3 cool, inexpensive marketing tools you’re probably not using (Inbound Success, Ep. 177)

3 cool, inexpensive marketing tools you're probably not using (Inbound Success, Ep. 177)
Categories: Affiliate marketing, Affiliate programs

With so many marketing software tools available, it can be hard to pinpoint the ones that can really move the marketing needle without breaking the bank.

Kevin UrrutiaThis week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Voy Media founder Kevin Urrutia talks about three lesser known marketing tools that have made a big difference for his business.

A self-taught marketer who studied computer science, Kevin loves discovering new tools that can save him time and give him access to information he can use to improve his marketing results.

In this episode, he explains how he’s using Visual Ping, Phantom Buster, and Zapier to get big results on a small budget.

Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, for details.

Resources from this episode:

  • Contact Kevin by email at Kevin@VoyMedia.com

Kevin Urrutia and Kathleen Booth
Kevin and Kathleen recording this episode


Kathleen (00:00):Welcome back to the inbound success podcast. I’m your host, Kathleen Booth. And today my guest is Kevin Urrutia, who is the founder of Voy Media. Welcome Kevin.

Kevin (00:37): Hey, thanks for having me. Super excited to be here.

Kathleen (00:39): I’m really excited to talk with you. I think we have kind of a fun topic. But before we get into our topic of the day, can you tell my listeners a little bit more about yourself and your journey and what you’re doing now and what Voy Media is?

Kevin (00:55): Yeah. So my name is Kevin Urrutia and my background to the part of make more sense throughout the conversation is I went to college for computer science. So I always was into programming, doing software, software design, and really my, when I was doing computer science, it’s a lot of like C plus plus Java, but really what I gravitated towards too was more of the front end stuff. So like JavaScript, HTML, and a lot of that was also to do with the graphic design. So I also did study graphic design in college as well. So that’s sort of like visual slash programming aspect was always what I was drawn to.

Kathleen (01:29): That’s an interesting combination.

Kevin (01:32): So like I love computer stuff, but I knew that I didn’t want to do like the backend stuff because I was like, no, one’s going to see that. I want to build stuff and see stuff that people will see and can be like, Oh, that looks cool. So that’s really where I did that. And then after college I went to San Francisco. So I was living there for four or five years. I would tell people like I’m from New York, San Francisco was like the Mecca, like this was like seven years ago. And when I got a job there, I was like, yes, like I needed to go there. I’d never once traveled there, like growing up. But like I knew, like from just reading stuff reading these like tech articles, reading these tech founders, I was like, there’s gotta be something in Silicon Valley that I need to go and figure out how I can get there.

Kathleen (02:18): You felt the gravitational pull.

New Speaker (02:20): I had to. Yeah. And I was just like, even for me, like I, so I’m in New York and I got a job offer at ESPN and I tell people all the time, like great place to go at that time in my life, I was like dating this girl. And she also got a job. She also got like she was always going to UConn and she was like, this is perfect for us. But in my mind, I was just like, Oh man, like this is going to be a tough decision. Like I’m like I told her, like, I don’t want to go to Yukon like this. I don’t want to go to Connecticut. Essentially. I don’t. I think this is like, my dream has been to go to Silicon Valley and I’m gonna see, I’m gonna keep applying for jobs.

Kevin (02:57): They’re going to make me there. And obviously we didn’t stay together because big sort of shifted like what your goals were. But at least for me, when I went to Silicon Valley, it was everything I imagined it was what I wanted and what I wanted to do.

And it really kind of like made me want to do more entrepreneurship, more startup stuff, because everybody there wasn’t like me and it made sense. That kind of led me to do startups and they’re doing competitions, they’re just building stuff. And then I kind of came back to New York cause after five years I was like, Hey, I want to move back on to build my own thing. And then there, I built a section in my first company, which was a first like real company in between there. I was like building stuff.

But in there I was building a cleaning company called Maid Sellers. And we did a lot of like home cleanings. And then I did e-commerce and then now what I do as concept before I do Voy media, which we help other brands, e-commerce companies or info products advertise online. So that’s kind of like the journey of getting from like programming to when I do marketing now.

Kathleen (03:56): I love that. I, I it’s, it’s really interesting because I’ve spoken to a lot of marketers over the past three years hosting this podcast. I mean, I think I’m almost on episode 180 and you know, you start to see patterns emerge when you talk to that many people. And one of the patterns that I’ve seen is that many times the, some of the best marketers that I interview are not trained as marketers.

