10 Best Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

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 have a lot of time on your hands and want to spend it browsing a list of tools, here is an Excel sheet
  • If you want to print it as a poster for your bedroom wall, click here
  • If you are a marketing expert, I would appreciate your feedback down there, in the infamous comments section.

If you are new to marketing and want to learn about the 10 most useful tools for small businesses, keep reading!

Beginner's guide
to facebook advertising

GET YOUR E-BOOK FOR FREE!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Beginner's guide
to linkedin advertising

GET YOUR E-BOOK FOR FREE!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Free revision of your marketing campaigns

request your free revision!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
free webinar series! Facebook advertising tips & explanations

get exclusive invitation
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

TL;DR

Buffer, Trello, Canva, Hemingway, BuzzSumo, Wordpress, groost, Google Analytics, Smartlook, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Calendly.

Here are the basics we can start with

"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.

Management

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.


Trello

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.

Creating Content

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. 


Canva

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

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.


BuzzSumo

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.

Distribute the Content

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.


Buffer

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.


groost.

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.

Online Presence and Sales

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

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.


HubSpot

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.

Analytics

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.


Google Analytics

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.


Smartlook

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.

Communication

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.


Mailchimp

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. 


Calendly

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.

Conclusion

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!

Continue reading

How to Market Real Estate on Social Media

One of the main problems of real estate agents, is getting listings. To make it work, you shouldn’t just focus on your website. Social media and the online world, overall, could be a marvelous extension of the brand you present yourself as offline. If you take advantage of its options, you’ll reach more people, build trust and most importantly - sell.


Here are a few things you should know about social media marketing for real estate. 


Read >>

No Professional Stuff. Be Natural. Leverage INSTASTORIES.

I know, I have been there too… You are about to create a piece of content — a nicely done cappuccino in your café or a beautifully pictured house that you want to sell. But how the heck do you begin? With no professional equipment or experience — you want to produce the best content for your social media profiles, business website or email campaign, right?

Well, how do you go about it? The key is you don’t have to be perfect, in fact, that’s part of the magic of this medium! Be natural, be spontaneous, and be active. Your new audience will expect funny, educational, engaging and UNPROFESSIONAL content. In a world where marketing aims for the ideal, your audience wants someone or something that they can relate to. A picturesque cappuccino is nice to look at, but what about a customer savouring their morning drink, only to burst out laughing because they have foam on their upper lip? Capture it and share it! Sometimes less is more. And something is always better than nothing

In this article, I will show you how you to use a (relatively new) medium that not only allows you to share your unprofessional and spontaneous content, but REQUIRES IT! This medium is called Instagram Stories aka Instastories. As the name says, it can be used on your Instagram profile (both personal and professional). Below see an example of what an Instastory looks like:

AirBnB Instastory
AirBnB Instastory

Let us first clarify what Instastories are. They are vertically shared pictures, videos, animations that were originally used by Snapchat. After some period of time, Instagram and Facebook implemented them and extended their platforms. Instastories disappear after 24 hours which makes them an instant, spontaneous and engaging piece of content.

But why should you actually care about them? How are they relevant to your business? As we regularly discuss in other articles, webinars and private Facebook groups, ask yourself a question before you get started: Can I reach my audience on this channel? Instagram is used daily by one billion users and Instastories by more than 500 million people. That truly means 500.000.000 people. Every. Single. Day.

Going back to where we began. You are probably asking yourself: “Do I need professional equipment, a best-of-breed creative studio with the best of the best?” Not at all. Be natural, be spontaneous, and certainly, go ahead, and be unprofessional! This platform requires it. Your audience expects you to be natural. They expect to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what your daily updates are — share with them the best moments that can describe you or your business. Tell STORIES! Because that is what this platform is about.

Let’s break the stereotype: You do NOT need to be a professional to create great, engaging content for Instastories.

Let’s get practical. How do you really begin?

