It takes a lot to make Inbound Marketing work, and I'm not just talking about content creation and SEO. Success for our clients takes varying degrees of planning, meeting, scheduling, drafting, creation, publishing, and invoicing, and each of those tasks have their own info and processes, and of course it all varies from client to client as well.
In order to keep everything straight and keep chaos from ensuing, we have some incredible tools that help us excel in all that we do. What does it take to keep this engine running? Take a look into our toolbox:
Doug Fowler, President: HubSpot & QuickBooks
While we love HubSpot for all the great things you can do with marketing, my personal favorite aspect of the software is the Sales Meetings tool. The days of wasting time trying to schedule meetings with back-and-forth emails are gone. Here are the top three things I love about the Meetings tool:
- It's a real time-saver. Meetings makes it super easy for prospects and clients to book time with you at their convenience. I simply send them a custom link where they can find a time to meet with me. Once they do, they book the appointment and I've got a meeting scheduled with no hassle.
- It integrates with Gmail. Whenever someone books an appointment with me, it automatically gets added to my Google Calendar. As an added bonus, I also get an email notification.
- I control my availability. Meetings integrates with Google Calendar, but I can also block times I'm available by default. For example, I'm always booked on Monday's from 8:00 - 11:00 am, so I set my default availability from 11:00am - 4:00pm.
- Budgets - Budgeting is a critical part of our success. We plan in 90 day cycles and QuickBooks' budgeting tool allows me to quickly look and see if we're on or off track for the current period.
- Dashboard - I like the visual display of income and expenses, as well as a net income trend. I'm able to quickly see if we're on or off track.
- Comments on Reports - As we've continued to grow, our expenses and income sources have grown as well. I really love that you're able to add personal comments to any line item a report for sharing or future reference.
- Online Invoicing & Payments - I'm able to offer clients several online payment options, including ACH transfers which helps us get paid faster.
Erin Durham, Vice President: Dropbox & Google Calendar
Dropbox is one of my very favorite pieces of software. I've been using it personally for many years, and we began using it corporately this year. Professionally, I love that Dropbox really seems to understand the way companies need to use, manage, access, and share their files, so our use of it is pretty intuitive. On a personal level, I love that I can access all my files on my phone. Want to see that picture of the twins from Halloween 2 years ago? No problem! I can get right to it, but it's not eating up my phone storage.
Sam Gerdt, Director of Product: Wistia
For video hosting and management, there's no better platform that Wistia. The ability to utilize video metrics across the board in our automated marketing efforts is a must-have as we produce more and more video content. Wistia has also made it easy and affordable to incorporate video into our sales and support processes with their newest product, Soapbox.
Matt Cleveland, Technical Director: SEMrush & JitBit
A huge part of my job is fixing problems. As it turns out, it’s very difficult to fix problems when you can’t find them. I could go hunting for them all myself (and I do), but invariably I’ll miss some. Or many. SEMrush helps me find all the problems I need to fix without having me waste my time. And usually, it finds more than I bargained for. But that’s one problem that’s good to have.
Aside from SEM Rush, I’ve been upgrading a lot of existing sites to include an SSL certificate. That means updating lots of old links. JitBit has made a tool that scans your site and finds any non-secure links. It’s a simple thing, but the amount of time it saves is enormous.
Michelle Phillips, Inbound Marketing Strategist: UberConference
It feels like I spend more time in meetings than actually doing work, so UberConference has quickly become one of my favorite tools! The call quality is excellent, there's a built in chat feature, anyone on the call can share their screen, and I can call in via my computer or phone from ANYWHERE so I'm not always tethered to my desk. Client communication is easily the most important part of my job, and UberConference helps me stay in touch with everyone quickly and easily whether they're down the road or across the country.
I also SUPER love my good old fashioned pen and notebook and my whiteboard. I know that's not particularly cutting edge or innovative, but I've found that—for me—nothing beats drawing out plans or taking notes by hand.
Danielle McKelley, Inbound Marketing Strategist: HubSpot
I love that HubSpot is basically a one stop shop for all inbound marketing efforts. All within one portal you can build lists, workflows, publish blog posts, schedule social media, and so much more.