They have studied other things. And I think I have this theory about it and it’s, and, and my theory is that it has to do with the best marketers, regardless of their educational background, they might be trained as marketers, or they might not be, but the best ones are people who are just really avid students of the human mind.

Like how do people think, how do people make decisions? What gets them ticking, right? Because that makes you so good at marketing. If you’re fascinated with people and, and, and what motivates them, you can be a good marketer. So I just think that’s interesting that you come from that kind of a background.

Kevin (04:57): Yeah. And I think that too, for me too, like I had that same thought too with sort of, at least for me with like any sort of thing that requires like programming. Right. For example, I did programming a lot in Silicon Valley and I was working with some really smart programmers and I would ask them like, Hey, what’s your background?

Like, Oh, I went to college for like design or writing, but they’re so good at programming. And I was just like, wow, it’s like crazy. Like, you’re just like really good at this. Cause you get it. And it’s like, I would look at their code. My roommate is an example. Like he would, we would talk about a problem and the way he would break it down and be like, well, there’s something in your mind that like, I just, like, I can’t think of programs like that.

Kevin (05:39): Because you just get that sort of way of thinking. And for me marketing was that when I was in marketing, I was like, Oh, I get like how people are thinking like, this is why I gravitate towards more marketing. Because even though it’s Silicon Valley, I was like training programming in my mind.

I was just like, wow, I’m never going to be the best programmer I needed to like, figure out what I’m good at, because I know that like I’m talking to other people, I’m just like, Oh my God, you’re so much better than me. Like I just need to find something different. Right. So

Kathleen (06:07): Well, and the other thing I think is great about you. And one of the reasons I’m excited to chat with you is that you do have this like computer science background because marketing has evolved so much in the last two decades and today, like, I don’t think it’s an over-exaggeration to say that, you know, every marketer needs to have some degree of ability to work with code.

Like I always joke, I know enough CSS to be dangerous, right. Like I can get in there and I can manipulate the code and I can spot problems in code I’m by no means a programmer. But like, you have to know these things these days. And that’s probably why you’re so good at some of the stuff we’re going to talk about today. Which is cool tools that you might not be using.

And for those listening I love this topic because nothing gets me more excited than when I discover some obscure software tool that does something that, that previously here to for has been like a manual slog for me, or I didn’t think was possible.

Kathleen (07:16): And like, there’s just something that gets you so excited about knowing, Oh my God, this is the easy button right here. And then it also can open up all kinds of possibilities for different things that you can do with your marketing that you maybe couldn’t do before.

And there’s, I have a ton of tools that I’ve discovered that have gotten me excited, but I thought it was really fun listening to you talk about some of the tools you’re using. So today we’re going to dig into that and we’re going to hear about some of the awesome, like hacks and shortcuts you’ve discovered with tools.

Kathleen (07:49): What’s the first tool that you want to highlight?

Kevin (07:52): Yes. So the first tool I really, I love using and we still use to this day is called Visual Ping. There’s also another alternative to this one that you can do is called Phantom Buster. But Visual Ping is a really great, easy to easy tool to use and what it is, it’s essentially a screenshot tool.

And basically the tool go out there to any website, let’s say google.com and every single day that’s at 9:00 AM. I’ll take a screenshot of the, the homepage and what makes, so that sounds basic, but what’s cool about the tool is that let’s say today is, you know, Friday, Saturday, Google updates, maybe a button, the tool, then email you saying, Hey, there’s been a change on that website.

And it will actually highlight what the changes are. Cause they’ll do like a comparison or a difference between yesterday and today and the next day.

Kevin (08:41): And that sounds so basic, but really it’s kinda like support it’s like once you sort of understand like, Oh, that’s interesting that it basic track changes. And now the way, the way we’ve used it here and made sellers was we compete with, for cleaning local businesses. So what we did was we had the tool just sort of track competitor’s pricing pages. And when we would see that their pricing pages would change, we would then get notified of it.

And that’s a great thing about what you said before. It’s like, you can check it every day, but like after checking maybe five days, you’ll probably be like, eh, they’re not going to change and you kind of forget, right. It’s like, ah, it’s like, nothing’s going to happen. Right. It’s like, it’s that same like thing, but you don’t see any changes. You kind of just like, Oh, I’ll check it like next month.

