Maintaining steady growth is critical to company performance and the long-term survival of a business. However, most business owners are neither able to identify their bottlenecks nor discover new opportunities to expand.
In this article, I want to introduce you to eleven marketing and sales tools to dissect your competitors and identify the gaps in your business. These tools are not mainstream, but they are powerful.
You can leverage them to fix the bottlenecks of your growth, streamline your business operations, and grow your business. Without further ado, here’s the first tool.
For pursuing SEO and content marketing effectively, you need to measure your performance and analyze traffic trends. Nightwatch can be your go-to tool for tracking your search visibility.
Its backlinks tool shows you how the links you build are affecting the traffic to your site. You can even create segments for your backlinks based on their characteristics.
Nightwatch integrates with Google Analytics, Search Console, and Google Ads. You can create customized elegant reports, including the data you want (and rebrand them as well). You can also set the criteria for the keyword trends you want to see. Also, you can create custom graphs and schedule the reports to arrive in your inbox.
Today brands have the liberty of having direct relationships with customers. Hence, you need to understand your customer’s needs and expectations. However, ordinary surveys are not engaging.
To retain the attention of your respondents, you need to provide a rich and user-friendly experience. Survey Anyplace offers the same with an easy survey builder. You can choose from various types of questions, add images, videos, animations, and more to your quizzes and surveys.
Its quizzes can adapt to multiple environments including phone, tablet, a tab on your Facebook page, web app, or even embed in your native app. Once data is collected, the dashboard lets you analyze it to derive actionable insights.
Stefan Debois, the Founder of the tool, recommends creating a lead gen survey –
“You can ask specific questions to your prospects about the pain points your product solves. Then, you can use the answers to calculate the exact benefit your product will deliver to that prospect. It can be a number such as hours saved, dollars saved, additional sales, and the like.”
Debois explains how it can be used for generating leads – “Mix it up with personalized recommendations, and a CTA (Call to Action) to one of your product offerings, and you’re on the path to boost your lead generation.”
Despite the growth of social media and messenger apps, email is a staple of online life. By 2023, email users might cross 4 billion. It’s no surprise then that cold emailing remains an effective strategy to generate leads and new business for your brand.
However, most cold emailing campaigns fail to generate responses. A major reason for the dismal performance of cold campaigns is the use of generic templates without any personalization.
That’s where Lemlist chips in. You can use it to personalize the images and videos in your email templates by using custom variables. It also offers dynamic landing pages to extend your outreach funnel. Which means, you can personalize your landing page and communicate on a 1-on-1 level.
Wouldn’t you like to add a personal touch to your emails without compromising on the scale of the campaign? I thought so.
To schedule a campaign, it offers numerous templates and the ability to create sequences and drop campaigns. For deeper personalization, you can use its liquid and spin syntax. Once campaigns are executed, you can analyze the open-rates, clicks, and replies to focus on the hottest leads.
Another handy feature of Lemlist is Graveyard. It lets you unsubscribe an address or entire domain (e.g. your competitors).
Most entrepreneurs focus on finding long-tail keywords for writing blog posts. However, algorithmic updates by Google now call for focusing on topics.
It means you create hubs on subjects related to your business (that have high search volume). Then, cover every possible angle of it in the form of spokes (which are targeted long-tail phrases). In this manner, you give your content a better chance to rank for the main and related keywords.
Answer The Public is a great tool to find out the spokes (related keywords) for your main keyword. Let me show you an example.
Suppose you want to become an authority on “social media marketing.” When you plug the phrase in the tool, it returns the questions that people are asking on the subject.
On scrolling, you’ll see the phrases using prepositions and comparisons.
So you can create content about the questions and other queries related to your products. One hub can consist of 15 to 20 spokes. To prioritize the terms to go after, you can sort the phrases by their search volume using a tool like the Google Keyword Planner.
The pro version of the tool also lets you compare data and analyze how the search behavior is changing. You can save reports and refine your search by over 190 countries.
