There are over 7,000 marketing tools you can use today. And I'm going to name them all. No, just kidding, Scott Brinker already did. Actually, he updates the database every single year, so I don't have to. ;)
If you are new to marketing and want to learn about the 10 most useful tools for small businesses, keep reading!
Buffer, Trello, Canva, Hemingway, BuzzSumo, Wordpress, groost, Google Analytics, Smartlook, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Calendly.
"Marketing is a set of activities and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." That's what AMA says.
When it comes to digital marketing, it's nothing more than marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet.
So you basically need to manage some basic steps, create content to help people understand your product or show your expertise, distribute and attract your potential customers all around the web, analyze and optimize your efforts and connect with customers to make a deal.
This basic formula will help you keep focus on your core product, and exploit your online presence at the same time.
There are thousands of management apps out there. As marketing activities often tend to get a little complex, management tools on the other hand, should be as easy as possible.
One of the best options you have at the moment is the world-famous Trello. Its interface is built on a Kanban board. It's a multi-purpose tool that you can use for many other things in your company. It is great for a single user, as well as for collaboration in a team. I have all the important features you need already packed in a free version.
Content is king. It helps you attract potential customers. Good content creates brand awareness and authority. It means you are more credible for your potential customers.
Content creation can take hours and hours of time. But with the right tools, wasting time is not necessary. The truth is, that there are dozens of similar tools, but you should definitely go with Canva. It offers a wide range of templates for different occasions. With Canva, you will be able to create catchy content anywhere on the go with a simple mobile app. The free version allows you to use up to 8,000 templates.
Hemingway is your digital copywriter. This online or desktop app will help you write amazing texts. It's like a spellchecker, but for style. It gives you valuable insights into your texts and suggests edits, so texts will be easier to read for your audience.
It's like a Swiss Army Knife for your content. BuzzSumo tells you what kind of content is performing well. These insights will help you discover and create content that your audience will interact with.
You basically have 2 options as to how you can deliver your content to the audience you need to address. First, you have channels, like social media, blog posts or newsletters. On the other hand, you are able to deliver content using paid channels. It helps you reach potential customers all over the worldwide web.
It is important to post content to your social media profiles. No, wait, it's not! You need to have content on your platforms, but it can be a waste of time to sit behind the computer spending hours of your time publishing content all over again. Buffer can do this for you. Just set publishing times in bulk and let this tool work for you.
A paid channel that offers you the most cost-effective way to attract your target audience and show what you do or what you can offer them. You don't have to be a specialist in digital advertising, you only need to have as many effective ads as you want, with minimum effort. Start using groost. to manage all your ads in one place and see if your social media ads spending pays off and brings you new customers.
By now, you probably know that you need an online presence. It can be tricky to choose the best solution for you. If you are at the beginning, you can't go wrong with these tools.
WordPress claims that it powers about a fifth of the internet. Well, that's a clear sign that it's probably the best tool you can use to run a web presentation. Sony, Mercedes, Time and even Microsoft and Facebook are using WP. The strong community that surrounds Wordpress creates many plugins, that can add almost any functionality you want. And best of all, it is free to use.
You have probably heard about CRM. Maybe you saw some awful and overly complicated software with dozens of strange features. And then you said you will be OK with the phone Contacts app. But it's not enough for effective digital sales. You need to track the products people are interested in, what services they've purchased from your company, the company they work for, and much more. One of the best tools, used by many, is HubSpot. It is free and easy to use and offers many marketing and sales features, so it can grow with your business.
The greatest advantage of digital marketing is that you can translate how consumers behave into data. It brings you valuable insights so you can make the right decision which leads to your goal — increased revenue, new customers, the ability to see what kind of content works for you, etc.
Although the analyst may look complicated at first glance, it's not. Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that helps you measure and understand what's going on within your digital channels. You don't have to go into complicated details right away, just start by looking at some basic metrics.
This tool will show you, what your website visitors are doing. Smartlook records every web visit so you can see how users behave. Based on these insights, you are able to optimize your website and make it easier to shop or to order your services for a customer.
Last, but not least, is communication. This is a very important part of your marketing. Staying connected with your customers or potential customers should be your top priority. These tools are what you need to be effective.
