Many digital and internet marketing agencies and in-house teams use tools and software to help improve their workflow.
Digital’s role in marketing has changed rapidly and continuously and is continuing to do so. Nowadays, the blend of digital marketing, online advertising, personalization, web analytics, and email marketing have become critical components of B2B marketing strategies. While this poses a challenge to marketers who want to adopt these tools but don’t know where to begin or what exactly they are using for marketing purposes, it also presents an opportunity to those who are willing to test new sources, methods, and channels.
Best Digital Marketing Tools in 2021
Written by Lindy Tolbert
I’m a big fan of finding the latest and greatest digital marketing tools.
While digital marketing tools will only help you execute a proper strategy (they won’t do the work for you), the right technology stack can help you zoom past the competition.
Some tools out there are foundational — things like email marketing, web forms, analytics, and a CRM. However, other tools are more specialized, including keyword rank trackers, or design tools.
To take your marketing strategy to the next level, we’ve outlined the following 17 digital marketing tools every marketer should have in their tool belt.
Best Digital Marketing Tools in 2021
1. HubSpot Marketing
Price: Free to $3,200/month for enterprises, depending on your plan
HubSpot has several tools to help you grow your business, no matter what stage you’re at.
Starting, there are several tools available for free. You can set up web forms, popup forms, and live chat software for lead capture. Then, you can send email marketing campaigns, pipe all of your data into the free CRM, and analyze site visitors’ behavior.
When you expand into the paid tiers, things get sophisticated with advanced marketing automation.
From managing your content and social media to tracking emails and connecting with your leads, HubSpot is an all-in-one solution — although it works well with other point solutions you may use (Typeform, HotJar, etc.).
Ultimately, the tool allows you to:
- Grow your traffic, convert leads, and prove ROI for your inbound marketing campaigns.
- Shorten deal cycles and increase close rates with the provided sales tools.
For a quick recommendation on five free digital marketing tools, you can use together, check out our video compilation.https://www.youtube.com/embed/WlfKH173PXA?feature=oembed
Price: Tiered pricing, ranging from $99 to $399
Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool to help you punch up your website traffic. They have data for around 150 million keywords in the U.S. and even more for 150 other countries.
Ahrefs is great for competitive analysis, allowing you to check out who is linking to your competitors, what their top pages are, and more. You can see where their content ranks and, using the Content Gap tool, identify key weaknesses for your content areas.
The Top Pages tool lets you see which pages get the most traffic, and you can see the amount of traffic going to competitors’ sites.
Ahrefs is one of my favorite SEO tools. It constantly impresses me with features I use daily, and I learn about new features all the time. It’s easily the most robust product in this space.
3. All in One SEO
Price: Starts free, paid plans start at $49.50/year
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is a top-rated plugin for WordPress websites, with over 2 million installations. The tool includes a variety of features designed to help you optimize your site and your content for search engines.
This tool provides an actionable checklist that helps you focus on fixing errors and making common adjustments to maximize click-through rates. Additionally, with AIOSEO, you can complete a whole-site audit, optimize pages for WooCommerce, and even improve your local SEO.
Price: Tiered pricing based on the volume of your website traffic, starting at $24/month
Proof connects to your CRM or website and uses social proof to boost conversions on your site. They implement social proof messaging (i.e. “25 people are viewing this post right now”), reviews, and videos geared towards targeted customers once they visit your site.
The popular Live Visitor Count and Hot Streak notification features boost customers’ perception of your brand and let prospects get a look at how other people respond to your product. Additionally, it’s super easy to install — you just copy and paste their pixels into your site.
You can identify your visitors and examine their journey throughout your site, which can help optimize your site design for higher conversions. It integrates with an impressive amount of other software systems and is optimized for mobile.
5. Survey Anyplace
Price: Free trial available | Pricing starts from $33 per month
If you’re looking for a powerful lead generation tool, Survey Anyplace is software your marketing team should consider.
With their ReportR pack, respondents can walk away with a personalized PDF report based on their answers immediately after completion. They also integrate smoothly with your existing marketing stack either via webhooks, Zapier, or Integromat. So you can easily transport leads through to your CRM or email marketing tool and start building nurturing campaigns.