Kevin (09:21): And then next month you forget, you got busy. But like what this tool, you’ll just get an email saying, Hey this company has changed our pricing or something has changed. Right. They will change the pricing. Exactly. And then you can go and see and maybe update your internal spreadsheets because we also have a spreadsheet of every price, every competitor that we have, that will be nowhere where we sit in the market.

But yeah, that’s sort of like one aspect of using Visual Ping, another way that we use it. And the way I like using it the most is I like to track Google search results with this tool. So you type in your keyword in Google, you put in like, you know, for, for example, for cleaning maid services NYC, I like to see who’s the top three and where we shift in those rankings because Google rankings change every day.

Kevin (10:03): So you’re probably gonna get an email every day, but at least for me, I’m like, I’d like to know like, how are you, you’re moving up and down, especially when Google has these massive updates where you went up and down and just track little changes the competitor doing.

I think people know when you go to Google, you see like the blue title, like the header, and then you see like the description, those are super helpful with ranking. So it’s interesting to see what the top two companies are doing. So then maybe you can change it on your website.

So Visual Ping, great tool. I love that one. It’s, it’s free not really free for like certain amount of usage, like any tool, but then if you could pay more for credits and really, if you think about difference tracking that’s really good one.

Kevin (10:42): And the reason why this tool came to mind to me was because then coding, there’s a website called GitHub and whenever you push a change, they’ll show you like, Hey, this is the code that was before, this was a code that is now. And that’s so useful to see like when something breaks.

So you think about it like as your website as well. If something’s changing, maybe somebody, someone, your team changed something if you’re working in a big marketing team, like let’s see how landing pages are changing for yourself or, or something converting drops. So those are that’s one way to think about that tool is when you want to track differences.

Kathleen (11:11): I, so this was really interesting to me because I feel like in all the groups I’m in, there’s a lot of conversation about like, Ooh, what competitive analysis software should we be using? And there’s lots of big players in that market and that software is not inexpensive. And one of the things that people use it for is exactly this use case. They use it to track how their competitors are updating their websites.

And I love the fact that this is a way to do it for like almost no money because not everybody can afford to spend. I don’t even know how much some of those platforms cost, but I think it’s like over a thousand dollars a month, let’s say that’s a major investment major. And unless you’re doing something with that information to really, you know, drive tremendous ROI, it’s not worth it.

And so here’s a situation where you can be scrappy. You can still do that same kind of competitive analysis, but you can just do it with Visual Ping. And I mean, I feel like my brain is firing, cause there’s probably a thousand other ways to use this.

But I particularly love tracking the pricing pages or like really any pages on competitor websites for changes in messaging you know, looking at product pages to see how they update the language on their product. If you have a competing product, those are all,

Kevin (12:30): Yeah, exactly. There’s so many like ways to do it, but yeah, that’s exactly why I found the tool useful because I want the competitor analysis software, but a lot of times it’s super, super expensive and you just want like one feature out of like the 30 features they have. And you’re just like, I’m not going to pay 5k for this. Like, let me pay 30 bucks a month.

Then it’s a little bit of manual work, but it’s like the scrappy way to do it. And once you can do this now, it’s like, you’re, you’re, you’re kind of limitless with like the ideas that you have sometimes. And then that makes you think like, why are these softwares charging you so much? Like, this is an easy, that’s like, that’s what I think about it. I’m like, this is an easy tool. Like it’s so extensive. Yeah.

Kathleen (13:06): Yeah. Now earlier, when you were talking about Visual Ping, you mentioned that there was another tool called Phantom Buster that could do the same thing. Phantom Buster I had been aware of. And that was one of those ones where I found it and I was like, this is the coolest thing. Cause it does a lot. It does a lot of stuff beyond what Visual Ping does. So, so let’s start talking about Phantom Buster. I’m curious how you’re using it.

Kevin (13:31): Yeah. So yeah. So Phantom Buster is think about as visual, Visual Ping as does the screenshots. This is just one feature of Phantom Buster. Phantom Buster is like the way to describe it is like anything that you can do with like on a computer, they, with a web browser, they can automate it all for you.

