By the time you’re done reading this list, a dozen more marketing tools will have popped up on the internet. Things move that quickly. As a business owner you can easily become overwhelmed by the variety of tools available. So we’ve made it easier for you.
Here are the 13 must have marketing tools that all growing businesses should be using in 2017. These are tools that we use ourselves at Lead Generation Solutions as well as use for our clients. We think you’ll get a lot of good use out of them as well. Enjoy!
Automation is a huge component of online marketing. If you are short on time (and as a business owner, your default setting is short on time) then you need a way to automate all those niggling little marketing tasks that come with the territory of advertising online. ActiveCampaign lets you automate email marketing, site and event tracking and much more.
The backbone of the internet is search. If you know what your customers are searching for, you’ll be in a better position to fulfill those search queries on your site. That’s where Ask the Public comes in.
This free tool allows you to enter a keyword and then receive insights into what questions are being Googled about that keyword and what subjects people are searching in regards to that keyword. It is a great way to help direct your content strategy for no monetary cost.
Almost all marketing relies heavily on images. Canva allows you to create stunning images using photos, vector graphics, text and whatever else you want to include with your images. Upload your own or choose from the thousands Canva has available. It has a whole range of free pictures, free vector images and a lot of other elements to make your images super sharp (while keeping everything super easy). You can also get access to thousands of user-made vector images for $1 per piece. Everything resizes quickly and easily.
You can never know enough about your audience. The more you know about them, the better equipped you’ll be to deliver meaningful messages to them. It gives you aggregated information about the geography, demographics and purchasing behavior of whatever audience you select.
You can choose your location and see how many in your target audience live near you and what their interests are. If you know what their interests are, it will be much easier for you to target your content to them.
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are an integral part of any small business’ online marketing strategy and there is no better tool on the internet for planning a PPC campaign than the Google Keyword Planner. When executing an Adwords marketing campaign, you can use the Keyword Planner’s search volume calculator, which tells you how many people searched for a given keyword for each month of the past year. Couple that with location targeting and you’ll get a rough idea of how many monthly impressions you would get for that keyword in your area.
That’s just one facet of this tool. It has a bunch more amazing features to check out while planning your PPC campaign.
For small businesses that have a brick and mortar location, the number one concern is that people are able to find that location. And if you’ve moved locations, as small businesses are wont to do as they grow, being able to find you becomes even more important because you don’t want people going to your old location and thinking you’ve shut down.
Moz Local makes it easy to check your listings across the internet to make sure your business name, your address and your phone number are consistent across all listing sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook and anywhere else that lists your business. If you see inconsistencies, you can easily identify the sites and get them fixed.
If you fancy a bit of pseudo-spy work, Moz’s Open Site Explorer is a fantastic way to see what your competitors are up to. Think of it like sending out a scout to see your competitors’ movements.
You just grab a URL from a competitor’s site and paste it into the Explorer tool and you’ll be able to see what sites are linking to your competitor’s page. Maybe they’ve discovered some new listings that you haven’t learned of yet or maybe they’re getting some link love from an influential site that you think you could get listed on, as well. It’s a superb tool for strategizing how to increase your domain authority. (And, don’t forget, it’s totally fun to pretend like you’re a corporate spy while doing it.)
No matter how much market research you perform, it’s impossible to truly tell how a marketing campaign will play out until after it’s done. With Optimizely, you can easily test different campaigns to see which one works better. They have multi-level plans depending on what you want to test.
A tool created by social media management company Buffer, Pablo helps you create scintillating social media images that will pop out from people’s news feeds. You can either upload your own image or choose from over 600,000 images that Pablo has access to. You can overlay text onto those images, choose different sizes and filters and logos and make it look exciting and professional.
You don’t have to be a picture pro to use Pablo, but it will make you look like one.
Don’t worry if you’re leery of amphibians and arachnids because the Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is a downloadable website crawler that you can use to identify easy SEO fixes on your site like broken links, missing meta data and duplicate content. The free version will crawl up to 500 pages.
Siteliner has a lot of overlap with the aforementioned Screaming Frog tool, but one advantage is that you don’t have to download anything to use it. You simply paste your site’s URL into the explorer tool and it will crawl your site to check for duplicate content, broken links, unique content, your average page size and more.
An oldie, but a goodie, WordPress is still the best blog hosting site around and that’s mainly due to its ubiquity, as it claims to power 27% of the internet. So many people use it and create plugins, templates, themes etc. for it that WordPress still maintains its usefulness year after year.
Switching things up for the last entry, YouTube Director for Business is an iPhone app (unfortunately and confusingly not available for Android yet) that walks you step by step through the process of making a great business video.
It has over 130 ready-to-use templates that tell you exactly what shots you need to make a great video. Whether you run a restaurant, a retail shop or an insurance agency, if you have a YouTube channel that you regularly make videos for (and an iPhone), this app will help you with those videos by telling you what to shoot, how to frame those shots and what to say during those shots. You can also use it to upload directly to YouTube from the app.
Many of these tools are free and the ones that aren’t free have free trial periods and reasonable pricing. To take your marketing to the next level, you need the right tools and you can’t go wrong with these 13 tools.
What marketing tools do you use in your business? I’m sure we’re missing some. Let us know in the comments