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!
Everybody speaks about TikTok, right? So, why is this platform so famous and who really uses it? Launched in 2016 by a Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok displayed an amazing three-year growth. Today, more than 800 million users engage in this entertaining platform worldwide. Entertainment is what it's all about. TikTok is a platform that allows its users to create short stories and add a musical background. Not by any chance did TikTok (ByteDance) acquire Musical.ly. Music plays a key role in the content of all TikTokers. Let's have a look at the key TikTok demographics and stats!
There are hundreds of metrics you can measure today. That's the biggest advantage, as well as, disadvantage of digital marketing.
The truth is you can measure almost anything. You can build a detailed report with real time data, refresh and make those business decisions based on precise data, visualize insights in all those bar charts, funnels, pie charts, cohorts, heat maps, numbers, percentages, etc. That's what the theory is about.
And I partially agree with that, but the reality may be a bit different. Yes, this is important for large companies that, thanks to comprehensive measurements and reports, can optimize their processes and save a significant amount of money.
However, at the SMB level, the situation is quite different. You probably don't have an IT department full of specialists and data analysts who are able to invest hundreds of hours to set up your data platform, connect dozens of data sources, transform the given data and from that, build strong reports. Also, you probably don't deal with a billion dollars in revenue, so sophisticated analytics can be counterproductive because you don't have enough quality and precise data to optimize individual processes and earn a significant savings.
I'm not trying to say that you should completely ignore data analytics. Rather, it is about finding the right balance between not getting overwhelmed with data and gaining valuable insights that can help your business.
In this article, I’ll cover the most important metrics that actually give you valuable insights into your business and online marketing efforts. At the same time, I will highlight the metrics that are less effective and easy to misinterpret.
Klipfolio, an analytics tool, says: Marketing Metrics are measurable values used by marketing teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns across all marketing channels.
Sounds a bit complicated, but in other words, marketing metrics are numbers that tell you how effective your marketing efforts are. You set a goal, and your metrics tell you, whether you have achieved it or not. Based on this you can make a change and try a different approach.
Example: My goal is to get 100 website visits per 50 USD invested in Facebook ads. My metric in this case is Clicks. Two scenarios could take place:
Metrics can tell you, how effective your efforts are and help you to make changes before you spend hundreds of dollars.
Digital marketing is unpredictable, and a strategy that worked well the last couple of months could eventually become less effective or stop working entirely. Metrics tell you immediately if your efforts are paying off.
Setting the wrong goals and misinterpreting engagement metrics is pretty rife. Let's check out some common scenarios. Maybe you will even spot some of your own mistakes.
You probably wouldn't speak English in Portugal. The same principle applies when it comes to social media. Every platform works in a slightly different way, has a different user base, and people behave differently. Your message shouldn't be the same for all platforms. We wrote an article about demographics and the specifics of individual social media networks, so make sure you read it to understand how all those platforms work and what makes each one different.
Tip: You don't have to be a marketing PRO to master campaigns across multiple channels. Try tools like groost that simplify this process.
I'm not saying that likes are not important. But in and of itself, they mean nothing. Nowadays, it is possible to buy likes for posts or a page for a few dollars, but it doesn't help your business at all. It usually does the opposite. It is necessary to look at the number of likes in context of the given situation.
You can measure almost anything you can think of and probably much more. I understand the allure of this idea, because in the beginning it sounds amazing…the theory about having precise real time data on a beautiful dashboard... but reality is usually different. In most cases, you can end up with an over-complex dashboard where you could easily get lost. It takes a great deal of time and energy to make this work.
The extreme opposite of measuring everything is measuring nothing. With the vast amount of information around us, it's understandable that one would just want to ignore everything. But with this approach, you are probably losing your money and throwing its potential out of the window. You can't tell if your spending on social media advertising is effective or if you are losing money, if you're not analyzing what is working vs. what is not. You don't need a complex dashboard with many metrics to keep proper tabs on this.
You know it already, there are hundreds of metrics out there. But you should focus on those that are most important for you and your business. From our perspective, these are the ones which you should be keeping track of:
Reach tells you, how many people were able to see your content. It doesn't mean real views, rather it refers to potential views. If someone with 1,000 followers retweets your tweet, your reach increases by those 1,000 different people, but not every single one of those people may see it.
A higher reach is better, but if you don't get enough leads or engagement, something could be wrong.
This metric tells you, how many direct contacts you got. A lead is a person or even a company that is ready for a follow-up. This person has usually reached a stage where they are ready to become your customer.
