Amazon makes its entry into Southeast Asia through Singapore

Amazon launched its express, same-day delivery services, Prime Now in Singapore on Wednesday night (July 26), making it Amazon’s first foray into Southeast Asia (SEA), making smaller e-commerce companies shake in their boots. Mr Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP Worldwide Operations told The Business Times that Singapore is a top export destination for Amazon based on items bought on its global websites. Xiaofeng Wang, a senior analyst at Forrester also mentioned Singapore was chosen as its first market due to the fact that “consumers here are more westernized and affluent.”

Ecommerce in Southeast Asia has huge potential for growth with a population beyond 600 million people and an expected growth of total sales across e-commerce by 25% year on year. The region has over 262 million internet users and many of these consumers are mobile-first internet users, or people who primarily access the web through their mobile phones. This number is predicted to reach 292 million by 2020 showing a huge opportunity for retailers who are looking to expand their business especially their mobile offerings. 

By 2019, ecommerce sales in the region is expected to be contributing to over three-fourths of the worldwide growth of $1.907 trillion and retail ecommerce sales is expected to more than double over the next four years, climbing from $14.04 billion in 2016 to $31.80 billion in 2020.

However, there are still hindrances that stands in the way of the ecommerce growth in SEA such as the massive variation in payment preferences in different countries and the underdeveloped ecommerce logistics infrastructure. In Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines, there is a high preference for cash on delivery in comparison to credit and debit card usage. The limited internet access in rural areas and poor user experience is also the reason ecommerce is slow to develop.

Alibaba was the first to enter the Southeast Asian market when it purchased Lazada in April 2016. In pre-empting the arrival of Amazon Prime, Lazada launched their membership program called LiveUp together with RedMart and four international online brands: Taobao Collection, Netflix, Uber and UberEats. The membership is like Amazon’s Prime service which includes benefits such as same-day delivery and access to the company’s video streaming service.

We will now just wait to see the ripple effects the entry of Amazon will have on the regional ecommerce players.



eMarketer Retail Ecommerce Sales in Southeast Asia Opportunities and Challenges for Six Key Markets

eMarketer Global Ecommerce Platforms 2015 A Country by Country Look at the Top Retail Ecommerce Sites

eMarketer Retail Ecommerce Sales in Southeast Asia Opportunities and Challenges for Six Key Markets

Programmatic Masters 2017

The inaugural Programmatic Masters was held last week as part of the ATS Singapore 2017  program. This one day training course was designed to complement the full day conference discussion at ATS Singapore 2017. Led by Jodie Collins, managing director of RE/digital, the full day training session included presentations, activities and guest speakers from demand side platform The Trade Desk and analytics firm Sparkline.

With programmatic penetration in APAC standing at 17% of overall digital ad spend and being expected to double to 35% by 2019, there is clearly a need for teams to be equipped with the relevant knowledge to plan effective programmatic strategies for their companies.

The full day training session was attended by a mix of representatives from across marketing, media agencies, analytics, ad tech and publishers. Participants worked in groups to discuss programmatic concepts, data strategy and measurement, and how they could apply the knowledge in practical examples as well as back in their jobs.

To see highlights from the event, click here.

RE/digital and ATS Singapore will be working together to bring more trainings events to the APAC market. Please do let us know if you’d also like us to work with your company on a training session for your team.

Challenges in Programmatic Marketing

There has been a shift to programmatic marketing over the last few years as marketers look to leverage the huge amounts of data that has been generated to target the right audience.

Yet, for the past few years, we have seen a myriad of challenges which threaten the industry. The biggest challenges include:

Ad fraud

Ad fraud refers to the act of misrepresenting ad impressions, clicks and conversions in order to generate revenue. As companies purchase advertising from a media supply chain that is not transparent, it leads to discomfort as to whether the large amounts of dollars placed into programmatic is justified. In fact, a CNBC report states that businesses could lose $16.4 billion to online advertising fraud in 2017. What is being done to make media buying more transparent?


