positions, you're going to see some crossover, which can be a good thing. Who wants to learn seven different tools when they can do it all with one?
Content and Writing
These tools are important for a variety of departments. No matter if you're in marketing or sales, when it comes to your correspondence with potential home buyers (or current clients!) you need your writing to be on point.
The Hemingway App will help ensure your writing is bold and clean. It gives your writing a readability score, word count (with reading time!), and suggestions for how to improve your text. This includes word suggestions, the use of passive voice and adverbs (which can weaken your writing), and showing you sentences that are hard to read.
Oh, and it's free!
So we've talked about this one before, but Grammarly is easily our of our favourites. This tool is so easy to use, the Chrome extension ensures online editing is seamless and it checks for both grammar and spelling. It also explains the suggestions it's making for you, so you become a stronger writer as you use it!
Grammarly is also free, but there is a premium version if you want it.
Google Drive Research Tool
This is a great tool for those who use Google Docs. When you're working in a Google Doc, you'll see an "explore" tab at the bottom right. Clicking it will bring up a variety of topics, images, related research, and other options to help you finish your work.
Evernote is amazing for keeping all your research organized, especially if you're sharing it with multiple users. The Chrome extension allows you to easily clip articles and useful information online and it syncs across all the apps (mobile, desktop, web) as long as there is an internet connection. One of our favourite features is the auto-save!
Email marketing is one of the most prominent choices for communication, so you need a tool that gives your team all the functionality it needs. And while Gmail or Outlook works, it's not a great option for newsletters and the like.
It's no secret that we love HubSpot; it's hard not to! Their email tool allows you to do it all and track it. Create gorgeous templates, personalize correspondence, run split tests - and you can see all the data for your CTR's and other important metrics. Plus, it links up with your other data to help you see a bigger picture for each and every one of your contacts.
Drip is a great option for email marketing; personalize your emails and use the visual workflow builder to create custom campaigns. They integrate with a TON of other platforms and there are some great custom conversion tracking options.
Easy to use and affordable, Active Campaign is a solid contender in the email marketing world. You'll have the ability to create automated campaigns easily, personalize your emails and create goals for your contacts to help score your leads.
You know you need social media, that's not even a question. But to do it effectively and efficiently means using the right tools.
Surprise! Yep, HubSpot does this too! It will allow you to monitor brand mentions and relevant conversations, track engagements automatically and schedule your social posts to be published when the right people will see them. And, of course, you can integrate it throughout your entire marketing strategy AND you get closed loop reporting data.
Many people know and use Hootsuite. This tool allows you to manage multiple accounts easily, scheduling posts and monitoring what's happening. It has a great price point as well, with several plan options depending on your needs.
What's great about this tool is it allows you to quickly and easily schedule posts for all of your social accounts and Buffer will publish them automatically. This is done according to the posting schedule you set up. It's also another option with a variety of pricing and plans.
Yep, another one we've talked about before but we love this tool! How can you not adore that little octopus?! But the real advantage of MeetEdgar is the set-it-and-forget-it, which is perfect for evergreen content. Simply fill up your library, set your content schedule, and you're good to go. For only $49/month and 25 social accounts, it fits the bill for a lot of businesses.
...stands for If This, Then That. It is an amazing automation tool based on triggers and what they call "recipes" or "applets". For example, you can set it so that when a new blog post goes live, it will send out a tweet for you at the same time, making it a HUGE time saver. Oh, did we mention it's a free platform?
Analytics and Data
We can't stress this enough - you have to track and analyze all your marketing information! These tools are so important...
So, this one would be a MAJOR player in the data game, and it's easy to see why. Google Analytics lets you check out your bounce and conversion rates, where your traffic is coming from, traffic trends, and much more. It's full of great information so be sure to use it!
C'mon, you knew this one was coming! And rightfully so. The data and analytics HubSpot provides is detailed, integrated, and all-encompassing. You'll have insight into all aspects of your funnels, giving you the ability to see what's working and what isn't. Check out your traffic sources, conversion rates, campaign metrics, competitors, and much more.
The whole goal of your marketing strategy is to have it as optimized as possible, for the highest lead generation and conversion rates you can get. These tools will help you do exactly that.
Oh, this is such a cool tool! At Marketing Ninjas, we love testing and experimenting; Optimizely is PERFECT for this! Taking the risk out of testing, they make it easy to try things like web personalization, experiment with apps (both iOS and Android), A/B and multi-page variation testing AND they give you hard data on everything you do.
This is our tool of choice to get the inside scoop on website visitors. Hotjar lets you use heatmaps, recordings, gives you form analysis - you can even set up feedback polls and surveys! And with all that data you can create the optimal site! Plus, it's extremely user-friendly and set-up is easy. Integrations include Google Tag Manager, HubSpot, WordPress, and more.
Yep, HubSpot has you covered here too. Their CTA tool allows for variant testing, to see what your audience likes, and you can do A/B testing in emails and landing pages to try out different elements. Oh, and the Planning and Strategy tools are awesome - we love the topic cluster tool, it walks you through the entire process.
Video is taking over, and has been for quite some time. Trust us, it's a train you want a ticket for.
Wistia is a video hosting service that we use in-house at Marketing Ninjas. While it doesn't actually let you create videos, it is a great tool for home builder marketing. Why? It keeps the visitor on YOUR page, not YouTube or anywhere else. It also lets you add in things like a CTA or email capture, plus gives you heat maps and viewing trends of your videos. And unlike YouTube, when your video ends it's not going to give the viewer a bunch of additional suggested videos that can take them down the rabbit hole and away from your website.
This is our favourite video tool right now - we use Lumen5 in-house and it's great! You can easily turn an article into a video, they have a huge media library, you have branding and format options, including landscape or square videos (this is important depending on where you plan on using the video). Our team has found this tool very user-friendly and there are three different plans to choose from.
As a marketer for a home builder, much of your time should be devoted to digital marketing. If you want your marketing strategy to stay on track, you need to be using the right tools. Hopefully, you found some useful ones on our list.
Which tool sounded the most interesting to you? Did we miss an important one? Let us know!
About Sereena Schneider
As the Director of Client Care, Sereena works hard to ensure all of our clients are happy. This means she has a hand in everything: content planning, resource allocation, team development, data analysis - the list goes on! But she still loves to sit down and write.