Use three quick and easy steps (plus a few secret SEO & marketing hacks) to research competitors online, learn what they are doing to succeed an
Top Digital Marketing Tools
Take charge of your business' growth by mastering one or more of the leading digital marketing tools and learn to make better strategic decisions to save money and grow profits.
Picking up a new marketing tool comes with a learning curve, I'll admit. Often it might seem easier to simply outsource digital marketing campaigns to an agency. Sometimes this is the right choice. Often it's not.
Invest time learning how to use one or more of the leading marketing tools sooner rather than later. This will make your marketing more adaptable and nimble. Go after growth in the areas you want, from SEO to content to PPC, social and more, without having to rely on a 3rd party marketing firm.
Keep your marketing campaigns and overall strategy streamlined, efficient and able to quickly pivot and adapt to new marketing opportunities as they arise.
Marketing Tools (by Category)
Click on a link to learn more about any of the best marketing tools across these primary categories.
1. SEO & Competitor Analysis (SEMRush)
Discover who dominates your niche market and how they do it. Learn and apply your competitors' secrets to quickly capture and grow rankings in Google.
Analyze one of your competitors right now.
It's a vital tool in your armory if you intend to compete for organic search traffic from Google because it can shed light on:
- what competitors are doing to get new backlinks
- who's giving them backlinks
- how well they are performing in the search results
- what it takes to get page one Google rankings for your target SEO keywords
In particular, SEMRush has a powerful set of reports and metrics that can help to ensure you understand how well your content competes with the competition, and what they do (or don't do) to capture first page rankings in Google SERPs.
A great option if you value having a single, unified resource to do all your SEO & competitor analytics in one place.
2. Email Marketing (AWeber)
AWeber is an incredibly popular email marketing platform because of it's slick, easy-to-use interface and wide range of integrations with 3rd party apps (such as your online store, blog, Facebook page, etc) that make growing a super valuable list relatively painless.
Emailing seems to have taken a bit of a backseat as of late - what with sexier ways to promote with mobile and social undergoing huge growth. But email isn't dead - it's just that there are other options to look at in addition to it.
And, there's a good reason why email marketing with AWeber is more popular than ever... it works!
Make sure you grow your list for an effective and sustainable sales channel in the years to come.
3. Inbound Marketing (HubSpot)
HubSpot offers a full suite of tools and services that integrate to make inbound marketing faster, cheaper and more effective.
HubSpot's offerings are divided into 3 sections:
- Marketing: Grow traffic, convert more visitors, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale.
- Sales: Deeper insights into prospects, automate the tasks you hate, and close more deals faster.
- Service: Connect with customers, exceed expectations, and turn them into promoters that grow your business.
Their free plans offer fantastic tools and functionality to get your inbound marketing strategy up and running, and generating revenue. With over 7+ million monthly readers, you're joining a huge community of businesses benefiting from the inbound marketing methodology.
4. Marketing Graphics (Canva)
As the Internet's premiere visual creation tool, Canva is used by companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Disney, LinkedIn and many more.
Canva's popularity is due to the fact that there is virtually no learning curve to use it. Home based bloggers can create exactly the same quality branding and marketing visuals as large sophisticated marketing teams with huge budgets.
It has also evolved from a graphics design tool into an integrated marketing and branding tool. Whether you are a photographer wanting to edit pics and share them directly to Instagram, a small business designing business cards and flyers, or a blogger creating infographics for content promotions, creating, publishing, printing and promoting is a snap.
5. Social Media Marketing (SocialPilot)
Social media has quickly become part of the fabric of online business. Whether you are blogging or selling, the traffic and customers driving your profits can be grown using one or more of the major social networks. To run a social media campaign for business requires tools that help you understand the audience and create better engagement with them.
As you probably know, even the mighty Google has tightly integrated social signals into its results. As a result, businesses need to start building social influence in order to remain competitive online over the medium to long term.
SocialPilot helps you to save time and effort by managing all your social media profiles from one convenient location. Plenty of tools and support help you get the most from social.
6. Conversion Optimization (Leadpages)
Leadpages helps small businesses connect with an audience, collect leads, and close sales using fast, easy to construct landing pages, pop-ups, alert bars, and more.
This is an extremely useful tool for performing market research (in addition to improving conversions). A low barrier-to-entry in terms of time, effort and cost make it perfect for taking new products, services, ideas & campaigns to market and seeing if they are viable (i.e. MVP - Minimum Viable Product - research).
Quickly work out who your audience is, what they want and what type of landing pages convert the best. All with one convenient tool that offers a suite of conversion rich features in addition to the standard graphical Web builder design interface.
