Best Business Marketing Tools

There are a lot of marketing tools out on the market that can be beneficial for small businesses. Marketing tools, in general, have become streamlined and even automated so you don’t have to do a lot of manual work anymore. Tools can help with your customer relationship management, social media marketing, email marketing, and so much more.

Marketing tools can be integral to your success in business, but too much choice can sometimes be overwhelming. I’ve put together this list to give you guidance on how to choose the best marketing tool for your needs.

What is a Marketing Tool?

A marketing tool is something you can use to develop and promote your products and services. There are many you can choose from. 

Most companies use a variety of different marketing tools to boost their sales. You may choose a mix of direct mail, advertising, and social media management to boost sales. Furthermore, using different marketing tools means you can focus on different elements. Hence, some tools are great for growing sales, others are great for gathering information about consumers.

Essentially, it’s important to think about which ones are the best ones for your business to use. What are the main objectives of your business?

The 10 Best Marketing Tools

With this in view, we’ll look at the 10 best marketing tools to use.

1. Website and website analytic tools

Your website is the digital window to your business. All your products, services, information, and contact details are in one place, your online shop. You aim to drive traffic to your website and turn potential leads into customers and sales. 

A good marketing tool to track what’s happening when people visit your website is google analytics. This can be extremely useful as it gives you an overview of where your website visitors are coming from. Ultimately, it’s a list of very useful data gathered from your website traffic. 

2. Social media management tools

With social media, you can build an interactive online relationship with potential customers. By creating content such as blogs, you are giving them useful information about your products or services. You could post about a new product to draw attention to it. You can share images that are relevant to your business, and respond to any comments and questions. 

Your main aim here is to raise awareness of your business and build up your profile online. Potential customers will hopefully see, like, and share your content. 

3. Search Engine Optimisation

An SEO tool such as Hootsuite can help you to schedule social media posts in advance, thus saving you lots of time and effort.

If you use different social media platforms, Hootsuite allows you to bring all your social media into one place. For example, you can respond to comments and mentions through the dashboard rather than via each social media platform.

4. Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting people who show interest in your company or product. Then, turning that prospect into a sale. They start as leads and hopefully turn into customers. 

Just one example of generating leads is to put a standard form on your website landing page. Maybe you can offer a discount or a gift for completing the form. As people respond, you can keep a database of the customer relationship as you go.

5. Video Marketing

People naturally watch a video over reading text. It means that video marketing can deliver a higher level of engagement. Keeping your audience engaged means you have a better chance of turning these people into leads. Probably the best marketing tool for this is YouTube. For example, you could create some ‘how-to videos that will provide potential customers with engaging content.

6. Email Marketing 

An email marketing tool helps you to create emails that will target the consumers you are looking for. An example of a good tool to use is Mailchimp. With Mailchimp, you can design and create an email that is on-brand with your business. It’s also helpful in collecting data about how many people have opened your email. You can see what content works well and what doesn’t.

7. Media Monitoring Tools

A media monitoring tool scans the web and tells you about any conversations that are relevant to your company, product, or brand. For example, if there is a negative or positive comment, you can jump in and respond. This helps to build up awareness of your company as well as quash any negative PR.

8. Customer loyalty scheme

Customer loyalty refers to the customers who keep coming back for more. Consider how you can reward them for this with a customer loyalty program. Often, it’s much cheaper and requires less time to get an existing customer to buy from you than a new one. Giving back to them, via a discount code or even a quarterly prize is a good way to keep your customers happy.

9. PPC or Pay per Click

An online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. A paid search ad appears when commercial searches occur on Google. For example, go to Google and search for local heating engineers. If any of them have utilized paid searches, you will see them appear higher up on the google ranking. Companies will then pay a fee for the advert if it’s clicked on by a customer. Hence the term pay per click. 

10. Content Marketing

By creating valuable and useful content, you are offering potential customers something they may be interested in. The aim is to attract your audience with focused content. An engaging piece of content doesn’t need to be overly long or clever. Readers will be responding to honest opinions and informative research around issues they want to hear about. You can then adapt your content across several platforms.

Free and Paid Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

These digital marketing tools can help you to get the biggest bang for your buck and ensure your precious time is invested wisely: automating repetitive tasks, collecting data for you to analyze and optimize your campaigns, and helping you to organize and plan your marketing activities, and more.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is completely free software that provides valuable insights into who is visiting your website and how they engage with it.