You need to build an email list and send newsletters to your customers. Mailchimp is definitely a good tool to use. It is simple and offers all the features you need.
The customer is always the most important in marketing. It is always a good idea to talk to your customers, so be ready to schedule meetings in the simplest way possible. With Calendly, you are able to connect your calendar and share your availability with anyone online. It is easy and convenient for you and others.
That's it. 10 tools that will help you boost your digital marketing. But don't forget, it is not about tools, but about your customers. Focus on communication with them and don't spend too much time trying new tools.
Missing some tools here? What tools help you with marketing? Let us know!
Before launching any marketing campaign, we must ask ourselves the question: What is it that I want to achieve by running this campaign? In other words, what goal do I set. This is crucial as it determines the outcome that needs to be tracked – the key metric(s) that I want to analyse. Let us call the key metric the North Star for now.
Imagine you sell houses in the U.S.A. By making great content (e.g. pictures & videos of a new house near a lake) and running an online ad, you want to reach as many people as possible! You worked out how to effectively target your customer and now it's time to evaluate your efforts.
We have all been there- investing into an ad that simply does not convert! We spend hours trying to figure out where the pain point lies and NOT being able to get it right… Your goal, as a business owner or marketer, is to get the most out of the investment that you put into any marketing campaign, right? Marketers call it the ROAS – return on ad spend. We are lucky to cooperate with many businesses that continually generate revenue on Facebook and, thus, grow their business. Thanks to this valuable data, we are able to bring you the 7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert. Let's dive in!
Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world with over 2.4 billion monthly active users and still increasing every year. As more and more people and companies adopt online advertising it is easy to see why social media has become a key tool to help different businesses grow and reach new potential clients. It is impossible for up and coming businesses to ignore the importance of Facebook in this day and age. With a variety of different types of ads at your disposal from pictures to videos and many more which will help you reach new people and increase your online presence. The fact is being on Facebook can make your life much easier when it comes to online advertising. You just need to setup the right marketing plan and with the help of Facebook start growing your business.
So, if you are interested in advertising your business online. Follow these 3 steps to start advertising on Facebook.
Books have been a main source of information for a long time and although we can’t exactly say that today, they’re still very important. Lots of people still read books to educate themselves. Even though the internet is now overshining our good old books, it doesn't mean that there aren't great works of literature anymore. If you keep on walking around the marketing section in your favorite bookstore and you just can't decide which one you should read, here's your new TO READ list.
Maybe one of them is exactly what you're searching for.
Weird. Your page likes or followers remain the same, but you no longer reach as many of them as you did in the past, right? The reason is obvious – algorithms change as does the business strategy of social media networks. Let me explain what I mean by that.
In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would reduce the organic reach of branded content and will focus more on “meaningful connections”. What is a meaningful connection you may wonder… Facebook no longer aims to keep you on their feed as long as it can, but instead focuses on quality time. Thus, users should be much more in touch with their friends, communities and groups than they are part of and, most importantly, truly interested in when it comes to content.
What is the result of this change? A 34% decline in organic reach on average. But that hasn't been the first time we faced such a drop in organic reach...
In other words, those who were building their community and follower base on Facebook in the “early days” of Facebook leveraged the opportunity to reach almost everyone for free. Today it's totally different.
This strategy applies for more platforms, of course. Instagram (being owned by Facebook) follow the same rules. So do the others… And it makes (economically) completely sense for them.
How to get out of it?
It looks like a huge problem, right? But what if you can use this to your advantage? Focus on great content, optimize according to the data that you get and leverage the latest Facebook formats and you may overcome your competitor pretty soon… Not everyone is able to follow the trend and change the processes accordingly.
Here are some tips to follow to increase your reach:
Have you ever wondered if the journey of your customer is trackable or even viewable? I have good news for you – it is. You can – in many cases – track how many people know about your business, how many of them consider purchasing your goods and, of course, how many already bought and referred your product to a friend. Being able to view the customer journey, optimise its steps and analyze your efforts is crucial for any kind of business. Trust me, the size does not matter (in this case). Every business should do it.
Marketing funnel is a term that resonates with the majority of marketers. They tend to use this model to illustrate the customer journey – from brand discovery to purchase. As stated, measuring every step of the funnel brings you a much better overview of your efforts and, thus, a higher return on investment, which is your goal, isn't it? The more you can get out of every stage of your customer's journey, the better the results are in terms of number count or revenue.
