Chrome is the most popular browser around the globe, with around 70% of Desktop market share worldwide. But, did you know it’s also an incredibly useful tool for marketers?
Extensions are beneficial for users because they allow you to create a browsing experience that’s tailored to your specific needs and the way you like to work. When you take more control over Chrome’s functionality, you create a more curated, personal workspace.
Now, there’s a huge library of plugins out there (most of them free) that can help improve the speed and efficacy of a multitude of marketing tasks, but where do you begin? How do you even know what you’re missing out on? In the spirit of sharing, we’ve compiled a list of 20 essential Chrome extensions every marketer should have.
What it’s good for: Looking at the rendered source code of a page alongside its raw version
What it’s good for: Checking HTTP Status codes and uncovering unnecessary or suboptimal redirects
Description: Redirect Path from Ayima includes an icon in the Chrome taskbar which indicates the status code of the page you’re on. Clicking on the icon will reveal the chain of redirects your browser went through to load the current page.
What it’s good for: Creating great-looking how-to or tutorial videos
Description: Soapbox is a free tool we created at Wistia, specifically to lower the barrier for creating great looking marketing videos. With Soapbox, you record your screen and your webcam simultaneously and then switch between full-screen and split-screen views in the editing process. The output is a new style of “presentation video” that is a step-up from a basic screencast or webcam recording — ideal for simple product demonstrations or explainer videos.
What it’s good for: Preventing spelling and grammar errors when writing pages, documents, and emails
Description: When installed, Grammarly highlights spelling and grammar errors in any text input field, in a manner we’re all familiar with from Microsoft word. Clicking the highlighted error will show recommended changes, allowing you to quickly improve the quality and consistency of your writing.
What it’s good for: Conducting outreach and prospecting
Description: The Buzzstream Buzzmarker extension will crawl the website you’re on, and pull out contact details for appropriate individuals associated with the website. You can then add these contacts directly to your Buzzstream database, and send out an individual or bulk email from the outreach CRM.
What it’s good for: YouTube optimization
Description: TubeBuddy is an essential tool in the arsenal of any video marketer. It pops up detailed analytics next to any YouTube video, showing the tags, the view counts and how many best practices a specific video abides by. When you upload a video, TubeBuddy offers suggested tags and optimizations to the metadata to ensure you’re maximizing the potential reach of the video you’ve just updates.
What it’s good for: Seeing what trackers other sites are using
Description: While primarily billed as a tracker blocker and ad blocker, Ghostery also provides a helpful list of the trackers and cookies triggered by every page you visit. This information can be helpful for competitor analysis and discovering tech-stacks powering marketing funnels.
What it’s good for: Discovering tech stacks and historical redirects
Description: The BuiltWith Technology Profiler is a free extension that includes some of the features of the full Builtwith platform. Clicking the icon in the Chrome taskbar shows you a long list of all the technology a specific webpage is utilizing, and the “redirects” tab will show you all the root domains which redirect pages to the root domain you’re visiting.
What it’s good for: Improving keyword optimization of any given page and evaluating the overall authority of a website
Description: The MozBar is a real swiss army knife of an extension, with many possible uses for the acquisition-minded marketer. It either functions as a drop-down, providing detailed meta and link data analysis on any website you visit or as a fixed icon in the taskbar, indicating the Domain Authority of the website in question. The two most prevalent features are probably “Page Analysis,” which allows you to get a snapshot of the title, description, schema.org mark-up, rel=“canonical” link attributes, and more for a specific page, as well as “Link metrics” which allow you to see Page Authority, Domain Authority, and the number of linking root domains to a given page. While the Mozbar is free, it really unlocks when combined with a Moz Pro Subscription ($99 per month).
What it’s good for: Assessing the competition for a given keyword in organic search and discovering the display & PPC ads other companies are running
Description: SEOquake has been a favorite since the less scrupulous days of SEO, and remains an extraordinarily handy toolset for all things search. A SERP popover allows you to see domain and page level metrics for ranking results, and clicking the link when browsing a website allows you to analyze the ads they’re running, as well as explore internal links and trigger more detailed page-level diagnoses. An integration with SEMrush allows you to bring in more data to SEOquake, so if you have an SEMrush subscription, the extension becomes even more powerful.