It’s best paired with Google Search Console – another free digital marketing tool that helps you to identify any problems on your site and optimize it for traffic.

Some of the data points that Google Analytics makes available to you include:

  • The number of visitors to your site by day, week, month, or any time period you choose
  • Where these visitors are coming from – referrals from other website, organic search, ads, social, or direct
  • The keywords people are using in Google to find your site
  • The demographics and interests of your users
  • How long each user spends on your site and which pages they visit

All this information is interesting, but it’s also vital knowledge that can help you to optimize your website and marketing campaigns (while keeping your SEO efforts low cost).

For example, you might notice through Search Console or Analytics that you’re getting a lot of traffic from a keyword that you lack content covering. Write a blog post optimized for that keyword and watch your traffic and engagement levels rocket.

Getting loads of visitors from Facebook but none from Twitter? Maybe this is a sign you should concentrate your marketing efforts on your main channel.

It’s all about the insights – not just the analytics.

2. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

No matter how large or small your business is, email marketing should be a part of your overall strategy.

When a customer signs up to your mailing list, they’re inviting you straight into their inbox. That’s why email marketing on average offers a higher ROI than any other marketing activity.

To get started with email marketing, you need a service that will enable you to capture emails, manage your lists, send out emails automatically or on a schedule, and analyze engagement.

Mailchimp is an ideal choice if you’re just starting out or if you are running a small business. Mailchimp’s basic service is free until your list hits 2,000 subscribers. It offers the main functionality you need without making managing your email marketing too complex.

Plus, Mailchimp now offers a slew of features and digital marketing tools (some underpaid plans):

  • Segmentation and personalization
  • Landing page builders
  • Form builders
  • Audience insights
  • CRM tools
  • Predictive insights

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite

There’s no question. You must maintain a presence on social media to remain competitive in the marketplace. You also probably already know that social media can be a huge time sink, even if you’re using it purely for marketing purposes rather than endlessly scrolling.

Luckily, you have digital marketing tools available to cut down on this time inefficiency, like Hootsuite.

Hootsuite provides a central management platform for all your social media channels and allows you to schedule posts in advance so you can get all your social media content for the coming weeks or months ready in one session.

You also get advanced reporting tools to see which of your social media campaigns are working most effectively and use this data to calculate ROI.

You can also track mentions of your brand and manage responses, all in one dashboard.

Hootsuite also offers tools for promoting your social media posts through the platform now as well.

4. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo

Your content strategy shouldn’t consist of wild stabs in the dark as you cover topics you think your audience will engage with.

That’s why 60% of B2B brands with the most successful content marketing have a documented strategy. Meanwhile, only 21% of the brands with the least successful content say they have a documented strategy.

To be successful in content marketing, you need to do your research properly, and this is why BuzzSumo is one of my favorite content marketing tools.

BuzzSumo shows content that is trending across social media based on searched topics. Following your search, you can analyze the results that are returned to see what’s so appealing about them and to get ideas of subjects to write about.

But BuzzSumo is moving beyond just basic content research and viral posts. Today, BuzzSumo offers tons of digital marketing tools like:

  • Keyword research
  • Influencer search
  • Topic-based social media feeds
  • Content analysis
  • Crisis management
  • Brand monitoring tools

5. KWFinder

KWFinder

SEO is fundamental to online marketing and it’s important to get right. Not only should you make sure your site is structured properly and optimized for mobile, but the content you produce must also contain relevant keywords that you have a good chance of ranking for in search results.

You need a special digital marketing tool to find those relevant keywords and start your search. You have several options available from the free Google Keyword Planner, to more complex suites of tools like SECockpit.

The more advanced digital marketing tools get quite expensive, with monthly subscription fees starting at $100 or more. However, options like KWFinder offer affordable, accurate, and useful insights at a perfect price point for small businesses.

Just put in a seed keyword and the tool will come back with hundreds of suggestions, search volume data, trends, and a ranking difficulty score for each word or phrase.

Mangools, the brand behind KWFinder, offers plans for individual tools or its full suite which includes a backlink tool, website analysis, SERP watchers, and more inside each one – along with a nice browser extension.

