Destination marketers are always on the lookout for new tools to boost their productivity and enhance their creativity. The sad fact is we can’t add more hours to the day, but we can save time by using effective tools to streamline our work.
We asked a few destination marketers to share their can’t-live-without digital marketing tools that are not part of the Simpleview suite of services. Here’s what they had to say.
Social Media and Marketing
Coordinator, Destination Madison
My day as a digital marketer simply cannot run smoothly without CrowdRiff’s social media calendar spreadsheet template, Iconosquare, and our marketing department’s iPhone.
The CrowdRiff spreadsheet is the best social planning tool because it was created with our industry in mind and is laid out in a way that is simple to use and to share with others. Iconosquare is my go-to for monitoring social media analytics and success (plus, the comment picker tool has been a LIFESAVER for running social media giveaways). In this era where content reigns supreme, I cannot underestimate how critical it is for marketing departments to have dedicated mobile devices for content gathering. Our department’s iPhone streamlines how we gather content, especially for short-form videos.
Here are some of my must-have digital marketing tools that I use nearly every day:
- My Flair PRO 2 espresso machine gives me the needed afternoon energy boost
- Beaconstatac is a valuable tool for creating custom QR codes that can be edited on the fly, run reports, and so much more
- Grammarly is my go-to editor to assist me with error-free and engaging content
- Photoshop is hands-down my all-time favorite image editing software. I use it almost daily for everything from a simple crop to email layouts, and it's the workhorse for all my image needs
- In terms of product management, Basecamp helps manage all visitpensacola.com website projects and email marketing initiatives and is perfect for team collaboration
- Evernote has been a helpful note-taking and organizational tool that has given me a space to store my ideas, tasks, and thoughts
- We're excited to start experimenting with AI platforms this year as well and have dipped our toes in the water on Lex AI and OpenAI to help with writing-powered assistance in addition to the use of titlecaseconverter.com which has helped us format titles and headlines correctly
Of course, I would be remiss to mention a good old-fashioned notebook and pen. I love to write and enjoy writing thoughts and ideas with my hand-crafted wooden pens in a Moleskine notebook
Digital Marketing Manager,
Director of Marketing, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
GIMP is a free image editing and image manipulation program I frequently use throughout the course of my daily tasks. For more branded pieces, we'll use advanced tools like Photoshop, InDesign, Canva, or a professional artist, but there are lots of image projects that don't require that level of sophistication. My graphic design skills and experience are quite limited, and I regularly encounter situations where I need to quickly reformat or resize an image.
Whether it's cropping a photo for something on our website, e-newsletter, social post, or just helping out a team member, GIMP is a quick and easy way to create what I need. It's also a simple tool for creating transparent versions of logos and graphics and saves time when working with partners who may be somewhat technologically limited and not know the difference between providing a JPG vs. PNG version of a file.
I love data, so Iconosquare, GA4 (still wrapping my head around it!), and Zartico are pretty much daily stops for me as I look for trends, metrics, and more to help inform our marketing efforts. I love being able to communicate with consumers in multiple ways, so an email marketing platform (we use Mailchimp) has been a great tool for diving deeper into social media content and offering another touchpoint for blogs and seasonal web pages. We use TeamWork to organize projects and tasks, and having a centralized location for project management has been a really successful way to keep projects on track and manage workloads.
Marketing Coordinator, Destination Madison
Director of Digital Strategy & Online Marketing, Visit Lake Charles
Our team needed a tool that would help streamline our content calendar, multi-department projects, event production, and quarterly goals – that’s when I brought on Monday.com. This has become an integral part of our organization’s workflow and has been adopted by all, from the operations, admin, sales, and marketing teams. If you’ve been considering a project management platform – Monday.com is it!
In a typical week, Canva sees a lot of daily love from me. I use it for digital campaigns, presentations, stickers, and printed materials. Although they were eventually converted into more sophisticated design software, I even used Canva to create inspirational templates for the full redesign of our print visitors guide. Our entire team now uses it for various reasons, and we can collaborate inside Canva, as well as include all of our branding fonts and colors.
Another software I use daily is Grammarly. In fact, it just told me that I spelled Grammarly wrong and left out a comma after the word fact! These are things we all know but often overlook while composing in a hurry. It is a free extension that is always there encouraging me to be better, so it almost feels like a friend that comes through in Microsoft Office documents, emails, and Google documents. It not only helps with my poor spelling but also often suggests ways for me to get straight to the point and write more efficient emails or paragraphs. Friends forever.
Destination Marketing Manager, Travel Juneau
Director of Marketing & Communications, Visit South Bend Mishawaka
We’re recent adopters of Sprout Social, and I’ve found it quickly rising up the list of my most essential tools. It makes planning, scheduling, and reporting on our social media activities so much easier. We’re also using Asana these days to organize our activities, which has been a huge help in keeping us on target with our projects as a small team.
Also, this might sound old-school, but from my journalism background, I love to scribble ideas and plans down in notebooks. I’m now using a couple of Rocketbook notebooks, which allow me to snap photos of pages and upload them into specific folders in Google Drive so I can refer back to them later as needed.
For a destination marketing organization, digital marketing tools are crucial in reaching their target audience and promoting their destination. Some must-have tools for a successful digital marketing campaign I like to use include:
- Google Analytics: This is an essential tool for tracking website traffic, analyzing user behavior, and measuring the success of marketing campaigns.
- Canva: A great graphic design tool for creating visually appealing social media posts, email templates, and other marketing materials.
- Mailchimp or Klaviyo: Email marketing tools allowing you to create and send newsletters, automated campaigns, and targeted emails to your audience.
- Trello: A productivity tool for project management, collaboration, and organization. It is beneficial for planning and executing marketing campaigns. Pro tip – explore “Power Ups” to extend functionality beyond its core features.
- Simpleview CMS and CRM because they are highly customizable and scalable, allowing DMOs to tailor their digital marketing efforts to their specific needs and goals.
- CapCut: this allows users to edit their videos by adding music, effects, and filters and is designed explicitly for creating short-form videos posted on TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Director of Marketing, Visit Wausau