Digital Marketing Tools for Newbies

Checkout the latest tools of the trade!

We caught up with this year’s speakers at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference to find out what what digital marketing tools and processes they recommend newbies engage with. Here’s their answer to the question:

What’s on your list of indispensable training resources or must-have marketing tools that you’d recommend to digital marketing industry newbies?

Dave Rohrer, Principal & Owner, NorthSide Metrics

Setting and building a website from scratch. It will teach someone about the various CMS options including how to research them.

From there they will learn to setup a domain, website and the pros and cons of the CMS they selected. Each CMS has quirks and things to work through and knowing at least one will help tremendously.

Someone will have a new found list of questions to ask for landing pages, websites, forms, copy, and more from just going through the process just that once (at least!). Access to data and a correctly set up website analytics solution, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, and finally a tool of preference to analyze all the data. For me I tend to use Excel and Microsoft BI the most but Google Sheets and Tableau also can be great solutions.

Candice Rotter, President at RADaR Analytics

We are a Tableau shop and still find it to be the best business intelligence (BI) tool to create an environment that can capture and tell the whole story with the data you have. All tools aren’t anything if you don’t have a passionate team that loves learning and innovating along the way.

Tableau Online has a ton of resources and articles, Linkedin has some great stuff too, as well as Marketing Charts and Ad Age.

Sarah Dalton, Adjunct Professor, UMSL and Director of Marketing, Nolan & Associates

My go-to marketing tool is HubSpot. It is a one-stop shop for all my marketing needs and simplifies my analytics and reporting because all activities are taking place within one system.

I use it as a CRM and for automation, email marketing, social media posting and more. In tandem with HubSpot, I rely on Canva to produce images for the web, emails and social media. Canva now integrates with HubSpot, so that is a great bonus.

For those just beginning their marketing journey, I highly recommend HubSpot Academy and Salesforce Trailhead as top-notch training resources. Both offer trainings and certifications in all avenues of digital marketing. The best part? Both are free resources to anyone.

When you complete a new training or certification, be sure to add it to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Employers are very interested in these trainings and certifications, and your completion of them will also demonstrate your motivation and willingness to learn new digital marketing concepts and tools.

Eric Nelson, VP, Director of Media, Rodgers Townsend

Arguably, Social Media can be the most powerful tool for learning when used correctly.

Following brands on multiple channels can give great insight to what they are doing and positioning themselves. Following industry veterans and leaders, and other companies in your space can spark new thoughts or confirm past decisions along the way.

Also, clear and concise data and analytics channels. The ability to see and understand where and how people are responding to whatever message you put into the market is more critical than ever.

The visualization tool I use most often is Google Data Studio. It’s fast and affordable and even if it’s a bit clunky at times, it serves its purpose.

The ability to see and understand where and how people are responding to whatever message you put into the market is more critical than ever. It can be as simple as Google Analytics to flashy dashboards, but sometimes the simple and holistic view of attribution still comes down to a brand spent $X and sales went up or down.

Dana Sanchez, Chief Misfit, Clipboard Confidence

Brand new this year I’ve been a faithful viewer of Social Media News Live. They keep me up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of social media and if Jeff Sieh isn’t talking about it, it’s probably not happening.

I also find a ton of practical tips from Social Media Examiner’s blog, and Kim Garst is a wealth of information. Two of the most life changing books for business and marketing are β€œBuilding A Story Brand,” by Donald Miller and β€œNever Split the Difference, How to negotiate as if your life depended on it,” by Chris Voss.

For creating great visual content I use the app Word Swag, DAILY. It’s easy and fast. For bigger jobs I subscribe to Easil and Canva.

Jennifer Radke, Social Media Marketing Strategist, National Institute for Social Media

I am biased, but I think that all the resources by the National Institute for Social Media (where I am the CEO) are fantastic. We work hard to bring quality webinars to our community twice a month and offer a very comprehensive social media strategy training and industry certification for social media professionals.

Each of the social media platforms themselves have great features and benefits and I often encourage folks to look there, first. After that, I love Canva for image creation and Buffer for scheduling.

Kathy Bernard, Founder & Linkedin Trainer, WiserU

LinkedIn, of course, since that is my bailiwick and Zoom since it is a must-have during the pandemic.

Lincoln Rinehart, SEO Manager at Adept Marketing

Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush (or similar tool for keyword research & tracking), and DataStudio (for data visualization) are great starting-off points. During COVID we also tended to refer to Google Trends frequently to stay up-to-speed on search trends and market needs & interests.

For SEO specifically, I recently came across this Google Doc by Aleyda Solis that outlines key training areas and mapped resources for upping your skillset in each area. We’ve shared it with our more entry-level associates to refer to when pursuing continuing education outside of 1:1s and personal training.

Sherry Bonelli, Owner, early bird digital marketing

Here are some great training resources and tools for SEO and content:

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Jonathan Allen is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of EQ. Formerly the President and Co-founder of Longneck & Thunderfoot (L&T), a brand publishing company incubated at the Columbia University Startup Lab in NYC, Jonathan moved to St. Louis in the summer of 2016 after receiving an Arch Grant.

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