Profiling/Research

  • YouGov – This market based internet research firm has a profiling tool that lets you search for any brand, person or thing and shows all kinds of things. You can see the profile’s demographic, disposable monthly income, political inclination, brand affinity and more. All data is opinion based and a limited sample size so remember this when extrapolating.
  • Google Trends – Whether you want to know which X Factor contestant had the most headlines or whether people search more for strawberries than any other fruit, Google trends can tell you. Historical data is available for viewing and you can compare brands and trends against each other

Social Media Tools

  • Image size guide – Sprout Social has an “always up to date” social media image size guide.
  • Facebook Grid Tool – When in doubt, use Facebook’s grid tool to see if your images will be approved in ads. You can only have 20% text in any image. Note that text on packaging is exempt from this limit.
  • Hootsuite – Great for collaborating with a team, scheduling tweets and managing all social networks in one place.
  • The Internet is a Zoo – This nicely presented piece of research by Sumall and Bufferapp outlining the optimum length of pretty much everything online. From email subject line to Facebook post to the ideal number of characters for a hashtag, this infographic gives you a good idea of limits.

Benchmarking

  • Alexa – See how an organisation compares to similar ones in the market based on traffic, keywords and popularity. Alexa has both a free and a premium version.
  • Compete – Quite similar to Alexa, Compete offers market competition tools and data on where visitors are coming from. You’re also able to access instant analytics showing comparative web traffic between your site and a competitor’s site.

Stock Imagery

  • Unsplash – 10 new photos every 10 days. All high res, beautiful and available for commercial use.
  • Death to the Stock Photo – Sign up to this service and receive a pack of good quality images to your inbox once a month
  • The Pattern Library – This collaborative site is full of all kinds of designs, free for use.

Listening Tools

  • Mention – Receive notifications anytime a term you select is mentioned on both social media and on websites. This service also lets you compare mentions over time and by traffic source.
  • Google Alerts – Great for real time alerts when something is published or a name is mentioned. Google Alerts can be a bit finicky with search terms so save your inbox from lots of emails and opt for ‘best results only’ when you set it up.

Other

  • Ubersuggest – If you’re stuck coming up with combinations of keyword for Google ads, Ubersuggest provides helpful suggestions based on real search queries.
  • Developer Tools – Analyse and optimise a website based on feedback from Google’s developer tools. How long do images take to load? Is your website SEO optimised? Does it render properly on mobile? Google can help.