There are so many tools available to digital marketers and designers nowadays. It can be difficult to determine which ones are truly useful and can make a big difference in day-to-day operations. The choice is a good thing, but too much choice can be overwhelming.
In order to help you sift through the expanse of digital marketing and design tools available, we’ve put together a list of our top six picks that we think everyone should be using in 2021.
We’ve got tools for remote testing, video interactions, search engine optimization, professional communications, interface design, and workflow management, so keep reading to find out how they can help you and your team reach your highest professional potential day in and day out.
1. Maze: Rapid, effective remote testing software
Best for: Designers
If you’re a designer and you aren’t already familiar with Maze, you’ll be eternally grateful that we introduced it to you. Maze is a remote testing solution. Regardless of whether you’re testing prototypes, ideas, general usability or copy, Maze takes the headache out of the whole process and provides designers and other professionals with useful data they can to inform their decisions.
We love that Maze has remote testing solutions for every step of the design process, including:
- Concept testing: Collect feedback on new ideas and concepts before you invest time and resources into them.
- Prototype testing: Test prototypes with real users so you can feel confident that your finished product will be a success.
- Content testing: Ensure that your content and copy align with your target audience before it’s published.
- User surveys: Engage with your users, maintain relationships with them, and collect their valuable feedback.
Maze is also well-loved by many different design world professionals. Because it’s the best user interface design tool out there, many of Maze’s biggest fans are product designers. However, it’s also used by product managers, product marketers, market researchers, and more.
Best of all, you can explore Maze without any strings attached with their free plan. If you want to start using their full range of features, their paid plans cost $33 USD per month per seat. They’ve also got custom Organization plans, but you’ll have to contact their customer service team for a quote.
2. VideoAsk: Face-to-face video interactions
Best for: Digital marketers… and let’s face it, just about anyone else!
VideoAsk is an excellent tool for digital marketers and just about anyone else if you ask us. It puts a friendly face on digital interactions by allowing people to have dynamic video conversations, whether they’re talking to their customers or their colleagues.
VideoAsk operates under the motto “the best interface is your face,” and we couldn’t agree more. They truly represent the future of digital interactions.
Using VideoAsk is easier than it seems. All you have to do is record yourself speaking or asking a question and share it via a link or embed it somewhere. The recipient can then respond to you with video or audio, or select their answer out of a range of options.
Here are just a few of the ways you can use VideoAsk for your business:
- Lead generation and social media marketing
- Audience engagement
- Training and education
- Testimonial collection
If you want to try VideoAsk out for yourself, you can do so with their free plan. After that, their paid plans range between $30 and $50 USD per month. They’ve also got custom Enterprise plans available upon consultation.
3. Surfer SEO: Take your content optimization and strategy to the next level
Best for: Digital marketers who focus on written content
If you’re a digital marketer who works with written content and search engine optimization in any kind of capacity, we recommend that you check out Surfer SEO. It’s one of the most popular SEO tools on the market at the moment and it makes producing high-quality, perfectly optimized content that much easier.
Here are just a few of the ways you can use Surfer SEO’s software for your content strategy:
- Content editor: Copy and paste your writing into Surfer SEO’s editor or write there directly. Your content will be compared to your competitors’ and you’ll receive instant feedback to help you rework it until you’ve got a great SEO score.
- Content planner: Create a fully formed content strategy for the months ahead complete with topics and keywords.
- SEO audit tool: This is a great place to start if you want to improve your SEO strategy. You’ll be provided with information about missing keywords, content structure, how you rank against competitors, and more.
Surfer SEO doesn’t come cheap, but you can try it out for free for 30 days. Their paid plans range between $59 and $199 USD per month depending on the features you want to use. They’ve also got a 7-day money-back guarantee.
4. Slack: Streamline professional communication
Best for: Everyone
A big part of both digital marketing and design is communication. You need to keep in touch with everyone on your team, and it needs to be easy. That’s why we love Slack! Slack is an excellent communication solution that allows teams of all kinds to touch base, exchange information, and brainstorm new ideas.
Slack works by taking the burden off your inboxes. Instead, you can organize all your work-related messages into communication channels. Within these channels, you can send messages, share files, and even make audio and video calls.
Channels can be public or private, so you decide exactly who can access them. If you’re collaborating with any external parties on digital marketing strategies or UX design ideas, you can also add them into your channels by using Slack Connect.
Slack is also ideal for digital marketers and designers because of its wide range of ready-to-use integrations. They’ve got a range of design-specific integrations like:
- Adobe XD
They’ve also got useful digital marketing integrations such as:
- Google Analytics Insights
If you want to try Slack out for yourself, you can do so for free. Their free plan is the perfect way to see how you like their platform. If you want to take things up a notch, their paid plans range between $8 and $15 USD per active user per month. They’ve also got Enterprise plans available if you talk to their sales team.
5. Figma: Collaborative interface design
Best for: Designers
Not only does Figma help design teams produce beautiful interfaces, but it’s specifically designed so that they can collaborate to their fullest potential. It’s the perfect solution for every step of the interface design process.
Figma’s design section brings together a truly exciting roster of features, including:
- A modern pen tool that can draw in any direction
- OpenType, which allows for advanced font features
- Instant arc designs
- AutoLayout, which reduces busywork and increases focused design time
- Plugins for everything from stock imagery to icons to color accessibility
- Flexible styles
We also love the flexibility of Figma’s prototype section. Switching back and forth between designing and prototyping is seamless. It’s also easy to create interactive, realistic prototypes in one place.
Best of all, you can sign up for a free plan with Figma and see how you like it. After that, their paid plans range between $12 and $45 USD per editor per month.
6. Airtable: The future of spreadsheets
Best for: Everyone
Whether you’re working on marketing projects, design projects or any other kind of project, one of the most challenging tasks is keeping track of all the different moving parts. Luckily, Airtable is a great tool to help with just that. It’s the perfect marriage of a database and a spreadsheet and helps streamline any kind of team’s workflows.
Essentially, Airtable is a spreadsheet where you can input all your project’s tasks. From there, you can add in dynamic elements like photos, links, priority levels, deadlines, contact people, categories, and more. You can also choose to view your spreadsheet as a grid, calendar, gallery or Kanban board, so you can select what format suits your project best.
Airtable also has tons of pre-made templates available, so you don’t have to start your database from scratch. Some of their template options include:
- Content calendar
- User research
- Marketing campaign tracking
- Product launch
- Product planning
- User studies and feedback
Go ahead, give Airtable a try. You can start for free or select one of their paid plans, which range between $12 and $24 USD per seat per month. They’ve also got Enterprise plans available for companies with advanced security and/or support needs.
A tool to address every problem
Digital marketers and designers face tons of problems in their day-to-day professional lives. Luckily, there is a range of tools out there that can help solve them and make their jobs a little bit easier.
We’ve provided a list of six of our favourite tools out there for digital marketers and designers in this article. Whether you need assistance with remote testing, video interactions, optimizing the written content, professional communications, interface design or workflow management, we’ve provided a solution for you here.
We can’t wait to see how these tools can help add a sense of ease and productivity into your regular workflows.
Written by Sydney Triggs
Sydney Triggs is a [content] writer, editor & educator from Vancouver, Canada currently settled in Barcelona, Spain. She’s written hundreds of articles about marketing, travel & leisure, fashion, sustainability, technology, finance & investment, remote work and human resources, as well as more personal fiction and thought pieces.