Advertising tools for small business are not hard to come by, but it’s hard to know which tools will be most beneficial to your company. Often, these marketing tools are well-marketed. After all, marketing professionals are experts and making things sound and look great. Digging past the surface to see how these marketing tools really operate can take some time. And if you’re a business owner, you know well that time is money.
There are tools for just about everything, but you may not even know what to be looking for. Some categories that might be useful for your search are:
- social media management
- reviews and customer feedback
- content creation
- website builders
- link shorteners
- analytics platforms
- email newsletter services
Those are just a few things you should be looking for. I know, it’s a lot. That’s why we’re here. This list of marketing tools should give you an overview of some easy to use email, social media, and content marketing tools for small businesses. Let’s get started
Let’s be honest, we’re not all former spelling bee champs. Even the best of us can slip up on grammar when we need to write a lot of content. No need to hire a full-time copy editor. Grammarly is a free online spelling and grammar tool that offers a premium version for more avid users. You can double check copy for your blog posts and landing pages using Grammarly. If you’re hiring contractors to write copy for you, Grammarly has a tool to check for plagiarism to make sure you’re not paying for someone else’s content. Customers care about the quality of your copy more than you’d think, and it’s worth the extra few minutes it takes to check your content on Grammarly for errors.
You’ve definitely heard of YouTube, and you’ve likely heard of Vimeo, but have you heard of Wistia? Wistia is a video hosting platform that allows you to easily embed videos into your website. Their clean coding will make your web developer very happy. Beyond that, Wistia offers advanced analytics and tools to help you optimize your video content. With Wistia, you can create call-to-actions in your video that will direct viewers to another page or collect their contact information like email addresses or phone numbers. Additionally, Wistia offers super cheap transcription services so you don’t have to spend hours doing that work yourself.
When you’re promoting landing pages in your social media posts, it’s never a good look to include a link that’s several characters long and includes a bunch of random %!/[email protected]^!symbols. Bit.ly is a free link-shortener. Shortened links means you have more characters freed up for your important tweets. A paid version of bit.ly will give you even more customization and control over your digital marketing. With a paid subscription to bit.ly, you can use custom short urls, view analytics, and integrate your account with other marketing automation tools you’re using.
Small businesses, especially those at the beginning of their operations, should prioritize customer feedback. Their feedback will tell you what you need to know about how your product or services are being received. Additionally, customer feedback can be used as a powerful marketing tool. Reviews from real customers build brand trust. Reviews on sites like Yelp and Google are super helpful, but using a tool like SurveyMonkey can help small businesses get even more specialized feedback from website visitors. With SurveyMonkey, you can simply email out a custom survey to past customers and view all responses in one place.
Email marketing is a super valuable tool for your business if you use it right. MailChimp is a great resource that allows you to use it with no cost until your subscriber base exceeds 2,000 people. You can customize templates and schedule your email marketing campaigns with MailChimp’s easy to use platform. MailChimp also provides you with valuable email marketing analytics, so you know which of your campaigns are performing the best.
Need a part-time social media coordinator? Need to contract a marketing automation specialist, a content marketing expert, or an email marketing wizard? UpWork is the place to go. UpWork has a vast network of creative and technical contractors that are looking for work on a short-term, recurring, or full-time basis. You can easily look at freelancers’ profiles to see their rates, examples of past work, and reviews from previous employers.
Social media marketing is a super important facet of business these days. Having a platform to schedule all of your social media posts will help you stay organized and keep track of your audience engagement. HootSuite is a free tool that allows you to schedule social media messages in advance. You can send the same message out on various social platforms, and easily edit posts to fit the requirements of each site. Plus, HootSuite allows you to respond to social media comments through their platform.
HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out,” and that’s exactly what this marketing tool does. It’s equally beneficial to a business looking to get more press for their brand. HARO has a few tiered subscription offerings, including a free version. Each day, HARO will email you three times a day with requests from media outlets and reporters. Each email will include various topics for which reporters are seeking content. So for instance, you might see a news outlet looking for sources to discuss marketing efforts for new businesses. If your business has an interesting social media presence, you could respond briefly detailing your marketing efforts. If they like what they see, they could quote you in their article, giving your company free digital marketing. Honestly, HARO takes some time to get used to, but the free marketing can be worth the effort.
HubSpot is best known as a CRM, but it’s also a great tool to manage your digital and content marketing efforts. HubSpot offers a multitude of content marketing tools, including a library of educational content. If you don’t know where to start with creating marketing content, their HubSpot Academy is basically a free college course on utilizing marketing tools to promote your company. HubSpot’s marketing tools include a blog manager with built-in keyword research tools, a dashboard containing easy-to-interpret marketing analytics, and built-in project management tools. With HubSpot, you can track projects, promote them, and then analyze their success all in one place.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a sea of marketing tools. There are hundreds of options for just about any type of marketing you’d want to do. So how do you choose the best ones? It’s important to make sure you’re doing your research. The email newsletter platform you’re using could be free now, but do you know how much it will cost when you want to add 100 more subscribers? And yeah, that website builder bought a million ads on your favorite podcast, but did you look at the reviews to see what their customers are actually saying?
Hopefully this list gave you a few good options to help you grow your small business with. So get out there and start building your brand!
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