Price: The Yoast plugin for WordPress is free, but the paid premium plans range based on the number of sites you need monitored
Yoast is a very popular plugin that works with both Gutenberg and the Classic editor in WordPress. Yoast is an excellent tool to help you optimize your content for search engines.
Yoast helps you choose cornerstone content, focus keywords to help you rank, individual content URLs, and internal links for an additional boost. The plugin also evaluates your page readability and gives it a Flesch Reading Ease score.
It’s updated to reflect Google’s algorithm every two weeks, so you can always stay up-to-date on your SEO.
Price: Free for small or medium companies, custom pricing for enterprises
Slack is one of the favored communication services in business today.
It operates in channels designated for certain information, so business conversations don’t get distracted or cut-off by tangents about where everyone wants to go for team lunch. It facilitates, de-silos, and focuses collaboration between employees and teams.
It’s an excellent tool for networking and meeting others in the digital marketing space, and gives you the freedom to join or leave channels as needed.
Because it’s such a popular communication channel, it has wide-ranging integrations with plenty of other tools. You can tack on a seemingly unlimited amount of integrations and Slack applications to make the tool even more powerful — for instance, many teams will pipe in A/B test results, analytics notifications, new customer or transaction notifications, or even sales or customer support bots. While undeniably powerful, Slack is easy to start using immediately.
Price: Paid plans range from free to $20.83 per month for enterprise
Trello is a content management tool that many organizations use for brainstorming and strategizing content — in fact, we use Trello at HubSpot to know when our blog posts are scheduled for publication.
The reason Trello is so appealing is that it’s free for small teams and businesses, and it provides a visual way to brainstorm and schedule content online — even if your team is remote or global. Additionally, it’s easy to assign multiple employees to a card, so you know who’s in charge of writing, editing, or adding CTA offers to a post.
Users can create cards and include notes on the card topic, as well as create deadlines and assign topics to certain teams. Trello facilitates collaboration and provides clarity on projects in the pipeline.
9. Canva Business
Price: Plans start free, $12.95/month for teams, or custom pricing for enterprises
Canva is a drag-and-drop design platform that allows users to create images using custom pictures, icons, shapes, and fonts from the Canva catalog. It offers an aesthetically-pleasing, simple way to design your logos, presentations, images, or graphs based on your team’s needs.
Additionally, Canva cuts out the need for an experienced designer and enables you to create the exact vision you have in mind using their vast image collection.
10. Google AdWords
Price: AdWords run on a pay-per-click model
Google AdWords is one of the most popular options for advertising your business on Google’s search engine results pages. Payment is based on either a pay-per-click or pay-per-call structure.
Google AdWords hosts the Google Keyword Planner, where you can research which keywords you want to include in your ad and your other content. You can set budget caps on how much you want to spend. Ultimately, the tool helps you funnel more prospects to your website.
AdWords is an excellent way to display your products or services on Google’s results pages for very specific queries. For instance, let’s say someone searches for the “best CrossFit gym in Austin”. Sure, you could work on your SEO and hope to appear organically — but you can also bid on the keyword and appear at the top of the page, enabling you to capture tons of high intent visitors.
11. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the gold standard for website analytics. Nowadays, it’s hard to operate as a digital marketer if you don’t have some level of Google Analytics expertise.
At its most basic level, Google Analytics can show you who is coming to your website, from where, and on which pages they’re spending most of their time. Beyond that, you can set up goals to track conversions, build an enhanced eCommerce setup, and track events to learn more about user engagement.
Truthfully, barely a day goes by that I don’t use Google Analytics. To learn more, check out The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics in 2019.
Price: Tiered pricing, plans start free and range up to $199
MailChimp is an email marketing and social advertising tool designed to automate and orchestrate campaigns.
You can track the traffic garnered from your campaigns — additionally, MailChimp offers multiple integrations with other SaaS companies. The tool is especially powerful for email drip campaigns. Ultimately, it’s a good option for engaging with your audience.
Price: Tiered pricing, free to $19.99/month, with custom enterprise options
Asana is a collaborative workflow management system with a visual emphasis designed to streamline and de-silo information and goals between teams.