Engagement measures the amount of likes, shares and comments your content or ad received. This metric tells you, how much your content is resonating with your followers. It's an important metric to check when optimizing your content strategy.
The engagement rate is influenced by many factors like platform, number of followers, industry, time of posting, etc.
Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.
This metric is an exact number of how many people targeted, eventually became paying customers. Remember, that this isn't just about this exact number. It has to be compared with the Conversion Rate, which is a percentage metric that shows you a ratio between visitors and converted customers.
Conversion rate may vary across industries and required action.
Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.
This is a monetary metric telling you, how much revenue your ad has generated. At the end of the day, this is what counts.
ROI demonstrates how your marketing time, energy and money spent are contributing to your company growth. You always have to know how much money you spent on advertising and how much money it has brought. It tells you, if and how effective your advertising efforts are.
ROI (%) = (income/spend)*100
Your ROI should always be higher than 100%, otherwise a given strategy was ultimately, a waste of money.
Well, now you should understand the basics of Social Media Metrics. But the most important thing to understand is how to implement metrics in real-life scenarios. These are 4 steps to successfully start your measurements.
In the beginning, find some time to write down your goals. All social media platforms could be used in many ways. What do you want to accomplish? The more specific you can be, the better.
Here is a list of examples to help you brainstorm:
Tip: We made an article about defining goals, where you can read all about the process behind it.
The next step is to understand which metrics to use, to see if you are achieving your goals or not. This process is quite easy. Basically you are trying to find those numbers, so you can recognize how effective your efforts are. Your goal should fit into the following categories:
Awareness – Use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?
Engagement – Look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?
Traffic – Track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?
Advocates and fans – Track contributors and influencers. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?
Share of voice – Track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?
Social media platforms usually do provide some basic analytics. For most cases it's enough, so if you're new to analytics, start small. In our case, we built groost. analytics right inside the app.
Tip: If you want to see groost in action, sign up here for free.
Keep in mind that social media interactions happen in real time. Look for a tool that allows you to access data immediately, without delay. You can't afford to wait weeks or even days for a report. Having real time data allows you to react and make quick changes, in order to stay effective.
To make all previous steps valuable, take a data-based action. Don't forget to see data in a wider context and compare it with industry benchmarks.
These questions will help you optimize your social media analytics process.
A strong community becomes a place where customers interact not only with the brand, but also with each other. This is a great source of positive and authentic reviews and it is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. The best brands have killer community management strategies and this article explains the top 5 tips to help you better manage your community across all channels.
People plan their meetings, their gym sessions, their tasks in general, why not just plan the content, then? Planning weeks or even months in advance gives you the ability to readjust your posts if needed. Set up your content calendar and approval flows. If you are doing the content alone, make sure there are no errors. Stay consistent and relevant. Planning your content ahead will help you to see the overall impression. Try it! It’s satisfying.
2. Represent your brand identity
Are you a real estate agent, owner of a flower shop or a barber? Representing your brand or business does not mean you should be boring. Be entertaining, so your audience feels good as part of your e-company. Give them valuable information, call them to action so they engage with you. Be consistent and you will become memorable. If it is not in your brand identity to behave cheeky, as for example, Netflix does, find another way to communicate in a friendly and engaging way. :)
3. Track important metrics
As mentioned above, the realtor, the barber and the flower shop owner have something in common — they should not be boring. But they can have different social media goals. The realtor might be looking for new leads, because they don’t want to be dependent on one channel like e. g. Zillow. The barber needs more customers and the florist needs to be in the minds of all the guys who live near the shop, so once their special lady has a birthday, they know where to buy the best flowers! It can be difficult to determine how your efforts have contributed to sales and leads directly. Instead, it’s better to determine how you define your own success, depending on your goals.
Think about these points below:
Traffic: Is your community on your website? Do you see growth over time? Where is the traffic coming from?
Engagement: How many people are coming to your page versus those actually engaging? Which topics are they engaging in most often? This may determine your future questions, content and discussion starters.
Members or customers: How many new members do you get every week and how many do you lose? Is this consistent? If there was a drop or growth, find what caused it!
4. Use the data you collected
Analyse your posts, interactions and the feedback you get from your audience. Then OPTIMISE! You are the one who knows the data and your customers best. The value of data cannot be understated — you’ll end up with happier, more loyal customers, as well as more easily converted leads. Use the advantage!
People trust other users experience more than the companies themselves. Did you know that reviewed a product’s chances to be sold are 80% higher than one without any review? Positively reviewed, obviously. Social media is all about interaction, sometimes the best content will come from your audience.
