Digital Marketing Tools. Pic by Dennis Skley

Top Marketing Tools (to be your own Marketing Agency)

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With a list of the right marketing tools, it's possible to be your own best small business marketer and SEO - without having to hire an expensive digital marketing agency.

In fact, online marketing isn't too difficult to learn so long as you benefit from the valuable insight, contacts, and cost savings the top marketing tools provide.

With fierce competition in almost every online sector, and the massive changes to search in recent years, it is now more important for businesses to become dynamic and responsive. That's why this article highlights some of the more unique and useful tools and services that can boost traffic and conversions leading to increased profits .

1. SEO (with SEMRush)

SEMRush SEO Tools

SEMRush serves over 1 million users and provides competitive insights into 45 million domains and over 120 million search keywords.

SEMRush does something that Google Analytics and Search console don't - provide analytical SEO data on competing websites. It's a vital tool in your armoury 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 and how well they are performing in the search results.

In particular, they have 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.

Try it right now, for free.

A great option if you value having a single, unified resource to do all your SEO research in one place.

2. Email Marketing (with AWeber)

AWeber Email Marketing Tools

AWeber facilitates over 100 000 small business email campaigns.

AWeber is an incredibly popular email marketing platform for SMBs 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. Social Media Marketing (with HootSuite)

HootSuite Social Media Marketing Tools

Hootsuite is the world's most widely used social relationship platform with over 15 million users.

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.

HootSuite 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.

4. Online PR (with HARO)

Online PR with HARO

HARO connects brands with over 35 000 journalists via more than 50 000 journalist queries each year.

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.

Those are my favourite Internet marketing tools. What services and tools do you use? What success have you had? Are there any new tools that should features in this list?

Check out this list of ten great hyperlocal marketing strategies, by Carlo Pandian, that can help to drive local consumers to your site.

7 ways to network effectively

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.

Tips on how to do B2B networking

Having a great product or service is simply not enough to enjoy strong sales (especially online), which is why it is crucial to build strong relationships with other organizations.

But recognizing that your enterprise can succeed or fail depending on the quality and quantity of the business relationships around you is one thing - finding and nurturing those partnerships is another thing entirely.

This article highlights three techniques that have proven themselves to be invaluable when it comes to ensuring that your company is constantly growing a powerful network of allies.

3 common affiliate marketing mistakes

Starting an affiliate program to market your business online is a great way to get real growth - but it comes with dangers that you must manage pro-actively from the start.

By definition, affiliate marketing hands a degree of control over to the publishers who market on your behalf.

Because these publishers are incentivized with sales commissions, they may end up using advertising and promotional strategies that your own company might not be comfortable with.

Online lead generation. Pic by Fe Ilya

For sales and marketing people looking to get more leads for their business, the Internet offers great opportunity wrapped up in some interesting challenges.

Affiliate marketing beginner guide. Pic by Caleb Roenigk

Learning how to be an effective affiliate marketer on one of the top affiliate programs is a great skill to have for entrepreneurs and anyone looking to star

Influencer marketing leverages relationships gain trust and reach

Imagine you could hire a Jedi to sell your products and reach out to new people using their famous mindtricks. Seems almost unfair, right?

The Best Digital Marketing Strategy, 2017. Pic by Matt Gibson

Competition in the world of online marketing is fierce - I mean really fierce.

Gathering useful articles from top influencers

Content fatigue, when it comes to finding innovative and creative marketing advice, is becoming a serious time burglar for me.

Marketing hacks that worked. Pic by Steven Depolo

Every company in the world is obsessed with marketing and sales - trying desperately to get in front of potential clients, gain visibility, join the conversa

increase revenue from AdWords campaigns

With the majority of all Internet traffic passing through organic search, it is only natural to want to advertise on Google using

getresponse email marketing comparison review

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.

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