In this digitally disruptive world, our phones are constantly reminding us to do something and we won’t lie, there’s always another episode of Riverdale drawing us in to watch right away before a spoiler ruins it all. As a small business owner, I’m sure you can relate. As slaves to the online world we live in, we need to automate as many of our processes as possible, so we can concentrate on the things we want to be doing, like finding out if Jughead and Betty will get back together again. So we thought we’d share some of the tools that we use, that might make your lives that little bit easier!
Our top tools of the trade
From Google Analytics tracking to GIF creators, we’ve listed the tools we use below:
- Google Campaign URL Builder – this is our go to for tracking campaigns across multiple platforms. It allows you to create a customised URL (and shorten it) for each platform that will show up in Google Analytics under Acquisition > Campaigns. If you need a little help with Google Analytics – holla at us, we’ll be releasing a handy guide VERY soon. The benefits of tracking your campaigns is that you will know where each of your conversions (leads) came from, therefore you can budget accordingly.
- Bitly – this little beauty condenses long URLs in to something short and sweet that won’t scare your potential customers away!
- Online Conversion Tool – math not your thang? Don’t worry, it’s really not ours either. This little tool helps us work out engagement rates without the headache.
- YouTube Creator Studio – need some free music to jazz up a video or podcast? YouTube has provided us with a selection for free!
- Facebook Business Manager Creative Hub – the day this was released we actually did a happy dance. This is basically allows an advertiser or business owner, to mock up their Facebook advertisements before going live. This is highly useful when you would like to seek feedback or you don’t want to go through the long process of setting up adsets before refining your ads.
- Hotjar – website heat mapping. Say what? Basically it’s this amazing tool that helps you analyse where on your website gets the most action. Where gets the most clicks, taps and analyses scrolling behaviour as well. Depending on the amount of traffic you get you may have to pay for this – BUT there’s a 15 day free trial so if you wanted to you could go in and get the data you need to optimise and make the most of it!
- Giphy – Find GIFs, or create your own. This app is a hell of a lot of fun, but beware, it’s a major procrastination tool as well.
- Google Analytics Solution Gallery – preset dashboards built for Google Analytics. All you have to do is import them to the website of your choosing and your data will display neatly and effectively according to the type of dashboard you’ve selected. If you need a hand with this, we can actually do Google Analytics training, or alternatively set this up for you for a small fee!
- Canva – basic graphic design tool. If you haven’t heard of this, it will blow your MIND.
- Instagram Photo Download – no more screengrabs and cropping, you can directly download (but make sure you still request permission to share and give credit to the original owner before sharing their photos!)
- Emoji copy – emoji’s for desktop! It makes planning content that much easier! Just find the emoji you want, click on it and copy!
- Pixlr – FREE photo editor. It’s amazing, almost (I said almost) as good as Photoshop. Without the hefty, needing to sell your first born, price.
- Asana – project management tool. This is free, super easy to use and allows you to collab with people outside the business. Great for keeping you accountable for your tasks and goals.
- Online Video Converter – you know how sometimes you see an amazing video on YouTube, and you want to download it so that you can upload it directly to your page. This is the tool for you. It will download videos using the video URL.
- Sprout Social – Always up to date social media sizes – this handy little website gets updated regularly so that you can keep your social specs up to date!
- Hashtag generator – type in some keywords for your ideal audience and BAM it will generate 30 hashtags for you! It will even rate them by highest reach.
- Answer the Public – this fun little site has a creepy old man waiting to greet you with content ideas. Yup, free content ideas at your fingertips. Put in your keyword and they’ll do the work.
- kirakira+ – makes everything sparkly. That’s all you need to know. Unfortunately on Apple phones only. I might have specifically bought an iPhone for this reason….
- Record It! app – Apple only – screen recording software, great for sharing how-to’s!
- Coolors – this tool allows you to build a colour palette for your brand and see them side by side. This is extremely handy for those businesses just starting out!
- Google Trends – GREAT for content ideas (if relevant to your business). You can sort these by industry and search particular keywords to find out what’s trending at particular times.
- Mailchimp – email marketing & automation. Not only is this an easy to use, drop and drag style EDM system, it also allows automation and refinement of the marketing funnel. You can set up different objectives for different sign up forms, which is gold for those who want a very personalised experience for their customers (which everyone should).
- Time Zone Converter – need I say more?
- Followers app – Apple – Instagram real-time follower data. You need to upgrade to see all the features. However it allows you to see who has unfollowed you, who isn’t following you back and the growth of your page over time for free!
- Whois – domain name information. This will tell you the trading name of the company who has purchased a domain name. This could come in handy if you’re wanting to launch a biz and find out your domain name is taken, you might be able to track down the owner and make a deal!
- Google PageSpeed Insights – Google will do an instant crawl of your website, tell you how it’s performing and what you can do to improve it.
- Facebook Audience Insights – you can use this to drill down to specific language, location, interest, education and even marital based demographics of your page followers, which is highly valuable data for your business. You can make informed content planning choices knowing that you’re targeting the right audience.
- Planoly – Instagram scheduling software. There are so many out there, what we like about Planoly is that it gives great analytics and allows you to save hashtags into categories. It also gives you a grid view as well as a calendar view and allows you to schedule Insta Stories!
- Google Drive – a safe place for all your files. You can store up to 15GB of free storage before you need to upgrade and it’s super easy to share files. It also integrates with Google Sheets and Docs which we LOVE.
- Videoleap app – Apple only – video editing software with a fun side, allowing stickers and text.
- Mailchimp Landing Pages – this is a fun new feature that lets you design landing pages for FREE. We did a little sign up to our newsletter, to test it out click here. The benefits are that it grows your subscriber list quickly because they aren’t distracted by your website. The downside is that you aren’t generating traffic to your website. However if you’re clever you would customise the thank you message to drive traffic to the website for more information, or use your follow up email as part of your marketing funnel to do so.
- NEW – Landscape by Sprout Social. This is my fave new tool, it allows you to upload a pic, choose which platform and which placement you want and crop it to fit! For all of you who have suffered from the Insta Story not fitting pics in, you’ll feel our joy with this.
- RECENTLY ADDED – Facebook Pixel Helper – this is a plugin that allows you to see if your pixel is performing to the best of its ability on your website. If it isn’t, it’ll tell you why!
- RECENTLY ADDED – Grammarly- this is a MUST have free tool that analyses your words and suggests replacements if your grammar isn’t quite correct. It works with most browsers (except Hootsuite, rude) and trust me, if it saves an attack from a vicious Grammar Nazi…it’s worth it.
- RECENTLY ADDED – Page Analytics by Google – since we’re on the web plugin bandwagon right now, might as well continue the ride with Google. This fun little weapon allows you to see your site analytics in real time as you’re on your website. It also tells you if you haven’t installed your code correctly. It gives you amazing stats like (this link led to 24% of people ending up on your shop page etc). Really useful to see if the buttons you’re using on your website are actually converting!
- RECENTLY ADDED – Union Metrics Instagram Checkup – this is an in depth Instagram analytics tool that tells you who your biggest fan is, what your average post likes and comments are, what your top hashtag is and when the best time of day is for you to post!
So there you have it! If you got at least one little gem out of this we’ll be happy gals. Please feel free to leave us a review on our Facebook page or even in the comments below if you’ve got any feedback, we’d love to hear it!