Hannah Harris from Answer The Public put me in touch with Sarah Evans, a senior digital strategist at Bottle PR. Here’s how they leverage the tool to unveil search-demand:
“We use Answer the Public to add insight, validation, and creativity to our digital PR and content strategies – even pitches and proposals. It uncovers rich, less crowded, and sometimes surprising areas of search demand from the audience we wouldn’t otherwise reach. This approach has, without doubt, increased the search potential of our clients’ website and content through organic search.”
The satisfaction of the user is paramount for Google, so it continues to focus on understanding the intent behind every query. RankBrain, the search giant’s artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithm, is among the top three ranking factors.
How can you decipher the intent and deliver relevant experiences to your prospects? A simple method is looking at the SERP and determining the objectives of the searcher manually. However, if you label each query manually, then it could take you hours.
MorphL offers a better solution. It uses AI to optimize your marketing budget for intent. You can predict the user behavior, expected churn, shopping stage, customer lifetime value, and enable the creation of better experiences for your customers at scale.
Additionally, their model is “multi-class.” It means that queries that can have multiple intents aren’t pigeonholed into one. The results are delivered to you as a probability value between 0 and 1. So you can determine the most likely intent by looking at the prediction value.
You can give the tool a try (by uploading your spreadsheet with up to 1000 queries) here.
The success of any sales campaign is dependent on the quality of leads. Getting potential customers is fundamental to conducting business. However, finding a trustworthy source of prospects is tricky.
Sales intelligence tool, UpLead, makes the job of lead generation easy. It’s a B2B data provider with over 46M business contacts from more than 45M global company profiles worldwide. You can search and narrow prospects using over 50 filters, including job title, industry, location, revenue, number of employees, management level, job function, technologies used, and the like.
To access contacts, plug your criteria in the tool that matches your ideal persona. It will return their updated email address and phone number. From there, you can build targeted prospect lists of high-value contacts for account-based marketing.
The leads go through real-time email verification. So when you download or export leads, the emails are scanned to ensure accuracy. Getting access to clean and verified data will result in higher conversions and more sales for your business.
It also has a technology tracking feature that allows you to build lists of companies that use specific technologies such as Hubspot, WordPress, or Amazon.
You can also append fields and bring publicly available data together to qualify your leads better. More information about your prospects is crucial to deliver better customer experience and improve your sales effectiveness.
While Google has been moving away from requiring you to use keywords in your content, it doesn’t mean the end of on-page SEO.
You can still give yourself a better chance of ranking on the first page by matching the characteristics of the top-performing pieces. The Natural Language tool previews how Google sees your text. It diagnoses language into entities, sentiment, syntax, and categories.
Let me show you two ways to use the tool:
#1. Find the “entities” that Google considers important for your target keywords
Suppose I want to write an article targeting the phrase “how to use chopsticks.” To find out how the Google algorithm reads the top-ranking results, I plug the text from The Woks Of Life in the tool and pressed the ‘analyze’ button.
As visible in the screenshot below, the tool shows an analysis broken down into four aspects.
If you scroll down in the entities section, you’ll find a few important associations in the content. If you target the aforementioned keyword, then covering these aspects in your content will improve your chances to rank.
#2. Analyze the sentiment of the important sections
In the sentiment tab of the tool, you get a breakdown of how every sentence of the text behaves at an emotional level. Here’s how the introduction of the above article measures up.
If your audience engages for a longer time with your content, it sends positive signals to Google. And replicating the sentiments in key sections, like the headline, subheadlines, and introduction can prove useful.
You can experiment with a few of the top-ranking results in this manner and try replicating the kind of content that’s performing well. Dan, from Evolving SEO, breaks down five examples to get more actionable insights inside the tool.
If you create evergreen content, then publishing new content on your blog is not the best strategy. After publishing about 100 posts, you need to integrate updating old content in your editorial calendar.
B2C Content Marketer, Shreya Dalela, updated the content in a project for one of her clients. She upgraded the existing articles, making them more comprehensive and relevant. Within a month of republishing and promoting the piece, the traffic to the article tripled.
While you can manually track your content that’s losing traffic, Revive offers a simpler solution. It’s a free tool by a content marketing agency, Animalz, that uses an algorithm to identify content decay.
To get started, you need to grant access to your Google Analytics data. In a couple of days, you will get a report with recommendations for fixing the content.
