Business success does not just happen. To thrive in business, you’re going to need competent marketing skills. If you are planning on growing your business to new heights then look no further than these marketing tools that I’ve come across.
The internet, with its myriad of websites, forums, social media tools, and blogging platforms, can be overwhelming for small business marketing. But with the right tools in your grasp, you’ll find it easy to help grow your client base and transform leads into paying customers.
You may have heard the cliché that business is a contact sport where grit and determination separate the winners from the losers. And it is, but it’s also a thinking man’s game. The strategies and tools you use will help you stay ahead of your competition.
Let’s say you have the best product in the world. You know there’s a market for it and it serves your customer’s needs much better than anything else out there – you blow the competition out of the water 10 times out of 10.
First of all, congratulations. But you won’t be able to build a successful business without paying customers. To do that, you need to be able to reach prospects and communicate why your product or service is better and what they gain from working with you over one of your competitors. In other words, you need the right tools and marketing strategies for business growth.
Here are (mostly free) marketing tools for business growth that every small business owner should use:
You have a website that you’re using to communicate your marketing message, reach prospects, and/or sell products. But how do you know where they’re coming from or whether the optimizations you make are moving the needle?
Google Analytics helps you learn more about your customers by tracking where your visitors are coming from, what they’re doing on your website (i.e. pages visited or time spent), and ultimately, helps you figure out what messages are the most effective at compelling visitors to take a particular action.
If you want to grow your business with digital marketing, SEO should be something that is top of mind.
When you search for something on Google, how often do you search past the first page? Probably not very often. And you’re not alone – according to Search Engine People, the first position generates around 33% of the clicks with the next getting 15% and the 3rd getting just 9% and the drop-off gets steeper and steeper after that (here’s a chart for the data junkies out there).
SEMrush helps you develop a winning SEO marketing strategy by helping you with keyword research, SEO audits of your website, identifying backlink opportunities, and tracking the keyword strategies used by your competition. Check out our list of free SEO tools you can start using right now.
When it comes to SEO, one of the things search engines look at is how many other websites are referencing your content and how authoritative those websites are. Since these websites influence your ranking, let’s call them “influencers”.
PitchBox makes it easy for you to find influential bloggers or publishers in your niche with their search and filter function and makes it easy for you to reach out to them via personalized automated email sequences. If the influencers like your content and are willing to showcase it on their sites, your SEO ranking will go up.
Answer the Public
If you want to rank high on search engines, it’s important to create high-quality content around what people are searching for. But how do you know what people are looking for and how do you come up with topics week after week?
Answer the Public works by generating a tree of potential blog topics based on the keyword you’re targeting and real search queries and trending topics related to your keyword.
Today, in the UK 67% of the entire population are on social media so the customers you’re trying to reach are probably there too.
Social media marketing is a great way to reach new customers and build loyalty with your existing customers. Hootsuite helps you do this by helping you manage all of your social media accounts in 1 place. You can easily create an editorial calendar, schedule and approve posts, track social media engagement and ROI, and help you track what people are saying about your brand online.
Once you’ve got a steady stream of visitors to your website, it’s time to get their contact information, build a relationship with them (we call this nurturing), and gently nudge them towards a sale.
While there are a lot of fancy tools out there like AI-enabled chatbots, one of the most powerful marketing tools for business growth is still email marketing because of the tremendous ROI. According to CampaignMonitor, you can expect to make $44 back for every $1 you spend on email.
Act! CRM is a comprehensive sales and marketing platform that combines CRM and marketing, providing everything you and your team need to successfully run and grow your business. Act! CRM allows you to set up simple ad-hoc email blasts or drip marketing campaigns for one-off or single path communications as needed.
Whether you’re creating ads, social media posts, or email blasts, you’ll need eye-catching graphics that capture people’s attention.
Canva is a free tool for creating logos and designs. They have beautiful professional-grade templates for almost anything you can imagine from posters to email banners to Facebook ads.
To develop marketing strategies for business growth, you need to understand your customers. Collecting feedback allows you to improve your offering and find out who your customers are and what they care about so you can better craft marketing messages in the future.
Survey Monkey or TypeForm are two great tools to easily create beautiful forms and surveys (that people want to complete) and analyze the results. You can even generate presentation-ready charts and graphs automatically.
We already talked about how important it is to understand your customers. Hotjar takes this concept further using heat maps to see what people are clicking on and how far they’re scrolling, collect user feedback via pop-up surveys and even run live recordings of user sessions to gain insight into user behavior.
The likes of Nintendo and Microsoft use this tool to help them improve their product, marketing funnels, and user experience but it’s not just a tool for large corporations. They have a free tier which is good enough for most small businesses.
To succeed in business, you need a sound strategy for growing your business through digital marketing that covers SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and landing page optimization. The marketing tools suggested above will hopefully make your life easier as you execute your business growth strategy.