My favorite tool within the HubSpot portal is the Content Calendar. Not only can I review everything I've already published and when, but I can schedule tasks so the client is aware of upcoming work and I know what content I need to be working on at any given time. Make sure to stay connected with Waypost to be the first to know about the new integrations and changes within HubSpot—we highlight exciting tips and updates in our newsletter every month!
Katie Faulk, Content Manager: Google Drive & Google Docs
There are about a thousand different programs where you can write out content—inside the Hubspot blogging tool, in your basic Microsoft Word Doc... even in Notebook if you're desperate and nothing else is working. In the end, though, I always default back to Google Drive and the Google Docs program. Backed up and saved automatically as you work, easy to share with coworkers to allow them to make comments, edit, or even just take a quick look before you take a piece of content live. And if you need to save it elsewhere, you can just download the document whenever you'd like.
Emily Golus, Sr. Inbound Marketing Producer: Microsoft Word, Grammarly, and Scrivener
I’m the odd duck that composes all of my blog articles and even social media posts in Microsoft Word before copying them over into HubSpot’s corresponding tools. Part of it is a throwback habit from when I did print content prior switching to online writing. But more importantly, I crave the automatic spellcheck and grammar check tools that Word provides as I type.
For emails and other content I actually do write online, I use the Grammarly extension for Chrome, which also spellchecks right in my browser. (Is it bad that I sometimes copy something that Grammarly has checked back into Word to cross-proofread my content? Nah, I’ll chalk it up to a desire for accuracy rather than some form of OCD.)
Outside of work, I’m a novelist (I have two books being published between now and Christmas 2018—AND I’M TRYING VERY HARD TO STAY CALM AND PROFESSIONAL ABOUT THIS). While my final drafts end up in Word, I swear by a program called Scrivener during the initial writing stages. It allows me to put multiple documents, reference photos, and even videos into a single, well-organized file. It makes the obsessive outliner in me very, very happy, and keeps me from losing track of things.
Heidi Willard, Sr. Inbound Marketing Producer: Hootsuite
Hootsuite is one of my go-to social sharing platforms. It’s free for up to three social media profiles per account. Of course, you can upgrade to premium if you need to monitor more profiles, but I like having the free option for smaller clients.
One of my favorite Hootsuite features is that it functions with Instagram. You can schedule Instagram posts just like you schedule everything else, and the Hootsuite app prompts you to share these posts at the scheduled time.
Ryan Potvin, Inbound Marketing Producer: Slack
Slack is a great team unifier. I’ve worked for companies that have very poor internal communication and—let me tell you—it was miserable. Being able to reach out to a co-worker and get a response instantly makes a huge difference in productivity.
The ability to create channels is also a great feature. Segregating message groups by fun, interesting, critical, or non-work related makes life so much easier and helps keep you and your team organized. Being able to stay connected with co-workers in both a personal and professional way is so helpful throughout my work day and helps to create an enjoyable, efficient culture.
Gabby Brayton, Sr. Production Designer: Adobe Creative Cloud
We are in the day and age where interconnectivity is a must. Your phone connects to your laptop, which connects to your iPad at home, which then shows up while watching Netflix on your smart TV that you are controlling with your watch. But how this connectivity affects my work life is a different story.
While designing our next great content offer, I want to be able to connect all the resources I have to make my work go as efficiently as possible. Thankfully Adobe CC has added many updates and tricks to their “library window.” For example, I can now connect all of our Adobe Stock images straight to the application when designing, or save color palettes and vectors that show up in my library panel when browsing the internet. To check out all of their newest tips, go to Adobe.com and be the best designer you can be!
Well, there you have it! These are the apps that help make us tick! If just reading this got you feeling overwhelmed, don't worry; you don't have to try to juggle all these platforms on your own—that's what we're here for! Get the day-to-day marketing activities off your plate and let us handle them for you instead. Schedule a consultation to see how outsourcing your marketing department will make your life SO much easier!