Here’s some interesting marketing resources for online marketing and even some real-world marketing. Â They cover a pretty broad spectrum from search engine optimization to social media, without having to spend an money to do it – just an investment of your time. Â And, just for the heck of it, I wrote up reviews of each of them to help you decide if it’s worth your time even looking at them! 😉
Originally, this was going to be a quick post for indie game developers, but as I started putting a few of these resources on the same page, I realized all of them are useable for plenty of applications outside of game development. Â If you’re doing anything for online marketing, a lot of the resources on the linked pages are for you. Â If you’re doing real-world marketing, well, some of them still apply to you – for instance, the information on press releases.
Here’s the quick rundown of them:
Indie Game Girl might be geared towards game developers who need to add a little punch to their marketing plans, but it’s applicable to a lot of areas. Â Lots of stuff ranging from marketing tools to building communities to A/B testing on call to action buttons to Kickstarter marketing to getting more Twitter followers. Â Good stuff for general marketing, but there’s also the indie specific stuff: Â how to figure the cost of a game’s marketing campaign, in-game advertising techniques, app sales pages, and more. Â If you dive into her site and don’t find something new, compelling, or informative, well… you didn’t actually read it. 🙂
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader at first didn’t appear to be something I’d find interesting. Â I’ve ran across a couple of SEO optimization products, and most of them really aren’t that useful. Â Heck, most of them are a thinly veiled attempt to sell you a report, get your name on their mailing list, or sell you a product. Â Don’t get me wrong: HubSpot is trying to get your on their mailing list and sell you a product. Â Imagine my surprise when I tossed a couple of the domains I own and ones I deal with for other customers, and it returned me actual useful information. Â Without having to buy a report, and without having to sign up for anything!
The Marketing Grader is pretty slick, really. Â It not only does SEO analysis – a dime-a-dozen service – but it digs deeper, looking into things like how often your posts are being re-tweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook. Â Not bad. Â It provides andÂ aggregateÂ score (higher is better) for your site(s), and give you a really good checklist of things to do about it. Â Most of them are things I tell my customers to do – for instance, blog every week or two. Â It says every 10 days on average. Â By using it over time, you can get a really good idea what’s working and not working about your blogs – how many people found what you said interesting enough to tell others about it?
And, it breaks down the analysis down into chunks that make sense – OK, people are hitting the landing pages, now have you done things to convert them into potential customers or long time readers? Â Overall, well worth using.
InboundWriter is possibly the least useful link in the batch – which means, it’s still pretty useful, it just ends up at the bottom of the list. Â I already use in-article SEO stuff (All In One SEO for WordPress on MidnightRyder.com, for instance) to help improve keywords and search terms. Â I also use theÂ ZemantaÂ WordPress plugin to gain applicable outbound links and images. Â This one goes a bit further – as you write, it analyzes what you’re working on, and gives you a potential strategy for your keywords.
For those who don’t know, there’s more to being found on Google than just writing an article. Â There’s a lot of matching your keywords to your content, then matching that to your target audience.
InboundWriter helps that a bit – you tell it about what you’re writing (for instance, this one is on marketing resources), and it goes out and tries to find applicable keywords. Â Also, give it a “document strategy”, and it will try and find keywords that help with search engine optimization by matching that strategy: do you want to go after the already heavily used keywords, or do you want to find keywords that are being used by other sites less often? Â Is optimizing for advertising platforms (like Google AdWords) important? Â What level of education is important for your article?
Then, it breaks it down for you – how often are you using the focus terms? Â What other focus terms should you use? Â And, what should you be doing to improve the over all search engineÂ friendlinessÂ of your article? Â Based on all that, it gives you suggestions and a document score that updates semi-realtime.
Now, one nagging thing about it: Â attempting to follow the suggestions never updated the suggestions. Â For instance, while I write this, it tells me to “Add a Focus Term to the beginning of your title.” Â Great, I’ll do that… wait, I already have the first two words as my focus term. Â Hm. Â “Use your focus terms sooner in your document.” Â Great, I’lll… yeah, OK, those are already in there.
That’s what ends up ranking this one as the least useful of this particular batch of tools – it feels like it still needs work. Â I’m using the WordPress plugin they produce, so that might be reducing it’s usefulness.
Additionally, it’s a pay service, but they offer a free account that lets you use it on up to four articles a month. Â As you might guess, since I’m a cheapskate, I’m using the free account – but I will admit, if it was a tool that really drove that much more traffic to my site, I’d probably be inclined to buy it!
There’s a downside to all of these WordPress marketing / SEO tools I’ve added to my site(s): Â it’s amazing how much clutter it ends up adding to the site when I’m writing!