Viewability is a measurement of whether an ad has been seen or clicked by a person. It is important as client-side marketers and agencies to want to have control over the quality of media that they are buying. What viewability metrics should marketers focus on to best meet their marketing objectives?

Brand safety

Brand safety means keeping your brand safe by keeping your ads well-placed, avoiding them to be placed alongside content that is damaging. An example is the recent incident where big brand marketers realised their ads on Youtube appear together with extremist videos. How can we ensure that these ads appear in a safe environment and do not tarnish the brand’s image?

Despite these challenges, programmatic ad spending in APAC in 2017 is estimated to be $10.2bn, or 18% of ad buying budget in a forecast by Magna Global (eMarketer). Furthermore, with the increase in use of digital devices across the region with more than half of Southeast Asia’s population accessing the internet (WeAreSocial), it is hard to ignore the opportunities for advertising in which programmatic offers. Marketers should learn to manage these challenges instead of being fearful.

If you’re new to programmatic and want equip yourself with the skills to use programmatic in your marketing or learn how to plan an effective programmatic strategy, sign up for our Programmatic Masters course today.

The Programmatic Masters course is a one day training course organised by ATS and RE/digital. Experts in the industry would help you demystify the world of programmatic and give you confidence in speaking with your clients or agencies about using programmatic in your marketing. Early bird tickets start from $257.50.

Purchase tickets via Eventbrite here:

Programmatic Masters 2017 homepage:

7 Creative Ways to use Instagram Carousel

Instagram launched Carousel a few months back, allowing users to post up to 10 square photos or videos in a single Instagram post. This is exciting as it is an avenue to expend your creativity, connecting with your consumers using this new post format. You may also use Carousel to experiment with what works, before putting up paid creative Carousel ads.

To help you get inspired, we have trawled through Instagram to learn how some top brands and Instagrammers have used Carousel:

1.  Split a large photo into a few parts

Give your audience a bigger picture by splitting your large photos and panoramas into a few parts. Airbnb introduced their outdoor trip with a series of recurring photos which form a larger picture amplifying the experience one can have on their trip:

2.  Introduce a series

Lego introduces the series of mini figurines to show that they have something for everyone. In the same way, introduce a variety of your products in the same product line using this method.

3.  Tell a story in sequence

Comic artists have taken the opportunity to post each frame in a separate photo to tell their story instead of fitting the comic into one image. Inform audience in the caption to swipe right to continue the story.

official new character: zit

A post shared by Alex Norris (@dorrismccomics) on

4. Post multiple photos from one event

Paint a richer picture of events when more than one visual is used. National Geographic posted a series of pictures and videos in this Carousel, bringing to life the world-famous Iditarod race.

5. Showcase different angles

Use different perspectives of the same object to pique the interest of your viewers. NASA posted different angles of our beautiful planet Earth on Earth day:

6. Before and After

Use Carousel to show transformation. This may be used to showcase a new product or if you wish to showcase the efficacy of your brand’s product on the item it is used on. Maybelline New York shows followers how to achieve the perfect brow with their new eyebrow product.

7. Step-by-step how-to guide

Post steps of the process in different frames using images and video. Buzzfeedtasty guides their followers in making a sourdough bread by first posting a leading question, then a video with the method for preparation and ends off with the finished product. 

Weekly Review #20

1. How marketing changes when shopping is automated (Harvard Business Review)  
Much of marketing is premised on companies delivering messages to customers to influence their purchases and consumption. But within a few years, this model of marketing, advertising, and shopping will become obsolete.
2. Why cross-device targeting is a marketing must-have this holiday season (Adweek)
Brands are competing for shoppers' attention and a bigger piece of their holiday budgets. How do you ensure that you're investing holiday marketing budgets in the most impactful, efficient way? 
3. Spotify serves its first vertical video ads in new 'branded moments' (Adage
Spotify is serving its first vertical video ads through a new "branded moments" offering that gives people 30 minutes of commercial-free listening music afterward.
4. 'Adulting': A fluid process for young people (Campaign Asia
Brands should start understanding and assisting young people in the complex business of growing up, according to McCann’s latest ‘Truth about Youth’ research.
5. Salesforce won't pursue bid for Twitter (Wall Street Journal
Lack of buyer interest means the social media company will have to forge ahead on its own, for now.

