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Digital Marketing Tools We’re Thankful for This Year



As we eagerly count down the last few days until Thanksgiving, the Industry Dive marketing team is practicing our own form of thanks-giving. 

Just like that one family member that forces you every year to go around the table and say what you’re all thankful for, I asked our team to go around and share their favorite marketing tools. “What digital marketing tools are you most thankful for this year?” 

And while we could make a long list of tools we use every day, I was more curious to know which tools the team could not live without. Here is a list of marketing tools we are most thankful for this year:

  1. Grammarly
  2. Moz
  3. Google Campaign Builder
  4. Google’s Data Studio
  5. LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Gmail
  6. Slack
  7. Canva
  8. Unsplash
  9. Zest

I loved writing this post because you can pretty much find a tool for every job function. Every person on our marketing team plays a different role and serves a different purpose  each equally as important as the other. This collection of tools resembles just that. Keep reading to see how each of these tools plays a role in assisting our marketing team function at its best.


As far as I know, Grammarly is the best writer-checking tool in the game. Since I installed this app a few years ago, I cannot imagine how else I would get through a workday without this plug-in catching every spelling and grammar mistake I make.

Industry Dive’s VP of Marketing, Robin Re says, “I’m thankful for the Grammarly plug-in. Not only does it catch any typos in my marketing copy and external-facing emails, but now, thanks to the Tone Detector [beta], it gives me a sense of how my email might come across. Which as any marketer knows… the HOW you’re saying something is just as important as the WHAT. I can sometimes wander into ‘formal’ tone and sound robot-like, so this is a nice nudge to lighten it up.”

This tool will help improve your marketing copy, edit your emails and generally calm your anxiety about missing a small grammatical error in your writing. I highly recommend installing this app if your job requires you to write regularly.


Moz is another tool to be thankful for, especially if you manage SEO for your website.

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Marketing Coordinator, Olivia Iurillo says, “I’m most thankful for Moz’s keyword explorer, which we use for SEO. When our editorial team asks for help with headlines or is curious about what our target audience may be searching for, I use the keyword explorer in tandem with SERP analysis to try and determine what keywords will boost organic search traffic.”

Google Campaign Builder

Savannah Smith, Marketing Campaign Specialist, is thankful for the time saved by this tool. 

“It sounds simple, but I’m thankful for the Google Campaign URL Builder. We manage 40+ campaigns in a given week, and being able to quickly create UTM codes to track performance across different sources and mediums is such a time saver.”

Building your campaign tracking links could not be easier with this tool. 

Google’s Data Studio

Google’s Data Studio has endless tracking capabilities. It’s great if you have someone on your team who knows the ins and outs of the system to help you customize reports to show you exactly what you need to measure. Our entire team uses these reports for various different reasons. 

As the Director of Lead Gen, Malinda Gather spends a lot of time working in Google’s Data Studio. 

I’m thankful for Google’s Data Studio. The number and types of reports you can create are endless, but I primarily use the tool to track landing page performance by campaign and placement. This allows my team to quickly pivot our promotional and copy strategy if the report indicates our current promotion isn’t resonating. It’s also an easy way to track our most successful promotions.”

I, on the other hand, use Google’s Data Studio to track contributor content performance. Luckily, I have Jackie (our data analyst) to help build reports like this for me. 

When it comes to marketing data analytics, I don’t know a better tool. 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Gmail

Wondering if you have the right person in your “to” line of your Gmail email? Or how you might be connected professionally? For those of you who email with people you don’t know regularly, you will love this plug-in. You can learn a lot more about the person on the other end of that email thread when their LinkedIn profile (including degree of connection and LinkedIn group membership) pops up on the side of your Gmail inbox.

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Marketing Campaign Corodinator, Sammy Srinivasan, loves this tool. “I’m thankful for the LinkedIn email plug-in. It tells me more about the prospects/leads that I come across and it makes it far more efficient to see if that person is a fit for our campaign.”

Matching a recipient to their LinkedIn profile helps provide more context to the conversation, and of course helps humanize it a bit with a smiling face if they have a profile picture.


There are so many different chat tools to choose from these days. From one-on-one chats to larger group collaborations, Slack is the perfect tool to help improve company-wide communication.