And some ideas that you can think about like, yeah, fan ambassador.com. It’s a great website, but basically let’s say at least for one way that we’re using it here at boy is we do a lot of Facebook ads with Phantom Buster. The tool will actually like it’s called like a headless browser.

We’re basically like behind the scenes, we’ll log in, in their system, right? Wherever they’re using you input your Facebook credentials, he’ll log into your Facebook account and then you can give it a list of Facebook pages.

Kevin (14:19): Remember Facebook pages could be, your competitors could be your own your own, your own ads. Let’s say you’re hired to work with the agency. You can say, Hey, like I want to see what ads they’re making up. And then it’ll go to the ad library, at least for us. Cause that’s an important part of the page. And then it’ll take a screenshot again, of all their ads that you’re running. And then you can actually save those in an Excel sheet.

So visual sorry, Phantom Buster is like this automation chain. So like I’ll take a log, you in, take a screenshot and then it’ll say like, Hey, let me say all those URLs in an Excel sheet. And then in your Excel sheet again with Excel has macros. Now you could do a bunch of other stuff too. And like, say like what’s the text on it.

Kevin (15:01): But basically that’s kind of like the core of Phantom Buster, where, and again, this is just one thing in Phantom Buster, you can do so much more. Another thing that we’ve seen, we’ve seen well, brick wall before too, is I was telling you, it’s like, let’s say you have an email list of people that you want to contact.

You can actually put those first names and emails into an Excel sheet. Phantom Buster will then read that data. And potentially let’s say you want to find them on LinkedIn elk. We’re trying to find their LinkedIn profile and then put in that profile into your URL. So then now if you’re doing cold outreach, you can then send them a message on LinkedIn. So basically you see all that process of kind of like, like SDR work can be automated. So Phantom Buster helps that.

Kevin (15:39): So like the way I think about it’s like if you’re doing a task over and over again, try to see if Phantom Buster can do that for you. And there’s a lot of these built in automation essentially, but you can code it as well. And that’s an expandable of powerful. It’s like you can code all the stuff. And the reason why I think like this is so important is because people probably know when you’re doing all this sort of scraping essentially right. Scraping the data.

You can sometimes get paralyzed by like, let’s say LinkedIn by Phantom. Buster has like proxies that allow you to sort of like limitations and throttles throttles you so that you’re, you can do like a hundred at a time, but it won’t do like in the next minute, it’ll say like, okay, let’s wait five minutes. That will, you’re not like getting banned.

So Phantom Buster is smart enough to know this and really wants to work with you to get your tests done. So that’s one way we think about it, at least for us the tracking the Facebook that’s so important. Like again, it’s competitive research. We want to know what ads other companies are doing, how they’re doing it. If somebody looks different, we will then go in and be like, okay, let’s maybe copy that ad and see why they’re, why they’re doing that change.

Kathleen (16:43): There’s definitely a, an aspect to Phantom Buster that’s like, use your powers for good and not evil. Because I’ve heard a lot of people talk about using it with reference to LinkedIn, for example, like, and one of the use cases that that I have heard is, you know, if, if for example, if you’re if there’s a certain LinkedIn group and you’re like, everybody in that group is an awesome qualified prospect or everybody with X job title is a great prospect for me, you can scrape the profiles, get all the email addresses.

And, but then it’s like what you do with it. That’s really kind of the question, right? And I mean, to me, you could do audience match ads. That to me is, you know, on other platforms potentially. You know, what I wouldn’t want to do is like cold outreach email, all of them or you could come up with a list for your SDR to reach out to that. And it’s just a quicker way of creating that list of targets, but it is so interesting and there’s so many different ways to use it. So have you used it in any other ways besides those?

Kevin (17:45): So other ways that we use it are obviously the screenshots, other ways that we use it too, a big one that we used to do before, it was probably kind of like what used to be four it’s like Instagram automation was a big one on, on Phantom Buster

Kathleen (17:57): In what way?

Kevin (18:00): So basically what you can do with it, same thing with like, before you can log into your Instagram account, and then you could potentially just kind of like, if you like hashtags, you can, it will go in and sort of like posts in that. And then that would help you sort of at least show up in the algorithm more. And then people would say like, Oh, who’s Kevin liking all my posts.