7. Online PR (HARO)
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform for journalists and other publishers to get expert commentary and insights from industry experts (i.e. you and me).
It's a fantastic way to build backlinks and referrals from high quality blogs and media publishers, as well as establish and grow relationships with influencers in your niche. I would go so far to say that answering queries sent out by journalists should form part of all small business marketing mixes.
8. Content & Writing (Grammarly)
Grammarly is an online writing assistant that helps you compose clear, mistake-free writing that makes the right impression.
You might be forgiven for thinking this is another WORD spellcheck type thing. It's not. Things have gotten a little more sophisticated. Grammarly can now check the tone of your message before you hit send so that you can be reassured that the reader will react the way you expect based on your intended tone.
9. Live Chat (LiveChat)
LiveChat and their chatbot are one of the few places where AI actually has a tangible impact for small businesses. Engage with customers faster and more effectively, in a way that drives conversions for a fraction of the cost of operating an entire support team.
Find the perfect balance between AI automation and the human touch when it comes to serving customers better. Integrate live chats into over 170+ tools throughout your business to ensure you never miss an important support query or lead.
The perfect way to radically improve the user experience (UX) on your website with minimal effort and cost.
10. Video (TubeBuddy)
Tubebuddy provides suite of tools designed to help you quickly publish high quality videos to YouTube and have them focused on maximum growth and exposure.
Like an SEO tool for YouTube, Tubebuddy allows you to perform keyword research to find high-performing, searchable video topics and craft the perfect titles and tags. They also have tools and templates to drastically lower the amount of time it takes to publish a new video. Finally, once your new video is published they're there to help ensure it has the best chance of ranking well to get plenty of views and subscribers.
Perfect for any blog or business looking to make use of YouTube as a marketing channel.
11. More Top Marketing Tools
There are plenty of other digital marketing tools and services worth exploring. Here's a more comprehensive list to get you started.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your video and social networking sites and applications.
- Google Ads: Online ads on Google can help you reach the right customers and grow your business.
- Google Search Console: Search Console tools and reports help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.
- PageSpeed Insights: Use PageSpeed suggestions to make your web site faster.
I'll keep it updated as and when I come across more that I like. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know which tools you use and what success you've had with 'em.
Everyone knows that in order to make more money online you either have to increase the volumes of website traffic, or increase conversion rates (or both
Anyone looking to grow their business using a mailing list will likely want to make use of one of the leading online email marketing services - but which one?
As a business owner, you probably don't have time to set up a free trial on every site around, so it helps to know which one can get you started the easiest.
SME Pals has already done an analysis and comparison review of the top email marketing services, but that analysis doesn't really speak directly to how easy or hard it is for a beginner to set up their own email based campaign.
Social media marketing is one of those things that most entrepreneurs and small business owners wonder if they really need.
In general, my answer is yes, but I need to qualify that by saying that the amount of time, effort and cash you invest must be proportional to the returns you want (and can realistically achieve).
I serve on the board of a wonderful not-for-profit, registered charity, and we have utilized the tools and technologies provided by the Web, and in particular, social media, to drive visibility, engagement, and awareness that would simply be out of reach otherwise.
It can be a challenge, especially if you're new to the game, understanding what marketing jargon means.
If you're in the business of making and selling unique stuff then the marketing strategies you use should reflect the creativity of your products in order to reach out to the right people.
Fortunately the Internet is full of the "right people" just waiting to place an order. But your message has to find them in the right place in the right way.
That's why it pays to think creatively about marketing instead of following the pack and doing the same old "tried and tested" things.
"Are you looking for some great content marketing strategies that will help to generate plenty of buzz around your blog posts and articles?"
Content marketing is not only important for getting your content read by other people.
One of its primary purposes is to help establish authority so that your content enjoys high page rankings and gets plenty of organic search traffic from Google.
The first time I started an online business I spent the vast majority of my time actually creating the service.
Competition in the world of online marketing is fierce - I mean really fierce - making it vital to choose the best possible marketing strategy to deliver sus
Email marketing is a popular and effective online strategy for small businesses (as well as large corporates).
When I started my first company some years ago I placed all my focus on creating a great offering, but almost no effort went into sales and networking. Needless to say that it took an incredibly long time to get off the ground - 6 years in fact.
During that time I learned a lot about how business works, and my focus has shifted almost completely onto sales, marketing and networking.
Nowadays, a good idea with a quality product backed by excellent service is the bare minimum required to succeed. Because there is so much competition (especially online), what sets companies apart these days is how effectively they can network and promote themselves.