Google Apps – the Pros and Cons

I bet you love the Google Apps as much as I do.  (And, maybe like me, you at times hate them?!?)

I especially love the popular ones  the Google apps. Gmail. Drive. Alerts. Search. Analytics. Images. Calendar.

There are many that I personally (and professionally) use every day. I hate when I rely too much on them. With all the power and nuances of apps within the apps, it’s easy to make them part of your daily work process. Do you use the features inside Drive with Docs, Presentation, Sheets and more. Docs is how I was able to write my Branding & Marketing book called Simple Steps, Big Results. It made it so simple to collaborate!

I want to embrace them all. But I have to continue to remind myself that there are downsides to these FREE apps as well.

  • “If it’s a free service, YOU are the product.” I think we are all familiar with this concept. Sometimes just giving your email to get a white paper or article and instead, you realize you’ve downloaded the “lead magnet”.   Using a product or service is even more. But RELYING on it. Well, that leads me to the next downside:
  • Sometimes free services sometimes dry up and go away. Who remembers Google Wave? Buzz? Google Places? Google Local? Feedburner? (This one refuses to be discarded!)
  • Sometimes the Google version isn’t nearly what other free competitors provide. (Google Sites, Google’s Blogger and BlogSpot, vs WordPress.) Getting used to working with a Google app makes it harder to switch to something that is actually better. I started this blog in Blogger in 2006 and moved it 2 1/2 years later into WordPress. I’m thankful that I did, but it was definitely a process to move all those posts and photos at that time! (Now it’s much easier with import/export!)

I am reminded that in just a few days, Google Plus will be a thing of the past. Of course I have a G+ account. One for me professionally, one personally, one for the business… etc. Hmm. I found that it never grew like say Linked In or Twitter. But because it was Google, I filled out the account and posted.

Since Google Plus shuts down April 2, this becomes just the latest Google app to be discontinued. If you have a lot of content, you’ll want to beat the rush and start on March 31 to download and offload your content.

Marketing Analysis

Last week I spoke to the American Marketing Association Kent State Chapter about Marketing Analysis.

Marketing Analysis presentation at Kent State for the AMA Kent Chapter

Marketing Analysis Helps Companies Measure Results

Some of the marketing communications topics discussed:

  • Website analytics – how Google Analytics tracks the flow of a user through a website. Learn 2 easy ways to install google analytics into a WordPress website.
  • Facebook analytics – what should be tracked and measured on a Facebook page. See behind the scenes insights from a Facebook ad campaign.
  • Email marketing – What are the Pros/Cons of different email platforms. What are average open rates and click thru on links? Examples of 3 different ways to improve the open rate of an email campaign.
  • Podcast download analytics – How to evaluate if you (or your company) would want to be a guest on a podcast or sponsor a podcast. How to increase the number of podcast subscribers and downloads of a podcast episode.
  • YouTube channel analytics – Why creating a channel is the way to go for nearly every marketing company. What can the insight panel tell you about viewership?
  • Google AdWords – How a marketing professional can use their keyword tool without spending any money to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • LinkedIn analytics – Why this platform is so powerful for business/careers and how to improve your profile to get the specific position you want.

25 Marketing Pros Share Their Three Best Marketing Tools

What do other marketing professionals use to improve their marketing results?

I used the prompt as inspiration for my last blog post where I shared podcasting, websites and email marketing. After reading the other 24 answers from other marketing professionals, I discover that I took the word “tool” much broader than they did.

The vast majority named a website that they found helpful, rather than a deliverable. I am surprised that I was one of the few who answered with more of a category.

Thanks to Leopardots’s Jacob Lordi and Marshal Mill for compiling the answers into 25 Bloggers Reveal Three Best Marketing Tools – Experts Advice.