What it’s good for: Seeing which internal links users click on for any page on your website
Description: The Page Analytics Chrome Extension from Google is a very handy tool to make Google Analytics data more actionable. When clicking the icon in the Chrome taskbar, a drop-down will appear, showing page-level visit data, alongside an overlay across the whole page which gives percentage figures on each of the internal links displayed, showing you where users typically travel to from any given page, thereby allowing you to better understand user journeys.
12) Web Developer
What it’s good for: Working out someone’s email address
Description: LinkedIn Sales Navigator (formally Rapportive), adds a sidebar to your Gmail account, showing details from the Linkedin profile associated with the email address you are writing to. You can, therefore, reverse engineer this, and use the tool to validate guesses for a specific email address.
What it’s good for: Scheduling and syndicating social media posts
Description: Buffer adds icons onto Twitter posts, allowing you to schedule retweets or commented retweets, and add new posts into your social queue. You can also use the extension to quickly plan a social post that links to the URL you’re currently viewing, and share things across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter simultaneously.
What it’s good for: Shortening links for social media posts
Description: Clicking the Bitly icon in the Chrome taskbar quickly creates a custom short link (which you can alter) for the page you’re on. This speeds things up if you’re planning lots of social posts in quick succession
What it’s good for: Getting a quick overview of how fast your pages are
Description: PageSpeed insights is a fairly crude look at site speed, but it can nevertheless be useful when looking to optimize loading speed and user experience. Clicking the icon in the Chrome taskbar loads the desktop and mobile PageSpeed insights scores for the page you’re on, as well as an overall score for mobile friendliness.
What it’s good for: Checking to see all appropriate tags are firing on a specific page
Description: Tag assistant records which tags are being fired by Google tag manager, and then provides a list for you to observe or export. It’s a simple tool, but can be very helpful when debugging tracking issues on your website.
What it’s good for: Testing how your website functions for different devices, browsers, and bots
Description: User-Agent Switcher, very simply, allows you to override your default browser settings and look at the web from the perspective of other devices and browsers. You can also manually add user-agents to mimic various bots and crawlers.
What it’s good for: Finding new keywords for SEO & PPC
Description: Keywords Everywhere adds a box to any Google results page which shows similar keywords to the one searched for alongside keyword volume, the average cost per click and a competition score. The “Add keywords” feature then allows you to build out an expansive keyword list as you’re exploring different Google search queries.
20) Similar Web
What it’s good for: Estimating competitor’s traffic
Description: Clicking the SimilarWeb icon in the Chrome taskbar provides a dropdown which gives some insight into how a competing site is performing — including estimates of absolute traffic and a relative breakdown of traffic sources and audience locations. This can be helpful for benchmarking yourself against others, as well as assessing the reach of a potential co-marketing partner.
There you have it. We hope this list is useful when it comes to building up your own personal collection of Chrome Extensions. Are there any essential or obvious ones we missed? Let us know in the comments, and if we agree that they’re good as you say they are, we’ll add them to the post!
Episode 5: “The Brandwagon Interviews” Podcast with Lauren Fleshman of Picky Bars
From tactics to taglines, Wistia’s CEO, Chris Savage, chats marketing with the brains behind successful brands on our new video series, Brandwagon. Last time, Chris sat down with Veronica Parker-Hahn, SVP of Growth & Innovation at Effie Worldwide, to learn why she believes strategic rigor is essential to building an effective brand. Today, we’re excited to share our extended interview with this week’s guest, Lauren Fleshman, Co-Founder and CMO of Picky Bars.
Check out the episode to hear how Lauren learned the power of identifying and marketing your values from her experience as a two-time US track and field champion, and a Nike-sponsored athlete.
Or listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
Watch the actual Brandwagon episode here!
Before becoming the co-founder and CMO of Picky Bars, a real-food company that makes energy bars, oatmeals, and granolas to fuel active lifestyles, Lauren Fleshman was a highly decorated professional runner. She’s a two-time US 5K champion (her fastest mile time is 4 minutes and 23 seconds!). When she signed on as a Nike-sponsored athlete, she soon realized she was Nike’s own brand marketing asset. From this experience, she learned how to be an exceptional storyteller and the importance of marketing her values to renew sponsorship deals.