Asana allows you to do several things:
- Record and visualize projects to be completed
- Map out deadlines and prioritize tasks
- Assign tasks to certain team members
- Identify points of friction and bottlenecks
- Report on projects quickly and openly
- De-silo data between teams
The Portfolios function also lets you keep track of every project’s status, ensuring that your team members have the support and motivation to get out their digital marketing initiatives on time.
Price: Paid plans start at $79/month
BuzzSumo is a unique content research tool that identifies top influencers in your industry and helps you connect with them.
You can look up trending topics and define the scope of your search to generate both evergreen content or trending content aimed at your desired audience.
From there, you can look at your content’s analytics and social mentions, and then measure performance accordingly.
MeetEdgar is an excellent social media management tool.
Using the browser extension, it can write posts and extract up to five important highlights from your posted content for you to easily share. You can sort your content into categories and decide when you want content shared from each category.
It allows you to schedule posts 24/7, and if your queue runs out, it will mine previous posts and re-share them — which you can start and stop at any time. You can also use MeetEdgar to run A/B tests on your content to find the most optimal language and content for your posts.
MeetEdgar is integrated with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Price: Starts free and goes up to $199/month
Managing all your social media marketing in one place can be a huge time saver. Buffer certainly fits the bill with its clean and simple interface and intuitive setup flow. Plus, there are plenty of advanced features for the many social media jobs you need to do.
With Buffer, you get a full social media management solution: plan, create, and schedule your social media posts; follow up on post-performance with smart analytics, and engage with your followers from a social media inbox. Plus, you can work together with your team to run all your organic social strategies through Buffer.
Price: Starts at $29 per month, or custom enterprise pricing
Hootsuite is more of an enterprise social media management solution, but it’s quite powerful and very popular. Hootsuite can store your approved content in a cloud that team members can access 24/7 for social media posting needs. It allows multiple posts to be scheduled at once with developed tags and keywords.
Using Hootsuite, you can track the performance of your social media content. Hootsuite can calculate ROI, conversions, and track public conversations about your brand or specific subject matter. Plans have tiered pricing, starting at $29 per month and ranging toward $599 per month for the enterprise.
Organic Social Media Tools are popular and for good reason. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 320 million, and Instagram has more than 700 million.
Not surprisingly, marketers are looking for an edge to cut through all that online traffic, and as a result, social media management tools have become common ways to improve engagement.
One useful engagement marketing tool is Wyng, which helps transform the way brands can engage and convert mobile and social consumers.
Wyng has different pricing plans.
Pros: They have a built-in analytics dashboard that monitors how each campaign is performing, and they help boost engagement through hashtag campaigns, contests, referral programs, and more.
Cons: Wyng has different pricing plans. However, it can be pricey.
19. Google Search Console
Google, Google, Google — they are THE search engine! What’s great is that they know it, and offer the tools you need to improve your site and get ranking on search. If you succeed; they succeed.
If you don’t utilize the tools that they offer, you are doing yourself a disservice. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a great platform. You can utilize reports to help you measure your website’s performance and traffic.
With Search Console, you can add a sitemap that can help your site get crawled by Google Bots, as well as tell Google to recrawl a site or pages that you just reoptimized.
As Google says, this will “make your site shine in Google Search results.”
Pros: It’s free.
Cons: It can be a bit confusing (particularly with the semi-new update) but it’s worth it once you get the hang of it.
20. Google Ads
To continue the long list of marketing tools that are made by Google, you have Google Ads (previously Google AdWords). Google Ads is a great way to promote your site, services, or page. With Google Ads, you can promote your brand and company, find relevant users, and increase conversion rate.
Pros: You can get a pretty good click-through rate if you do it right, reaching your intended audience.
Cons: Navigation and cost (for ads) can be quite wonky and pricey.
Optmyzr is another great tool. This tool can help you maximize your Google Ads — or optimize them.
With this tool, you can pull a quality score. The higher the quality score, the lower the cost per click, which is, after all, what it’s all about. The program states that it is fast and can help you better optimize your reports in no time, but that may not necessarily be the case.
Pros: It has a quality score, which can make PPC management so much easier.
Cons: The location bidding tool could be a little more user-friendly.
