In the last few weeks, I’ve come across two tools that I thought I’d share that are pertinent for those of you who are using WordPress, or if you are a brand.
1. TodayLaunch is a pretty neat social media monitoring platform. It allows you to monitor several Twitter streams, Facebook Pages, even WordPress sites for comments and other interactions. It gives a unified “inbox” mentality, so you can easily glance to see what’s going on in relation to your particular brand. What’s really nice is that it doesn’t stop with that. It also gives you the ability to set up some monitors. These are keyword (or hashtag) dependent searches across other people’s content. It’s pretty slick. And free. And pretty.
That being said, it’s not perfect. It has the ability to schedule posts for any and all of the linked social accounts, but the process is more about creating content, rather than making it easy to share. Right now, I use BufferApp to do most of my scheduled posts. What I love about it in comparison is how easy it is for me to go through my RSS feed in the morning, then with one browser-extension click schedule posts linking to a particular page. In general, I can get a few days worth of content scheduled, just by browsing and clicking on the browser extension. Plus, it links to my bit.ly account. Now that used to be more valuable before bit.ly decided to make their UI horrible…
2. BlogVault.net is a neat little service (with a monthly fee) that manages and automates both backing up and restoring WordPress sites. I heard about it through a friend of mine, and tried it tonight. It is particularly useful when you built a site in a beta environment, and then want to move it to the production environment. A few clicks, and it migrates everything from contents to tables over to the target destination.
Being that I manage or help manage a handful of WordPress sites, and I’m constantly building variants, this seems particularly useful. The downside is the monthly cost. Plans start at $9/month for one site – or $19 for three sites, and onward. If I were in an environment where I was hosting my clients on the Amazon cloud, or something else that has a tendency to go down occasionally, it could be worth it. And having a good backup really comes down to how much your time is worth – if $19/month and having to use it once is less expensive than the time it takes for you to recreate the whole site, then I suggest you take a gander. Lucky for me, no one actually reads these posts, so I don’t stress about the thought of the site imploding someday…
One very interesting point about TodayLaunch, is that it is built by a company out of North Dakota who specializes in marketing, and has this software (and other software) as a feature. I wouldn’t be surprised if they learn quickly that their software is their main business, or if they/it get acquired in the relatively near future.
I think there is a seismic shift coming to the marketing and advertising community. More and more companies in this vertical are becoming software companies. And for good reason. Software, and SaaS in particular (software-as-a-service) is becoming more and more valuable as a differentiator. Look at the impact of “big data”, and how having more information doesn’t mean much unless you can actually gain insights from it. A good example of this merging of tech and marketing is over at Three Deep Marketing, where they’ve come up with a product called Crossfuse. It helps provide true analytics and insights to the craziness that is lead generation. Another example is a few years older, but still one of my favorite (and earliest) examples: Colle + McVoy‘s Squawq. It’s a Twitter digester, for lack of a better term. I’d love to see this continue to grow as a tool, as it’s been a few years and not much has changed.
I’ve said it before, but I think the marketer who understands the software (and technology) world is one who has a big advantage right now.