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Five Tools You Should be Using

Have you ever been diligently working away and thought to yourself: I wish there was an easier way to do that. Sometimes finding the right tool for the task can take as much time as simply doing the task at hand, the long way.

I’m going to come right out and say that I’m “cheating” and taking information found in the Marketer and turning it into a blog post. Why? Well, how many of you actually took the time in the busy month of December and read the Marketer? Or, how many of you read the article “8 Essential Marketing Tools You Need to Start Using Today,” written by Tim Klabunde,CPSM and tested them out? I am taking my favorite FIVE Marketing Tools from the article and diving a bit deeper. This way, you can learn additional information on the tools and then make the decision if you want to try these tools out for yourself!

1. Mention – Media tracking and monitoring

Mention.com is a media tracking and monitoring website, similar to Google Alerts, but offers additional options and tracks social media as well. This caught my eye immediately because, like most of us, it is necessary to know right away when our firm’s name is mentioned online. (See what I did there?) Tim explained that if you search the website long enough, you can find a basic version of the service that is free. However, I’m an impatient person and this whole tool thing is to save time, right? So, after searching for a few minutes and only finding a 14-day free trial, I decided to do an old-school thing and call the company. It took all of one minute until I was connected with someone who explained that the 14-day trial period turns into a free subscription that allows you to track one name/company and will send you up to 250 hits per month for free. AWESOME!

2. Canva – Graphic design

This tool is incredible for those firms that do not have a graphic designer, if you are ever in a pinch, or if you are in a funk and need some creative assistance. In addition, you can save your final creation in various formats. Although it is a nifty tool, I wouldn’t recommend replacing InDesign or Photoshop with this software because it is free software that has limitations and you’re not increasing your graphic-creating capabilities when utilizing this tool. Also, be cautious – some of the templates sneak in elements that you have to pay for.

3. Visualping – Website page monitoring

As Tim said, if you have ever had to check a website every day for weeks waiting for an RFP, then this is the tool for you. Recently, our firm was working on a RFQ and it was mentioned at the Pre-Bid meeting that addendum notices would not be sent out via email. This meant I would have to continuously check the website to see if any addendums had been made. Instead, I signed up for a free visualping plan and set it to check every 24 hours for slight changes on the website. This gave me great peace of mind knowing I wouldn’t forget to include the very important addendums in our response. The free plan includes 62 free “checks” and you can check two pages once a day, one page twice a day, or 62 pages once a month.

4. Google PageSpeed – Fix your slow running website

Have you ever been on a website that is taking forever to load but your colleagues’ internet seems to be working just fine? There is a website for that! You need to utilize PageSpeed Insights – a tool that analyzes and optimizes your site, following web best practices. This is the perfect tool to help speed up those slow websites! I highly recommend this free tool because it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to fix the issue and analyzes mobile versions of websites too!

5. Title Capitalization – Perfectly format titles

You finally came up with a perfect title for that article or header in your proposal, but can’t remember the AP Style or Chicago Style guides for those titles. Again, there’s a tool for that! No more worrying whether the short words in the title should be capitalized or not – simply copy and paste into the title cap website and it’ll automatically capitalize your title for you! This is a quick way to make sure you are capitalizing appropriately!

I hope that you find these tools as efficient as I did! What are some of the tools that you utilize and suggest for Marketers and Business Developers?

 
Ashley Black
Marketing Administrator, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Ashley joined the AEC industry in January 2015 and became a member of SMPS shortly after. She is the current Blog Chair and a member on the hospitality committee. Ashley loves hot yoga, basketball, cooking and spending time with her newborn niece, Halle. 

 

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