Let me go his content. Interesting. Let me go, like, let me go follow him back. So there’s a way to sort of like automate that like kind of like process of like people knowing who you are because you will, you like their stuff. Stuff like this doesn’t really kind of used to before. It doesn’t really work well anymore. Instagram has kind of like said like, no, like we can detect this type of stuff.

So it used to work really well. I remember four years ago Instagram didn’t have like a limit on how many people you could follow. So people were finding like thousands of people at like a minute and it’s just like, Oh my God. Oh, the followers.

Kathleen (18:50): And that’s, those are examples of like marketers ruin everything, right. Just because you can, does not mean you should.

Kevin (18:57): Like, that’s what I said, Phantom Buster is, there’s all these stuff that you can use, but it’s, it’s kinda like anything. It’s how you use it. If you want to do natural way, you could do it. But again, if you go crazy, you’re just gonna get abandoned. Then what’s the point of using these tools if you’re only gonna last for like a month, right. It’s like anything. Right,

Kathleen (19:13): Right. All right, so we’ve got Visual Ping. We got Phantom Buster. What else do you have in your back pocket?

Kevin (19:20): So another, another one that we really like used to use is this one’s like kind of a mix of two things. Zapier. People know Zapier. Zapier is kind of, think about Zapier is kind of like the non visual way of Phantom Buster. With Zapier, the companies actually need to like develop an API or application programming interface to work with each other.

And so Zapier allows this. And the thing about Zapier, it’s kind of like, it’s more safe because you’re not like kind of scraping Zapier saying, Hey, no, these companies that have been on our platform because they’re allowed to be on here. So Zapier is kind of like a safe card that way. But how we, how we’ve done, how we use Zapier here, many ways like, like my zap is like crazy. Like I think I wouldn’t charge like 500 a month because I have so many zaps.

Kevin (20:10): So a few ways I’ve used it for my cleaning company. So we so basically we here in New York, we only clean certain zip codes. So in Zapier, when we get a new booking or a new cleaning in Zapier, the booking will go through Zapier, Zapier will then scrape that sort of API does zip code.

And then we’ll still do like a pattern matching in Zapier. And we’ll say, Hey, if this is, if this zip code isn’t in our target service area, then send our customer service a message saying, Hey, this customer just booked a cleaning, but they’re not our service area called them. So they can cancel the booking that way. It’s like a better, instead of like the customer service rep, reading, every booking that comes in and just, or specific ones, and that’s helps us with like customer service productivity, because now we know too.

And the reason why this was useful for us is because we wouldn’t recognize these sort of booking until like, let’s say the day up and the customer be. It’s like, Hey, why don’t you tell us? So it’s like, you see how, like, some of this stuff is because of you just need a solution. So that’s one way we use it.

Kathleen (21:11): So this reminds me, this reminds me so much of an interview I did. My gosh. I don’t remember when it was a long time ago with a guy named Connor Malloy from Chi City Legal. It’s a law firm in Chicago and it’s him and just his partner. It’s two lawyers. They don’t have any staff or anything.

And he, it was such a great interview because he basically has automated his entire business using Zapier. And it’s super impressive what he was able to do with it. And I just, I’ve always loved that episode. And I talk about it a lot because it’s a great example of you do not need a big team or a big budget or fancy software to do really cool stuff. And this is the same thing.

Like, you know, you don’t have to have like a very sophisticated marketing automation platform or a lot of money to spend on your tech stack. Like, I think you’re, you’re talking about a lot of similar things to what Connor did. And, and I, that gets me excited because I love solutions that are accessible to anybody.

Kevin (22:11): That’s why Zapier, I think is so powerful because once you it’s so funny, because once we did some, a few automations in the company and like other team members started looking at it, they’re like, they’re trying to automate everything. I’m like, all right. Let’s like, relax, like relax. Because then you realize like, basically you realize, Oh, I don’t do, I don’t have to do any work.

Kathleen (22:30): Robots are running my business. And then you have those nightmares about Zapier breaking down and your whole business coming to a crashing point, right.

Kevin (22:37): For us, that’s like, that’s, that’s what our nightmare, because even like, kinda what you said before. So we have our booking platform for the cleaning company. And we just said like, Hey, we don’t need any more emails because of puzzled emails, because all the bookings go through Zapier.

