Welcome to MB’s Friday Brief, where we compile some of the “must-read” articles and awesome marketing tools for your small-to-medium sized business. Send us your personal must-read articles; we’re always looking to share great resources. Happy Friday folks! It’s the end of another busy week here at MB and our team is in the home stretch before we break for “MBeer”. Our inaugural Friday Brief is all about building a roster of marketing tools for small and medium sized companies. We’ve asked the MB staffers for their top picks for resources that will help SMBs plan and execute their marketing strategies.
What it is: Google’s free analytic platform needs no introduction, but you may be at an impasse deciding whether it’s relevant to your business. In short: It is. Google Analytics is the quintessential marketing tool: It’s a launch-pad for your internal analytic inquiry. Meaningful insights into your customer behaviours, acquisition, and conversions can help you make smart decisions about where to use your resources and money. What’s more: Google offers a host of tools so that you can learn how to make your analytics work for you. From their Getting Started guide to the information-rich Analytics Academy, you’ll be accessing the right data in no time. Why you need it: “Very few people connect their Adwords to their Google Analytics account. I would recommend you do. These two Google products are integrated so that you can get the insights you need.” (Dave Delage, Director of Web Marketing)
What it is: “You know that guy who wishes for more wishes? Well, my favourite marketing resource for small and medium businesses is this article on 100 Free SEO Tools & Resources for Every Challenge. The article is hosted by Moz.com – a company that has made a name for itself as a generous thought leader in our industry. It offers tools for everything from rank tracking and technical SEO, to content, email, and social media marketing. Best of all, it’s completely interactive and allows you to filter down to discrete categories quite easily. ” (Shawn Anctil, Web Content + Project Manager) Why it rocks: From building infographics to converting .doc files to HTML–the needs of small and medium sized businesses can run the gamut. Increase your in-house capabilities by finding tools to help you do the job. Competitive intelligence, for example, can be expensive. If you have the time and personnel suited to that kind of work, 100 Free SEO Tools can help you get the job done. Or, you know, you can always rely on a team of experts.
What it is: From webinars, resources, tools, and up-to-date access to the Project Management Book of Knowledge, the Project Management Institute is a Project Manager’s dream. You can join even if you aren’t certified; the resources may be just what you’re looking for to increase efficiency in your office. Why you need it: “I would advise clients, if they have a a PM on staff, to buy an annual membership. The resources are essential.” (Caitlin Hines, Senior Project Manager)
What it is: This publisher-turned-publishing platform is an essential business resource with super relevant info for small and medium sized businesses. It’s a curator of insights into strategy, organized by stages of development. Whether you’re a startup or you’re looking to grow, you’ll find the right content to help guide your ship. Why it rocks: “I love the way they structure their content. It’s a fantastic resource for businesses, with lots of forward-thinking articles to inspire leaders.” (Paul Austin-Menear, Manager, Web + Social Media Marketing)
What it is: See it before you buy it! Communicating creative ideas without visual reference can result in a lot of wasted time and miscommunication. Enter SampleBoard.com. Create professional-looking moodboards to help guide your creative project, and get your team on the same page. Why you need it: “I do a fair bit of research and create Mood Boards for clients early on in the design process. My main focus is for web builds and design, but this could be a good tool for a lot of design work where it would be helpful to get a strong idea of what your leadership team likes…or doesn’t like.” (Valentina Reid, Senior Graphic Designer)