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Weekly Review #18

1. The new tech talent you need to succeed in digital (McKinsey&Company)  
In today's rapidly changing digital landscape, companies that understand their talent needs and know how to meet them have a competitive edge. 
2. Clayton Christensen has a new theory (Wall Street Journal)
His latest book "Competing Against Luck" focuses on marketing and consumer behaviour. He argues that when companies develop and promote products, they need to figure out what drives the choices of customers.
3. Snapchat and Instagram usage doubles in Asia: Kantar TNS (Campaign Asia
According to Kantar TNS, the use of social-media platforms Instagram and Snapchat has doubled across Asia Pacific since 2014 as engagement with these highly visual platforms continues to grow.
4. Programmatic native is here, and premium publishers are wary (Digiday
Marketing dollars are poised to flow into programmatic native advertising next year, and many except premium publishers are excited.
5. APAC marketers struggling to manage countless touchpoints: TNS (Campaign Asia
Only a third of APAC marketers feel in control of the online and offline channels they're using to reach consumers.

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A worthwhile investment in knowledge

Buying a subscription to SmartInsights has been one of the best investments I’ve made this year.

This website is an excellent collection of marketing strategy and tactical guidance, with a heavy focus on digital. Through an ongoing monthly subscription you get access to current thinking and approaches in the marketing world alongside lots of practical, useful tools.

Even as someone who has been doing this work for some time, I find the tools very useful; as a refresher on what’s important, on proof to be able to give to clients to support thinking and as training support materials for the more junior members of our teams.

I signed up for the “limited monthly plan” which gives you a great level of access tot he materials on the site, and allows you to carry over any unused credits from one month to the next month. Considering it’s not a website you visit on a daily basis, you find that this often happens and this ability to save your credits to then be able to download multiple guides or templates when a specific need arises is incredibly valuable.

I’d suggest this is a worthwhile investment for anyone in marketing or advertising.

Weekly Review #16


Week #16

1. Brands have started using Twitter's latest customer service tools (Digiday)  
Twitter's new update makes two-way communication between brands and their customers a lot easier.
2. Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Google, Facebook and more form 'coalition for better ads' (The Drum)
The world's biggest advertisers and media owners have united to form 'coalition for better ads' at a time where skepticism over digital media is rife.
3. Marketers are getting the Snapchat targeting data they want. Will that scare off users? (Adweek
The popular messaging app aims to attract deep-pocketed marketers and investors with the introduction of in-app behavioural targeting in the fourth quarter timed to a rumoured IPO. 
4. Voice is chat's next battle ground (Tech Crunch
Soon, we’ll talk and listen to our messaging apps when it’s more convenient than typing or reading. The age of voice is about to arrive.
5. As India's bloggers mature, brands have more opportunity to engage (Campaign Asia
Sixty percent of bloggers now say they are working full-time, opening up opportunities for sustainable brand positioning and influence. 

Weekly Review #14


Week #14

1. Google injects machine learning into analytics app (Adage)  
It will provide a new stream of automated insights in its Google Analytics mobile app, allowing marketers to see key data metrics in a matter of minutes. 
2. 4 things managers need to know about data (Forbes)
It is becoming clear that there is a data divide opening up. Gautam Tambay, CEO of Springboard, a company helping to close this divide, talks about what managers need to know today about working with data.
3. Everything startups need to know about email marketing (Tech in Asia
An infographic to help you learn how effective email marketing can truly change your business.
4. Facebook wants you to talk to your friends more (Mashable
The company is testing its new feature "What friends are talking about" to encourage people to talk to one another on its platform as there has been a decline in people posting personal content.
5. Singapore marketers on the health of industry in the island city state (The Drum
Senior marketers from Singapore discuss their take on the country's strength, weaknesses and the state of its talent pool.