This is User-Generated Content, or UGC. It is amazing because it is authentic, and reflects what your customers think about your brand and… it’s free. It will show your customers’ experiences, and it drives the conversation forward in ways that you won’t be able to do by yourself. It is the gate to engage with people and get closer to them, making your brand feel more personal and approachable. UGC can be anything e.g. posts or tweets mentioning your brand or reviews.
Two examples of UGC campaigns:
Remember: Everybody wants the response. And everybody wants the answers quickly or even instantly. Do care about your response rate and response time. It might seem that people take it for granted, but it really makes the user experience unique and enjoyable.
Have you already come across social media posts tagged with “Sponsored”? Do you wonder what they mean and on which principle they work? Good question! An even better one would be, how can these posts help you reach way more people than you do with your organic posts – the ones that you publish on your social media timeline? In today's post, we will uncover not just that, but also concrete steps to get started!
Truth be told, you can use these types of posts to reach many more people than you do today…
But before we jump into what a sponsored post means, let's look at what it doesn't. Say that you run an Instagram profile and add posts to your profile. So do we. This is what it looks like:
These posts are the ones that appear on your social media profile and most importantly, on the feed of your followers and friends. The ratio between the number of people you reached with your posts and the total number of followers is your ORGANIC REACH. The more people who follow your profile, the more people you can reach with every one of your social media posts. Therefore, it is important to build your audience.
But what if you want to reach more people? What if you want to expand your reach to someone who hasn't liked your page yet? Both answers will be clarified, go ahead and continue reading...
In regards to the organic reach, we have to tell you the cruel truth. The organic reach is constantly decreasing. What that means for you, is that you no longer reach the same number of people as you did before.
We have covered this topic more thoroughly in this article, but to point out the importance of this decrease, see the graph below:
From 2012 to 2016, the organic reach on Facebook has sunk to almost zero…
Let's do some math to understand it perfectly. Say your page or profile has 10,000 followers. Due to the organic reach decline, your organic posts may reach between 300 and 800 people based on its performance – making your organic reach between 3% to 8%. Now the chance that some of these 300 to 800 people interact with your content is way lower than if you reached 3,000 to 8,000 people (call me captain obvious). It may sound logical and totally clear, but ignoring this fact and relying solely on your organic reach may cost you your share of voice or market share. In other words, you may lose your followers, fans and customers if you don't act.
Now that we've come through what organic posts mean, let's finally clarify what these “sponsored” posts are that serve you targeted content on your social media feed…
Refresh your Facebook or Instagram feed and scroll for a few seconds… Stop, there it is! A post that looks like any other one with one small difference. It is tagged with “Sponsored” in the upper part. Can you see it?
You will find plenty of these on your feed. And most of them will be perfectly targeted at you – based on your interests and preferences. Now the key is to leverage this feature for you and your business, isn't it?
Let's dive into how this sponsored content works. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok and other social media platforms allow you to run ads through their advertising interfaces. You sign up, learn how the platforms work and jump straight into promoting your content. These interfaces – let's call them the Campaign Manager Accounts for now – remain unknown to “ordinary” users. It's all the magic that “happens in the background”.
Let's take Facebook as an example. Say I want to promote our post that has been (organically) published on our timeline:
Organically we didn't reach as many people as we'd like to. Let's promote the post then…
Either in Facebook Business Manager or tools like our own app, you can follow a few steps and create your campaign – sponsor a post. By defining your goal, marketing persona, budget and message, you can expand your reach and speak to people that have never heard of your business before or show your content to followers you'd not have been able to reach organically.
Going back to our example, let's say that we want to target small business owners in California. According to data from Facebook, we could reach 290,000 people, respectively 277 to 800 people a day for less than $10 a day.
Yes, promoted posts are about investing something into expanding your reach. But as you see, you don't have to sit on millions of dollars in marketing budget to speak to more potential customers than you probably do today. You don't even have to sit on hundreds of dollars to achieve your goal of reaching more people…
Not to say that when they purchase from you, your investment is back – with interests (or margin:)
This is what the set up would look like...
With only a few clicks – in case you use tools that simplify this process – you are able to start your campaign (sponsored post).
The best thing is, that you target your posts solely at people who are relevant to your business. In other words, you tailor your content to people that can become your customers, followers or fans.
Say you run an eshop with accessories. You sell watches, necklaces, small pieces of clothes, rings and other goods. You have two types of products: those made for men and those made for women.