  1. The premise is: You already have your business/ personal Instagram account (if not, get one).
  2. Visit the Instagram app and tap your icon (with the + sign) on the top panel/ or simply swipe right.
  3. The interface where you create Instastories will open up. Choose either to make a picture, create a video or choose any of your pictures/ videos in your gallery. The options you have when it comes to content creation are hundreds (check out all the features like Boomerang, Live Stream, polls or uploading Gifs to your story).
  4. After you are done, click “Send to” and choose either your Instastory platform (yes, this is the one) or send it to some of your friends/ followers.
  5. Done. Your Instastory will now be public. Make sure to check the results afterwards. You can see who watched your story (within the first 24 hours of posting it) and how they reacted.

You know how to get started. Get inspired before you jump into the content creation. See a series that shows some examples of really nice — BUT STILL UNPROFESSIONAL — Instastories which you can do within a few seconds.

There are plenty of cool features that you can use to make your content visually more appealing. Amongst them, there are live streams (even shared streams with other coworkers, partners, and followers), galleries of Gifs, options such as slow motion or boomerang effects, coloured backgrounds, many text fonts, polls, quizzes and questionnaires (ways to engage with your audience), chat windows and tons of emojis. Again, choose what correlates with your business image (branding). I may be repeating myself, but less is sometimes more…

Key takeways:

  • Instastories offer an opportunity to reach out to your audience — potential customers/ followers.
  • Be yourself! Be natural and spontaneous, when creating Instastories.
  • Do not insist on the best-of-breed equipment — less is sometimes more.
  • Follow the 5 steps stated above to get started with Instastories.
  • Inspire yourself with our Series of great examples of Instastories.
Read >>

All You Need to Know About Facebook Asset Formats

Have you been wondering which format is the best to use for promoting your business news on Facebook? This article will briefly explain the difference between the main Facebook formats and what to use each of them for. You will find out how to create them, as well as, handy info to stay relevant and entertaining for your customers.

Read >>

How to Find and Engage Your Target Audience on Instagram?

If you are reading this then you have probably heard of Instagram. It is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion monthly active users and more than 500 million daily users.Nowadays more and more businesses are using Instagram as a key marketing tool when it comes to online marketing.

 

But it is important to do your research and learn the ins and outs about marketing on Instagram. So you can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer and create the best possible marketing strategy to ensure great results.

 

Your main objective is to find your target audience and engage with them in the best way possible. This is achievable by using a number of key tactics and data which are all available to you via Instagram. Studying this information will help you come up with the best marketing strategy for your business. Which will help you reach your targeted audience to ensure you are offering your product or services to the right people.

 

Sound interesting. Here are the key methods to finding and engaging with your targeted audience on Instagram.

Read >>

How to Choose the Right Online Channel for Your Business

The benefits of online marketing are: marketing perspective (obviously) which leads to customer engagement, building the brand, product discovery and all of these increase the amount of purchases. Online marketing can be done almost everywhere on the internet, so the question you may have is should you go for email, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Bing? Is the “I don't know where to start” holding you back?


Most businesses have already begun to harness the unique features of social media marketing. These businesses spend as little as 6 hours per week and over 66% of businesses enjoy lead generation benefits with social media. So do not wait! A properly executed social media strategy can improve your business' search rankings, drive more website traffic and increase conversion rates. 


“Internet access has become vital for communication, obtaining information, job-searching, and participation in an ever-changing world economy. The United States, the fourth largest country (by land mass) in the world, is no exception. With over 312 million internet users as of 2018, it is one of the largest online markets worldwide” says Statista.com


It's obvious you are supposed to boost your business online, as well! So how do you find the best online channel for your business? 



Find out:

1) Who is your target audience? Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when they like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customer behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about your audience. You will discover the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product. Learn how to create your buyer persona.


2) What are your social media strategy objectives? Being able to link your social media channels to your strategy’s high level objectives is essential. If you can’t explain why or how a particular channel will help you achieve your goals, then it’s more than likely you shouldn’t use it. It would be a waste of time. Always remember that the purpose of your chosen social media channels is to support the achievement of your strategic goals.