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Augmented reality at your fingertips with Blippar

Picture this: you see a breed of dog you don’t recognise. Instead of trying to type vague descriptions of the dog into Google, (“small brown dog with big sharp ears”), you point your phone camera at it instantly recognises its breed, feeds you with information about this dog breed and even gives you related dog videos.

Sounds kind of sci-fi, doesn’t it?

Welcome to the world of augmented reality (defined by as a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data). The truth is, such technology many of us expect only out of sci-fi or spy movies are accessible to all of us –and all you need is literally just a smartphone.

The RE team decided to test the phone app Blippar, a leader in mobile augmented reality. Blippar is available for download on your regular Appstore.

Using the app, point your phone at an object and it immediately provides you with keywords. (Luxury, handle, indoors etc) After assessing these keywords, the brand of the product appears (Michael Kors), providing us with information about the brand, and other brands or keywords that are relevant to it (Kate Spade New York, Coach Inc, Handbag etc). 

We tried it with a water bottle too…

Amongst many other things.

We had some laughs when the app returned our Crunchie chocolate bar as a “hot dog”, and our very Asian friend’s face as “Frank A Alexander”, a male American horse trainer. However, this mobile AR technology at its early stages has wowed us in its accessibility, breadth of knowledge and ability to analyse information without the user needing to input any other information.

With such ease of use, the potential for mobile AR is huge, especially for the consumer goods industry. Imagine picking up a lipstick used by your friend, and being able to find out all its different available shades and where you might be able to purchase it? In fact, forward thinking consumer goods brands including P&G, Coca-Cola and Nestle have already begun using augmented reality to enhance consumers’ retail experiences. 

How can you, too, create an immersive experience for your consumers using AR?

Weekly Review #4


Week #4

Welcome to the RE/digital weekly review, where we curate our picks of the week's best digital and tech news.

  1. Op-ed: What publishers should do about ad blocking now
     (Digiday) - Some pragmatic tips on what publishers, creative and media agencies can do to respond to ad-blocking.
  2. You'll be outraged at how easy it was to get you to click on this headline (Wired) - Yes we fell for it too. The psychology of click bait.
  3. Facebook launches online creative hub in bid to simplify creation of ads (Adage) - A helpful tool for creatives trying to understand Facebook's ever-changing range of ad options. 
  4. 5 things that are radically reshaping shopper marketing (Adweek) - A great trends piece on the digital/retail relationship. Everyone from retail giants to specialty boutiques is feeling the pressure to adapt more seamlessly to the digital world.
  5. Will the next Siri be empathetic (TechCrunch) - The next stage in AI is in artificial intelligence becoming empathetic: not about seeing users as a group, but seeing each user as an individual and designing a system that picks up subtle human clues. 

AI+ business and life: it's coming, get ready

I was chatting yesterday with a senior lawyer friend of mine who said to me, “I’ll be out of a job in 10 years.” I think he’s right and wrong– he’ll be out of his job as it exists today, and it will be less than 10 years. However, I predict he’s highly likely to be doing a job that makes use of his extensive legal experience that pairs him up with artificial intelligence to do the more mundane work of sifting through reams of background data to give him what he needs to develop client solutions.

This conversation with my lawyer friend came up as I was telling him about a fireside chat I moderated last week at startup conference Echelon in Singapore. I chatted with Chih-Han Yu, the brilliant and personable co-founder of Appier, a mobile advertising technology company that has artificial intelligence at its core.

Chih-Han’s biography is an impressive record of research and practice in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, including a PhD in robotics from Harvard, and involvement in developing various projects such as collaborative robotics for people with polio to assist them with walking.

Chih-Han spoke about the opportunities for businesses thinking about how to use artificial intelligence, saying that any industry that’s producing reams of data presents an opportunity to create “AI+”. What AI+ means is that we can add artificial intelligence to existing business models to improve product offerings and efficiencies. This could be better financial decision making, medically assisted health decisions or more personalised education for students.

