There is a myriad of tools out there that can help you manage your marketing campaigns including emails, social media posts, advertising, analytics, etc. But, how does one decide which ones to adopt?
Many of these tools provide a free 7, 14 or 30-days trial so you have the possibility to try them up and decide if going on with the purchase of a plan, or move to something else. If you are a small business and don’t have a big budget to dedicate to marketing management, you can start with free or affordable tools.
Here is a list of 12 tools that I want to recommend for small businesses and inexperienced users!
Trello is a content management tool that helps you brainstorm and strategize content, create schedules, assign tasks to specific individuals, so that everyone knows who is responsible for a certain task – also called card – and what everybody else is doing. It allows you to set up deadlines, add comments and attachments to single cards. You can also create different dashboards for different teams or projects to avoid confusion and keep the work organized. The free version has some limitation, but it is enough for small businesses.
HubSpot helps you with marketing automation, analytics, lead generation, and much more. You can exploit several tools with the free version: create live chat bots, set up web forms and popup forms, create email marketing campaigns, and use the free Customer Relationship Management tool to store and manage all your customers’ and prospects’ information. Some tools are free, while plans start from $40/month.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to unify all your social campaigns on one platform. You can create multiple posts at once, save, schedule, and publish them to any channel. The tool also tracks your social media performance in real time and can calculate return on investment and conversions. Moreover, everyone in your team has access to the content saved. Plans start from $49/month for a single user.
Canva is a design platform to create newsletters, logos, presentations, images, social media posts, flyers, business cards, posters, brochures, and so on. You can create content from scratch, upload your own file, or use the customizable templates and images collection available online on Canva. It is a very easy and user-friendly tool, and it is free for individual use.
Adobe Spark is an integrated suite of media creation applications for mobile and web. It comprises three separate design apps: Spark Page, Spark Post, and Spark Video. So, you can create beautiful graphics, web pages, and video stories using professionally designed fonts, layouts, icons, colors, and photos available online, or you can upload your own from your device or cloud storage. There is a free version with basic features for graphic content creation, while the monthly plans start at $9.99.
This very popular tool allows you to create display ads that will show up at the top of the Google results page when someone researches a keyword that you have included in your ad. Payment is based on a pay-per-click model, and you can also put a cap on your monthly expenditure, so not to go over-budget.
Google Keyword Planner
It is a free keyword research tool where you can search for words or phrases related to your products or services. You can find the keywords that are most relevant for your business by simply writing a keyword – single word or phrase – or by typing a website url; the tool will then give you suggestions of other related keywords you can use. Moreover, the Keyword Planner gives you insights about the search volume, competition, and a bid estimate for each keyword, so that you can choose the most relevant ones and plan your advertising budget.
This amazing free tool allows you to analyze the behavior of visitors of your website: you are able to see who is visiting, from what location, what pages they visit, what elements on the page they interact with, and how much time they spend on a page. You can also set up goals and track events and conversions. You can read more about the advantages of Google Analytics here!
SpyFu is an SEO tool that allows you to visualize several statistics for a certain domain. You can see all the keywords the domain ranks for, their change in ranking positions, the traffic generated by organic and paid keywords, and by any ad you created on Google Ads. You can also see your top competitors based on the same keywords they rank for on Google SERP. You can even run SEO and keywords analysis on your competitors. The free version has limits on what you can access in the analyses, such as on the number of keywords you rank for, however, paid plans with unlimited access start from $33/month with an annual subscription.
SEMrush offers an online visibility management platform that provides SEO, PPC, keywords analysis and suggestions, traffic analytics, content, social media analytics and competitors research. It is also a great tool to perform website audit: indeed, it scans your website for technical and SEO errors, it gives insights about site performance, such as the time to load a page from both desktop and mobile devices, internal linking, external referring domains, crawlability, and security. Plans start from $99.95/month.
EmailOctopus is an email marketing platform that allows you to manage drip campaigns and different audiences. In fact, you can create custom forms to collect email addresses in your website, create email sequences or different and personalized emails targeted to different audiences, and schedule calendars to automatically send emails at given times. You are able to segment your audience based on data that you upload and store in the platform. Moreover, you can integrate EmailOctopus with over 500 of your favorite apps, such as Salesforce, Eventbrite, Shopify and SurveyMonkey. The subscription cost scales with your business, since it depends on the number of subscribers you have in your list; it is free up to 2,500 subscribers.
BuzzSumo is a content research tool to help you find influencers in your industry, based on their retweet ratio. You can research new content that is trending for your target audience, but also evergreen content to refresh and republish with a new look. After you connect with influencers, you can monitor your performance thanks to analytics and statistics, such as the number of social mentions, provided by the website. BuzzSumo is not free though, the cheapest plan starts at $79 a month.
You have plenty of choices in terms of digital marketing tools, so start exploring them now!
If you are a new business owner or have a small business that's looking to grow, digital marketing is your best bet in terms of affordable options to expand your reach. Feel free to schedule a consult to see what our digital marketing agency can do for your business!