You manage your Instagram profile and post content about your customers’ satisfaction (reviews), newest pieces of clothes and inspiration as to how they fit with other outfits. This content can be interesting for both men and women. But what if you want to run a campaign targeted solely at men with the goal of selling all the men's watches that have been sitting in stock for a long time? That's when the sponsored post comes into play…
The process has already been described: you define your goal (sell more watches), marketing persona (men in California between 25 and 45 years old, interested in fashion), choose which channel you want this post to appear on (Instagram), set your budget and campaign length ($5 a day for 7 days) and finally, create your great content – the ad that your potential customer sees on his feed. Say your post looks something like this:
Thanks to this campaign (while using the setting in the brackets), you are able to reach more than 7,000 people. And you've invested $35 in total. Awesome, isn't it?
Is this the only option to increase your organic reach, you may ask? It's definitely not. Marketing is all about synergy. You may want to combine more tactics to achieve the best results.
Let's go through some tips & tricks that can work perfectly with (or without) promoting your posts.
Again, this may sound obvious, but is not always completely understood. Creating super engaging content comes first, along with understanding your audience! If you don't know who you're talking to, your speech can never really resonate, right?
It's like in life. Imagine you go on a date with a pretty and intelligent woman who is into fashion and yoga. You spend the whole time speaking about the Super Bowl! How would that date end? You probably know the answer...
The same applies to your social media profiles and any content that you publish. If you create something that no one's interested in, you decrease not just your reach, but also engagement.
Start with defining your marketing persona and create content that they find interesting, educating, funny or shocking – anything that goes with your brand.
If you do so, your followers will like, comment, share and recommend your content and products. Thus, you can leverage the real power of social media: the snowball effect that happens once people share your content.
Let me share one secret with you. Your followers are not only on Facebook or Instagram. They also use other platforms like Youtube, Pinterest, LInkedIn or Tik Tok. In fact, an average American Internet user has more than 7 social media accounts. That being said, you should definitely leverage the potential to reach your audience where they are (and where your competitors probably aren't… yet).
Platforms like LinkedIn or Tik Tok have a much higher organic reach now. They are where Facebook was a few years ago. That may change as they grow and decide to monetize their audience, but till then, you can build your follower base and successfully grow your business! Go for it...
Are you also suffering from a continuous decrease in organic reach? Do you reach less people than you'd like to? Try some of these tactics and let us know how it has helped :)
It is well-known that visual content is the basis of success on social networks. It’s easier for users to consume pictures and videos, than text. It’s also more visible in a mess of other content. According to some studies, tweets with pictures receive up to 150% more retweets than plain text posts without pictures. So, it is clear that the importance of visual content is steadily increasing and you definitely shouldn't ignore it.
You don't have to worry, you don't need to hire expensive agencies right away. You don't even have to learn to work with complicated and expensive tools, like Photoshop. Fortunately, today there are plenty of free online and mobile apps available to create visual content in just a few clicks.
In this article we will introduce you to 40+ tools that are available on the internet for free. We use these tools on a daily basis, so we can highly recommend them.
By far the most famous online tool for creating all kinds of visuals, and not just for social media. Canva allows you to create literally everything you can think of — from nice Facebook covers to Instagram Stories to beautiful Infographics. You can choose from dozens of templates and it all works for web browsers or mobile apps.
Whether you need a simple pie chart or a complex business graphic, Vizzlo's portfolio offers you a broad range of different visualization choices. It works for browsers and it is easy to use. You can enter your data using the simple sidebar, and then choose to import spreadsheets from Excel or Google Sheets. Add the result to your slides and documents or directly share it on all your social media channels.
An endless collection of various templates, fonts, logos, flyers and much more. Graphicriver is where you can find ready-made graphic designs for almost any digital content. You don't need to hire an expensive agency and create all visuals and graphics from scratch. It is often enough to modify existing templates. This saves you not only a bunch of time, but also money, because the prices of the templates are very low.
Tip: If you are not familiar with editing graphics, try to outsource it via Fivver.
Size matters! At least when it comes to social media. Landscape has hundreds of recommended dimensions, sizes and ratios across different platforms and devices. It is easy to get lost in these constantly changing numbers. So try to use Landscape by Sprout, it helps you resize multiple images for your profiles automatically.
How do you catch potential customers that are near you? How do you target people according to their location?
Do you have a house to sell and you want to find a buyer in your area? Or do you run a small hot dog stand and want to sell more of your delicious repast? Try to target the people that are near your business!
Is your stock full of T-shirts that say, “I ♥ Boston” and you want to sell them? Target the real Bostonians!
Facebook simply allows you to target people according to their geographic locations. You can sort your audience broadly or very specifically. That means you can target the whole country, state or region, city, zip/postal code, and if you have a store, you can use the option for your very own business address that is to be set on your Business Manager page.