6. HubSpot

HubSpot

If you’re running multiple campaigns across numerous marketing channels, not only is it a huge challenge to manage them all, but you also have to figure out exactly what’s working and where to make improvements.

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing software solution that enables you to bring all your different marketing channels together, and optimize for more traffic, a higher conversion rate, and better ROI.

The tool includes optimized templates that are ideal for creating landing pages along with other features like live chat and user action events which ramp up your engagement and convert more visitors into customers.

Other features of HubSpot include:

  • Content optimization tools
  • Optimized landing pages
  • Email templates
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead management
  • Analytics
  • Social media management

The full version of HubSpot has a hefty price tag but small businesses on lower budgets can get started with their free or basic package.

HubSpot has also made the switch from an inbound marketing tool to a complete CRM platform, now offering free and paid sales hubs, customer service hubs, and content management (on top of the free/paid marketing hub).

However, the complete content management platform is only available in paid versions.

7. Canva

Canva

You need visuals to keep your audience engaged.

For example, you could use quality photos to keep your readers interested, come up with motivating quote graphics, visualize complex data with colorful graphs, and create highly engaging infographics.

Now, what if I told you that there is an awesome tool that will help you create original, visually appealing content in just a few minutes? Of course, I’m talking about Canva!

Canva keeps evolving, offering more graphic design tools and templates all the time: social media, infographics, marketing posters, business cards, eBooks, and anything else you could need.

And Canva’s free templates (and entire freemium version) are useful too!

Use photos already featured on the site, upload and polish up your images, or even create brand new ones.

Most importantly, you don’t need to have any graphic design experience to create high-quality graphics. With its easy-to-use drag and drop features, Canva arms you with a wide range of photo editing options, color palettes, font combinations, effects, and custom image sizes.

8. Ahrefs

Ahrefs

While old-school SEO was all about building backlinks, modern SEO practices are focused on understanding the search intent of keywords you can rank for, and building relevant and organic backlinks from authority sites.

With quality links leading to your content, search engines will know how authoritative and trustworthy your website is. That’s why off-page backlink analysis is the backbone of your digital marketing strategy.

Now, even with a plethora of amazing tools, Ahrefs is the only one for many digital marketers.

With Ahrefs, you can do competitive analysis and see the keywords your competitors rank for in organic search results, find the best keywords ideas, access your backlink data instantly, find content relevant to your niche, keep track of your desktop and mobile keyword rankings, and get alerted whenever one of your competitors gets or loses a backlink.

Ahrefs has improved much over the years, now offering comprehensive tools for:

  • Website analysis and backlink profiles
  • Keyword research
  • Website auditing for keyword gaps and performance issues
  • Rank tracking to follow your performance over time
  • Content explorer to stay on top of your niche

9. Slack

Slack

In the world of digital marketing tools, the success of any project hinges on the ease of communication between teams. That’s why you should invest in easy-to-use software that provides your team with uninterrupted interaction and data sharing.

One of the most popular team collaboration platforms is Slack. This sweet tool has won the hearts of many digital marketers thanks to its simple data sharing and easy message search options.

Most importantly, Slack can integrate with all major project management, office management, sales, productivity, design, and developer tools, making it easier for you to stay on top of every aspect of your digital marketing campaign.

10. Yoast

Yoast

What use are all the hours you spend researching keywords and topics worth if you don’t properly optimize your content? Even the best of us forget things once in a while.

Yoast is one of the best digital marketing tools for optimizing content for SEO because they offer an awesome free version. Yoast will tell you where to place your keyword, how to improve readability, and perhaps most importantly, let you know what you’re doing wrong so you can improve.

With the paid versions, you can add related keywords, search for semantic keywords within the plugin, get instant internal link suggestions, insights, and more.

Try the free version of Yoast for a while to familiarize yourself with the features and audit your site’s content. When you’re comfortable, upgrade to the paid version to boost your content even further.

Conclusion

Small business marketing is a little more difficult than large business marketing. Large businesses have the resources to employ marketing professionals. Small businesses do not. Yet small businesses are no less hungry for leads. If you are in business for yourself, it may be better to sell to other businesses instead of end-users.

A quick run-down of the best marketing tools for small businesses and how you can use them to improve and optimize your online and offline marketing strategies.

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