Here are the tools that were mentioned:

  • AFterOffers.com for lead generation and opt-in emails
  • Agency Analytics – keyword analysis
  • Agorapulse – schedule social media (two mentions)
  • AHREF -content explorer sourcing info, seo tools & analysis (4 mentions)
  • Buffer – scheduling social content (3 mentions)
  • Buzzsumo – blog post prompts and brand tracking
  • Canva – graphics/images,  infographics, presentations, images (2 mentions)
  • EZ Texting – reminders, alerts & notifications in text format
  • Facebook – share content & attract new readers
  • Followerwonk – Twitter analytics & bio search
  • Formspree- contact forms
  • Giveaways – to loyal customers
  • Google Analytics – 3 mentions
  • Goggle My Business – getting reviews/testimonials
  • Google AdWords – drive traffic
  • Google Alerts – analysis
  • Google Docs Spreadsheet – notes on potential customers with emails, links, accounts and questions they asked
  • Google Trends – distribution of keyword searches over time (two mentions) 
  • Grammarly – writer’s tool for precision
  • Guest Blog Posts – two way
  • HitTail – SEO recommendation tool
  • Hootesuite – schedule social media and reputation mgmt (two mentions)
  • Hunter.io – finding email addresses for pitches
    Keysearch – keyword research
  • Keywords Everywhere – chrome extention for search
  • Linky’s – niche related link-up groups where bloggers share each others content to build community
  • Long Tail Pro – keywords
  • MailerLite
  • mailtester – tests emails
  • Majestic – (competitor to Ahrefs) better price & more complete data
  • My email list – ask for help promoting guest posts
  • Niche – Focusing on a smaller part of a larger market
  • OptinMonster.com – pop ups and newsletters
  • Pinterest – promoted pins, showcase visual content and attract new readers (two mentions)
  • Podcast interviews – establish as an expert
  • Rocketreach.co – grab contact info from Linkedin
  • Sampling – giving a free sample of your product/service
  • Scrapy – analysis of trending topics
  • Self published books – establish as an expert
  • SEM Rush –  keyword research, SEO tool to report multiple variables (FIVE mentions)
  • Sentione social media and reputation mgmt
  • Snappa – image/graphics
  • Social Media –
  • Sumo.com – popups and monetize a site
  • SurveyMonkey – audience market research
  • Tailwind – scheduling Pinterest posts
  • Trello – plan and strategize
  • Tweet deck – filter search columns for my niche
  • UberSuggest- keyword tool search analysis
  • UseProof – popup feature
  • Wishpond – email marketing, newsletters, auto responders, pop ups, landing pages, lead generation
    YesWare – email opens analysis

How many of these do you use on a regular basis? Which ones are new to you? I saw many favorites of mine on this list and few new ones as well.

Three Best Marketing Tools for 2018

What are the “best marketing tools” for 2018? Best is a subjective word. It may mean favorite, or easy, or cost-effective or results driven. I guess to really have the best tools, you need to define the criteria.

My criteria for “BEST” is favorite, combined with most response. I like to be constantly learning new ways of reaching an audience, but these three methods have been around for more than 20 years now!

1. Podcasting– using AT2100 microphone to record, Audacity to edit and Libsyn to host. While in a way it is like blogging, in that it is content driven, you have to build your audience, and you need a mild amount of technology skills, podcasting gives you the opportunity to interview thought leaders, be a thought leader, and explore your subject in a medium that is easy for the audience to consume. Show notes fulfill the blogging aspect for me.

This year I co-hosted a podcast called “Fit, Strong Women Over 50” for a membership community. It’s a completely different demographic from Branding & Marketing, but I’ve enjoyed it and learned a lot during the 24 episodes we’ve planned, recorded, edited and published.) My first podcast was on blog talk radio almost 12 years ago, based on a blog post  and lasted all of 6 minutes, 46 seconds.

2. Websites– Although websites are nothing new, they are the hub of the wheel for marketing. Websites with easy CMS (content management systems), that can easily be updated, and have information that helps the reader, are a powerful marketing tool. Perhaps APPs may forge a stronger bond with your customer, but when you are still in the prospecting stage of building a relationship, you need a great website. I enjoy showing clients how easy it is to make minor changes on their website that helps them to stay connected with customers and potential customers. I will say the one-page format that has become ubiquitous in 2018 bugs me, so I’m eager to see the next version of theme popularity. It just seems too much like a quick superficial blare of content without substance. I’m looking forward to new themes and popular tools that provide better communication with a first time reader/viewer.

3. Email marketing – As much as I hate getting too many emails, it’s way better than getting too many texts! I will say that email, texting and apps sure have almost eliminated junk mail that cost so much to mail. Building a strong email list for prospects and customers is still an important asset for most marketing plans. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to give my cell number to marketers for “reaching out.”

How about you? What are the 3 tools that you feel are the best, most important, favorite (your choice) for marketing in 2018?

Link back or leave a comment below.