Social media marketing is a keystone for many companies’ Internet marketing efforts, with a recent Nielsen survey reporting that 64 percent of companies are increasing their social media marketing spending. If you’re gearing up to expand your social media marketing presence in 2014, work smarter rather than harder, by employing some of these cloud based tools for your marketing efforts:
Benefits of the Cloud for Marketing
One of the biggest benefits of using the cloud for your marketing efforts is controlling your overhead. You don’t have to invest in an entire server farm or stay on top of software updates for your marketing tools. The cloud service provider does all of that for you, while also investing in new hardware and development to improve their applications. This helps your company focus on your marketing efforts instead of spending man hours fixing server problems during a massive campaign.
Cloud services like Mozy also grow with you through scalability, letting you pay for exactly what you need. The extra budget room gives you the opportunity to expand your marketing efforts, break into new markets, and invest in office equipment. Some cloud services also integrate with each other as well as existing software applications, so you have all of your marketing data and information available at a glance, instead of sifting through multiple programs to see it all.
Once you decide to implement cloud services into your marketing toolkit, you have to wade your way through many vendors seeking valuable cloud customers. When you’re choosing a cloud based marketing tool, take a close look at their social media features so you know there’s as much attention being put on these features as the rest of the packages. HubSpot has a robust social media marketing tool that focuses on social activity by specific groups of people, such as likely leads and established customers, interaction history with your company, and all of the people coming from your social profiles. It also has integration with the rest of the HubSpot marketing suite. Pricing for HubSpot starts at $200 per month, according to Hubspot.com.
Salesforce is a big name in cloud-based customer relationship management tools, but you might not know that their social marketing tools are top notch as well. Salesforce’s marketing cloud uses the Radian6 feature to keep you up to date on what your customers are saying about you on social networks in real time, Buddy Media to schedule your social media posting and publishing, and Social.com to help you create social marketing campaigns with Salesforce customer data integration. According to Salesforce.com, their most popular package, which includes custom CRM for your entire business, is $125 a month.
Marketo (Marketo.com) is known for its marketing automation tools, so it’s no surprise that they’re a strong presence in the social marketing realm. Marketo’s social marketing applications integrate with the rest of their marketing platform, facilitating content sharing and campaign integration. Social analytics tracks the effectiveness of your messages, content, and campaigns with real time information that allows you to adjust your marketing efforts on the fly. The platform integration adds social network information into the customer relationship management tool for ease of use and lead scoring purposes. The price per month is $2,995 for a maximum database record of 100k, according to their website.
Content Delivery Networks
Cloud storage and content delivery has plenty of options. Read reviews of the top 10 cloud storage companies after you’ve established exactly what your needs are for cloud-based storage. If you need a storage option for a few pictures here and there, you don’t have to be too picky about the cloud storage provider you’re going with as long as you can hotlink images. If you are media heavy with videos and other intensive content, a full out content delivery network may be more suited to your requirements.