This is a tool we are all thankful for. Our team has a private channel where we share ideas, ask questions and just chat throughout the workday. On the Slack website, they offer helpful tips for in-app collaborations and other various ways to utilize this tool to boost work-productivity (including polls, calendar reminders, and project management notifications).

Sr. Data Analyst, Jackie McCartney, thinks Slack makes work more fun.


The tool I am most thankful for is Canva. Although my go-to tool for designing social media graphics is Photoshop and InDesign by Adobe, I absolutely love having Canva around for creating quick, on-the-go graphics.

The Adobe apps are the most robust design tools you can find on the market and are perfect for people trained in graphic design; but for everyone else, Canva offers a large variety of templates for all your marketing needs. You don’t need to remember all the optimal social media graphic sizes because Canva has everything pre-set for you. They’ve also updated their system so you can share your work with others, offering another great resource for team-collaboration.

The real selling point for me is that you can use Canva on any computer by just opening up your web-browser, going to the site and signing in. Adobe apps work best on Apple computers, so I rely heavily on Canva for my graphics when I’m traveling or working from home.


Megan Gavin, Director of Audience Growth Marketing, manages the majority of our social media ads, so she knows everything that goes into creating the perfect ad.

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“A picture is worth a thousand words,” says Meg. “It’s especially important when you’re limited to a few lines of text in your paid social posts. Unsplash has a vast gallery of free, high-quality images to help provide a cohesive product message and experience to prospective readers.”


The last digital marketing tool we want to give thanks for is Zest. Thank you, Zest, for offering us an easy plug-in to share and discover new social media and digital marketing content daily. 

Their website reads, “The content you need when you need it. Build your skills to stay ahead of the industry. Let Zest’s AI personally match you with community-curated marketing content.” Install the plug-in and you will be able to share your favorite industry insights with other marketers around the world, as well as discover favorite content that others are reading. 

As a trusted source for marketers to discover insights and learn from their peers, Zest reminds me a lot of what we do here at Social Media Today. For example, at Social Media Today, we find the smartest minds in the social media marketing world and work with them daily to create unique content that offers real advice and doesn’t add to the content-overload we experience on the internet today. The Zest team is also committed to sorting through content and making sure they only share the best of the best. 

You can select topics (such as “social,” “SEO,” “B2B,” etc.) that you want to read about and the system will show all the recent articles suggested for that topic. They also give you a nice profile page so that you can save content and follow other people to see their content suggestions.

Well, that’s it from us. Of course there are plenty of other amazing digital marketing tools on the market, but these nine tools improve my team’s daily work lives and we are so thankful for them.

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5 Reasons You Should Start Using Influencers to Create Content for You



5 Reasons You Should Start Using Influencers to Create Content for You

Imagine spending 3, 5, 7, 10 years creating content about topics you love out of pure passion. Working through decision fatigue on what to create, what platform to focus on building, and not knowing the latest marketing monetization strategies to actually make money. Only creating from a place of inspiration because you care and have a message to share for years before making a dime. The dedication and consistency is what builds audiences that LOVE your media channels, listening, watching, liking, and sharing your content on a regular basis. That’s what majority of influencers have done to build their channels. 

So why work with influencers to create content for you: 

Reason #1: Audience  

If you are looking to break into a new audience and build brand awareness working with an influencer is a good path to explore. An influencer knows it’s audience better than any SEO search so they know what content to create that will motivate, inspire, and trigger to get a response. They’ve built trust through years of content creation and testing out new ideas to engage their audience.    

Reason #2: Creative 

When you find the right influencer to work with they can be an extension to your business adding to the creative content department. Creative content is a pain point in a lot businesses and why organizations for years have paid big buck to marketing agencies to take this off their hands to make the commercial, promo video, and ads. When you have someone who’s outside of the organization, who’s built an audience, and can play in their strength it will be an added value to any brand and business.  

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Reason #3: Dynamic 

It’s not just any content that’s being created from influencers, it’s dynamic! Ideally, working with an influencer they are coming to the table with ideas for videos, social media, and ad content that will seamlessly incorporate the brand into their audience. Since they know their audience best let them lead this conversation and find a common working ground to let them move forward on their ideas. This type of content is the win-win-win for the brand, the audience, and the influencer’s media channels. 