Let's say your customer journey has three main phases:
Please note that in this case we don't cover the scenarios that happen after the purchase is made (retention funnel).
Each stage represents a different behaviour stage of your potential customer. Say she has a problem which she is able to name. She begins to search for a solution – which you offer with your product or service. As soon as she discovers your business – among others – offers the solution she is already in the awareness stage.
Your presentation, product, its price and other factors determine whether she will move further on the journey. The consideration stage, needless to say, is a phase in which a potential customer already considers your product, is comparing it to your competitors and is aware of its pros and cons.
Decision. That's the phase we aim for. We want her to buy our product, right? That's when a decision is made. In this stage, your potential customer has already conducted the research, has chosen you over your competitors and is happy to buy what you have to offer.
We just described (in a very simple way) what a customer journey can look like. Sometimes it takes weeks to guide her through all stages of the journey, sometimes it is a matter of minutes. Imagine yourself buying a coffee in the city center. You probably don't do any thorough research, but you certainly look for coffee quality and price. You don't spend days comparing the product to other cafés or bars. You make the decision according to a few key factors. Your journey is fast and your decision is made pretty quickly. But it does not mean the café owner should not pay attention to the key factors, like what the café window looks like, or if their prices are reasonable, as it influences the customer's journey.
The customer journey can easily be viewed as a funnel. Therefore, marketers use it to analyze their efforts. To explain the basic idea behind the marketing funnel, let's use the widely-known model AIDA which stands for attention, interest, desire and action. Each of these phases represent a stage in which you might find your customers.
Obviously, your ultimate goal is to guide them through the stages without friction and in the shortest time possible.
Let us look at an example of a basic marketing funnel:
People obviously start at the top – marketers call it the top funnel. This represents the awareness stage. As customers move further in the funnel, they know more about you and your offer and start, as well as continue to consider it more and more.
Here is what a perfect marketing funnel would look like:
This would mean that everyone who discovers your product will decide to purchase. Going back to our example, 100% of the people who enter your café will buy a coffee. Of course, that's a seller's utopia. In an ideal world, this would work, not in the real one.
Your task is to carefully measure your funnel and optimize its steps.
Let's finally give a more concrete example of what a marketing funnel can look like in your case. Say you run a real estate business, and aim to attract potential house buyers with your website. That's also where you generate leads that you can then convert. Your main channels would be:
You would try to attract as many people as possible with your marketing budget and lead them to your website to show all the products or services you have. After they land on the website, ideally you want them to fill out a form, in case, they are interested in a particular offer. As soon as they do so, you connect with them via phone or email and find out whether their interest can lead to a conversion.
This is what your funnel would look like:
Let's do some math now. Say your marketing efforts help you reach 10,000 people with your ad. 3% of them interact with your ad and visit your website. That would mean you have 300 people on your website, right?
How many of these people are you able to convert into leads? That depends on how your website attracts its users and how juicy your offer is, doesn't it? Let's say you have a 10% conversion rate (10% of website visitors convert into leads). In this case, you would have 30 leads waiting to be contacted.
How many of them can you convert into sales? Again, factors like your response time, will play their role now. If you made it to 50%, you just made 15 sales. Now go back and think about what can be improved...
You can see that there are more factors that influence the efficiency of your funnel (and your efforts). One bit of advice would be: measure each step of the funnel, focus on the customer and do your best to improve the areas where it falters!
Going back to our example, simply by making your ad more appealing, you can increase your outcome from 3% to 6% which (if other metrics don't change) make 30 sales at the end of the day! Improve your website from 10% conversion rate to 15% and you almost hit the sky… You know where I am heading, right?
You may be wondering where you can get all of this data? Tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager or our own app that simplifies the process of ad management, can give you great insights into how many people you reached, how many of them interacted with your content, how many made it to the website and finally, how many were converted into leads. There is a plethora of ways to measure your marketing funnel – the customer journey. Even a piece of paper and good data sources can create miracles…
One thing is for sure: if you don't measure your efforts carefully, you may be investing money and energy into something which does not bring you results at all.