His advice for businesses: define a customer need and/or business problem like you normally would, and then review where you can then add sets of data to incorporate AI.

(As an aside – I heard a great quote from the CEO of Fetch Robotics at a recent presentation too, where she described AI as potentially taking on any tasks that fit in the Three Ds: “dirty, dull and dangerous.”)

If you work in the media agency or publisher world, you’ve already seen the initial wave of automation and machine learning directly impacting how we buy and sell media. It has completely changed how we work and operate. Some would say for the worse, some for the better. Either way, it’s going to continue and we need to be ready for what’s coming next.

For anyone working in the professions, I’d suggest reading a fascinating book called “The Future of Professions” by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind. They make well-founded predictions about the impact of technology and artificial intelligence on the professions, particularly law. Major disruption is on its way.

We’re starting to work with some clients now where we’re assessing how to apply automation or machine learning to areas of their business to improve products and performance beyond marketing. The potential is huge and also a little unnerving. I figure it’s best we start to think now about what is coming though, so we can prepare our businesses and teams – not to mention our children – for the roles of the future which will no doubt have them working in very different ways to us, collaboratively with AI.

Weekly Review #2


Week #2

1. Mary Meeker 2016 Internet Trends Highlights (TechCrunch) - A summary of Internet trends 2016 instead of going through the 213-paged report yourself.

2. Visa created a ring that can be used for payments (The Verge) - Visa introduces contactless payment rings and gives them out to 45 athletes heading for the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

3. Mondelez goes beyond ad agencies, partners with companies like Buzzfeed for digital content (AdWeek) - For the first time, multinational food conglomerate partners with media companies Buzzfeed and Fox to produce more apps, games and "sponsored content".

4. Björk uses VR for an enhanced music experience (The Verge) - Icelandic Singer-songwriter takes listeners to a virtual version of the country using virtual reality.

5. Nobody really understands Southeast Asia (TechinAsia) - Experts on Southeast Asia are a rare breed.

Skyscanner launches chatbot on Facebook Messenger

Chatbots are beginning to gain traction, with the most high profile example being Facebook’s recent announcement about integration of chatbots into its messenger app. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the rapid rise of messaging apps in dominating people’s time and how increased connectivity has changed consumer expectations. It is hence no surprise that this highly consumer-centric and convenient innovation will be what marketers next consider in their mobile marketing strategies.

We can see some other companies starting to explore the opportunities for collaboration with Facebook.

Skyscanner recently launched its chatbot via Facebook Messenger, allowing you to conveniently search for ticket prices without having to switch applications while you make holiday plans with your friends on the app. (Test out their bot here)

What's Next?

Designer Isil Uzum created a video concept on Dribble about the future of purchasing flight tickets through your phone through Facebook messenger, integrated with Skyscanner, Virgin Airlines and Visa chatbots. This includes flight search features, quick input of passenger data and fuss-free payment splitting functions, allowing you to split bills when purchasing air tickets as a group.

If chat bots are done right, they may well be the primary customer service channel of the future, and leading brands should start to explore now.

Weekly Review #1


Week #1

Welcome to the RE/digital weekly review, where we curate our picks of the week's best digital and tech news.


1. CMO's Guide to Virtual Reality (Adage) - Do you need to explain VR to your executive teams? Get the key points in this guide for CMOs. 
2. Unilever Shooting VR content for their brands (Campaign Live UK) - The world's biggest marketer is already committing to creating VR content for its brands before the technology goes mainstream.
3. Google launches Daydream, a platform for 'high-quality' mobile virtual reality, launching this fall (VentureBeat) - A timely move for the tech giant to keep up with the VR movement, after launching Google Cardboard headset two years ago.


4. Why brands from Barbie to Uber are so hot on Chatbots (Adweek) - Everyone is talking chatbots for customer service.
5. Accenture creates Artificial Intelligence agent Amelia (The Drum) - Accenture has created an AI who can handle customer service and also learn from its interactions.  
6. Google shows off AI to keep up with Facebook, Amazon and Apple (Bloomberg) -Google unveiled new app Allo at its I/O developer conference, which responds to messages by reading and understanding people’s text conversations.