Reason #4: Consistency 

Consistent content with any media channel is key to creating brand awareness for a business. When you have an influencer who’s outside of the organization not distracted by the day to day operations of a company, leaving them to create consistent dynamic content is something most brands didn’t even know they needed. 

Reason #5: Strategic 

It’s a strategic move for an organization to outsource content creation to an influencer who’s put in the creative work to build an audience. It’s an immediate traffic source to tap into and create brand awareness. There’s an opportunity to put paid marketing dollars behind the content and boost it’s engagement creating more opportunity for a brand. 

On average it takes a person 5-7 impressions to link a brand’s logo to the company. Add in another 7 impressions for them to remember it in the abyss of brands that are being marketed to them daily. When you work with an influencer to create dynamic consistent content you’re increasing your odds of your brand being recognized faster and identified by a trusted source. Good luck on your road to content creation with influencers!   

Valerie Viramontes

Valerie Viramontes is a purpose-driven entrepreneur, women’s and girls empowerment leader, conscious marketing expert, media strategist, and founder of V2 Solutions & Girl Hacks.

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Valerie created her boutique agency specializing in product launches and sponsorships for health conscious podcasters, influencers, and wellness companies. She uses her experience to create win-win-win deals for her clients, brands, and audiences. This has put her behind launches of companies and products with sales into the millions working with brands like Spartan Races, Barbell Shurgged, The Strong Coach, Complete Human and so many more! 

In Valerie’s free time she is a catalyst to remind young women of their inherent wisdom, intuition and power, and guide them to access the confidence within to make healthy choices in their lives. Add in hiking, dancing, reading, exploring new places to eat and she’s in her happy place!

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Data and privacy concerns grow among consumers



Data and privacy concerns grow among consumers

Consumers are showing greater concern over how data is gathered online and in apps and smart devices, according to a new study by GroupM, the media investment arm of WPP. The research was conducted in December by GroupM’s Audience Origin (formerly LivePanel) and included 1,000 U.S. consumers.

The findings indicated a decline in the number of consumers who feel comfortable sharing their data on health tracker apps or to allow smart home devices to automatically order refills for household items.

Sharing info. Over three quarters (77%) of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “I worry about how companies use my personal data online.” This was up from 72% in last year’s report.

Also, only a small percentage of consumers believe that the company who makes a device in the home, or its software, should have access to the data. That number is 5.4% in the current study, down from 6.9% in the previous one.

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New tech. Consumers are less enamored with new technology in their house. Only 51% of respondents in the survey agreed with the statement: “It’s important my household is equipped with the latest technology.” The survey the previous year had 54% agree.

Also, 32% somewhat or completely agreed that new tech “confuses me,” up from 28% the year before.

Why we care. In this study, the numbers appear to be consistently in the 5% range for drop in consumer sentiment around privacy, data and new technology.

It’s not a massive drop, but it’s not nothing either. Individual brands can overcome this barrier by managing a better conversation with their customers about their privacy and data practices.

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Take, for instance, the wide disparity in the way email subscriptions are managed. Some brands offer a one-click unsubscribe, while others hide the option behind a number of additional screens and questions. Marketers can cut through with transparency, and the ones that do will be ahead of the game as privacy law catches up in the states.

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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Trending in Marketing: Content Marketing Trends to Carry You Through 2022



Trending in Marketing: What Trends Are Coming in 2022

  1. We all know that women stereotypically shop more, but what about men? 75% of men are planning to spend more in 2022, Pinterest explains their study on why.
  2. Vertical scrolling is a feature on almost every social media platform, it’s what the common consumer is most familiar with. Instagram plans on taking their story feed vertical as well, giving the app a more “TikTok feel.”
  3. The graphic design niche isn’t for everyone, it’s hard to keep up with what’s what in the field. Here are 12 upcoming graphic design trends to keep you at the top of your game all 2022.
  4. The rules of SEO seem to change more than the Instagram algorithm, making it feel more like there are no rules at all. Could there be a “Best Word Count for SEO?”

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