We have another Slack that says, anytime there’s a booking, it’ll go through Zapier. And so basically another, another zap that we did with Zapier was that similar to what I said before, protecting the zip code, we can also detect the address. And then we’ll put the address into like we’re in New York city street easy. And then we’ll just have a link automatically we’ll link to the StreetEasy address. And then the customer service rep can go and see, Hey, does this booking size match the actual home? And if it does great, we don’t do anything.

Kevin (23:19): If it doesn’t, we have to call a customer service customer and say, Hey, look, we booked the one bedroom, but your house is a pretty bedroom. What exactly are you looking for? Is it like one room or an Airbnb? And then that helps us with that stuff. So like I said, it’s pretty cool. Yeah. So like, all this stuff was like stuff that we’re doing automatically.

We’re like manually. It’s like, okay, like Zapier, if you just give us the link and then we just click and then open. So that’s the great thing about Zapier. Other ways that we’ve used it for us too, is, is for kind of like when people contact us, at least for boy media is Zapier has this thing called lead scoring. It’s powered by another software called Mad Kudu. So Mad Kudu is super expensive. And it’s kind of like a lead scoring platform.

Kevin (24:01): A lot of big companies use it, but they have a partnership with Zapier that they power. Zapier’s free tool called lead score in behind the scenes. And you get a hundred free users a month. And basically the lead scoring is really cool because let’s say someone contacts you through Zapier, you get three Emil email address, and then you pass it to the lead scoring tool, the lead scoring tool.

Then come back with like this like profile of that email what business they work, how big is their business. It’ll give you like a lead quality. They’ll be like low, medium high. So basically that’s kind of like super interesting for you. If you’re doing like Lee qualifying low, medium high, that’s a great way for you to pass it internally to your sales rep. Hi, I usually get them like, Hey, this is a great lead.

Kevin (24:41): I’ll talk to them medium, the second best sales, a third. Okay. The people that were kind of training or testing new programs, because we don’t care. Like if we don’t close them. Right. And that’s the way that, and then that just automatically then distributes to your internal Slack channel of sales and then says, Hey, Kevin, you had a new lead go talk to them or, Hey, John, you have a new lead, go talk to them. And then we know who goes and talks to me versus like us manually saying like, okay, like this looks like your lead. Right. So. Stuff like that.

Kathleen (25:10): That’s awesome. Yeah. I did not realize that Zapier had lead scoring.

Kevin (25:15): Yeah, it’s, it’s really good. I think it’s probably one of their most like under used features and they have a lot of these like, like internal zap tools. They have another one like called like one-off emails where you can like send yourself an email. So when something happens in their tool and that’s free as well. So of course it’s like interesting. Cause that integrates, if you want to Zapier pretty much integrates like almost anything you’ve ever used them. Like, they’re crazy how like big, they they’ve grown. It’s like every tool wants to be on Zapier.

Kathleen (25:45): Well, they’re solving a huge problem for not just marketers.

Kevin (25:50): This is business owners. It’s like really the cutaways to before. It’s like automating your business people all the reason why Zapier is so great because all these integrations before you have to get a developer to make it for you, and you have to find a way to like, sort of like hack the API, but vape you’re saying, Hey, look, people want this thing.

You guys should make your websites available, programmatically. That way people can use your software more efficiently. And it’s crazy. At least for me with my software background, I’m looking at new software, get built. Like if you look at any software request, board number one thing is once the Zapier information

Kathleen (26:23): Coming out and it’s like crazy,

Kevin (26:25): Like how people want to just do like Zapier for everything, because they know that like once you pipe into their system, it can go to like 20 different places. And I think for people listening, it’s that concept is like, Hey, like you bring it into Zapier. Now you can go anywhere and anywhere it could be kind of, how do you automate that? How do you make it easier for your internal team? How do you make it easy for everybody? Because there’s lot of stuff that you probably do that is really just logic. Like, Hey, if this happens, do this and Zapier can do that versus like you doing it yourself.

Kathleen (26:55): Yeah. So the question that comes to my mind when I listened to you talk about all this is you have a degree in computer science engineering. So if somebody is listening, most of my listeners are marketers who don’t have that kind of a degree myself included, like, what do you, how skilled you need to be to do these things? Like, do you need to have programming skills?