Super Cool Snapchat Hacks You Never Knew

Still thinking that Snapchat is just an app for college students to send frivolous selfies, doodles and sexts? The app, which deletes images and videos right after they have been viewed, is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Publishers are now moving to the platform in larger numbers, using the “Discover” function to reach out to its young users in fresh ways.

In fact, together with NBC Universal, Snapchat has recently signed a deal to feature content from the Olympics. This is the first time in history NBC is allowing Olympic content to appear on platforms other than its own, in a bid to better deliver Olympics content to millennials ages 13-34, as more than 60% of them are users of the app.  

Savvy digital marketers also need to be thinking about how to incorporate Snapchat into their content marketing plans. We’ve put the following Snapchat hacks together to give you a head start on how to use it.


RE/digital's super cool Snapchat hacks (click to enlarge)

5 Simple SEO tips for Small Business Websites

If you’re the owner of a startup or small business, chances are you are eager to get your webpage as high as you can on the Google search page. However, this can be quite challenging. We’ve summarised below 5 simple tips for you to make sure that you keep your SEO (search engine optimisation) working for you.

1.     Do your Keyword Planner Research

Developing a set of keywords is the most fundamental step in any SEO initiative, as these keywords connect potential consumers searching for your offering directly to your site. To do this, create a Google Adwords account to use their Keyword Planner tool. By using the Keyword Planner tool, you are able to see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several keywords together. After finding out keywords to optimize your site, include these keywords into your: titles, subtitles, headings, content, descriptions, image file names, and URLs.

A simple guide to using Keyword Planner can be found here 

2.     Produce fresh and relevant content to optimise search engine indexing of your page

Content can come in many forms: blog posts, videos, reviews, articles or videos. By frequently updating your website, the content that you create ups the ranking of your site as search engines bots would stop by more often to crawl through your site and index it. Furthermore, by publishing more content on the site, there would be a higher chance more keywords appear. However, remember that quality is key –do not build your content solely around your keywords. Instead, use these keywords in your Meta tags and titles instead.

In fact, creating quality content is exactly the point of SEO, for consumers engage search engines in the first place to retrieve their desired content. Hence, being consistent in producing relevant, fresh and quality content is a surefire way to get traffic to your site, and eventually improve your SEO.

3. Create readable URLs

URLs (the address to your site’s pages) should be kept legible to human beings as they are ultimately the life forms clicking onto these links and visiting your webpages! Having structured URLs that are comprehensible to the layman would increase clickthrough rates because people are able to get a gauge of what content they can expect when they visit the page.

Moz, an expert in SEO, created an image that is effective in explaining why:

Furthermore, these URLs appear on the search entries in the search results. Hence, it has become one of the elements in which consumers consider when they visit your page. A good URL is one with powerful keywords to draw the searcher into visiting the page

4.     Keeping linked social media accounts active

Google’s Matt Cutts has stated that social signals (likes, shares and views on social media platforms) do not affect search rankings, as doing so would mean that there would be far too many pages to index. (just imagine- all your Facebook posts about your daily grind and your colleagues’ tweets about their newborn child!) However, digital marketers out there still have firm beliefs as to why social media should be part of your SEO plan:

Social media activity increases the awareness of a brand or website content. Imagine you posted a video on your Facebook page. This Facebook video is then being shared amongst viewers, one of which is a writer for an online publisher with a large following. He decides to use your video in one of his articles, linking your website as credit. As a result, his influence brings a traffic boost to your website, indirectly affecting SEO. 

Furthermore, there also conducted a study in 2015 which shows that the quality of tweeted links, Facebook shares, and Google +1 pages do have a positive impact on search ranking performance, although there is no direct proof.

That being said, we often associate SEO directly with Google. However, we have to remember that we can increase our brand’s visibility within these social media channels themselves. SEO principles are also applicable to social networking platforms and we should not leave them out!