Using this wisdom, Lauren started Picky Bars and grew the business in the energy bar market. On this episode, we hear all about building your brand for the long-run by paying attention to how you make your audience feel.
“I think you can make an interesting story out of anything. Because if you have a goal — no matter what the business is — there’s a journey involved in getting there. Everyone can relate to a journey.” On this episode of The Brandwagon Interviews, Lauren Fleshman highlights how knowing your values and telling your story will help your audience connect to your brand.
Here are some of the lessons learned throughout the episode:
- Identify your story and decide it’s worthwhile to tell
- Figure out why people like you and lean into that
- Go narrow yet deep with your current audience and trust that your brand will grow from there
Short on time? Check out some of our favorite moments during this interview between Chris and Lauren.
1:22 – “I think it’s helpful sometimes to be a beginner at something”
After Chris runs the best mile of his life, Lauren and Chris sit down to talk about all things brand. Chris kicks off the conversation by asking Lauren about learning how to play the violin. Despite being a champion runner and a business owner, Lauren talks about how it’s important to be a beginner at something. It’s helped her in her coaching career and has pushed her to understand certain aspects of her business in new ways.
4:14 – On being a marketing asset
Not long after her highly successful collegiate career, Lauren signed on as a Nike-sponsored athlete. She quickly came to understand the world of running from an interesting perspective: she was another brand’s marketing asset. Fleshman talks about what it was like to pitch herself to companies in hopes of renewing sponsorship deals and how being an influencer helped her learn to tell her own story.
8:55 – Changing values at Nike
Even though she had a demanding training and race schedule, Lauren still found the time to tell her own story. Early on, she realized women athletes at Nike were treated differently than male athletes. Nike advertising for women featured models instead of professional athletes whereas ads for men’s shoes and clothing featured top male athletes at the time. Fired up, Lauren emailed Nike’s CEO on a whim and ended up changing the culture at one of the world’s largest brands. The company worked with Fleshman to make the first Nike catalog featuring female athletes and produced a commercial with her.
14:04 – “Everyone can relate to a journey”
When you’re a national champion and a Nike athlete, you’ve got a pretty cool story to tell, right? But what if you’re selling insurance or golden-toe socks?! Chris asks Lauren what companies should do if they feel like they don’t have a story, or that their business is “boring.” Lauren says if you just start telling your story, and if you accept that your story is worthwhile, you’ll be surprised by how people will be interested. If you have a business, you have goals. And if you have goals, there’s a journey involved in working toward those goals. Experiencing this in her running career and with Picky Bars, she believes everyone can relate to a journey, and they’ll be invested in your successes and failures along the way.
17:40 – Layering risks
What happened after Lauren missed competing at the Olympics due to injuries? She took the downtime and started four major projects, all of which she fully expected to fail. Fleshman describes how low-risk ventures can feel worthwhile in the face of failure because impacting even a few people in your community can have a great benefit.
21:26 – Starting Picky Bars
Chris asks Lauren about how she started Picky Bars, which are energy bars made with whole foods and balanced for sport. The story began when Lauren was on a break from running and wanted to help her husband and triathlete, Jesse Thomas, find an energy bar that wouldn’t mess with his digestive system (and fill the house with unwanted…gas). Lauren continues to tell the origin story of her business and how the brand grew organically.
26:47 – Growing a business in a crowded space
The energy bar market is saturated with products of all shapes, sizes, and claims. So, how did Lauren begin marketing Picky Bars and differentiate the brand in a crowded space? She first focused on her community and doubled down efforts on her personal blog. Then she drew on her experience as a sponsored influencer for other brands to market Picky Bars.
28:32 – Understanding your values
Lauren’s personal values have a ton of overlap with the brand values at Picky Bars. Chris wonders how you discover and define your values as a brand. Lauren explains how she began to define her own values and why she thinks it’s important for brands to lead with their values. Often, it’s about looking at what’s working and identifying why people like you in the first place, and then leaning into that.