Kevin (27:20): No. And that’s, that’s why I love something like Zapier, for example, they make it super easy and you don’t have to do any program. It’s literally just like a user interface that says like, Hey, we know you want to connect to the service. Here’s what the output will be like. And I’ll give you like a test sort of like output. And it says like, name, email, last name, zip code, and says, Hey, this is what you would get.

If you were to actually do the call, how do you want to process this now? And then it’ll go to like hey now connect to the second tool. And this is where it’s going to happen. So Zapier has made it super easy to do this for anybody, because exactly they’re solving that exact problem. You said it’s like, not everybody knows programming. But they want to make it as a way for you to sort of be able to transfer this data.

Kevin (28:03): So that’s what I love Zapier. Like they’ve done out of all the companies. Like I think they’ve done a really good job of making it super friendly for marketers to do, to do things. And I think that’s probably why they’ve grown so big because it’s just like, your possibilities are endless once you, I thought we were like, just do one and try it.

And sometimes it’s sometimes like anything, you know, it’s like, you just get overwhelmed by thinking how hard it could be. But once you do one, I’m like, you’ll, you’ll go nuts and you’ll realize, Oh my God, I’m running. Like I have so many zaps. Like, it’s like, that’s a little of how it was at my company.

Kathleen (28:33): Now what about Phantom Buster and Visual Ping? Do you need to know any of that?

Kevin (28:36): Yeah. So visual, so Visual Ping is very easy. That’s probably the easiest one. It’s like, Hey, input, a URL track. That’s it. You don’t need to do anything. Phantom Buster is a little bit more complicated. I think Phantom Buster out of all of them is the most complicated one because it’s like, kind of like the raw version of like Zapier it’s, how would you do it?

And of course there’s built in ones too, but to really make it do a lot of work, you need to like learn about like, how do you integrate with your like Google sheets? And it’s like, it makes you kind of like import your cookies. It imports your, your hidden encrypted passwords, all this stuff. That’s a little bit more complicated. But it’s a lot more powerful because Zapier the ability for you to do zaps, you can only use what’s on their platform.

Whereas Phantom Buster it’s like, if there’s no zap, you can go to Phantom Buster and scrape your own sort of data the way and pass it to let’s say a Google sheet and then do something else with it. So a Phantom Buster is probably the most complicated one, but not super complicated. It’s only gets complicated when you want to do like super customized, customized stuff.

Kathleen (29:42): Wow. So I feel like this has been so much. Fun by the way, I feel like this needs to be a regular kind of topic in the podcast where we talk about cool tools. Cause we haven’t really done this before. Unless it’s come up as part of a different part of an interview.

So I actually want to throw a challenge out to anybody who’s listening, which is that we only covered really like three tools here. If you have a really cool tool that you’re using that you think people don’t know about, but they should tweet me at work, mommy work. And I will come up with a list and I may have another one of these, but I will share the tools out for sure.

So tweet me at @workmommywork with the best tools, you know, that are under appreciated or unheard of, and we’ll get the word out about them. Or if you have a cool tool that you think more people need to know about. All right, switching gears, Kevin. I always ask my guests two questions and I want to know what you have to say. The first one is obviously the podcast is about inbound marketing. Can you talk a little bit about, is there a person or a company today that you think is really setting the bar for what it means to be a great inbound marketer?

Kevin (30:54): For me, the company would probably have to be Zapier. I think their inbound marketing is probably some of the best. When I talk about in marketing, I’m talking about some of their internal traffic through SEO. They are growing their brand so much by doing reviews of tools, such as let’s say Phantom Buster reviews.

They rank pretty highly for that, but also they’re really smart by all the permutations that they can do. So let’s say you can do like Zapier with MailChimp. Zapier with Drip. All that stuff is just getting them so much inbound traffic. And they do great comparisons of like what their tools can do with all of the software. And they’re just super smart about it.

And if you look at their like SEO growth, it’s like crazy. I’m just like, and the thing about the, what I love about them is because every year there’s new marketing tech coming out. So they’re like limitless with how much they can grow because there’s so much, and I’m just like, wow, this company is so smart. I love Zapier.

Kathleen (31:51): That’s awesome. I’ll check that out. And then, you know, the other thing I hear a lot from my listeners is that as a marketer, it’s really challenging to stay up to date with all of this. Like even just the stuff you’re talking about. Like it changes so quickly, as you say, new tools are coming out all the time. How do you personally stay up to date on the changing landscape of digital marketing and how do you keep yourself educated?

