Online marketing is an essential part of 21st-century marketing. And that’s especially true for school marketers who want to connect with parents, students and other school decision influencers.
Note: This post is the 3rd in a 4-part series. Click here to go to #1: How to Prioritize Your School Marketing Projects Using a Project Backlog; and here to go to #2: How to Construct a Big Picture Annual and Editorial Calendar for Your School Marketing.
While having an online marketing strategy is a necessity, it can become extremely time-consuming. There are so many moving parts – social media, email marketing, videos, team project management, podcasting, live broadcasting, website management, blogging, contests, giveaways, oh my! Managing your digital marketing can become a more-than-full-time job. If you want an easier, simpler way to manage your online marketing strategy, consider using automation tools.
Marketing automation is an essential part of an overall successful marketing program.
Automation is a game-changer. It will reduce your staff time, increase your inquiries and reduce the bottlenecks in your current marketing funnels. Automation will improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. You can schedule ahead which makes it easier to be consistent. Research has shown that marketing automation improves customer retention and nurtures relationships as well as improving A/B testing and measuring performance.
Here are the main types of marketing (and recommended tools) that school marketers should consider:
A social media management tool will help you stay on top of status update postings to your social media networks. These tools will help you create and publish content, streamline workflows, save time, ensure your content reaches your audience at the optimal time, track and measure analytics and generate reports.
Email Service and Marketing Automation – Drip
Drip is a tool that seamlessly integrates email marketing, marketing automation, and customer relationship management. It’s easy to use but at the same time offers some pretty sophisticated features like multi-channel marketing, pre-built campaigns, and automated workflows. This is the email service provider I use for SchneiderB.com.
Email List-Building Tool – ConvertKit
ConvertKit simplifies email marketing by combining powerful automations with an easy-to-use interface and WordPress plug-in.
I love productivity tools because they save time and make life so much easier! My favorites are:
Trello – Team Project Management Tool
Trello is an easy-to-use team project management tool that uses boards, lists and cards to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and useful way. I like the visual nature of Trello and find it’s easy to move things around. This tool is more powerful than it seems at first glance. You can download a Trello app for your smartphone too, so you can use it wherever you go!
Evernote – Organization and Content Curation Tool
Evernote is an organization tool that you can use with your team. You can use it to take notes and clip content from the web. Evernote syncs with your computer and mobile devices, so your notes and content are always with you. Evernote has a powerful search function that makes it easy to find things, even handwritten notes on images! The business (paid) version includes automatic updating, so you can keep track of what everyone on the team is doing. Over 20,000 companies rely on Evernote.
Todoist – To Do Lists and Organizer
I love Todoist. It’s a simple – but robust – tool for creating To-Do Lists, organizing and prioritizing your work tasks, and manage projects. You can assign colors to make it easy to stay organized, add subtasks to make work easier to manage and set priorities. There are mobile apps for iOS and Android, browser plug-in for Chrome and FireFox and email plug-ins for Gmail and Outlook. Top features of the premium (paid) version are reminders, labels, comments, filters and calendar sync.
Live broadcast software lets you stream your real-time video recording in high-definition.
Ecamm – All-In-One Video Production Tool for Mac
Seamlessly integrates with Facebook Live, YouTube, and Periscope. Ecamm lets you compose scenes in advance, create on-screen titles and split-screens. You can add in Skype guests and add overlays for a professional look.
BeLive.tv – Browser-Based Live Broadcasting Software
This software packs a lot of features into a reasonable monthly price, including screen comments, agenda, screen share, photo share, on-screen updates, changing view mode and more.
Sumo – Website Conversion Software
Lead magnet pop-ups, cart abandonment retargeting, heat maps, content analytics and more!
Leadpages – Landing Pages
This is my tool of choice for creating landing pages. Templates are mobile-friendly, easy to customize and payment acceptance software for quick upsells and seamless conversions.
OptInMonster – Powerful Opt-In Tool
Powerful pop-up opt-in conversion tool. You can set up A/B testing, display on exit intent, and much more. This is the tool I use on SchneiderB.com.
Flywheel – WordPress Hosting & Management Service
Flywheel costs a little more than some other services, but it is well-worth the extra expense in terms of stability, security, speed, service and automatic back-ups.
Pressidium – Managed WordPress Hosting
SchneiderB.com runs on Pressidium, and I can’t recommend them enough. This is a step up from Flywheel in terms of speed, service and included features including a staging site.
This handheld dynamic microphone includes USB digital and XLR analog outputs. It’s a great microphone, especially for a beginner because it is ideally suited for podcasting and field recording.
This professional microphone offers exceptional sound quality. While it does cost more than the ATR 2100, I think the difference in quality is worth it.
Contests and Giveaways – Rafflecopter
Rafflecopter – Contest and Giveaway Hosting Software
Launch a contest or giveaway in just minutes and let Rafflecopter do all the work for you.
The above automation tools are the ones I use (or have used) and that I recommend for school marketers. They are products I recommend with confidence for your use. Hopefully, they’ll help you as much as they’ve helped me!
What automation tools have I not included here that you would recommend to other school marketers? What tool can you not live without? Please comment below.
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for some of these resources which means that, at no additional cost to you, I make a small commission if you purchase via my link.