32:14 – Finding a home at Oiselle
Amidst the discussion about values, Lauren mentions how she began to feel out of alignment with Nike due to their policies around athletes starting families. At that time she fell in love with Oiselle, a clothing company for female athletes, and left Nike to work with Oiselle, who helped her scale her values to affect more change and impact more people. Fleshman describes how she felt more motivated to work for Oiselle because their values aligned. This has fundamentally changed how she feels about sponsorship opportunities and how to inspire employees.
36:53 – Marketing your values
Chris asks how companies should market their values once they define them. Picky Bars and Oiselle both tell brand stories that reflect their brand values. In doing that, Lauren’s noticed that brands have the power to change the culture of the industries in which they operate.
40:15 – Creating brand affinity with Work, Play, Love
In 2018, Lauren and her husband started a podcast called Work, Play, Love. The podcast focuses on the intersection between sports, entrepreneurship, and relationships. On the podcast, the couple talks about their experience running Picky Bars — including all of their mess-ups and struggles — they offer advice on balancing life with goals in sport, and they talk about their relationship. Chris asks why they decided to be so open about their business and Lauren talks about how it gives their audience an opportunity to have a deeper connection with them and the Picky Bars brand. She describes how doing a show like Work, Play, Love has helped their business.
44:43 – CEO recaps
Lauren recommends that small businesses create a CEO recap for their fans, the same way a CEO would brief investors on the state of the business. She talks about the benefits of being open with your audience, both for your customers and for yourself.
47:24 – “Decide your story’s worthwhile”
What advice does Lauren have for marketers who are thinking about making shows and being their own spokespeople? She says that the first step is deciding that your story is worthwhile. Then? Go narrow and deep with your current audience and trust that your brand will build from there.
Announcing Change the Channel: A Live Event from Wistia HQ!
Online marketing is getting harder — there are fewer new channels, the best tactics are known, our playbooks don’t work like they used to, and our technology is no longer a competitive advantage.
To stand out in a world with unlimited distractions we have to build brands that are strong. Brands that have clear values and brands that our audiences care about.
To win, we need to create more brand advocates who believe in what we are doing and who will help us share our stories.
On October 2 at 1 p.m. EST, my-co-founder Brendan Schwartz and I are going to be hosting a special live broadcast called Change the Channel. We’re going to share what we’ve learned about building brands, where we see marketing heading, and what you can expect from Wistia in the coming years. We’ll even hear from a few special guests from InVision and ThriveHive — companies that are already building incredible brands.
Now it wouldn’t be Wistia if you weren’t able to be involved in this announcement as well. Before tuning in, be sure to download our Change the Channel Bingo Card* and play along for the chance to win an all-in-one mobile video studio, aka the Wistia Soapbox Station. Print a card out for yourself, or pass them around your office! Three winners will be chosen at random on each channel. Here’s how to enter:
- Snap a picture holding your winning card
- Post it to Twitter or Instagram
- Tag @wistia & use the hashtag #watchCTC
Be sure to register and watch the livestream on Wednesday, October 2 at 1 p.m. EST. And if you can’t make it, don’t worry — all registrants will receive a recording of the event once we’re done broadcasting. We hope to “see” you there!
Sign up to watch live:
*Participants and winners must be U.S. residents. Limit of one entry per person on Twitter or Instagram exclusively. Submissions must be posted by 9 AM on Thursday, October 3rd in order to be considered. Winners will be announced on Monday, October 7th. Soapbox Stations provided to eligible winners are not transferable, redeemable for cash or exchangeable for any other prize. If a winner cannot be contacted or is disqualified for any reason, Wistia reserves the right to determine an alternate winner or not to award that winner’s prize, in its sole discretion.
What We Can Learn from Streaming Services About Audience Viewing Behavior
There once was a time where sitting through 18 minutes of ads to watch your favorite one-hour show was an unfortunate necessity in life. Today, however, a 10-year-old wouldn’t be able to distinguish a cable box from a DVD player and binge-watching a show for hours on end is the norm. Video streaming services have clearly been dominating the space for some time now, but television networks aren’t ready to go down without a fight.
Media conglomerates that were once disrupted by the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are now entering the race to win back long lost customers. How will they go about doing it, you ask? Our best guess is by crafting impressively entertaining content. After looking at different trends in audience behavior on streaming services, marketers would be wise to take a similar approach when it comes to capturing and holding the attention of their audiences.