Here’s my report mentioning six articles that are in the ‘decay phase’ on one of my sites. The tool also shows the views lost by these posts.
You can fix the articles in the following ways:
In their initial analysis, Revive found that an average website can make use of 1 to 10 article refreshes. And they are losing about 1300 views because of decay.
Traditional landing pages rely on a combination of static text, images, and lead capture forms to convert visitors into leads. While these elements are a staple of web design, they are unengaging.
The result is low conversion rates and below-par performance of digital marketing campaigns. While you can use coupons and A/B test designs, consumers are now bombarded with information. They have short attention spans.
TARS lets you flip the information-rich paradigm of landing pages. It creates conversational landing pages that reveal only a few message bubbles worth of text at a time. The result is an interactive experience for a prospect that delivers information in a digestible format.
Here’s an example of the lead generation process with TARS. Note how the chatbot converts requisition of information into a conversation. It feels more human and personal for the user to see bits of detail after each response.
Chatbots make it more probable for a user to consume the information you want to convey. TARS offers you templates for a slew of industries and use-cases to build your first chatbot.
While premiere tools in the search engine market deal with every aspect of SEO, they are expensive. You can go a la carte and buy niche tools that specialize in a subdomain of SEO. However, it’s tricky to find a reliable and pocket-friendly tool each for keyword research, backlinks, rank tracking, website analytics, and SERP analysis.
Mangools offers an affordable SEO suite with five tools covering all the above aspects in a single subscription. It comes with robust customer support (from people that do SEO). Here’s a list of the tools with a brief on what they do:
It’s an effective keyword research tool that comes with relevant metrics, including keyword difficulty and search volume. You can also plug in your competitors’ domain to find out the keywords they are ranking for. Overall, it’s fairly intuitive with comprehensive data and a beginner-friendly UI.
It analyzes the SERPs on more than 45 SEO metrics and finds the weak spots of your competitors. The tool also has local SERP previews for 50,000 locations (cities, countries, and DMA regions) to get your local SEO game right.
It has a proprietary Dominance Index to show you the organic traffic potential of your site based on its current keyword positions and their volumes. You can also schedule reports, event-based alerts, and share these reports with a link.
This is the Mangool’s version of the backlink checker. It relies on established metrics like citation flow and trust flow to help you understand backlink strength of your competitors. You can also filter links by their types (hide the Q&A, forum, and nofollow links).
If you want all the essential SEO authority and related metrics of a website, then simply plug it in this tool. It returns the standard Moz and Majestic metrics as well pulls the Alexa Rank and Facebook shares for the site.
If you’re new to SEO, and all of the above functionalities seem overwhelming, you can refer to the extensive knowledge base by Mangools that contains guides and handy resources.
11. Social Pilot
If you’re a marketing agency, then handling multiple social media accounts of your clients can get tedious. You need to create high-quality content, schedule posts, and keep up with updates across hundreds of platforms.
Social Pilot is an affordable and convenient tool with an all-in-one social media dashboard. It comes with a host of exciting features including content curation, client management, social media calendar and analytics, and more. Let’s look at a few of its prominent features.
Its bulk scheduling feature allows you to plan up to 500 posts. You can create a list in a notepad or CSV and upload it. The post planner also allows you to preview the posts and choose a time when you want to publish them.
The tool also has a white label feature that allows you to customize the URLs, typography, colors, and put your brand at centerstage. Once done, you can market the tool and resell it to your clients.
Its social media analytics feature allows you to generate pdf reports (these are also brandable) with actionable insights. You can find your top content that’s faring well with your audience, the best time to post and analyze the patterns of your growth. The tool can even discover influencers to drive engagement for you.
With so many tools available for marketing and sales, it can get difficult to choose the right ones for your business. However, don’t feel like you’re stuck with the popular and expensive ones.
In this article, I introduced you to eleven lesser-known tools that can power up your marketing, sales, and help your business succeed. A few of them also offer free trials, so experiment with them and find the ones that fit your needs.
Have you got any experience using any of the above tools? Is your favorite one on the list? Let me know in the comments below.
Guest author: Chintan is an ROI-focused content marketer and currently leads the content at The Ecommerce Academy. Join him at Elite Content Marketer to learn how to grow your business through content.