The 27 best marketing tools for your small business
If you don’t have the budget to assemble a top-tier marketing team, you’ll need some great tools to take your marketing to the next level. To help you reach your marketing goals this year, we’ve put together a list of 27 must-have tools to get you started. This list covers a variety of different uses and needs, from search engine optimisation to social media and email marketing, and lots more.
Brainstorming ideas and putting together something unique for every piece of content you create can be time consuming. With the right content curation tools, marketers can shave valuable time off their content creating process.
Here are a few tools you might consider trying out:
1. Google Trends– Use it to see what the world is searching for and how interest in concepts has changed over time. For example, if we run a search for “plumbing”, Google Trends will reveal the interest over time as well as related searches, which you can use to generate new content.
2. BuzzSumo– This is a great tool for researching the content your audience really wants. Simply enter a keyword into BuzzSumo and you’ll get a detailed report showing how well previous content on that topic performed.
3. Scoop.it– This is a nice tool that helps you find unique, relevant content that you either share on your social channels or use a starting point for your own posts.
4. Feedly– Feedly is a content aggregator that you can use to see what other people in your industry are writing about. You can choose the blogs, publications and topics you’re interested in and monitor them to get content ideas.
5. Quora– The popular social network is a platform for question and answer discussions. Identify trends from consistently asked questions to inform your content creation efforts.
6. Reddit– Discover what’s trending worldwide on Reddit for content inspiration on a variety of topics from across the web. Observing which headlines are more effective on Reddit can bring insights to the subject of your next article, infographic, video or other type of content.
7. Twitter– Search trending topics on Twitter to see what is popular worldwide or in a specific region to gain insights on what content to develop. Also search hashtags that are relevant to your expertise and industry to research what subjects of our interest to your existing audience and potential audiences.
Content creation tools
When you have your list of ideas ready, you can try creating content in different formats other than blog posts. The following are a few tools that you can use to create infographics, videos and animated presentations:
8. Easel.ly– Create stunning infographics and data visualisations. Explore the ones already created on the website for inspiration for your content marketing.
9. Infogr.am– This is a great free tool which gives you access to a wide variety of graphs, charts and maps as well as the ability to upload pictures and videos to create cool infographics.
10. PowToon– Create animated videos and presentations with PowToon to add a commercial quality experience to your original content.
Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is such a big part of most businesses’ online marketing efforts. This explains why there are so many tools out there that help brands optimise their websites.
11. Moz Pro – Moz Pro helps you with rank tracking, keyword research on-page optimisation and more. Prices start from $79 a month.
12. 123 Reg Digital Marketing Suite – The 123 Reg Digital Marketing Suite includes access to our Search Engine Optimiser tool, which tracks your search rankings and provides step-by-step instructions on how you could improve your SEO. You also get access to Local Listing, which can help you improve your local SEO. The full suite costs £25 a month.
13. Google Search Console– It includes a variety of invaluable tools that you can use to identify issues with your site as well as opportunities to improve its performance and boost website traffic. It’s free, and a must-have for all websites.
14. SEMRush– A good tool to improve your search rankings and also to track your competitors and see what they’re up to. Use it to pull your competitor’s backlinks, monitor their fluctuations in ranking and conduct a full competitive analysis. Prices start from $99.95 a month.
15. Screaming Frog– Screaming Frog quickly crawls websites, lists of websites or specific web pages to give you a complete analysis on performance. You can use the tool to see if you have any broken links, broken pages, bad redirects and much more. Fixing most of these errors is a quick win for search marketers. A limited version is available for free.
Email still plays a big part in our online marketing strategies. Even though it’s one of the oldest marketing channels, it’s still also one of the most effective.
Here are a few tools you can use for your email marketing:
16. An email marketing tool – Email marketing tools allow you create stunning email marketing campaigns from beginning to end without much hassle. You can get an email marketing tool from GoDaddy and a host of other providers. From building your mailing list and creating and sending highly personalised emails depending on the specific audience you’re looking to attract, to tracking the success of your campaigns in real time. Check out our tips on how to improve your email campaignsto learn what other cool things you can do with an email marketing tool.
17. Email subject line grader– It can be hard to tell if a subject line is likely to hit the spot. This tool will give you some clues before you hit send on that latest campaign.
You’ll get feedback on subject line type, word count and character count, along with an overall score.
18. The Hemingway App– You’re talking about your products every day. This means you understand the terminology more than the average user ever will. This tool will help improve your email content and make it less confusing or overly wordy.
19. Canva– If you have no design skills, that doesn’t mean you can’t create or edit images to use in your email campaigns. With Canva you can do this easily, even if you’re not a designer. A similar tool that is just as easy to use for editing images is PicMonkey.
Social media marketing
With so many people spending so much time on social, it’s becoming one of the most important channels for brands to engage with current and prospective customers. Here are some tools you can use to manage your social media presence:
20. Tweetdeck– This is one of the most popular social media tools for managing multiple Twitter accounts. Many also use it to find great content to share on social channels. Within Tweetdeck you can create different columns for specific terms and keywords. For example, if you’re an event planner, run a search for “wedding planning” and create a column dedicated to this topic. This column will include a list all the posts and tweets that fit in this category. So instead of going to Twitter to search for content on this topic, all you need to do is go to your Tweetdeck account, see what new content has been shared and pick the most interesting ones to retweet.
21. Buffer– Originally a tool to schedule social media posts, Buffer now offers a range of useful features to help you run campaigns and judge their effectiveness.
22. Coschedule– This tool is designed to help you plan your content across social media and beyond. With it, you can create an all-in-one content calendar.
23. Crowdfire– This is another social media planning tool, but one that will actually help you decide what you should be sharing with your audience.
It will suggest articles you might like to share via social media based on topics that you’ve selected.
24. BuzzSumo– BuzzSumo isn’t only great for helping with content ideation, it can also help with your social media efforts. With BuzzSumo you can find authority blogs, influencers and topics based on your keywords. Want to see what people are talking about or how well certain content has performed across social media? Simply type in a term and the tool will return a list of the top shared content. This also allows you to gain a better understanding of what your target audience wants.
25. FollowerWonk– FollowerWonk helps you find, analyse and optimise your social media efforts on Twitter. You’ll gain great insights into your followers, their location and when they tweet. You can also use it to find new influencers that you can then reach out to, to help spread your message.
26. Onalytica– This tool is focused on helping you find and connect with B2B influencers. It’s a great way to spread the reach of your social media campaigns.
27. Loomly– Loomly lets you manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard and allows you to collaborate with anyone else working on your content. It even provides you with content ideas and guides on how to create posts.