Kevin (32:12): So for me, the biggest, I love using twitter.com. I think it’s like my favorite platform ever. I’m addicted to Twitter. So I just follow marketers on Twitter. Like obviously there’s, I’m really big into SEO, for example. I really love following Rand Fishkin. I think he’s pretty smart guy.

Kathleen (32:30): He was a guest.

Kevin (32:31): Oh yeah, no, I love Rand. Yeah. He like Moz, like was where I learned almost everything from in the beginning. I tell people like, it’s crazy, like just long ago, but yeah, like Rand I just follow, like I try to follow people that I think are like, I try to follow like marketing leaders from like, let’s say Zapier. I’m like, okay, who’s running their SEO. Like this guy’s gotta be smart or right. So I gotta, like, I look for these like really smart marketing for these brands.

Kevin (32:55): Another good brand that I really like is a buffer. So I follow their marketing people from buffer. I think their SEO is great. So I’m like, okay, who are the guys running? The buffer SEO. But for me the way I think what a two it’s like, for example, buffer a big company now. But what I like to do is think about, go to LinkedIn and find out who was working for buffer during that growth stage, because maybe they’re not there, but these guys have probably, maybe wrote about it, something and think about it. So that’s kind of what I think of what it’s like a lot of the Buffer’s massive now, but the guys that grew it probably aren’t there anymore. I need to find those guys.

Kathleen (33:31): Yeah. Well, I have I have some hot tips for you on people to follow on Twitter then if you’re into SEO. So one of them, like you said, you like to look at whose running SEO at companies that are really, really good at it. So one of the top SEO guys at HubSpot who’s, who does not have a high profile, but who is brilliant is a guy named Victor Pan.

So follow him for sure. And he does little rants once a week on certain SEO topics. And the marketing nerd in me is completely obsessed with him cause he gets really specific. And then the other one is Barry Schwartz whose handle is Rusty Brick. He’s like, I think if you’re not following him for SEO, you you’re not following anybody.

Kevin (34:18): Barry somehow knows everything about SEO, any news, like he’s up to date he’s so yeah.

Kathleen (34:23): Well, whenever I find like anomalies online, I just screenshot them and I tweet them to him and he figures out the answer in like five minutes.

Kevin (34:30): He’s really good. Yeah. He runs like Rusty Brick in upstate New York and yeah.

Kathleen (34:34): And he’s, I think doesn’t he right? Is it search engine land or search engine journal?

Kevin (34:38): I think he owns both. Me neither. I’m like, okay. One of them is crazy how they’re similar, but I think he runs two. Yeah. It’s like he has like two blogs or something I’m like,

Kathleen (34:51): And he has that direct line into John Mueller at Google.

Kevin (34:55): Well, yeah. I mean, at least for me like, like I do, like, it’s kind of kind funny to talk about SEO. Like for Voy we do paid, but like SEO is like where I learned like everything like these guys are doing SEO, like they think different, so yeah.

Kathleen (35:08): Oh, it’s fascinating. It’s so fascinating. All right. Well, if somebody wants to learn more about Voy Media or wants to connect with you and has a question, what’s the best way for them to connect with you online?

Kevin (35:18): So you can always stay with me on Twitter. So my Twitter handle is @Danest. I’ve had that since I was like, when Twitter first came out.

Kathleen (35:28): That’s why I’m @workmommywork.

Kevin (35:32): I’m never going to change that one. People are like, is your name Dan? And I’m like, no, it’s not that.

Kathleen (35:36): I got my Twitter when my son was born which was a long time ago.

Kevin (35:41): Never changed that name. It’s like my favorite like username. Cause it’s also short if you’re like, I want a short name. I was like, okay, you’re not getting mine though. So another way is just Kevin@Voymedia and that’s the V O Y media.com. So, but yeah, that’s, that’s where you can find.

Kathleen (35:56): Awesome. All right. Well, I’ll put those links in the show notes. So if you want to ask Kevin questions about any of his cool tools or anything having to do with Voy Media you can find his information there. And as always, if you’re listening, I would really love it. If you would head to Apple podcasts and leave the podcast a review so that other people can find and discover us that’s all we have for this week. Thank you so much for joining me, Kevin. This was a lot of fun.

Kevin (36:22): Thank you for having me.

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