3) What channels are the people from your target audience using? After you’ve set social media strategy objectives, you need to consider where your audience is interacting online. For instance, it could be deemed wasted effort if your largest customer segment is composed of retired people and you chose Tik Tok as your prime channel.  


Similarly, it may not be very effective to establish your brand on Facebook if you’re only targeting teenagers. The most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. 


Use data-driven insights to ensure that your strategy, and the channels you choose, facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible. This will help increase the chance for conversions. 


To sum it up, when choosing your social media channels, always base your decisions on demographic data, don't just go with the flow of trends. 


Define: What kind of content do you want to create? This is a relevant question as there are a bunch of different content formats you can use – some of which will complement your business goals and brand identity, and some that won’t. Certain content formats will be more suited to particular social channels than others. 


At the end of the day, personas tell you where buyers prefer to get their information. Are they bookworms? Do they like to sink their teeth into 100-page guides, or do they prefer short, concise texts and easy graphics? This information will help you set the way you create your content for each persona and how your buyers will discover it. The same goes for your creatives. Some of the people won't watch a video, some will only respond to a colorful picture and some only to a call to action post. Create content that will engage your buyers more effectively. 


Don't stick to one channel!

As social media has become more integrated into daily life, people are starting to use more than just one network. According to Pew Research Center, more than one-half of adults have their profiles on various social platforms. Most of the brands also administer more than one channel.


If you haven’t yet chosen any channels, or you’d like to expand into other platforms, the Pew Research Center have conducted an analysis that outlines the key demographics for a number of social media platforms. 


Let's talk about the most common channels, so you have some ideas when picking the right ones for your business.


Demography 

Facebook -  very common! 72% of adult internet users and 62% of the entire adult population. 70% of Facebook users visit the platform daily.

Pinterest - It's growing! It's mostly used by women. 31% of adult internet users and 26% of the entire adult population. 27% of Pinterest users use the site daily. 

Instagram - online women are more likely to use Instagram than online men (31% vs. 24%) and 28% of internet users. 59% of users visit the platform daily.

Linkedin - 25% of adult internet users. And 41% of LinkedIn users earn a salary over $75,000! LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds. 22% of daily users. 

Twitter - 23% of all internet users. Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. Twitter is more popular among younger adults — 30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter, compared with 11% of online adults ages 50 and older. 38% of those on Twitter use the site daily.


Are you interested in more information about the demographic of the channels? Check this analysis.


Ask yourself: What is my product/ service? Who is the ideal buyer? Where are they? What content do they like?


Once you know who you are targeting, it's easy to find out which channel or channels to use. 


Also, you can adjust your content to that channel as well as to the audience you are talking to. Once you know who you are talking to, focus on your target audience’s needs and preferences. Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine that very sort of content you will need.


Remember:

Because you already know who you are talking to, set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content according to your personas. For example, some buyers respond best to a friendly, conversational voice, with some jokes and questions, while others trust a more formal tone and serious negotiation. By creating your personas, you’ll determine the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona. 


Don't try to manage every single channel out there. It will be exhausting, chaotic, time consuming and, most likely, your audience is probably not active on every channel. Pick two to three of them, that are most suitable for your buyer, aka marketing persona, and stick to them. Manage them continuously, engage with people! Plan your posts, represent your brand identity, and track important metrics! When you're ready to manage your growing community, check out this article.

Read >>

5 Features You’d Expect in Your Perfect Marketing Automation Software Solution

You are probably on a path to choose the best marketing automation software for your business. In our latest post, we've covered all you need to know about marketing automation when you are a small business owner. Automation is a trend. And every small business can embrace this – it's not just a game for the big players. In order to choose the right tool, there are some things to keep in mind. There is not just one category of automation tools. Some help enterprises with their robust database and multi-channel campaign orchestration, others help small businesses get rid of the daily marketing routine. Let's dig into the 5 features you'd expect to find in your perfect marketing automation software solution.

Read >>