There’s no shortage of tools for digital marketers, social media consultants, and SEO gurus these days. However, many of the most popular utilities are available only through Web browsers or as downloadable desktop software applications. Here are six mobile apps for digital marketers that are all worth a download.
Perch is a free Android and iOS app that gives you a “birds-eye view” of all the social mentions your company receives, as well as your competitors’ mentions. You tell Perch the companies to follow, and it creates a news feed of updates and mentions about those companies on Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, Foursquare, Groupon, Google+ and Living Social. I particularly appreciate the alert feature, which notifies you when someone leaves a new review for you on Yelp, for example.
The focus is on local businesses, which means Perch is probably best for small businesses. In other words, if you want to add Starbucks to your feed, the options you get are for local, nearby Starbucks stores and not for the larger corporation.
Perch is easy to set up and use, and it is a valuable tool for local businesses that want to keep tabs on competitors.
This week, Google released a free Android app for AdWords that lets campaign marketers check their campaign stats, update bids and budgets, get real-time alerts and more. If you’re running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on Google, the AdWords app makes life a little easier while you’re on the go. Not surprisingly, Android got the love first, but an iOS version will presumably follow.
HubSpot is an inbound marketing management and analytics service that’s well regarded in the digital marketing community. (I do not use it, but I do hear good things about the service at SEO conferences.)
The company developed a mobile app for Android and iOS that gives you access to HubSpot tools and analytics on the go. The app is free, but HubSpot’s service costs $200 or more per month. (There is a free trial.) Based on user reviews in the App Store and on Google Play, the iOS app appears to be more reliable and have more features than its Android counterpart.
Hootsuite, Buffer and Related Apps
Hootsuite and Buffer are useful, cloud-based social-media-monitoring and posting services with free apps. Unlike HubSpot, however, you need either a free or paid account to use these tools.
Hootsuite, available for Android and iOS, offers a free plan, which I’ve used for several years and recommend; a Pro plan ($10 per month), and an Enterprise plan (contact the company for pricing). Hootsuite’s app makes it easy to create social media updates that post simultaneously to multiple accounts; monitor your mentions and direct messages on Twitter; and schedule posts to go live in the future, among other features.
Hootsuite recently released Hootsuite Suggestions, a new iOS app that’s currently only available to Pro users. The app has a “suggestion news feed” to help you come up with and share social media posts.
Buffer, which has Android and iOS apps, is similar to Hootsuite, but with a few notable differences. For example, you can set up posting schedules for each of your social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Buffer offers a free plan, which I’ve used and like, and an “Awesome Plan” that costs $102 a year.
Buffer also just released a new Web-based tool, called Pablo, that helps you create visual social media posts using stock images or your own photos.
I suggest giving both Hootsuite and Buffer a try to see which one works best for you. You’ll be surprised what you can get accomplished using the free accounts.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.