5.     Use SEO tools to examine SEO progress

Make use of tools out there that help you to monitor how your site is doing in terms of its search rankings. SEO site checkup is a tool that allows you to see what steps you can take to improve your search. It instantly analyses your site’s SEO situation, does professional SEO monitoring, understands your competitor’s SEO profile and gives you SEO reports that are easy to understand with steps that you can work upon. This tool has a free trial, and the basic package starts at $19.95/month.

Above were the 5 most basic steps to help you improve your webpage’s SEO. Remember that it takes great effort and time -getting your page to the top of the Google search page would require patience and executing the right steps. Keep your pages updated and conduct frequent SEO assessments to measure how well you are doing during the process. Let us know in the comments section if you agree with us or have any other tips!



7 Useful Tools for Social Media Marketing

Thinking of embarking on a social media strategy for your business but have no idea where to begin? The number of resources out there can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of 7 very useful tools, tried and tested by the RE/digital marketing team, to make your life simpler as you begin your digital journey in marketing! 

1.     Hootsuite for Social Media Management

Hootsuite is a social media management system. Taking the form of a dashboard, it allows you to review and post in all your social media platforms consistently at once. You can schedule content posting and use Hootsuite’s tools to find engaging content to post. Hootsuite also has analytics, where you may view your content performance over time.

Cost: You may begin with a 30-day trial, which allows you to manage up to 50 social profiles. After 30 days, Hootsuite Pro continues at $8.99USD/month, billed annually.

2.     MailChimp for Email Marketing

Email marketing can surprisingly still be an effective way to reach consumers who have indicated an interest in your offerings. MailChimp offers templates for building vibrant newsletters, signup forms, analytics and mobile options. A huge plus is its compatibility with popular apps that you might already be using such as Wordpress, SquareSpace, Google and Twitter.

Cost: You may use MailChimp for free with 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. Charges apply with feature upgrades or increase in subscribers and emails.

3.     Canva for Design

Design graphics for your marketing materials, social media ads, event invitations and email headers by using this handy graphic design tool. Canva makes designing amazingly simple – you no longer have to be a Photoshop expert to create beautiful images to go with your content.

Cost: Begin with a 30-day free trial. Subsequent usage of Canva is $12.95 USD/month or $119.40 USD/year.

4.     Pixabay for Free High Quality Stock Images

It is no doubt that we live in an increasingly visual age. It is important to boost the impact of every page, post and content piece with appealing images. However, many of the free stock photos we find online are mundane, watermarked or of low quality. With Pixabay, you can find high resolution images with CC0 license (Creative Commons 0), requiring no attribution for personal and commercial use. With over 610,000 free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations in its database, you have no excuses for not creating rocking visual content for your brand! Also, be sure to pay it forward by making a donation when you make it big ;)

5.     ContentGems for Content Discovery

ContentGems is a content discovery engine, scanning through thousands of articles from the Internet daily and delivering to you content that interests you. ContentGems can help you with your content marketing, as you can now refine your search for third-party content in the industry and pushing it to your own social media platforms. This helps you more easily build your social media presence and brand, as you are no longer reliant solely on the content you create.

6.     Google Analytics for Analytics

Google Analytics is a must have for every website, as it allows you to put a quantifiable measure to your social media campaigns. It provides basic analytical tools for search engine optimization for your marketing purposes. Furthermore, it is free and simple to set up as long as you have an existing Google account. Add dashboards to your Google Analytics account to view statistics about the top content on your site, the referring locations of your best visitors’ links or your worst performing pages. This data can help you make important and intelligent business decisions.

7.     Social Mention for Social Listening

Social Mention is a free social media search engine that searches for user-generated content such as blogs, bookmarks, tweets, events, news and videos. It measures the sentiment of your search in four metrics: Strength, Sentiment, Passion and Reach. Social mention helps you to be aware of the buzz your campaign has created, track and measure what people are saying about you.

There you go, 7 useful tools. Do let us know which is your favourite one in the comment section and we wish you all the best in reaching out to your consumers using new social media platforms.