An automated webinar is a pre-recorded webinar that simulates live activities so that participants think they are a part of a live event but you only host it once. It’s a great way to scale your business. Webinars can also serve as part of the sales funnel and be used for explaining any complicated facets of your business. It may be a complex product or an unusual concept or the lack of sufficient demand on the market. Thanks to using webinars, companies can automate the sales process, saving resources and time. Hence, if you want to cultivate your potential customers, a webinar can be an attractive method for moving clients from one rung of the funnel to another. But remember that for webinars to be successful, you need a very high demand from the potential audience because you want the users to pass preliminary registration, to come to the webinar, and watch it in full. At each of these steps, the number of listeners may be reduced by as much as 70 percent. That’s why webinars are more suitable for B2C companies. For instance, according to 99firms statistics, a single webinar can generate approximately 500 to 1,000 leads. This is why more than half of all companies use automated webinars as promotional tools and implement them in their marketing strategy.
Several companies have started using webinars as their main source of leads. For instance, StudyFree created daily webinars, explaining the advantages and opportunities associated with studying abroad, as well as the product itself. These simulate live webinars, with a presentation, a Livestream, and even live comments. With this strategy, StudyFree has more than 150 webinars running every day in different time zones, countries, and languages.
A chatbot is not a novel tool. It’s an instrument based on Artificial Intelligence software that interacts with people naturally through text chat windows. However, companies often invest heavily in this instrument to make their communications with potential clients more personalized and efficient.
For instance, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook have all implemented chatbots from such aspiring startups as Chatfuel and ManyChat. Insider predicts that the global annual cost savings derived from chatbot automation across the insurance industry alone will surge from $500 million in 2020 to $5.8 billion in 2025.
According to Accenture’s research, the top five trends in the chatbot market today are the development of artificial intelligence, the growing use of instant messengers, cost reduction and ease of development, the interaction between bots, and bot-enabled payments. Chatbots provide multiple benefits to the company. By offering 24-hour customer service and tirelessly responding to customer queries, chatbots can support and scale the organization’s customer relations and may even replace their sales managers because of enhancing personalization with Artificial Intelligence. Chatbots reduce processing time and improve employee productivity. In general, the use of this technology can improve the company’s business performance by 5% to 25%.
Voice Search will bring your SEO strategy to a new level. The average number of voice searches per month is one billion. Voice search utilizes innovations like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa. More and more users are now talking into their search bars instead of typing, whether they use voice-activated AI assistants on their desktops or smartphones. The popularization of voice search changes the keywords and phrases people use to find what they are looking for online. This tool will not only track keyword distribution but can also assess your search visibility and report on fluctuations in the number of keywords used to sell your advertising.
UGC is any type of content (texts, videos, photos, etc.) created not by the brand itself but by its users, customers, and clients. Brands then share UGC on their social media channels. Users can also create close-knit and engaged communities where they share such content.
UGC has many benefits and directly influences organic growth. The mechanics of social media companies are built on the principles of UGC or user-to-user communication. What’s more, it can be a bigger trust generator than in-house content. Experts suggest that user-generated content will become the new word-of-mouth.
Virality is the digital product’s ability to self-propagate. The clubhouse is the latest example of this. Marketing teams usually have to think about ways to stimulate users to share content or an entire product with each other. But even if a product is good on its own, there is no guarantee that it will be swept up by a wave of hype without the use of some viral know-how.
Once you’ve started building an online presence and creating awareness for your business, you need to generate the leads that will close into customers using landing pages. Landing pages should be a comprehensive source of information on a topic, and provide an option to convert an unknown visitor into a lead. Ideally, you should organize a landing page around a collection of resources you have blogged about on a single topic. For example, if you have blogged about the best hiking boots, best hiking shoes, and best-hiking helmets of 2017 then collecting all of these into an overall resource on the best hiking gear guide would provide a central resource for visitors.
We recommend making the full version of this guide available directly on the page so you capture the maximum benefit of search, and also provide an option to download the guide in another form (i.e. PDF) that sits behind a form so you can capture leads. Successful landing pages should contain a few key attributes:
Tips on selecting (and using) a landing page tool:
- Just like your blog and website, ease of use in creating a landing page is one of the most important aspects of the tool you select. Your entire content creation process can be slowed, or halted, by a tool that does not allow you to easily create content.
- Can you easily run A/B tests on your landing pages? A/B testing is the practice of testing two pages that are virtually identical, except for one element of the page such as a Call-to-Action. A/B testing is a great way of finding and measuring small incremental improvements to pages that can result in a significant uplift in leads.
- The form you add to your landing page should automatically sync data into all relevant systems (CRM, marketing automation, etc.), ensure the tool you select makes this easy, or if it requires a specific timeframe or plan for integration.
- The best performing landing pages are relevant to the visitor, which means they are personalized. Does the landing page tool include this capability? If so, how is the personalization powered?
No matter what kind of business you have, marketing is always the key. One of the best ways to increase your sales and make your business grow is by investing in marketing tools for business growth.