The Moz Bar — which is an extension you can use on Google Chrome — is a great, easy-to-use tool that will tell you the optimization of your page. If you just optimized a page, use this tool to check to see how well you did out of a score of 1 to 100 (percentage).
Pros: There are free tools, like the Moz Bar, which, as I already said, can help you check your domain authority and on-page optimization. I suggest downloading the Moz Bar extension.
Cons: The paid version, which can help you track your client campaigns, can get pricey pretty fast.
23. Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to find the keywords that you need to start ranking for. Google Keyword Planner can be used to help you find competitive bids for your campaigns — future and present. You can use the keywords for your SEO efforts, and of course, for PPC, too.
This tool, straight from the tech giant itself, will help with your marketing efforts if you know how to use it correctly, which can be quite tricky after the semi-new update.
Pros: Find the keywords direct from their source — Google.
Cons: With the new update, the Keyword Planner can take time to learn.
As a content writer, I can not stress enough the importance of Grammarly. For the most part, it’s a free (there’s a paid version) application that will edit your content.
You can write in the program, paste content in it, or utilize Grammarly’s extension to help you edit your content. The application breaks down grammatical and spelling issues.
It is the perfect resource to help you create professional writing and professionally edited writing.
Pros: It’s great and free!
Cons: It has no idea how to properly use the singular “is” and the plural “are” in a sentence – confusing the subject of your sentence frequently.
Do you need to design a logo but don’t have the time or money? Do you need to build a quick social media graphic for a promotion but can’t figure out Adobe?
Then look no further than Canva, a free platform that can help you create custom images for social media and other campaigns. From business cards, to book covers, you can use Canva templates to create stellar images.
Pros: It’s free. How can you beat that?
Cons: You want to break free of the templates. They can start looking too similar to other content out there.
Funnel Dash is a lead magnet generated. With Funnel Dash, you can convert leads into clients, utilizing tools such as their Facebook Messenger growth tool.
With FunnelDash, you can easily attract new clients. With integrated software as well as training (to help you learn the ins and outs of the program) you can create amazing Facebook Messenger funnels.
Pros: They offer a free trial.
Cons: It can be complicated to get started, but they offer a demo, workshops, and training.
Do you need a social media management system to help you organize your campaigns?
Buffer is an all-in-one platform designed with the user in mind. You can link Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+, etc., and schedule outposts.
It can be hard to manage so many different accounts, which is why Buffer is so helpful. You can have everything in one place.
Pros: It’s free for up to one profile.
Cons: The scheduling software can be very wonky. You want to double-check and make sure you set it up correctly and check back to make sure issues like posting at the wrong time don’t happen.
Share documents, photos, infographics — whatever you want to share, with this platform. This platform offers cloud storage from business to individual.
You can easily share documents with this cloud sharing service with your business or clients; and since the documents are safely encrypted, you don’t have to be concerned about data being stolen.
Pros: 1st 2 gigs are free.
Cons: Customer support can only be contacted via email.
Marketing requires organization. Like ActiveCollab before it, Trello is all about project management and organization. You can use it for organizing tasks, managing projects, and much more.
What’s great about Trello is you can build each “board” from the ground up.
Pros: It’s free!
Cons: Limited email marketing integration.
Unbounce is a leader in landing pages. When it comes to building landing pages here at Chatter Buzz, this is our preference.
With Unbounce, you can create high-converting landing pages, popups, and more. Unbounce is easy-to-use and can help you start converting traffic, and launch more campaigns.
Pros: Offers a free trial.
Cons: Can take some time to learn.
BrightLocal is a great way for you to find leads, discover local citations for SEO, and help you maintain your local SEO.
You can develop in-depth reports that can help you assess how well your campaigns are going.
Pros: You can get a free 14-day trial.
Cons: It can take some time to set up and get used to.
Digital Marketing Tools Will Help Your Marketing Efforts
These are just a few of the digital marketing tools at your disposal for boosting your marketing efforts. How successfully these tools can be used depends on how much time and money you put into it.
And, until someone invents one tool designed to solve every one of your problems by pushing one button, it’s a smart idea to start experimenting with some of these online platforms and see which ones work best for your brand. You can pick and choose the best of the bunch that you think will help you build your perfect marketing campaign.