Essential Digital Tools
The world of digital media can be overwhelming and somewhat confusing for those who don't spend a lot of time online or simply don't have time to learn the jargon. Here are five quick tools that you should be aware of as you drive your digital strategy forward.
Hint no.1: Opt-in email marketing and online ads
Give your supporters and fans the opportunity to give you their email address—through your website, email, business cards, etc. Over time, you will build a list of people that truly care about your content and message. Then, with an email vendor like iContact, you can run a promotional campaign with your most engaged supports that encourages more website visits, conversations and support.
Hint no.2: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is enterprise-level tracking software for your website. All you do is have your webmaster install the Analytics code on your website, and Google will start measuring how many visitors come to your website, the amount of time they spend on the website, what pages they are looking at, and much more. And it's free!
Hint no.3: Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free tool that lets you monitor what's happening online. You can set it to monitor the whole web, news sites or even just blog posts. You should have alerts set up for your brand, yourself and every public figure in your organization. If you get a high-volume of web references, consider setting it up to send you a daily or weekly summary.
Hint no.4: Bit.ly
Bit.ly is a free url-shortener that cuts web addresses down to about 21 characters (a "tweetable" size). More importantly, it allows you to measure the success of your social media campaigns by tracking how many times people have clicked the link and how many times the link is passed around the major social networks. It's also a useful way to checking if your contacts are reading the links you send them.
Hint no.5: BackType
BackType is a free web tool that lets you view all the websites that have links to your website. Its sister site, BackTweets, lets you see all of the tweets that link back to your content. And Twitter Search does the same thing as BackTweets, except instead of searching for links — you can search for words.