The best digital marketing strategy needs to be geared towards a digital marketing plan. The tool to carry out this digital strategy is the use of digital marketing tools. There are a lot of different digital marketing tools available which can be a daunting process. Which tools should you use, and how do you know that they are going to suit your business?
Everyone uses digital tools to support their marketing work. Whether that be in the form of Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools or Moz’s Open Site Explorer, or even social media tools like HootSuite, Buffer, and StumbleUpon. Digital tools are one of the most important resources available to marketers. But what are digital tools?
Best Digital Marketing Tools in 2021
When it comes to digital marketing, few things are as important as the tools digital marketers rely on to get their jobs done. These include everything from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to analytics tools like Google Analytics. Allowing marketers to create, test, and measure the performance of their campaigns, digital marketing tools ensure that marketers can launch and test campaigns quickly and effectively.
Here are the five common digital marketing tools.
1. Social media platforms
A common part of any integrated marketing strategy, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are a great way for marketers to engage with their audiences and generate buzz around their brand. In addition to the standard features these platforms offer, some features are designed specifically for marketing. These include Facebook Ads Manager, which allows marketers to run ads and track ad performance. As a bonus, social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite also integrate well with these platforms, making it easy to schedule social posts and measure engagement.
2. Design tools
Another key part of digital marketing is designed and this is especially common when it comes to creating ads and content like social media posts and blog posts. Because digital marketing is such a design-heavy field, doing it effectively wouldn’t be possible without design tools like Canva and Photoshop, programs that allow those without extensive graphic design skills to add dynamic images to their content.
3. Analytics tools
Another set of helpful tools for digital marketers are analytics tools. These include everything from Google Analytics (designed to track stats for web traffic to a particular site) to social media analytics tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics which provide metrics related to engagement and help marketers optimize their campaigns. For measuring stats on the backend of a site (particularly related to conversions, sales, and user demographics), there are also tools like Periscope that track user data, site searches, and conversion metrics.
4. Content marketing tools
For marketers who are more focused on content marketing, tools like CoSchedule and Hubspot are a big help when it comes to content creation and curation. They can help marketers identify content opportunities and craft engaging blog and social media posts that will resonate with their audience. And since Buffer also offers the ability to see what fans are talking about on social media, that content is almost guaranteed to be impactful and to generate attention for a specific event or news story.
5. Email marketing tools
The final set of tools in a digital marketer’s toolbox are email marketing tools. These help marketers create email campaigns that amplify their content and encourage their users to become more engaged with their brand — taking additional steps like signing up for events and buying products. Common email marketing tools include email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Iterable which allow marketers to build email lists and automate their email campaigns. These platforms also provide analytics for every email campaign, making testing and optimization quick and easy.
Working in digital marketing involves a unique blend of passion, strategy, and media savvy. To maximize the impact of your various campaigns, it helps to have the best tools at your disposal.
Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Career Opportunities for Marketing Majors and find answers to common interview questions such as What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?
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.
Many marketing professionals’ knowledge of digital tools is pretty much limited to social media platforms and SEO. It’s about time we take a look at some other marketing tools and see what they can do for us!