There are many business marketing tools that you can use for your online business and online marketing, and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. The internet is full of wonderful tools that can help you monitor your business, track marketing campaigns, analyze marketing data, and automate tedious tasks.
Are you an online business owner? If so, then you know how hard it can be to promote your business online. There are a lot of online marketing tools out there that claim to make your job easier, but in reality, they don’t give you the results you need. To make things a little easier for you, we created a list of the best FREE online marketing tools for small businesses.
Get this: email marketing is used by eight out of ten marketers.
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This isn’t something you should wait on. Instead, you should implement an email marketing strategy on day one.
With more than 12 million customers, MailChimp has claimed its spot as one of the top email marketing providers and digital marketing tools in the world.
While there are alternatives, this tool remains one of the best, for many reasons:
- History dating back to 2001, well before most companies began using email marketing
- Self-service support options, ensuring that you can quickly find answers to all of your questions
- Free plan for those with less than 2,000 subscribers and those who don’t send more than 12,000 emails per month
When starting a business, it’s not likely that you will have more than 2,000 subscribers. For this reason, you can get started with MailChimp early using the tool for free as you get your feet wet with email marketing and then move to a paid plan as you scale.
When it comes to marketing, sales, and CRM software, HubSpot has become one of the top players.
For the sake of this post, let’s focus on its marketing software solutions. The company has this to say about this digital marketing tool:
From attracting visitors to closing customers, HubSpot brings your entire marketing funnel together.
You know just how important it is for your marketing funnel to be in good working order. With this software, you have access to tools that help with:
- social Media
- lead management
- landing pages
- marketing automation
There is no stone left unturned when you rely on HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software. That’s why it’s a top choice for those who are starting a business.
With everything you need in one place, you don’t have to pull yourself in many different directions. This will help you to find success in the early days and help you as you grow.
MobileMonkey is a must-have chat marketing automation tool that gives customers a way to chat with you, and you with them automatically.
With 75% of customers reporting that chatting or texting with a business is a better way to connect than email or phone, getting your customer chat up and running can’t be ignored by any business.
MobileMonkey is a great choice for marketing and support because it connects to all your customers’ favorite messaging channels including:
- Instagram DMs
- SMS text messaging
- Live chat
- Facebook Messenger
With MobileMonkey, everything you need for customer chat from Instagram marketing tools to Facebook messaging lead ads to live chat is available in a single platform.
Not only can you use one inbox to view and respond to the incoming messages from all your messaging accounts, but MobileMonkey also makes it easy to set up automation to respond, collect lead info, and send leads straight into your other marketing systems.
I’m using MobileMonkey Instagram marketing tools to automatically reply to Instagram post comments and story mentions. It improves my Instagram engagement rate and boosts my content reach to gain more followers.
Trello is a digital marketing tool that helps you to manage projects and stay on the same page as your team–a sound digital marketing practice if you want to save time and frustration.
For example, you can share blog posts on Trello before you publish them. This gives others on your team the opportunity to review the post, weigh in with their thoughts and make changes that could strengthen the piece before it goes live.
In the past, before the days of Trello and similar programs, email was the best way to collaborate with your team. While this is still helpful, to a certain degree, it can lead to confusion, missed messages, and frustration.
With Trello, everything related to your online marketing strategy can be shared in the same place. It only takes a few minutes to set up aboard. Even better, you can quickly invite your entire staff, all of whom can jump in on the action without delay.
Trello isn’t the only digital marketing tool of its kind, but it’s, by far, one of the best. When it comes to collaborating with others regarding marketing tasks, this tool is hard to beat.
Social media plays a big part in the success of any company, regardless of size, age, or industry. I’d argue that social media marketing is a must to thrive in this digital era.
Digital marketing tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, thus saving you loads of time.
Hootsuite offers tons of features to help you grow your business. For example, you can:
- Identify influencers for your marketing team and leads for your sales team
- Reply to comments and mentions through the dashboard–there’s no reason to visit each individual platform
- Take advantage of pre-written responses
- Schedule posts when your audience is most active (even if you’re asleep!)
Social media marketing is not as difficult as it sounds, especially when you rely on tools like Hootsuite. With this particular tool, you can schedule and manage social media profiles for more than 30 platforms.
Imagine doing this by hand, without a central dashboard to guide you. It would be enough to frustrate even the most experienced entrepreneur, let alone a new business owner. Let Hootsuite take over like the social media marketing manager it is.
As one of the top free tools from Google, Analytics should be part of your digital marketing strategy from the very start. I’d argue it’s one of the most powerful digital marketing tools out there.
It only takes a couple of minutes to add the Analytics code to your website, giving you the ability to track every action by every visitor.
This is considered by many to be nothing more than a traffic tool, but it can have a big impact on your marketing strategy if you know what you’re doing.
Take, for example, the ability to see where your traffic comes from:
Maybe you realize that a particular social media campaign is driving tons of traffic to your website. With this data, you can adjust your future strategy, in an attempt to capture the same results.
Or, maybe you find that a particular set of keywords is doing wonders for your organic traffic. Again, you can turn your attention to these keywords, ensuring that you keep these in mind as you create content down the road.
Google Analytics isn’t one of those digital marketing tools you can ignore. Installing this early on is a key decision, in regards to your digital marketing strategy. The data you can collect is extremely valuable.
The tagline of this digital marketing tool says it all:
Accelerate growth by seeing what’s happening on your website and apps.
It’s good that you want to spend so much time on digital marketing in the early days of your business. But, do you want to make decisions that aren’t having an impact?
You need to track and analyze every move that you make, as this is the only way to focus on the tactics that are providing the best return on investment (ROI).
With KISSmetrics, you can easily see what’s working and what’s not, across all of your campaigns.
Take, for example, its Analytics products. With a funnel report, you can see if there are any “leaks” in your business. Here’s a screenshot of what to expect:
Starting at $120/month, KISSmetrics isn’t the cheapest digital marketing tool on this list. Even so, it’s one that you’ll want to think about, as your business gets up and running.
With a variety of products at your fingertips, the insights you receive will be invaluable to your company’s growth.
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.
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
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.
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.
Do you plan on spending a lot of time on social media marketing?
While this is a great way to engage your audience and send traffic to your website, it’ll only work in your favor if you have a solid plan in place.
Tools, such as Followerwonk, are designed to help you improve your social media marketing strategy, such as by digging into your Twitter analytics data.
I included this digital marketing tool on the list for two reasons: it’s easy to use and it’s extremely effective.
Followerwonk breaks down its service into three distinct categories:
- Find: Use the tool to search Twitter bios and compare accounts.
- Analyze: Breakdown your follower list by bio, location, who they follow, and many other criteria.
- Optimize: match your strategy to follower gains and losses, to understand what type of content performs best.
The only downside of Followerwonk is that it can’t be used with other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, if you have big plans for Twitter, this is a digital marketing tool you should use often.
Even though you may not use it daily, it can come in handy from time to time. After all, you must understand your audience.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, how much competition there is for your product or service, or how slick your sales page is. If you fail to market your business online then the chances of you turning a profit from it are extremely slim. Close to 50% of businesses fail within their first year and 97% fail within 10 years. Don’t let your business become part of these statistics because you didn’t use the right tools to help grow and manage it.