Over 600 million people are now subscribed to streaming services worldwide, and the average U.S. adult watches 6 hours of video per day. However, the popularity of streaming services doesn’t just tell us that consumers expect on-demand content from every media company. It also tells us that audiences are hooked on entertainment.
To feed our voracious appetite for both shows and films and, in turn, claim a healthy slice of the market, AT&T, Disney, Apple, Viacom, and Discovery all plan to launch their own streaming services this year.
This battle for market attention should push brands to raise the bar creatively, crafting content that their audience can’t help but want to consume. For instance, imagine if your audience held your docu-series in the same regard as Last Chance U, or if they listened to your podcast over This American Life while commuting to work? That would be an unprecedented level of resonance.
“This battle for market attention should push brands to raise the bar creatively, crafting content that their audience can’t help but want to consume.”
To survive and thrive in this war for attention, it’s time for brands to start tackling what the streaming service industry has already mastered — the ability to entertain.
When content marketing was first gaining steam, earning consumer attention by providing educational advice was a novel and revolutionary idea. Nowadays, educational content is rather ordinary, and people have become habituated to the standard listicle or ultimate guide.
Fortunately, the human brain is wired to pay instant attention to novelty and narrative, so crafting creative, story-driven content can attract and retain an audience. That’s why Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Apple TV, and Disney spend the majority of their combined $24.5 billion annual content budget on original productions — they understand humans crave novel experiences.
71% of millennials are now subscribed to streaming services to watch original content. Additionally, the average American subscribes to 3.4 streaming services to access as much variety as possible. In other words, novelty sells.
In the content marketing space, Mailchimp has taken a page from the streaming services industry’s playbook by making sure Mailchimp Presents — their creative studio that produces original series — hits a diverse range of notes. In just eight months, Mailchimp released three docu-series, two comedy series, two documentaries, and two podcasts that all cover different (yet targeted) subject matter. And in the months since Mailchimp Presents officially launched, the people who have engaged with the original series tend to buy their products faster and spend more money with the software company.
Not all marketers should feel like they have to mimic Mailchimp’s showrunning moves, though. Since the content marketing space is already so flooded with similar-looking content, starting with a single, creative, story-driven series is enough to get started and cut through the noise.
While online video streaming is only 12 years old, the number of streaming-service-only households has tripled since 2013, and the number of cable-cord-cutters is expected to increase by 33% this year.
It’s easy to see why so many people are ditching cable for streaming — streaming services provide instant access to commercial-free content and personalized recommendations based on viewers’ history and preferences. On top of that, streaming is much more affordable than cable: subscribing to all four of the main streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO, is cheaper than subscribing to Spectrum Cable TV.
“The number of streaming-service-only households has tripled since 2013, and the number of cable-cord-cutters is expected to increase by 33% this year.”
Brands can easily offer these same benefits, too. One business that has emulated these qualities and has built a loyal, passionate audience is Yeti Coolers. As a company that makes coolers, drinkware, bags, and other gear for outdoorsmen, Yeti has crafted over 70 short stories and films about the pursuit of hunting, fishing, the outdoors, ranch and rodeo, and barbecue. All of their binge-worthy content is hosted on a single webpage that’s easy to find through their homepage, making it accessible for any visitor.
Any business can easily host their binge-worthy content on their own website, driving visitors to a home-base where they can consume more content at their leisure. And when it comes to making the content itself, brands can (and should) cater it to their specific target audience while leaving out any mention of their products, just like Yeti.
As marketers, investing in producing documentaries and original series might seem like a big risk, but if there’s one lesson to be learned from streaming services, it’s that our audience craves something that most brands have neglected to provide — binge-worthy content. Maybe channeling our inner screenwriter isn’t a risk after all. Maybe it’s our safest bet!
- BrightLocal launches ‘Local RankFlux’ Google local algorithm tracking tool
- Google’s John Mueller on Where to Insert JSON-LD Structured Data
- Episode 5: “The Brandwagon Interviews” Podcast with Lauren Fleshman of Picky Bars
- Subdomain leasing and the giant hole in Google’s Medic update
- 4 Things That May Surprise You About Automated PPC Bidding
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